By Tony Barthel
Let’s say you want to go camping but your tow vehicle is really, really small. No, not a Subaru or the like. I’m talking even smaller. Like a Harley. Are you just out of luck?
Let’s take a Time Out. No, not a break – I mean a Time Out Trailer. Time Out Trailers are specifically designed for the smallest of tow vehicles and might be something you’d more likely see at a Sturgis motorcycle event than an FMCA gathering, although the FMCA now does permit travel trailers so these might just sneak in.
The Time Out Trailer profile is a very, very small, foldable trailer that is essentially a step above tent camping in many ways. Yes, there is a proper queen-sized mattress (provided you brought your inflator or have strong lungs) and even a table inside. In fact, if you want to get fancy, there is even a spot for an air conditioner.
Basically, the Time Out Trailer is a folding tent trailer that shrinks down to fit in a shape so small you could tow it with a more capable motorcycle. Yes, the trailer is little more than a space for that queen-sized bed and a tabletop. You sit on the bed and that’s the seating for the table. Period.
But let’s say you want to entertain other campers. Time Out Trailers has a screen room upgrade for that.
The entire trailer, even the Deluxe Camper model, weighs about as much as a larger rider outfitted with leathers might weigh, 385 pounds. The “Easy” model weighs a scant 325 pounds. That’s not the tongue weight, that’s the whole enchilada. Now, before you write me hate mail about bigger riders know that I might just be describing myself in this curb weight statistic.
There are no black, gray or fresh water tanks. No toilet. No shower. None of that silliness. But there is a decent amount of space, all things considered, and the trailers set up in just minutes.
You can get options like a cooler rack and a cooler, and even a luggage bag that sits on top of the trailer when it’s closed. Of course you’ll want to be careful about the weight you’re hauling depending on your tow vehicle. That requirement never goes away no matter the trailer, does it?
If you are bringing along an air conditioner there’s a stand to hold it up as it has to be turned into cargo before you head out on the highway.
Okay, so let’s be honest. Yes. This is basically one step above tent camping but you’re not sleeping on the ground and there’s a lot to be said for towing a trailer with a motorcycle if that is your vehicle of choice. If not, you can even go big and use that Subaru you’ve been dying to tow with and then you’ve got space for crazy luxuries like a 12-volt cooler, perhaps, or even a solar shower with its accompanying tent so you don’t entertain other campers unwillingly.
The nice thing is that this is also an alternative that won’t absorb your kids’ inheritance, as none of the Time Out Trailer models breaks the $5,000 price barrier. They start at $3,495 for the “Easy Camper,” but the Deluxe Camper will set you back $4,595.
The other nice thing is that these fold up lickety-split and can be easily pushed into a garage. And, since there’s no water, there’s no winterization.
I doubt that many people are going to be weighing this against a Marathon Coach, but they do make sense for a segment of the population. And that’s the beauty of RV travel – there isn’t any one right answer. But there is likely an answer that fits your realities.
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.