When a low-slung, hard-sided travel trailer drifted by our camp site, what first came to mind was the Hi-Lo trailer with its unique low profile telescoping top.
Wrong. It turned out to be a TrailManor Sportdeck retractable travel trailer, complete with a front porch and awning.
Owners Larry and Carol of Anaheim, Calif., selected one of the smallest, and lightest-weight models–the 13-feet 6-inch Sportdeck–because they wanted an RV that would fit into their garage.
When closed, all TrailManor models are only “79.5-inches” high (a smidgen under 6-foot 6-inches or about the height of Peyton Manning in cleats), more than low enough to slide easily into most standard garages or storage structures. Larry and Carol added the optional swing-around hitch that further reduced the trailer’s overall length by two feet.
According to TrailManor, the Sports models can be towed “with a properly equipped minivan, crossover, or SUV. That includes some of the most popular vehicles on the road today, including the Toyota Rav 4, Honda Pilot, and Nissan Murano.”
Because the “retractable models are so light and fold down for better aerodynamics, they’re super-efficient to tow,” further states the TrailManor website. It “provides uniquely easy towing per pound due to the very low wind drag and the very stable ride resulting from axle placement.”
The Sport models were “designed for pure, easy-camping fun.” They are also six inches narrower than standard TrailManors, which provides for better visibility from smaller vehicles while towing.
Larry and Carol were taking the less traveled routes from Southern California north through Oregon and Washington to Glacier National Park in Montana before returning south through Idaho and Nevada. “We prefer the two-lane byways,” said Larry.
For 2014, the Sport models have been expanded to include three floorplans—a two bed model, a slide out living room with a sofa bed model, and a slide out dinette model. Remember, when a ‘slide out’ is added, so is weight. According to the web site, amenities include hardwall bathroom, permanent beds, a full kitchen with sink, 3-way refrigerator, and two-burner stove. And you can choose an optional wet bath with cassette toilet and shower.
Top photos: Carol and Larry (and their pet companion Jake) of Southern California travel the backroads of the West towing their 2012 13’6″ TrailManor Sportdeck retractable travel trailer with their Toyota SUV. (Julianne G. Crane). Bottom photo: Larger-size TravelManor travel trailer showing low profile. (Courtesy of TravelManor website).