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Friday, February 15, 2013

Houston, We Have A Solution

Cricket Trailers
Made in the USA

     The problem with the RV industry in the United States is a lack of inspiring design. There are only a handful of recreational vehicles that are truly works of art. Airstream will always be the pinnacle of iconic American design for me. However, this design comes with a hefty price tag. After a few years of travel around this country, I am underwhelmed by the quality and look of most recreational vehicles. Do they all have to be white fiberglass boxes with giant eagles on the side? If it weren't for the classic teardrop trailers, vintage buses, T@B campers and the Volkswagen Microbus, there are very few RV's to drool over. All of the examples cited above are not currently in production. Why can't someone come up with a great design that is relatively affordable?

     The Cricket Trailer maybe the answer to this design void. This RV was designed and conceived far from Elkhart, Indiana where most RV's are manufactured. This funky travel trailer was designed and built by a former NASA engineer in Houston, Texas. Garret Finney worked on the habitation module at NASA before following his dream to build a better travel trailer. He has filled a void in the market for those individuals or families who want something more than a tent for their outdoor explorations but do not want to invest in a new tow vehicle. He has created a trailer that marries great aesthetic design with well thought out functionality. This trailer is a product of American ingenuity. Even though I own an Airstream, I want one of these too.

     The Cricket trailer has a number of great attributes beyond its good looks. With a gross weight of 2,200 pounds, it can be towed by a Suburu or even a minivan. My Airstream has a gross weight of over  7000 pounds by way of comparison. The Cricket trailer can sleep a family of four or more depending on the configuration. The interior design looks like a marriage between a NASA space module and IKEA prefab furniture. It has a pop up tent top that is reminiscent of the VW Microbus. It also has a Thule rack on the roof to carry bikes or kayaks. There is a rear hatch that allows easy access beyond the side door. This is the perfect vehicle for the weekend warrior who wants a little bit more than a tent but less than a gargantuan RV.

The rear hatch
The utilitarian kitchen
     If you need a full kitchen and bathroom and a couple of flat screen televisions, this is not the product for you. The target market for this product are active individuals who love to be outside but are turned off by the uninspiring options in the current travel trailer market. Although it is very utilitarian inside, this is the coolest product I have ever seen under $20,000. I am impressed by the look and function of the Cricket trailer. I also admire Mr. Finney for creating such a great alternative for consumers.

The kids can sleep suspended above the parents.  How cozy!

     I am trying to convince my sister and my friend and travel companion Phil to buy one. I hope they both get one so that we can travel together in style. I am not ready to give up my Airstream, but I am a big fan of the Cricket trailer. I hope this company blows up. This is not a paid endorsement. I just like what this guy is trying to accomplish. Check out Cricket Trailer here and support this innovative American product.

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