Ultimate Base Camp: SylvanSport GO camp trailer review

Built from outdoor sports perspective, GO camper designed for adventure

Gear Travel
A camper with a day job

While our short stint with the GO didn’t allow us to use it for a home improvement project or do any real hauling, the capability makes the trailer much more versatile than the average pop-up. In fact, used in a household with only a small car, it replaces the capacity a pickup truck or large SUV might bring—perhaps helping to justify its purchase.

UBC SylvanSport GO utility

The GO’s not just for play—with an 800 pound cargo capacity, it’s also a versatile lightweight utility trailer. Photo courtesy of SylvanSport.

The trailer’s bed measures 12-feet long and 4-feet-6-inches wide, putting it on the larger end of what you might rent from U-Haul. With a recommended capacity of 800 pounds, moving furniture, lumber, landscaping materials, and college students are all well within its scope. Its tilting bed also makes it a natural for ATVs and motorcycles.

Easy GOing on the road

Due to its relatively low weight and shortish 12-foot length, towing the GO trailer was quite easy. Unlike larger trailers, the GO could barely be felt and didn’t push in turns nor add to braking distances, though our driving style was admittedly a little more conservative than normal.

UBC SylvanSport GO road

The GO trailer’s light curb weight and short length made it easy to tow and had little effect at the gas pump. We did, however, feel like someone was following us all the time. Photo by Chris Holmes

Backing maneuvers with any trailer takes skill and practice to master–something we didn’t have time for. On one particularly narrow driveway we simply unhitched the trailer and pushed it into place. The GO’s low weight makes doing so by hand quite manageable—and something we did frequently positioning the trailer in campsites.

“I could barely sense its presence both around town and on the highway,” said Chris Holmes who delivered the GO to us in Kernville after driving it out from San Diego. “I could feel the trailer’s axle when going over a large bump, but that’s about it.”

As far as efficiency, we saw a gas mileage drop of less than 2 miles-per-gallon in both the vehicles we towed the GO with.

What’s missing?

As we put the GO through its paces, we were constantly amazed at the thoroughness of the design, so our notes here are a bit nit-picky.

Perhaps we’re paranoid, but a nagging concern for us was theft. If we owned a GO, we’d fabricate some kind of locking mechanism for the hitch coupler (it lacks one), and maybe get some kind of parking boot-style wheel lock. Editor’s note: SylvanSport let us know the hitch is actually lockable and that they sell an aftermarket lock for it.

In its stock form the GO doesn’t come with any power or interior lighting system. The company recently began offering a Goal Zero solar generator system as an $830 option—which would be a nice compliment to the camper.

The Bottom Line

Unless you’re the “roughing it” type, it’s hard not to like the GO as a base camp for mountain bike adventures. With its flexible and comfortable sleeping configurations, outdoor-sports orientation, and excellent design and construction, the GO lives up to its “coolest camper ever” billing. It sets-up quickly, tows easily even with small cars, and is versatile enough for chore duty.

Kids universally love the GO, and it’s legitimately big and comfortable enough for a family of four. For base camping as we’ve described, or attending mountain bike festivals and race weekends the camper is simply awesome.

For most people the question will not be whether or not you want one—you do—but whether the made-in-the-USA GO’s $8,500 price is within reach and worth it to you. Like with many large-ticket items, it comes down to the value it adds to your lifestyle. If you’d only use the GO a few times a year, buying one makes little sense. If, on the other hand, owning a GO would prompt you to get out and explore more, and you could use it in lieu of a larger, more expensive vehicle for utility reasons, then the price becomes more justified.

UBC SylvanSport GO Studio

SylvanSport GO Trailer
    Interior floor dimension: 48 x 84 inches
    Standing height (Camping Mode): 77 inches
    Trailer size (Travel Mode): 143 x 75 x 53 inches
    Trailer size (Transport Mode): 143 x 75 x 81 inches
    Trailer size (Camping Mode): 154 x 124 x 108 inches
    Weight (unloaded): 840 pounds
    Tongue weight: 90 pounds
    Hitch: 2-inch ball coupler
    Receiver: 1.25- or 2-inch rated for light-duty Class1 or greater
    Trailer storage capacity: 20 cubic feet
    Front storage box capacity: 9 cubic feet
    Cargo capacity (Travel Mode): 81 x 48 x 17 inches
    Cargo capacity (Transport Mode): 84 x 48 x 48 inches
    Suspension: Torsion axle
    Tires/wheels: 10-inch pnuematic
    Materials: Aluminum frame, polyethylene storage boxes
    Ground clearance: 13-inches
    Electrical connector: Flat 4-wire
    Country of origin: USA
    MSRP: $8,500
    SHIPPING: $525-$925

For more information visit go.sylvansport.com.

This article is part of Mtbr’s Ultimate Base Camp feature. See all the stories in this special section here.

About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry that landed him at his current gig with Santa Cruz bicycles. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.

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  • MrK says:

    Looks cool, but the price? You can get pretty much the same thing for $2500 — Lifetime Tent Trailer.

  • Rusty Shackleford says:

    Pretty cool, but too expensive. Have been looking for a small tent trailer for a while now and the Livin’ Lite Quicksilver 6 looks more substantial and can be had for a few thousand less. Found most Quicksilvers come with a inverter/charger setup, too. Hopefully SylvanSport can find a way to lower the price without cutting quality since I’d much prefer one.

  • Rick says:

    Just bought a used Jayco pop up for $1500 which would leave me $7000 to buy at least two more bikes. To each his own…

  • Howl says:

    Sorry, guys, but this is just a light-weight tent. On a trailer. There are many other iterations of this that make more sense, are cheaper & more practical and just as outdoors gear friendly. As Rick noted, buy a less expensive sleeping option and spend your hard-earned $$$ on MOAR BIKES.

  • Joe says:

    $7000 will hardly buy one bike, let alone two. Don’t get me wrong as I’m not complaining 🙂

  • Rick says:

    Joe, $7,000 could buy you several bikes. They just won’t have all of the useless gadgets that we are used to seeing these days. Make you just as happy though.

  • Choy yin kong says:

    Dear go,
    I am from malaysia, kuala lumpur. Any agent/branches where i can review/buy this product.


    Hola me pueden pasar el precio del ultimate base camp. y la forma de comprarlo desde Haca en ARGENTINA esta muy bueno.
    desde ya gracias

  • Marco Polo says:

    Looks fantastic, but for that kind of $$$ it needs a bog and a shower.

  • terry rouse says:

    No potty, no shower, no a/c, no electrical outlet..$9000 plus?

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