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In a novel twist, Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. has introduced the affordably priced, 500-pound TOPO folding camping trailer designed to appeal to serious outdoor enthusiasts with kids.
The 10-foot-long TOPO, an acronym for topographical map used by backpacking outdoor crowd, was designed in conjunction with Cascade Designs Inc. The Spokane, Wash.-based firm manufactures outdoor equipment, including the extreme-weather Therm-A-Rest tents featured on TOPO models.
Feather-light by RV industry standards, TOPO can be towed by compact cars, minivans and crossover sport utility vehicles, according to the company. “You can tow TOPO literally with anything,” said Joe Hosinski, director of marketing for the Goshen, Ind.-based Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary.
When not in use, TOPO can be stored on its end in a residential garage, Hosinski added.
TOPO, Dutchmen’s first folding camping trailer since the 2003 model year, was introduced Aug. 8 at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City. Hosinski said the new popup will be marketed through Dutchmen’s traditional RV dealership base with a $4,995 MSRP. “It is half the cost and half the weight of a traditional popup camper,” Hosinski said.
Dutchmen will debut the TOPO for dealers at the 46th National RV Trade Show Dec. 2-4 in Louisville, Ky. TOPO will go into production in January, Hosinski said.
TOPO’s one-piece molded shell is made of thermoplastic olefin (TPO), which weighs one-fifth as much as traditional plastic. The unit folds open to create a 15-foot by 18-foot enclosure that provides off-ground sleeping for four. One of the beds also converts into a sofa while the rear door opens to become a kitchenette with camp sink, countertop and storage.
A standard aluminum roof rack is compatible with Thule roof rack systems for bicycles, accessories and cargo boxes. The tent features collapsible poles, zippered doors, screened windows, fresh-air vents and water resistant floors.