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Lightweight Camper made in Quebec
Old 10-14-2015, 09:37 AM   #1
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Lightweight Camper made in Quebec

We recently ordered a teardrop camper from this small company in Quebec:

Alto Travel trailers by Safari Condo

With options, our trailer will have a dry weight of 2000lbs, and can be pulled by
many 6 cylinder cars and suv's. Due to demand, they are now taking orders for
delivery into 2017 : /

Are any of our Canadian readers familiar with this camper?
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:50 AM   #2
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Looks a lot like the US made Tab -

T@B Teardrop Trailers
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:03 AM   #3
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It is similar to the Tab, except that the roof retracts to expand the headroom inside.
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tandemlovers View Post
We recently ordered a teardrop camper from this small company in Quebec:

Alto Travel trailers by Safari Condo

With options, our trailer will have a dry weight of 2000lbs, and can be pulled by
many 6 cylinder cars and suv's. Due to demand, they are now taking orders for
delivery into 2017 : /

Are any of our Canadian readers familiar with this camper?
We have close friends we camp with regularly who have an Alto.

I don't think of the Alto as a teardrop camper as teardrops generally don't have moving parts. The Alto, as you state, has a roof which elevates to provide a nice addition to headroom. It's more like a hard-sided pop-up which has a teardrop shape when retracted. But, whatever........ The shape is generally teardrop-like.

I've looked the Alto over very carefully and generally like it. Lots of high tech amenities available including a high output solar system. I don't like the fact that you cannot get a 3-way fridge and depend on the solar system to run a 12V compressor fridge when dry camping. I'd rather be on propane for refrigeration when I'm off grid. Also, you can't get a traditional air condx system, only a heat pump. You still need a propane furnace ($800) to keep you cozy when dry camping. The combination of the heat pump and the propane furnace is a bit pricey.

Our friends seem quite happy with their Alto which they've had almost a year during which time they have used it extensively. Out-of-box quality was excellent. Reliability seems good. And despite having no dealers in the USA, the Alto factory did contract with a local RV dealer to do a few minor repairs under warranty (advising the local dealer on what to do and providing the parts).

There was some tricky paperwork involved in buying and picking up the Alto in Canada and bringing it back to the USA and getting it titled and licensed. Our friends used a pro to help with this.

We're tracking our friends' experience closely and might be interested in also getting an Alto, although they are pricey. We currently camp with an Aliner.
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:49 AM   #5
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Thanks for your lengthy reply, youbet.

I believe Alto has made a few changes since your friends purchased their camper, at least as far as the 2017 models go.

We ordered ours yesterday and opted for the floor level, heat pump air conditioner unit. It is my understanding that some people forgo ordering a furnace in the belief that the heat pump will meet their needs for chilly nights, but end up having to purchase a plug in stand alone heater to supplement. The salesman, Denis, indicated that the air conditioner was a standard one, and I am guessing it is similar to the a/c roof unit we had in an Airstream we owned a few years ago that also included a heat pump.

Alto has also changed the furnace and water heater units and now install an lp combination furnace and water heater, thus saving installation space. I am guessing that this unit is a point of use heater, but am unsure.

As for refrigeration, the unit we ordered is a 3.1 cf built in lpg and 120 volt (2way) refrigerator. Again, we had a similar unit in our Airstream and were quite happy with its operation.
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
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I don't think of the Alto as a teardrop camper as teardrops generally don't have moving parts. The Alto, as you state, has a roof which elevates to provide a nice addition to headroom. It's more like a hard-sided pop-up which has a teardrop shape when retracted. But, whatever........ The shape is generally teardrop-like.

By the way, I like your description, it is much more precise!
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:09 PM   #7
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Thanks for your lengthy reply, youbet.

I believe Alto has made a few changes since your friends purchased their camper, at least as far as the 2017 models go.

We ordered ours yesterday and opted for the floor level, heat pump air conditioner unit. It is my understanding that some people forgo ordering a furnace in the belief that the heat pump will meet their needs for chilly nights, but end up having to purchase a plug in stand alone heater to supplement. The salesman, Denis, indicated that the air conditioner was a standard one, and I am guessing it is similar to the a/c roof unit we had in an Airstream we owned a few years ago that also included a heat pump.

Alto has also changed the furnace and water heater units and now install an lp combination furnace and water heater, thus saving installation space. I am guessing that this unit is a point of use heater, but am unsure.

As for refrigeration, the unit we ordered is a 3.1 cf built in lpg and 120 volt (2way) refrigerator. Again, we had a similar unit in our Airstream and were quite happy with its operation.
I'm confused. Is your air condx source a heat pump or a standard air condx?

No doubt the 2 way fridge will work out for you. We dry camp a lot and I'd be concerned that the solar panel system would not be able to keep up with with the constant demand of powering the fridge. But our friends say they haven't had an issue with this. So, just me I guess. We have a Dometic 3-way we run on 120VAC when we're camping on the grid, 12VDC when we're moving and propane when we're camping off the grid.
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Old 10-14-2015, 12:13 PM   #8
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Well, I will have to research your question! The order form indicates it is a combo a/c heat pump unit ($1395 cdn) installed.

There is an active group on Facebook that I can consult. Seems rather pricey.
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tandemlovers View Post
We recently ordered a teardrop camper from this small company in Quebec:

Alto Travel trailers by Safari Condo

With options, our trailer will have a dry weight of 2000lbs, and can be pulled by
many 6 cylinder cars and suv's. Due to demand, they are now taking orders for
delivery into 2017 : /

Are any of our Canadian readers familiar with this camper?
Am I reading that webpage correctly... $29-31k Cdn? Looks very nice though.
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:19 PM   #10
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Yes. Our out the door price, excluding tax, was a bit more than that, but the exchange rate helped to make the price more palatable.
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:47 PM   #11
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Looks awesome, we still toy with this idea, but may wait a couple years!
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Old 10-15-2015, 02:15 AM   #12
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Am I reading that webpage correctly... $29-31k Cdn? Looks very nice though.
I started to write something else but it might be considered political. I'll just say that the price mentioned means I wouldn't touch it.
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:22 AM   #13
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Very cute and very pricey but I suppose one pays for the small size and the flexibility.
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:54 AM   #14
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I like the design... but too pricey for my budget.
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:23 AM   #15
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On a similar note, a comparable fiberglass Travel Trailer is escapetrailers.com out of chilliwack, BC, Canada.
We ordered a 17' to pull behind our SUV, people seem love these a lot, & this company cannot keep up with the orders & they are booked up till 2017.
I wonder, why can't an American company start making such high quality TT & we don't have to go over the border to get them.
Best regards
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:45 AM   #16
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Oliver trailers out of Tennessee seem to be well made, but as a previous poster mentioned, seem to be having financial problems.

Your escape trailer looks very nice.

We owned an '08 Airstream Safari 19' for four years, and really liked it, though we were unhappy with its weight and the drag on fuel mileage. It was probably as well made as to be expected, however, one of the big worries with newer Airstreams is the deterioration of the clear coat on the outer shell. We sold it because we wanted something we could abuse a little : )
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:47 AM   #17
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I wonder, why can't an American company start making such high quality TT & we don't have to go over the border to get them.
Best regards
There are a few high quality, smallish TT's made in the USA. Be willing to pay a premium price and do some research.

Both the Europeans and Canadians seem to have the edge on light, single axle TT's because they pay a lot more for fuel than we do and therefore there is more focus on mileage while towing. Light, high quality and likely expensive belongs to the smaller "cult" manufacturers here.
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:27 PM   #18
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On a similar note, a comparable fiberglass Travel Trailer is escapetrailers.com out of chilliwack, BC, Canada.
We ordered a 17' to pull behind our SUV, people seem love these a lot, & this company cannot keep up with the orders & they are booked up till 2017.
I wonder, why can't an American company start making such high quality TT & we don't have to go over the border to get them.
Best regards
What lit Escape's business on fire was the exchange rate. It is a top notch trailer with great customer service, so when it went on sale for 20% off, in a good US economy, sales took off.
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:01 AM   #19
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That is correct, the favorable exchange rate is attracting lots of USA buyers, like me. My close second was a casita 17' which is a good fiberglass Trailer on its own right, but due to its front bath location, is heavier on your Tow Vehicle's hitch & that makes the need for a larger SUV with a 5000 lb Towing Capacity, decreasing the mileage & hence a few more dollars at the gas pump for its regular daily, non towing duties.
As we already have a Lexus RX350, which has a 3500 lbs towing capacity I had to pay extra $ 5 - 7 thousands to go get the Escape from British Columbia for it to be towed back to Central Florida.
Our 17B Escape including our specific options and in US $$ is approx $26k vs 17 Deluxe Casita $19k.


As other posters aptly mentioned this is for about a week of camping a month for us , total new bees to towing a Trailer. Needs & function first then plan purchasing the appropriate equipment.


Happy camping to you all
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Old 10-16-2015, 10:35 AM   #20
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Friends of ours bought a unique pop-up camper. the Sylvan Sport Go. I had never seen one like it before. It will haul stuff on top, inside as well as be a lightweight camper. You can even remove the tent module and use it as a utility trailer.

Photos | the GO camping travel trailer | Mobile | SylvanSport#
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