What do you get when you put a former NASA engineer in charge of designing trailers? And what if that engineer is an RVer himself? Well, what you get is the TAXA line of trailers, including the TAXA Cricket.
These trailers are truly unusual looking and also are very well made. But they aren’t typical in the traditional sense of things by any stretch of the imagination. Furthermore, I think that the buyer for this kind of rig might also be a very different person from the typical travel trailer buyer.
But, by the same token, I know of at least two families who have lived full-time in a TAXA Mantis, interestingly enough. We’ve looked at TAXA’s Mantis and its TigerMoth. Today, at the request of RV Travel reader Jeff P., we’re looking at the TAXA Cricket.
What is it?
The TAXA Cricket is a trailer that has many more of the features some folks are looking for in a travel trailer. At the same time, it can still fit into a typical household garage and is also towable by smaller vehicles. It accomplishes this by having a pop top, but the trailer can still be used almost completely with the top down.
And with that top down it sits more conveniently behind the tow vehicle, causing less aerodynamic drag. This trailer also has TAXA’s signature styling which is nontraditional flat surfaces in almost a lunar explorer type of look. At least to my eyes.
The TAXA Cricket is a trailer with all the essentials, basically. There’s a dinette at the back that makes into a 75” x 59” bed. At the front of the bed is the dinette and there’s lots of storage underneath the bed’s metal frame. You can even get hammocks that hang from the ceiling for day-time lounging. They can be used as a sleeping place, if you need it, bringing the sleeping capacity of this sub-2,000 pound trailer to four. However, the hammock/bunks only hold 130 pounds so they should be littles or supermodels.
Storage in the TAXA Cricket
Storage inside the trailer is either innovative or rudimentary depending on your perspective. There are places where TAXA has included milk crates that stay in place with bungees when the trailer’s on the move. These are removable crates so you can bring them outside or load them in the house before a journey.
Those crates are nestled into specific places in birchwood computer-cut cabinetry that looks nice but is also very precisely built. In fact laser cutting is how the aluminum pieces take shape to build this trailer so there’s a lot of precision here.
The pop-up top gives the trailer 6’4” of interior height at the max and the counter space makes it possible to stand there and prepare a meal. There’s a two-burner stove and a small sink. Both of these are under glass covers so they double as counter space when not being used for their other purpose.
Building the TAXA Cricket
The Mantis looks unusual but it’s built differently as well. Some things we’ve seen before like a powder coated steel chassis and torsion axle independent suspension.
The walls are aluminum composite and painted with a substance called Kynar®. The hinge for the pop-up roof is made of stainless steel, so it should be around for as long as you want. The interior is made primarily of Baltic birch plywood. The flooring in this trailer is a nickel-patterned flooring, which is pretty impervious to damage.
All over the Cricket are metal brackets and attachment points where you can hook bungees and attach things. I have long liked the idea of flexible spaces and surfaces and the ability to define uses yourself. TAXA agrees, based on what I see here. In fact, they’ve taken it further than I could imagine.
Flip up the windows and use as a pass-through
The windows are dual-pane flip-up European-style Lexan panes with day-night shades and screens built in. The windows can flip up to be perpendicular to the trailer wall. You could literally leave them open and use them as a pass-through to hand things to people outside. There’s also a large hatch in the back with struts for either loading or just leaving open.
Heat and hot water come from a Truma AquaGo system – which is essentially continuous hot water and heat in a single unit.
There is an automatic brake system such that you don’t have to install a brake controller in your tow vehicle. This can be a big advantage on some vehicles.
There is an optional window-style air conditioner which is positioned to the back of the trailer sort of over the bed.
What there isn’t
There are a few things that you won’t find in this trailer, the first of which is a traditional refrigerator. However, there is a platform where you can put an ice chest and you could also use a 12-volt chest-style cooler if you choose.
There also isn’t a radio of any sort – hallelujah! Yes, I truly dislike the typical iRV radio, and there isn’t one in here.
Also there isn’t a traditional bathroom at all, as this is a pretty small trailer. You can order a portable cartridge toilet which takes up some of the space you might otherwise have for storage. And there is an outdoor shower that has hot and cold water. So if you don’t mind being the subject of some racy Instagram posts, that shower is available.
I will say one of the things I didn’t like was the 15-gallon reserve of fresh water. As clever as this trailer is, I’d like to see the ability to use a Gerry can to supplement this wee water supply. Although with an electric drill and a pump you can facilitate this yourself.
More handy stuff
There are metal steps at the back of the trailer which are slotted so you can strap down things. They’re also right at chair height, so you can sit on them. Although this is better when the trailer is not in tow, naturally.
These steps also let you get to the racks on the roof of the trailer. The racks are set up such that you can potentially utilize a Thule rack.
Garrett Finney, founder and chief designer at TAXA and also a former NASA engineer, has really put a tremendous amount of thought into these trailers. But the fact that so many changes were made to the Cricket for 2021 shows he’s also willing to listen to how those innovative features fit into the camping style of the buyers.
A garageable, flexible design like this makes a tremendous amount of sense for a lot of people. The friends I have who actually lived in a TAXA trailer said they were really happy about the build quality and flexibility of this design. But, ultimately, I can’t imagine living in a rig this small that didn’t have a shower and a proper toilet.
But for weekenders and adventurers, this might be the best thing since sliced bread. Also, this rig won’t really “TAXA” tow vehicle to death. For those buyers, this could be an outstanding choice.
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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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