The order form for Hiker Trailer is four pages long, which I suspect could be quite intimidating for an RVing newbie. As for myself, when I received it my eyes lit up, it was like Christmas had come early. Highly customizable was just what I was looking for. I spent days perusing the Hiker Trailer Owner Facebook group, looking at pictures, reading info, and getting ideas.
And then I spent two weeks mulling over options. Yes, there was a bit of stress involved because lets be real – when you’re spending this kind of money, there will always be some fear of making the wrong decision.
But the fear is natural and not all bad. In fact in the case of RV shopping, experiencing a little fear is good because it makes you cautious, and ensures that take your time and think critically about your selection. I deliberated carefully, and ended up with a build I am quite happy with!
But before I post the exact specs, my usual disclaimer: I share my choices with you all to inspire, entertain, and help you make more informed decisions when it comes to the RV life, but everyone’s RVing journey will look different so you’ll want to do your own legwork and come to your own conclusions. On a related note, I’m not posting this looking for advice, but you are quite welcome to share your build ideas in the comments below to give readers other perspectives.
Alright, here we go! Note that because there are so many options, I’m just listing what I chose for the most part. You can go to Hiker Trailer’s website if you want to see everything that is possible.
- Size: 5′ x 8′ – I’m serious about minimizing and wanting to take it to more remote locations, tongue to bumper it’s really more like 12 feet long.
- Deluxe model – comes with a galley door in back, basic kitchen cabinetry, roof vent, 120 v power strip, and other upgrades.
- Color: White – I’m contemplating getting a custom decal at some point to put on it, white will look best for that.
- Trim: Black – The roof rack, fenders, tongue, and a few other details are black, the black trim just really complements that well.
Doors and windows
- All Hikers come standard with two 20” x 30” tinted windows with screens, I’m also upgrading and getting a small front window, because I love windows.
- Side-opening door for galley – the standard door has struts and opens up, but struts fail after awhile.
- Single, curb-side door – comes standard
Wheels, Tires, Axle & Brakes
- Spare tire mounted on the front
- Electric brakes – it’s not legally necessary on a trailer this size, but will be great to have on mountain roads and Bertha is set up for it anyway
- LED brake and exterior lights
- 2,000 lb axle – comes standard
- 14” wheels – comes standard, same size as what the Casita has
Electrical and heat/cooling
- A/C prep – Ever heard of or seen the Climate Right? I’m not ordering one off the bat, but getting the ports for it put in in case I decide to add it later.
- 12 Volt Prep – comes with 2 LED interior lights and a 12 V plug inside
Electrical Package #2 – this is a doozy. Comes with:
- Group 27 deep cycle battery
- 600 watt pure sine inverter
- Wires, fuse panel
- 2 USB charge ports, one with voltage meter
- 80 watts solar & related plugs – I’m having this permanently mounted (an upgrade) and will have my 100 watts portable still in addition
- 3.5 amp charger
- 7 pin trailer connector
- Lots of options here. A pass-through door between the trailer interior and kitchen galley is standard with the Deluxe model
- I’m choosing to have the rest of the cabinetry closed off from the interior, to reduce bugs getting in my sleeping area
- Front silver diamond plate 24” – For protection against rocks on dirt roads.
- Black diamond fenders – partly chosen because they’re flat on top to set things on, but mostly for the looks I admit
- A-frame – better able to support the weight of…
- Large diamond plate toolbox on tongue – this will house the electrical components, and is spacious enough to house the A/C unit in addition. Or camp chairs. Or a campfire in a can. It’s versatile.
- Rear Receiver Hitch – I was on the fence with this option, will make carrying my bike easier but can’t access the galley easily with anything plugged in it so would be for travel only.
- Roof Rack – one of the most common upgrades teardroppers go for. I did not opt to buy an awning from the factory to put on the roof rack, but will be picking up my own at some point.
- 11 lb Propane tank and mount – because the little 1 lb bottles for camp stoves are a pain. Unlike with most trailers this isn’t on the front of the trailer but the side near the back.
- Hiker Trailer will do a bed platform, which is a great idea for people who want to full-time/take long trips because it gives you extra storage under the bed. I’m going to wait and get that done after-market as I don’t know yet what size I want it to be and facing which direction.
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Switching gears, I also promised an explanation of how Patreon works today.
For those who may have missed it in previous posts, Patreon is my answer to having my Amazon affiliate account terminated last month. This will be an optional way for those who would like to support IO monetarily to do so, and gain some some bonuses in the process. This is not going to replace the blog or YouTube channel, which will continue to update for free as usual, so if you’re not interested you’re welcome to skip the rest of this and I’ll see you next week, thank you for following IO!
So, the long version now for those who are interested:
Web hosting, my WordPress theme, and the e-mail list all cost money, and occasionally I need to hire a web developer to fix technical issue – for instance IO will need to be moved to a new theme next year because my current one has been discontinued. Starting the YouTube channel required a laptop capable of video editing, and I have hopes of upgrading to a video camera beyond my phone someday. When my Amazon account was closed, I lost the funding I used to cover expenses like these. Your patronage means I spend less time scrambling around to cover the cost in other ways, and more time creating the content you love.
When you make a pledge to become a patron of IO starting at just $1 a month, you get an insider’s look into my life as a nomad with real-time updates and musings, and early access to videos and other projects. Depending on the level you choose to pledge at, you could also receive: access to clips of writing and photos that didn’t make the cut for my blog posts ($3/month), large versions of my best photos to use as wallpaper for your computer ($5 a month), the PDF versions of my two books($10 a month), your name in the credits of my YouTube videos ($20 a month), and more.
On Tuesday the 21st, the IO page on Patreon’s website will go live, and I’ll link to it in the blog post and video that go up that day. If you’d like to become a patron, you’ll follow the link to Patreon, where you’ll see the familiar IO header and some version of what I’ve written out here. On the right-hand side of the page, near the top will be a big orange button that says “Become a Patron”. When you click that, you’ll get to choose which perks you want (which level you want to pledge at), or if you just want to support IO without the perks, you can do that and enter in your own dollar amount.
After that you’ll see a checkout page with a review of the level you’re pledging at and the perks you’ll receive, and a billing summary. You’ll be billed monthly for as long as you’re a patron of IO (you can cancel anytime) on the 1st of each month. Meaning if you pledge right away when the page goes live, you won’t be billed until December 1st. You can pay using a credit/debit card, or through PayPal.
Thank you for reading to the end, and if you choose to become a patron, thank you even more! And lastly, one big thank you for being a part of the Interstellar Orchard community. As I always say, IO wouldn’t exist without you.