This article is part of Mtbr’s Ultimate Base Camp feature. See all the stories in this special section here.
If you’ve ever wanted a taste of what it’s like to drive the Wienermobile, we’ve got a suggestion—try towing a SylvanSport GO trailer behind your car. Like Oscar Meyer’s iconic hotdog-on-a-bun promo vehicle, the unique look of this adventure sport-specific pop-up camper prompts both inquiries and smiles wherever it goes.
And much like the Hotdoggers—that’s what they call the interns who drive the Wienermobile—you’ll be expected to answer questions about it at the gas station, in the campground, at rest stops and, heck, even on the freeway roll-down-the-window style. But unless you’re clinically introverted, the GO’s chat appeal is just one of its charms—of which there are many. Not the least of which includes its tagline—the “coolest camper ever,” a sentiment we like substantially better than, say, wishing we were a wiener.
Wherever we took the GO trailer, an explanation was in order. Not that we minded—some people even gave us beer for our time. Photo by Don Palermini
RV functionality meets adventure sports roots
From luxurious motorhomes that go for hundreds of thousands of dollars to modest pop-up campers, the Holy Grail for most RV manufacturers is to create a rolling, home-away-from-home experience. And while modern creature comforts may be high on the list for the average RV buyer, those of us who get our kicks outdoors are more concerned with accommodating all our gear and getting a good night’s sleep. Ostensibly so we can get up and flog ourselves day-after-day.
The purpose-built GO trailer looks unlike any other pop-up camper on the road—intentionally so. Its creators designed it with outdoor adventure and versatility in mind. Photo by Don Palermini
We finally found a camper that shares our adventure sports point-of-view—the aforementioned $8,500, motivationally-monikered GO pop-up. Unlike the typical Colemans and Jaycos that account for the bulk of the pop-up trailer market, the GO’s designers went to great lengths to build their camper around outdoor sports like paddling, climbing and, yes, mountain biking. Features like built-in roof rack crossbars, all-aluminum frame construction, and a drop-and-pop tent system made in collaboration with Kelty hint at the GO’s outdoor orientation.
“Most pop-up campers come from an RV industry point-of-view,” said Kyle Mundt, the GO’s design engineer who doubles as SylvanSport’s Marketing Director. “The GO comes at things from an outdoor adventure perspective. We’re all passionate adventure sports participants and we wanted to apply that perspective to a camping trailer.”
At the same time, Mundt and company took the time and energy to make the GO more versatile than its RV-bred counterparts—with its Control Tilt cargo bed system, the trailer accommodates motorcycles and ATVs without need for loading ramps. Used as a utility trailer the GO can also haul appliances and building materials with aplomb.
Ducati Santa Barbara’s Carlin Dunne loads a motorcycle on the GO. The versatile trailer includes a tilting bed for loading motorcycles, quads and other small rolling stock. Photo by Don Palermini
“A traditional camper tends to just take up space for most of the year,” said SylvanSport founder and President Tom Dempsey. “We made the GO so you can haul a refrigerator, a load of lumber or even your motorcycle. We wanted to make it more than a one-trick pony.”
The GO has three modes—Travel Mode for towing the trailer in its most compact form; Transport Mode for trailering larger items like motorcycles or building materials; and the stationary and self-explanatory Camping Mode.