By Tony Barthel
What is an RV? Sure, by definition it’s a Recreational Vehicle but, more than that, it’s a ticket to freedom and adventure any time you’re ready for it. And that’s why so many people are buying RVs nowadays. Your space, your bed, your decisions.
So how small of an RV can you get and still have it be considered an RV? Well, how about one that’s so petite and lightweight that it can be towed by a motorcycle or virtually any car on the market? Yes, it still offers much of that RV experience but a lot more freedom if you love the wind in your… well, the wind on your helmet and the bugs on your face shield.
Today we take a look at the Kompact Kamp Mini Mate Camper. Starting at just $3,295, this all-fiberglass trailer might weigh less than some of the riders on the motorcycles they’re being towed with. It weighs in at just 260 pounds with a tongue weight of just 25 pounds.
Despite the small size, the Mini Mate still features things like a torsion axle suspension, all-fiberglass exterior and 6’ 4” of headroom when the top is up. Basically going from the open road to camping is done in all of about two minutes. That’s it.
If you were expecting the Tardis here, you may be partially correct.
Transformation of the Mini Mate is quick and easy
To transform this vehicle from road-ready to camp-ready, you put down two of the four stabilizers, unhook it from the tow vehicle, put down the other two stabilizers, put a support bar in place, and flip the top over 180 degrees.
That reveals a tent which then needs just a few poles to be pushed into place and you’re ready to camp. Simple.
Essentially, the lid that flipped over is a portion of the bed surface with the other half being a table arrangement that covers the carpeted cargo well of the trailer. This can also be used as a seat so you have full seating inside.
Other than that, the rest of what’s in here is left up to you. But there is enough space in the cargo well for things like camp chairs, a camp kitchen, a toilet, or all manner of other things that you might consider camping essentials.
The tent is probably as big as a two-person tent might be and offers a lot of headroom.
But wait … there’s more to the Mini Mate
Let’s say you’re not happy with just a one-room cool house. No worries. You can get a second tent room that attaches right onto the first, making for a two-room space. If you don’t want an entire room but are as big a fan of awnings as I am, you can get just an awning that attaches to the tent.
It’s all pretty clever and delightfully lightweight.
There’s even a space for a cooler on the tongue of the trailer. I would imagine you could put one of those 12-volt cooler/refrigerators up there and power it with a solar panel. So you could even have full refrigeration if you’d like.
Best of all, this gives you 15 cubic feet of storage when it’s in trailer mode. So you really could bring a lot more stuff with you than might otherwise fit on a motorcycle.
There’s not a lot to say about these other than the fact that the tent materials and body of the trailer are all quality materials. The whole setup is really intriguing. The company really has opened up travel to more types of travelers by simply providing a rig that can be towed by almost anything you can drive or ride.
I didn’t do a chart for this rig only because there are few details, but base price is $3,295 with a number of options including the awning and the second room. You can easily lift the tongue and push it into wherever you like for camping – which is another plus. The company is located in Myerstown, Pennsylvania, but can ship the trailers basically to any place in the U.S.
If you are planning to ride the roads, we’ve also looked at the Time Out Deluxe motorcycle trailer.
One of the nifty things about this is that it will easily fit into a garage or even a larger storage shed, should the call of the open road presently be on hold. But, honestly, with as maneuverable and fun as this rig is, I can imagine it would be pretty tough not to enjoy the great American open road.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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