Let’s say you want something light that your vehicle can safely tow. I mean really, really light. Under 2,000 pounds dry and, perhaps, even under 2,000 pounds with some cargo aboard. What are your options?
I wrote about the SylvanSport GO recently, and that’s certainly an option for the more adventurous. But you might think there isn’t a more traditional option that resembles a more mainstream travel trailer. Well, I’m here to tell you a different story.
Travel Lite RV Rove Lite
Recently I came across Travel Lite RV, which is the manufacturer of the Rove Lite travel trailer. As the name implies, this is a lightweight trailer. But I’ve seen some trailers with the word “Lite” in the name that were close to 10,000 pounds when fully outfitted. That seems disingenuous to me.
But the Rove Lite is telling the truth – it comes on the scale at 1,850 pounds. That’s well within the towing capability of many, many smaller SUVs, just about every mid-size pickup and even many Jeep Renegades.
But unlike the super-duper teardrops, folding trailers and all the other less traditional incarnations of a vacation towable, the Rove Lite is a traditional travel trailer.
How’d the Rove Lite get so light?
The Rove features a fiberglass sidewall with two-pound fire-retardant block foam insulation. All of the interior panels are Azdel composite. The seamless, poured resin fiberglass roof is one piece from bumper to hitch. The floor is made of a honeycomb composite material which is also man-made and impervious to water damage.
The company said it got the inspiration for the floor material from the aircraft industry. It claimed that this type of flooring also won’t compress over time – unlike flooring composites that utilize foam. I know all about this type of thing happening.
I have written before that I harbor zero love for rubber roofs, and this one does not have that. There isn’t a single seam from the front to the back of the trailer’s roof, front and rear walls.
Furthermore, the small size of the Rove Lite allows them to utilize a 5,000 BTU window-style air conditioner. The company states that that type is not only very energy efficient, but also doesn’t require a hole to be punched in the roof. It also doesn’t require that the roof be strong enough to withstand a heavy AC unit bouncing around up there.
In addition, not having a roof air means the trailer is lower in height. This works toward having less aerodynamic drag and also makes it potentially garageable in some situations.
Not only is this rig lower than some but it’s also narrower, at only six feet, six inches in width. This means many tow vehicles won’t have to get fancy tow mirrors to see around it. But the relatively narrow width means it also contributes less to aerodynamic drag. Slick!
Lastly, even the frame of the trailer is made of aluminum for weight savings. There are a lot of areas where the company seems to go with higher-quality materials. They are not only weight-saving but also last longer.
I mentioned that the Rove Lite is a traditional travel trailer in every sense of the word. There are fresh, gray and black tanks in this rig, and even an on-demand water heater. That’s pretty fancy.
Cooking is done with a two-burner stove. There’s a small bar-sized three-way refrigerator, as well. There is no microwave on this nor is there an oven. So you’re on your own with your Dutch oven and fire pit – which makes better tasting meals anyway.
The company even boasts that it didn’t put cabinet doors on the cabinets to save weight, using a stretching netting material instead. I guess that also means you can see your stuff, right?
Beds are all of the convertible type. The front dinette serves night duty as the main sleeping area, and the couch in the back makes up into bunks.
Weird stuff with the Rove Lite
I would much rather have this than a teardrop trailer, given the choice. In this weight category this really is a real travel trailer with all the features.
But, let’s be honest. A five-gallon black tank is a joke, especially when you have to dump it at a dump station (or at your campsite with a sewer drain). This absolutely restricts your boondocking. A cartridge toilet with the same capacity lets you take the cartridge to the shower house or other dump spot without having to hook up the trailer and drag it to wherever you have to dump. This is an epic fail point in an otherwise nifty little trailer. I wish they would make a cartridge toilet available.
I can easily get around the puny fresh tank by having portable water bottles that you fill at the store for under a dollar a gallon and then a hose and a drill-powered pump. Since there is 30 gallons of gray water storage, this isn’t such a limiting thing but it will save weight.
Lastly, I thought it was weird how very forward-thinking the company was on using man-made materials in their walls, roof and floor, but then used wood framing under the dinette and such.
Compared to a lot of other choices in this weight category, this is absolutely worth considering. It offers most of the amenities of a traditional travel trailer at a price and overall weight that is very, very favorable. Add to that the material use in this trailer and you have something very much worth considering.
However, I couldn’t be more emphatic about suggesting to Travel Lite RV to move to a cartridge toilet instead of a black tank. That would make a big difference in how long you can stay out when boondocking.
Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
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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