At first blush it’s obvious the Mantis is not your grandpa’s travel trailer. The silver bullet exterior and canvas walled pop-top suggest it’s the love child of a Westfalia van crossed with an Airstream. Although those would be good parents to have, the latest trailer from Texas-based Taxa Outdoors employs cutting edge technologies unique unto itself.
The largest in Taxa’s growing line of adventure themed trailers, the Mantis was carefully engineered to provide maximum interior space without increasing the burden of a heavy tow-behind. Constructed of aluminum and polygal panels anchored to a steel chassis, the 18’ Mantis weighs just 2,300lb. That puts it within the towable allowances of many medium size wagons, SUVs, and crossovers. For those with storage dilemmas, like an over-zealous HOA, the length and low roofline allow the Mantis to fit within most home garages.
With sleeping accommodations for four adults, the Mantis has a full galley with a two-burner propane stove, 12-volt refrigerator, and a 30-gallon tank for potable water. The fully enclosed loo includes an electric-flush Dometic cassette toilet and hot-water shower. Additional power for lighting and small appliances is supplied by a pair of deep cycle batteries connected to a 110-volt inverter. The spacious floor plan and thoughtful layout of the seating and sleeping arrangements creates a comfortable hang after a day’s play with ample windows and ventilation to keep the inside from feeling dark and stuffy.
Although neighbors are great, nobody wants them when they’re camping so the Mantis has been built rugged enough to trundle down the road less traveled. The reinforced frame rolls on 30” all-terrain tires paired to a single axle on an independent suspension system. Because trailers tend to get hung up on the most innocuous dips and obstacles, Taxa elevated the chassis with 14” ground clearance and shaped the tail to increase the departure angle. Electric brakes help keep the trailer composed and under control, and the low profile roofline limits the negative impact on your gas gauge.
All of Taxa’s trailers are targeted at the outdoor enthusiast and include accommodations for plenty of extra toy storage. Bikes and gear can be stowed within the trailer during transit or mounted to the reinforced roof panels on either side of the pop-top. The oversized door helps with loading larger items like bikes and even boats.
The base price for the Mantis starts at just over $32,000 and the finely appointed Trek model fitted with a screen door, awning, and optional air conditioning clocks in at an estimated $41,000. For travelers needing more space than provided by Taxa’s smaller Cricket and Tigermoth trailers, the new Mantis promises ample elbow room.