This is the last article in our review of the EcoTrek Campers T3 that we used for the summer. It is not the last you will hear of EcoTrek or their products as we have more in store with them.If you haven’t read the previous articles you can find them here and here.
We have previously detailed the specifications, the options and the general capability of the T3 trailer, today is about the intangibles, the use, and the tech wrapped into the trailer.
There isn’t a lot of wiz bang tech to talk about here but what items are installed matter. The inclusion of the Lock-n-Roll hitch system – allowing the trailer maximum movement off road or on uneven terrain – is design decision aimed at providing the best possible experience and not about cutting corners.
The use of the ACM (aluminum composite material) panels allows for the lightest possible configuration while providing the strength of far heavier materials. It also means that the trailer will outlast whatever is towing it by a millennia.
Incorporating LED’s for the lights reduces the load and again maximizes the longevity of the trailer. No bulbs to constantly change, far more weather resistant, and with a low power draw they are easily supported by any vehicle charging system. another advantage is you can expand the LED lighting and not put a strain on a secondary power source. Running the entire setup off of a very small battery or a pint sized solar panel are all options for extending your camp lighting well into the night.
Not really tech but the overall construction not only accommodating a queen sized sleeping tent but also managing to weigh a mere 550 lbs – with the tent installed – is something of an achievement. Even more so when you consider this is a fully enclosed body trailer.
With it’s light weight – and a low rolling resistance – the T3 is easily relocated by hand or with any sized vehicle. The one area where that low weight works against it is on highway and rocky rough terrain – the trailer tends to bounce rather than absorb the bumps. This is the case with all lightweight trailers so it is definitely not a concern. With a 1500 GVWR you have a theoretical 1000 lb capacity to haul stuff in the cargo area. When the trailer is sufficiently weighted down it rides smoother and the torsion axle works to smooth the rough stuff. If you travel light it may be worth it to see if a lighter axle could be fitted.
The Cascadia Vehicle Tent is simple, fast, durable, and comfortable. There really isn’t much else to add. We toyed with the idea of installing an LED lighting setup in the interior – since we had to return the trailer in factory condition we didn’t – but it would be super easy to do and give plenty of light.
The trailer tows easily and follows the tow vehicle very accurately. Much of this is due to a short tongue length and overall dimensions. Where that short tongue is a detractor is backing the trailer up. With practice you can get very good at it, but it does not take a very big movement in the steering to cause the trailer to turn quickly. With its light weight we found it easier to disconnect and push it into position.
Check out the video below of the trailer running down the road. In the second part you can see the suspension working. This is a completely empty trailer in the video.
Having an all terrain trailer makes you want to camp more. We left ours loaded with all the camp gear so we could leave at a moments notice and all we had to add was clothes and food. That light weight and small profile helps once again because it has a very minimal impact to fuel economy. Even when towing with a Jeep Wrangler it was less than a MPG, with our EcoDiesel Grand Cherokee it was no drop at all.
There are some very cool possibilities on the horizon. Available solar packages, some external mounting options, and more. Base camp power and the potential to mount your shovel, axe or other tools could expand the usefulness of your trailer. One thing we know won’t be happening. A pull out kitchen. I’ll just say cooking fish, sleeping, and a bear were involved in that decision. We think it’s the right one!