There was excitement at the station as the word was passed around, the boss had done a recce and this is what he’d found…
Apologies to Banjo Paterson for my rehash of the old favourite, but it does sum up the excitement expressed when the boss returned to the RV Lifestyle stand after seeing the GO, from SylvanSport. He thought it a very clever little camper and urged me to have a closer look.
The SylvanSport GO is described as the “Swiss Army knife of camping trailers”, so you get from the outset it is compact and versatile. It has also been described as the “Coolest. Camper. Ever”. by National Geographic Adventure. That’s because the GO is a rare creature: a chameleon of a camper that can be many things to many people.
The scenarios really are many and varied. For many owners, the GO is a trailer, and it is used behind their motorhomes as a toy hauler and tent. For others it’s a holiday home with room for up to four berths, depending on the configuration – there are three.
Talking trailer for a moment, the GO in transport mode can carry up to 12 bikes, or boats, or a combination of both. It can carry sea kayaks or motorbikes; and it can even be used to carry heavy items up to 800 pounds – that’s more than 360 kilograms.
The secret to its versatility is the ability to choose the mode and convert the camper to your choice. Choose travel mode and you have a low-profile carrier for up to six boats, or six bikes, plus gear. Yet the SylvanSport GO trailer, while strong, is light enough (only 380kg) to tow behind the majority of vehicles, even small ones.
Choose transport mode and you have a trailer which – with the tongue extension – can carry your long boats while still remaining in low profile. If you need to raise the roof (who doesn’t sometimes?) this can be easily achieved in a tools-free operation.
Remaining in trailer mode for a moment, we are talking real versatility as well as strength. The trailer deck is aluminium diamond plate, and it tilts in a controlled way so you can offload your quads or bikes safely and with no ramps needed. You can even use it to move stock around your lifestyle block or farm.
Now let’s fast forward to our desired destination and imagine we are setting up camp in some remote and picturesque place. You’ve got your buddies on board and you’ve been mountain biking. Or you might have your family with you, and it’s time to settle down after a long day exploring …
Let’s set up for night mode. Choose from six different configurations. Start with two twin beds – one on either side – each able to hold 350lb or 160kg. Or try the full-sized king and still have an extra half berth. Drop the table and you can throw in a mattress or two and convert this area to another very spacious bed. Whichever configuration works best for you, you can choose to sleep up to four people.
Some families use the GO as auxiliary accommodation. For others it’s the main event. In camping mode the tent has two metres of standing room and large three-layer windows, so you won’t feel hemmed in. And with the awning in place the sleeping accommodation becomes separate from the living room, providing a versatile living area that suits a family.
For the technical enthusiasts, here are a few facts and figures to back up the manufacturer’s claim that this is a light, yet strong, camping trailer. The TIG-welded powder-coated aluminium extrusion frame sits atop the aforementioned diamond plate cargo deck, which in turn sits atop a smooth-riding torsion axle with custom alloy wheels and hi-speed tyres.
Couples report increased marital harmony as anyone can move the ergonomically designed 380kg trailer by hand, without resorting to backing up the car or motorhome. I think a few of you may be inspired by this thought.
The SylvanSport GO is sold in New Zealand by Whanganui-based GO Adventures. I spoke with Beth Savage who is from Brevard, North Carolina, USA, the home of SylvanSport. Beth married Andy, a Kiwi lad in North Carolina. On their regular return jaunts to visit family in New Zealand the couple enjoyed many outdoor adventures together.
Beth explains, “Brevard is a small town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains with a population of around 7500. Brevard has become known as the outdoor hub of the Southeast. Tom Dempsey the founder and Chief Innovation Officer of SylvanSport is a Brevard local, an outdoor enthusiast and has been a leader of the outdoor industry for decades. He created the GO out of a desire to make outdoor adventure accessible. The adventure can be in the mountains, by the river or in your backyard.”
Beth says that once she and Andy got to experience the GO, they both understood the full potential of this camper. “We both knew this innovative product would be perfect to introduce to New Zealanders.”