SylvanSport GO Camper Trailer Review

By STEPHEN REGENOLD

The SylvanSport GO came onto my radar in 2007 as a brave new concept in the age-old category of the pop-up tent trailer. Indeed, this was a camper designed for a younger, hipper outdoors crowd, a pop-up you could park at mountain bike race and get visitors streaming over to see what was inside.

In the outdoors media, it was heralded as a feat of design and ingenuity theretofore unseen in the camping world. It won an award from the Industrial Designers Society of America.

SylvanSport Trailer Setup.jpg

SylvanSport GO Camper Trailer, setup and ready

But then there was the price tag. After its release, the SylvanSport GO was marketed at $8,999 fully loaded. Next came the quips about the company’s “$9,000 tent on wheels.”

A recent price cut has made the trailer more approachable. By changing its sales and distribution model, the company (www.sylvansport.com) was able to reduce the cost of a GO trailer by more than $2,000.

Today, a camping enthusiast can purchase the basic GO trailer for $6,195. Still pricey, to be sure. But SylvanSport’s pop-up offers a slick and convenient option for outdoors lovers looking to pull a wilderness home behind their truck or car.

SylvanSport Trailer Gear Loaded.jpg

SylvanSport GO Camper Trailer, packed away

The GO weighs 840 pounds, allowing for use with small cars that have a trailer hitch. It has high-flotation tires and 13 inches of ground clearance for pulling the trailer into moderate off-road terrain.

It packs into a low-profile bullet of a trailer with a strong aluminum frame that can be adorned with racks for bikes, kayaks or skis. You can load gear and supplies inside the lockable main compartment before hitting the road.

At your destination, the integrated tent, which is made by Kelty, unfolds like an origami flower to create a spacious and weather-proof pod. It has windows, walls, zippered doors, a stair step, bed platforms, and a table.

SylvanSport Trailer Interior.jpg

Interior view with table configuration

I tested a SylvanSport GO for three nights last month while car camping along the Mississippi River. With my wife and two small children, the trailer offered ample room when compared to a typical family tent. I configured the trailer one night with its bed platform nearly taking up the unit’s entire 118-inch width. With an inflatable mattress we created a luxurious sleeping spot larger than a king-size bed.

Our demo trailer had a removable fabric storage unit on a wall for organizing and stashing all manner of small items. The table clicked in place easily for a meal at night while the bugs swirled outside.

continued on next page. . .

Posted by Beverly Garrity - 07/28/2009 04:17 PM

Awesome! The price tag is still steep if feels, but I’m very interested. Where is the door? Is it a step down to get out? How long did it take to set up? Thanks for the great review and product introduction! – Cheers – Bev
“I am strong, light and beautiful while riding my bike”

Posted by Stephen Regenold - 07/29/2009 07:59 AM

Door is on the back, and it’s a zipper door like on a tent. There is a step down to get out. Takes about 10 – 20 min. to set up.

Posted by maria - 07/31/2009 08:48 AM

Tent camping at the next level. Awesome.

Posted by jeff colbert - 07/31/2009 11:14 AM

What and insane rip off. I laughed when I seen what the price was. You can buy a nice tent trailer for that price. Christ you can buy a good used Motorhome for that price. If more than a 100 units get sold I would be floored.

Posted by Fred Abaroa - 07/31/2009 01:18 PM

Great concept, good look, awefull price point, for me anyway. I can get a full size popup. But I guess that really isn’t the point. On the other hand I may know of a market for this, after all I am the Marketing Imagineer!

Posted by Scott Shore - 07/31/2009 01:36 PM

Great design and concept, but the price point seems high – especially in this economy. If it were in the $3000-3500 range I would be all over it, but at $6200 it seems too steep for what you get. Drop the price and you have a winner.

Posted by Cameron - 07/31/2009 01:49 PM

Very cool… but unless one is spending weeks/months on the road it is prohibitively expensive.

As the GJ pointed out in his family tent post, there are plenty of good tents for a 5% of the cost of this trailer: GJ Family Tent Reviews

None-the-less, kudos to the designers and hopefully in the years to come, the price will continue to drop.

Posted by Jim - 08/03/2009 07:58 AM

what part of this is worth $6000.00. Capitolism is great, Greed is not.

Posted by jpea - 08/03/2009 11:41 AM

Obviously not for everyone, but a neat idea without the bulk of something like a Scamp, keeping in mind also that something like the Scamp is over 10k (but probably way more durable over time).

Posted by Sara - 08/28/2009 09:56 AM

This is a great options for those of us with the small SUV’s that are unable to haul over 1000 lbs. I agree with some of the others— I wouldn’t want to spend over $2,000 for a trailer/tent.
I’ll stick to my 6 man family tent that fits the queen size bed, two dog beds, and still has room for whomever cares to join us on an adventure! $450 tops for all of that gear…

Posted by Aaron - 09/17/2009 04:20 PM

Everybody is complaining about the price. Aparently we are all used to cheap prices from MADE IN CHINA. Could we get these for half the cost? Sure, ship the MFG our of country. I think it’s sweet to see innovative design and MADE IN USA!

Posted by RJ - 12/21/2009 02:35 PM

There are a lot more uses for this trailer as well besides a tent on wheels. It as almost like a toy hauler. You can put the dirt bike or 4 wheeler in it and when you get to your location back it out and set up the living quarters. Seems like it is a nice multifunctional unit. Price may be a little high but lets hope you are paying for a quality made product made on this side of the pond.

Posted by john - 02/17/2010 12:45 AM

agree with some of the others— I wouldn’t want to spend over $2,000 for a trailer/tent.
I’ll stick to my 6 man family tent that fits the queen size bed, two dog beds, and still has room for whomever cares to join us

=================

john

<a href=“http://www.discountcampertrailers.com.au” rel=“dofollow”>camper trailer</a>

Posted by jOHN - 02/17/2010 12:49 AM

Great concept, good look, awe full price point, for me anyway.It as almost like a toy hauler. You can put the dirt bike or 4 wheeler in it and when you get to your location back it out and set up the living quarters, Beautiful Thinks and good works.

John

Thanks

Posted by Matt - 07/14/2010 09:28 AM

Too all the naysayers, the thing I like about it is the weight. I have a Honda Element and it can only pull 1500lbs, which limits my pop-up campers immensely; even with the smallest I am at the limit, then my vehicle will barely move. Also, for storage, this will have a very small footprint

Posted by Chris - 08/12/2010 02:49 PM

Agree with most of the other posters – The price is simply too much. It seems to made by “School of Design” graduates to show how trendy-looking an “art object” they can make. This is at the price of increased complexity, reduced functionality, and greatly increased cost. A few “yuppie”-types with more money than sense may buy it so that they can have something unique that nobody else does. I’ll take channel-iron and simple right-angle construction that can be built (and repaired) more cheaply. If I want a utility trailer, I can go to “Harbor Freight” or a similar cheap store; and get brand new one for a couple hundred dollars, that will weigh only a couple hundred pounds. Yes it will be lower quality – although sometimes the cheap stuff lasts almost as long as the more expensive. But if it wears out, I can buy 20 (!) more of the cheap ones for the price of this gold-plated calf. (And, usually it’s possible to replace the wheel bearing and tires much less expensively than buying a whole new trailer.) If I want a pop-up camper, I’ll go to the classified ads and find a used one, nicer with more equipment, MUCH cheaper. Some of the smaller pop-ups also weigh less than 1500 lbs.

Posted by Laura - 09/11/2010 09:04 PM

Saw this at canocopia in Madison a few years back – it IS extremely well made – and this article doesn’t go into the full versatility of this little trailer and what it can be easily reconfigured into. cane/kyak carrier, bike hauler, ATV/cargo carrier, tent, you name it!
Still, as an avid do-it-yourselfer – I am on my 2nd 70’s vintage pop-up rebuild and agree that a decent used pop-up is a much better buy for the $$. However, some yuppies are squeamish about ‘used’ and have no time or talent for fixer-uppers, so there IS a market for this, though re-sale is going to be really tough if they tire of it!

Posted by Sadie Pine - 10/20/2010 10:46 AM

We own a GO and a pop-up. We do not use the pop-up any longer because the GO is easier to put up and so much lighter! The inside is way light, unlike the pop-up that has no sky lights. When it rains all the windows are protected with plastic so that the light comes in, unlike the cave-like pop-up. We can haul anything with it, unlike a pop-up. Our family tent is also shelved because of the unique interior of the GO. Nice to be off the ground during a rain, like we had on the B.R.P. It takes less time to put up than our pop-up or our LLBean family tent. The ONLY downside is that we can carry our tent way into a wooded area where the GO cannot go at a N.F. primitive camping area. We love it, it is the best mix between pop-up and family tent on the market. Was pricey BUT the workmanship is superb, just what we expected of Kelty. I love my solo Big Agnes SeedHouse tent, my LLBean family tent and our Coleman pop-up, but out first choice in long distance trips is the GO. We rely on quality and the GO is worth every dime!

Posted by Bob Dudley - 11/29/2010 05:21 PM

I’ve owned a GO for almost two years. Towing the GO is wonderful. I’ve towed it on Interstates, keeping up with the traffic (70+), and didn’t even notice it was there. I can barely see it in my rear view mirror from my driver’s seat in my Honda Odyssey. Towing the GO on winding, steep, mountain road is also easy. Loaded with my camping gear it probably weighs less that 1,200 pounds. My highway mileage drops from 24 to 22 miles miles per gallon. The Go is a no worries tow.

Posted by mark - 03/11/2011 12:34 PM

i would love to have a GO but the cost is way too much. You can buy a full enclosed utility trailer for 1600 if you want to transport the toys with you. A new 4 person pop up goes for around 3500-4000 when we have our local camping and outdoor shows. I love the look and design but the price is way too much even if it is american made.

Posted by Austin - 04/08/2011 03:50 AM

This is really great one trailer. I never saw this kind of trailer in my life. I impressed with this trailer because it looks small but the inner place is looks very comfort. I think seating of 5 people is easily manageable.

Posted by JJ - 04/21/2011 06:04 PM

I love the concept of a “swiss army knife” trailer. The show stoppers for me are price and weight. They advertise it as “low weight” but a lot of small cars can only tow 1000 lbs. The Go weighs 800 lbs empty, leaving 200 lbs for the payload. I can buy a cheap utility trailer that weighs 300-400 lbs.

Posted by Jon - 05/15/2011 01:15 PM

Made in America….so what? It is so overpriced that this American glory simply can’t compete with the rest of the world. Is the “Made in America” label a justification for ripoff? People won’t buy it due to its price by the look of the majority of the comments here.

Posted by Jim - 05/24/2011 03:53 PM

I really love the concept, and it would really fill a nitch I have been sarching a loooooong time for. The multi uses, weight, simplicity……would be more than perfect for me. But I’m with the rest of the nay-sayers on price; the only thing that keeps me seperated from the GO. Simple marketing accounting……“Fast Nickles beats slow Dimes”….. Lower the price, sell bigger quantities……year end profits will be there, and you’ll take market share from the competition. YOU WILL GROW! So alas…..I wait and pray for Jumping Jack to make their smaller unit….which seem close to fairly priced where they’re at now.

Posted by Jeff - 08/15/2011 02:36 PM

Light tent trailers have been around for a while – as motorcycle tent trailers. This is an example of a unit, and sets up in a few seconds. LeesureLite Campers

Posted by JD Howell - 09/11/2011 11:19 AM

If you are intent on a toy hauler that can haul plywood sheets and lumber, or landscaping supplies, or a pair of small dirt bikes – and it’s also an incredibly spacious tent solution with padded bunks and a place inside to eat – there isn’t another, better solution. This is a long term mentality purchase and the quality, design, engineering – and the fact that it supports Made in USA, make it not only viable, but highly valuable. If you’re a naysayer, I can only asse you haven’t explored the You Tube videos, forums or websites to completely understand it’s versatility and aesthetic. It’s a marvel for young or old, and has a much lower footprint than anything available with such usefulness.

Sign me, Happy ‘Go’ Lucky… I feel lucky to have one, and I’m happy I can Go anywhere with it…

Posted by Jose J Gonzalez - 09/12/2011 01:55 PM

I like the trailer. I do not like the price.
I would pay up to $3500 in a hart bit.

Posted by patrick - 10/22/2011 08:16 AM

TROP $$$$ too much $$$$ the product just
e arrived in Quebec and will be sold for over 7500$ canadian….3500$ and i order one right now!!!

Posted by Kip - 10/29/2011 07:30 PM

I’m not hear to bash the GO, it is a neat product, eye-catching for sure, but from a practical consumer perspective I would only consider it if it were half the price. I’m looking pretty heavily at the smaller Jumping Jack trailer. The tent is of much higher quality than the go. The trailer is stronger (steel)roughly the same weight and is truly as multi-use as the GO. I can get it at Costco for less than half the price of the GO, though I would have to assemble it. If i want to strengthen it or weld something on it I can do so readily, not so easy with the aluminum GO. Also, I know alot of guys who overload their utility trailers, with steel you can get away with that, not a good idea with aluminum. just my two cents.

Posted by chris - 02/09/2012 10:20 PM

kip, i think your are wrong about the strength issue with aluminum. Made in USA?? So is every other camper out there, but they don’t have that kinda price. It would need to be closer to 2 grand for me to consider it.

Posted by koolaidguzzler - 02/29/2012 08:43 PM

Exciting, uber-cool, fun useful design, that should be priced UNDER $5,000.

PROS — you can carry toys like ATV INSIDE it, then unload, camp, and ride ATV to hunt/fish sites. It’s light enough for a subaru to easily tow it with ATV inside.
CONS — It costs about $1500 more than I’d prefer, it’s about 150-200 lbs heavier than I’d prefer, and It’s about 2-3 inches lower to the ground than I’d prefer for off-road. For that $6,200 price, it’s still “just” a fairly heavy gear-hauling tent, lacking plumbing, cooking, and bear-proofing capabilities.
At that price and weight, it’s approaching the specs of the lightest micro-camper trailers, which have plumbing. But you can’t park an ATV inside a micro-camper. But I’m looking for something in high desert areas featuring dust-laden winds, and that heavier Scamp has its appeal over a tent, which can quickly resemble a dust-and-sand -receptacle.
It also looks like an item that, after I buy it, will be upgraded with the better capabilities I wanted in the first place, and for a lower price. That’s a credit to the company, but it makes me more hesitant to pull the trigger.

Posted by koolaidguzzler - 02/29/2012 08:51 PM

BTW, that 850 lb GO trailer, with an ATV inside it, weighs about 1300 lbs.
Without trailer mounted brakes? That’s too much weight for a subaru or similar-sized car to take downhill without electric or hydraulic brakes on the trailer.

Posted by fran - 03/11/2012 02:30 PM

Pricier than it is cool, and replacement tent price may be prohibitive. Utility trailers cost <$1500.

Posted by Douguil - 05/12/2012 01:34 PM

Love it. It is hands down the most innovative and practical lightweight camper on the market. You can load the trailer with stacked plastic containers and pretty much carry all your camping gear on the trailer as well as kayaks, bikes or surf boards on the top, no other small trailer camper will give you this much of space to load gear on it. Additionally there is nothing on the ground like most other tent pop up trailers so it can rain a lot and you stay dry. It’s lacking electrical outlets however and should have integrated ceiling and floor LED lighting. Integrated breaks and taller wheels would be useful when taking the trailer off-road or when fully loaded.

In regard of the price I agree with most comments that it is way overpriced. Even with the reduced price now at $8,000 fully loaded, I think the right price should be $4,900 fully loaded including the breaks and electrical improvements needed. I want one for sure but do I want one bad enough to spend 8 grands for a few weekend of camping per year is another question.

Posted by Mscfromslc - 05/20/2012 09:14 PM

Looks great however if I had to choose between the lifetime trailer or this one, I would go with the lifetime do to the fact that I can pick 3 of them up at costco for the price I would pay for one of the sylvansports go camper trailers.

Posted by mike - 06/03/2012 11:44 AM

Looks great however I can make my own camper Trailer for way less and bigger….

Posted by Kate Christiansen - 06/13/2012 11:25 PM

It may be expensive but for my situation it sounds great!! I am single and almost 60. Bought a small pop up and find it is Too much hassle to take for just a couple of days camping. I need a larger vehicle to tow it and have to haul bike and kayak on the roof of my vehicle which is difficult for me alone. This would be PERFECT and meet all my needs especially as I get older. Tent experience but still not on the ground sleeping. Can’t wait to get one!

Posted by Pete - 07/19/2012 09:25 PM

For that price it better include a LIFETIME warranty.

Posted by David - 08/15/2012 10:56 AM

Very cool and versitile. I like the simplicity and the functionality, however the price is off putting. The same product at > $5k would be far more tempting.

Posted by Dianne - 02/12/2013 05:20 AM

My husband and myself traveled 5000 miles with the GO last summer. We left Georgia and headed North. Did the coast of Maine, into Canada and crossed back into the States at Niagara Falls. It took us 6 weeks but the Go was a perfect size for the narrow roads in New England. We stayed in each location 3-5 days and would tour the area during the days. Since we are retired the size was easy for us to handle.

Posted by Diane - 03/06/2013 01:24 AM

Thinking of getting one as I can’t tow most other pop-up options with my car. It doesn’t look like the windows are screened, rather they appear sealed. With only two lower vents, any thoughts about ventilation during the summer and condensation build up at night?

Posted by Alf - 03/12/2013 07:40 PM

Diane
The windows have a clear plastic layer besides solid layer. This is in addition to the screening The tent design was done in cooperation with Kelty tents which has a good history of making tents. Ventilation should not be an issue. I checked the Go out at Canoecopia and placed a order. Looking for to using it.

Posted by MLWilcox - 03/31/2013 03:51 PM

I would like to add a few comments about the Go. I spent over a year gazing at it online and reading all the comments, especially about the price. I also looked at some of the smaller popups for comparision shopping. I finally was able to see one six weeks ago and visited their Brevard warehouse a few days ago. As a woman, i am able to move it around and set it up by myself with ease. Although my hope was to be dissappointed in the Go, I gleefully handed over the money to purchase one.

If you are searching for this type of multiuse vehicle, there is truly nothing out there that can touch the quality and innovative features of the Go. I look forward to exploring the North Carolina mountains in my Sylvan Go.

Posted by Kirk - 04/03/2013 08:28 AM

Despite the relatively high price, I finally bought the Go from the manufacturer.

After the first night of use we noticed a large tear at a critical stress point of the tent. I contacted the manufacturer who told me to buy a tent repair kit and fix it.

I like the design, but have serious reservations about the quality, particularly for the high price. Customer service is quite disappointing. Also, the delivery price was higher than the price quoted on their website.

Posted by Digby - 05/28/2013 11:03 AM

I’ve had my go for about six years, and I would take it over any small camper out there. The company has replaced free of charge anything that has gone wrong. My mom overloaded it and bent the trailer tounge and I had a new one within three days at no charge. 5 years in a sky light fell out. 5 days later I had a new tent at no charge sent to me. While I agree that the price may be a little high th versatility and simplicity of the trailer along with the best customer service I have ever encountered makes it a fair value. I’ve owned travel trailers, pop-ups and a fifth wheel, and I found them all to be more trouble than they are worth. It’s a great item, and they are not having any trouble selling them. All you need to do is talk to an owner of one and just maybe you’ll get it. Unless you’re the kind of person that likes things complicated or has to bring the luxuries of home with you, which isn’t really camping anyway.

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