Ford’s upcoming Maverick hybrid is gaining a lot of buzz for its style and surprising towing capacity. Add to that today’s Nice Price or No Dice Coachmen pop-top and you’ve got yourself a ready-made weekend getaway rig. That is if the trailer’s price doesn’t pee on its campfire.
There’s a certain joy to driving a very small car. Parking is almost always a snap, fuel economy is typically excellent, and there’s always the chance that a collective of clowns might at some point come tumbling out. Actually, that last item is somewhat terrifying as, admittedly, I do hate clowns.
Fortunately, being a convertible, the 1977 MG Midget we looked at yesterday offered little cover for any clowns. Equally fortunate, according to you all, was its $4,800 asking price. That earned the car a solid 86 percent Nice Price win.
Ok, now that we’re done clowning around, let’s think about what a pain in the neck backing up a trailer can oftentimes be. You have to remember which way to worm the steering so the trailer goes the way you want it, which is usually opposite from the way your brain thinks it ought to be. The worst-case scenario of all this is you ending up in a V — not for victory — in the middle of wherever spot you were attempting to back into.
One of the main benefits of today’s 1998 Coachmen Clipper is its ability to fold down into a relatively compact (around 50-inches tall) package for travel. That means that you can see over it when backing, a handy feature when trying to hips-don’t-lie it into some tight spot. The low panini-pressed style also makes for a far more aerodynamic package, allowing for less drag on the highway and less of the feeling a full-sized trailer can give of towing the Evergreen container ship off a sandbar.
Once you get to camp — or wherever — you simply flip out the sides, raise the roof, and then go grab a cold one. You’ll have a cold one ready since this pop-top is so well equipped it even has an icebox. According to the ad, it also has sleeping accommodations for six, a shower, and a place to poop that isn’t shared by bears. When closed up, all the fabric and netting are protected from the weather by the hard shell top and the whole thing takes up about 16 feet of space when you need to store it.
The trailer appears to be in very nice condition. On the outside, there doesn’t look to be any tearing or other flaws in the fabric, nor any damage to the bodywork. It’s a similar story inside, with clean and tidy upholstery and just some chips in the Formica countertops to indicate signs of use. There’s a space heater in here, and a three-burner hob that should be able to be moved outside if you’re nervous about open flames inside a camping curtain.
As noted, this one has the toilet/shower option. The seller doesn’t include any pictures of that, but you can get a fairly good look at the option, along with other amenities, in this old brochure (PDF). I believe this is the 1260 model so you can compare all the specs for that one on that spec sheet.
Other benefits, per the ad, include up-to-date registration tags and a fold-out awning to extend the usable space.
One big benefit of this old Clipper is that its builder, Coachmen, is still in business. That should make getting any parts or, at the very least, finding instructions on how to put it together and take it apart, all the easier.
Now, I know this isn’t our typical candidate. Hell, we usually shy away from anything that comes with the warning “must be towed.” In this case, however, that’s the whole point. And with less than a ton of weight to its name, this pop-top is the perfect candidate for some of these new small SUV/Crossover things or even, dare I say, electric cars.
The question is, at what cost? New, something like this would set you back around $20,000 all-in. That’s a lot of KOA cash. This one, with a few years under its belt, asks a much lower $3,700.
What do you think, is this trailer worth that much? Or, does that price have you thinking you’ll wait for a better deal to pop up?
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