Tuesday, July 20, 2021

My First Siting of a MeerKat Tiny Camping Trailer in a Campground

2021 MeerKat (in University of Iowa Hawkeye colors)
I'm here at Pikes Peak State Park in northeast Iowa, camping in my new Airstream Basecamp and learning about "little" campers instead of "tiny" campers. I recently published an article on my neighbor's tiny tent-trailer and was feeling pretty satisfied with my camping and writing experience. Then as my neighbors and I were sitting around their campfire chatting, the husband suddenly points and says, "Look! A MeerKat!" 

As the beautiful little yellow and white fiberglass camper pulled into our corner of the campground (three tiny/little trailers together!), I felt the beginnings of a dream coming true. For the last couple of years I've wanted to write about the MeerKat. To me, the simple, elegant lines and composition of the camper just shout out that the MeerKat is a classy, well-built tiny trailer. And now a beautiful yellow and white model was pulling in, pulled by a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XLE! Lucky me!

Dan and Holly Berkowitz
Dan and Holly Berkowitz bought their MeerKat from the San Diego company, which according to Dan, is owned by Little Guy trailers. They've owned it less than two months, having had it shipped to them from the factory and picking it up in June. "It was delivered to us in a Walmart parking lot when it arrived on a trailer pulled by a pick-up. We just had to hitch up and be ready to go," said Dan. 

This is the third trip the Berkowitzes have taken, one that is exciting with their new trailer, but also one that stirs up treasured memories. "We haven't been here for many years," Holly said. "The last time we camped here was with our kids when they were this tall," she added, measuring waist high with her hand and smiling sweetly.

Dan provided some information about the MeerKat 5x9 trailer. The units used to have sliding windows, but evidently they became hard to stock at some point. The company began building the campers with push-out windows, something Dan likes much more because they can be open when it's raining. They unit also comes with a small awning that attaches with a keder rail. An extra that can be purchased is screened room siding that attaches to the awning, providing some protection from insects. 

Some MeerKat Eye Candy

Beautifully finished interior

A lively yet elegant seating/sleeping area

A door-side view with awning and pop-up extended
They are happy with their trailer, and I was happy to see that when a rainstorm hit our campground, Dan and Holly chose to drop their pop-up standy top, choosing the more sealed option of having the riser down. It's great to have options. Even though they are new owners, Dan and Holly have figured out one of the basic organizing configurations for tiny trailer campers: three bins in the car (food, pots & pans, and sundry), plus a cooler. 

Dan also related some frustrating experiences as new owners of the MeerKat. One realization was that the spare tire is optional. "Who would want to buy a trailer and not have a spare?" Dan asked. Then they discovered that with their RAV4, the front mounting of the spare limited how tight a right hand turn could be--you could execute "a moderate right hand turn." Buying a hitch extender solved that problem. Another surprise was that the door fit so tightly that it couldn't be opened. The Berkowitzes finally got it open went inside, and then realized it was also extremely difficult to open from the inside, especially while experiencing a mild, claustrophobic panic attack! They escaped, though, and then their sales rep led them through the steps of readjusting the door's latch. 

Holly talked about the remarkable glow inside the MeerKat when the roof is raised and the sun lights up their Iowa Hawkeye gold colors. We didn't get to see that during our rainy days, but the glow of proud ownership Holly and Dan radiated was enough for me to reach for my sunglasses. I was so happy to finally see a MeerKat in person. It's a beautiful design that just keeps on pleasing. 

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