For eight days and a couple of,500 miles, my spouse and I lived in a Colorado Teardrops Canyonland. In the event you’re contemplating a tow-behind on your adventures, listed here are the ups, downs, and in-betweens of this off-road-ready trailer.
Whether or not or not we wish to admit it to our ruddy-faced, flannel-wearing associates, it’s true: All of us search consolation. Whereas I really like an evening out underneath the celebs or zipped snugly in a tent, there’s no denying that a thick, supportive mattress and a set of insulated partitions assist me sleep like a child.
On the similar time, I’m not interested by driving or towing a monstrous RV once I need to spend time on the street or embark on an journey.
After some analysis — and a chat with GearJunkie employees — I discovered of a great center floor for me and my spouse: a small towable trailer with minimal inside area and most simplicity. And the timing couldn’t have been higher — I had already deliberate a street journey and was all however resigned to a handful of chilly nights tenting.
After a couple of e-mail exchanges with Dean Wiltshire, the founding father of Colorado Teardrops, I picked up a loaner Canyonland mannequin and headed west with my spouse — and the trailer — in tow.
Life on the Street
Colorado Teardrops presents quite a lot of cupboard configurations; photograph credit score: Colorado Teardrops
Two aspect doorways speak in confidence to the Canyonland’s primary compartment. Inside, a modular setup can convert from a queen-size mattress platform right into a desk and bench. Whereas the desk might show useful for sure prolonged journeys or day by day duties, we by no means bothered to set it up on our weeklong street journey.
With a rear galley kitchen, I think about the mattress configuration will suffice for many events and adventures.
The Canyonland gives a restricted quantity of under-floor storage that works properly for bedding or different slim gadgets. That is additionally the place the Canyonland’s energy financial institution is housed. Out there as an optionally available improve, the facility system costs when you drive. Alternatively, you’ll be able to juice it utilizing shore energy or an elective photo voltaic panel. The system powers lights and retailers within the sleeping compartment and kitchen.
An alternative choice, a $275 overhead skylight, proved nice for taking in nighttime stars. Additionally overhead is a vent with an electrical fan. This labored to tug air by way of the cabin at the side of the screens on every door.
Cabinets on the foot of the mattress maintain a laptop computer, pockets, clothes, and different necessities whereas in camp. Sadly, the Canyonland has no inside cabinetry to maintain gadgets from shifting whereas on the go.
Teardrop Trailer Cooking
Outdoors, on the rear of the trailer, sits the galley kitchen. The again hatch opens tall to disclose cabinets of various sizes and depths. We saved our Canyon cooler, 7-gallon water jug, and a smaller water cooler on the kitchen’s diamond-plated flooring. Our range, dishes, and foodstuffs went on the prep floor and different cabinets.
Prepare dinner and dine al fresco with the teardrop’s galley kitchen; photograph credit score: Nick Legan
We discovered that cooking out of the galley was a pleasing affair, with loads of room for prepping and plating. The one difficulty with the outside design is that, properly, you’re cooking outdoors. Whereas a particular upside in good climate, it’s a disadvantage when issues get chilly, moist, or nasty. The awning/door will maintain rain from hitting you from above, however wind turns into a noticeable issue.
Fortunately, we skilled dry circumstances throughout our time with the Canyonland. However those that stay in or journey to wetter climates might need to contemplate an aftermarket awning or pop-up tent to guard the galley space — or a bigger RV.
Canyonland in sleeping mode with queen-size mattress; photograph credit score: Colorado Teardrops
Teardrop Trailer Sleeping
Each my spouse and I slept nicely throughout our week within the Canyonland. The included mattress was snug, and we by no means discovered ourselves chilly in the course of the chilly fall nights within the desert. We did discover it was value a couple of additional minutes when parking to make sure the trailer was near degree. This stored us from sliding up, down, or throughout the mattress and was solely actually a think about rugged areas. This wouldn’t be an enormous difficulty in a typical campsite or filth street pull-out.
Whereas we stayed snug, I did want the trailer got here with a set of blinds for the aspect home windows and skylight. Our journey butted up towards an almost full moon, so we needed to spend a pair nights keeping off the nighttime lumens. My spouse wanted an eyeshade, I pulled a hat over my eyes, and we hung a T-shirt over the window to get by means of the night time. It was a bit of annoying, to make certain, however nonetheless value contemplating.
Whereas the Canyonland mannequin begins at $13,500, the trailer I reviewed, with choices, would set you again $14,800. That features the folding queen-size mattress, skylight, and energy package deal.
Different extras we didn’t check embrace a photo voltaic panel, cargo racks, toolbox, water tank/pump, exterior tent, spare tire, and sliders for the galley kitchen. All of those choices come a la carte, and every trailer is made to order. Primarily, this implies each Colorado Teardrops trailer is customized.
BF Goodrich off-road radial tires and a wholesome experience peak hold the Canyonland at residence on rugged two-tracks and backroads; photograph credit score: Nick Legan
Colorado Teardrops Canyonland
- Base worth: $13,500
- Mannequin examined (w/ choices): $14,800
- Base tongue weight: 80 lbs.
- Base trailer weight: 1,000 lbs.
- Floor clearance: 19″
- Mattress measurement: Queen (60″ x 78″)
- Inside: 46″ H x 60″ W
- Open galley hatch peak: 78″
- Energy package deal: $1,500
- Photo voltaic add-on: $550
- Stargazer window: $275
- Entrance cargo rack: $200
- Trailer tongue toolbox: $400
- Water tank w/ hand pump: $500
- Small tent attachment: $650
- Reminiscence foam mattress: $200
- Colour choices: $700
- Double slider galley: $400
- Spare tire w/mount: $250-400
Wiltshire identified that whereas his pricing is just like lots of his rivals (our analysis truly discovered Colorado Teardrops pricing decrease than most choices available on the market), the development technique his firm makes use of is way stronger and costlier than that of the competitors. As an alternative of plywood partitions, Colorado Teardrops makes use of welded, aircraft-grade, structural aluminum frames for elevated rigidity and an extended lifespan. Wiltshire touts his trailers are “designed to final generations.”
Better of all, that added rigidity additionally means Colorado Teardrops can add roof racks to its trailers. This makes it particularly useful for additional gear, despite the fact that it’ll in all probability impression fuel mileage.
Fortunately, we didn’t have any state of affairs the place we examined the structural integrity of the Canyonland. However it was reassuring to comprehend it was lots sturdy as we hurtled down the street or once we encountered inclement climate.
Can Your Automotive Tow the Canyonland Teardrop Trailer?
Examine your proprietor’s guide or seek the advice of your vendor to make certain your car can pull a trailer. You’ll have to lookup the gross trailer weight on your automotive or truck, and also you’ll additionally want to know tongue and axle weight scores to tow safely.
Wiltshire talked about there are a number of Subaru fashions widespread among the many outside crowd — together with the Outback, Forester, and Crosstrek — that may pull the Canyonland. And he stated he’s seen many different SUVs tow Colorado Teardrops.
It doesn’t matter what you drive, you’ll want a 2-inch ball hitch and a seven-pin hookup.
The obtainable energy package deal can hook as much as shore energy or a photo voltaic panel on the entrance of the trailer; photograph credit score: Nick Legan
We towed the 1,150-pound trailer (earlier than we added gear, water, and so forth.) with our Toyota Tacoma. After almost 2,500 miles, I can confidently say that the pairing labored nicely.
The Canyonland towed like a dream behind our truck. It tracked straight and, because of its slender general width (roughly the identical width as our truck), it was straightforward to barter by way of tight spots. We took the trailer into some pretty rugged terrain in southwest Colorado and the Mojave Nationwide Protect in California. In these situations, the upper clearance (19 inches) of the Canyonland proved useful.
However for those who plan on sticking to tamer terrain, Colorado Teardrops gives the inexpensive, lower-clearance Basedrop.
Like all brief trailer, backing up requires cautious consideration, sluggish velocity, and small changes. Doing so is greatest achieved with a spotter, however with endurance and good use of your mirrors, maneuvering a trailer is a talent that any motivated driver can deal with.
As we made our method up and over the Rockies, we definitely slowed a bit with the Canyonland in tow. We did that as a lot for gasoline financial system as for security causes. However on flat roads, we noticed little or no change within the gasoline financial system of our truck. On common, the gasoline financial system was between 17 and 19 miles per gallon.
As a matter of reality, Wiltshire inquired about our mileage once we returned. He talked about that a few of his clients who personal Tacomas with out toppers have truly seen improved mileage whereas towing a teardrop. This definitely appears counterintuitive, however aerodynamics play an enormous position in fuel mileage.
I’ve a topper masking the mattress of our truck. It has improved our gasoline financial system drastically; we commonly obtain 20-plus miles per gallon on flat roads at affordable freeway speeds. In our case, with a topper, we noticed negligible impact with the Canyonland in tow.
Renting and Shopping for
The little trailer weighs 1,150 lbs. with out gear, making it towable by many SUVs; photograph credit score: Nick Legan
In case you favor to attempt before you purchase, Colorado Teardrops rents a small fleet of trailers from its manufacturing and gross sales location in Boulder, Colo. Charges differ relying on the mannequin, with the Canyonland operating $135 per night time. For more information or to order a teardrop, head right here.
When you determine to purchase, observe that Colorado Teardrops sells direct. Wiltshire identified this enables the model to save lots of on vendor charges and put extra money into high quality supplies. His firm doesn’t have a supplier community, however it does ship nationwide. Wiltshire additionally reminded us that many purchasers can save a supply cost by heading to Boulder to select up their new trailer and camp alongside the best way residence.
Turnaround for a brand new trailer order is about three months. Colorado Teardrops just lately moved into a bigger facility and was capable of ramp up manufacturing, cranking out two trailers per week with a future aim of 4 per week. So that you gained’t have to attend too lengthy when you determine to plunk down your hard-earned money on a brand new adventuremobile.
Brings a Teardrop to My Eye
I’ve to confess that returning the Canyonland was a tragic second. My spouse and I grew hooked up to the little trailer in simply a short while. It complemented our adventures properly, utilizing the truck as a gear hauler and the trailer as our shelter.
Past being plenty of enjoyable, the Canyonland can also be very engaging. It’s quaint, like a pillow fort for grown-ups — on wheels — however styled like a rugged 1950s scorching rod. The Canyonland additionally garnered second seems to be and curious inquiries from fellow adventurers, youngsters, passersby, and basic gawkers.
All advised, we put almost 2,500 miles on the trailer and didn’t expertise a single hiccup. The options of the Canyonland go well with a western outside way of life, the place the solar shines typically and tenting spots are plentiful. Whereas reasonably priced in comparison with many different teardrops available on the market, the Canyonland is way from a dirtbag answer to sleeping in distant areas. But when the pricing, record of comforts, and modular nature of a tow-behind tick the packing containers for you, the Colorado Teardrops Canyonland is certain to please.
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