Over the Labor Day weekend, I had an opportunity to check out a camper manufacturing company called SignaTour Campers. It’s no secret that our growing family is looking for a camping solution, and I think that one of the SignaTour Camper models has just the right blend of features and specs to get us out into nature! Located in Tampa, it was about a 3 hour drive, but it was worth it. Although I didn’t pack the kiddos for this trip, I did get a chance to have a pretty cool read trip with my dad who shares my enthusiasm for camping and spending time with the family.
After a few emails back and forth, Jim, the owner and one of the primary builders of the SignaTour Camper line invited me to his workshop for an up close and personal look at their new camper products as well as a glimpse into their manufacturing process. I jumped at the chance, and he was even kind enough to accommodate my weekend schedule on a holiday weekend! Arriving in the morning, I was greeted by a row of campers that were just about to be hauled to an out of state dealer. Before they were put on the truck, I had a chance to sneak a peek.
Right off the bat, you might think that SignaTour Campers seem familiar somehow, not quite a teardrop design, but not quite a utility trailer either. It’s a great blend of both! Like many other great products, the SignaTour camper line was originally conceived as a project to fill some time during Jim’s slow season as a cabinet designer, manufacturer, and installer. While ordering the parts for his own personal SignaTour Camper, he purchased enough materials, lights, bells and whistles to make two. After the construction was complete, he was able to quickly sell his spare camper. Thinking he just might be on to something he crafted another three campers and they sold within days! Just like that, SignaTour Campers were born! While Jim still owns and operates his cabinet business, lately they have had such a strong demand for their campers, SignaTour consumes most of his time.
So what makes these campers so special? While I was drooling over the models about to be shipped out, it quickly became apparent that what I was checking out was more than just a trailer. The SignaTour Tote 5 models I was previewing were quality hand-made products. I took the time to really take a look at the finer details of the construction. The very first thing that struck me were the size of the wheels and the custom frame. Often with smaller campers including pop ups and teardrop designs, they have tiny wheels. Not the SignaTour models! Featured are 14″ aluminum wheels on a very beefy torsion axle and locally welded frame. This combination allows a light tongue weight at around 68 pounds, and an overall unloaded weight of around 620 pounds for their lightest model, to only 860 pounds for their tricked out model the Matrix. With these weights, you can tow a SignaTour camper with even the smallest of vehicles, including SUVs and even cars like my Ford Focus. One happy SignaTour camper owner even tows theirs with a Prius!
After talking with Chuck, one of assembly specialists, it became abundantly clear that each of their SignaTour camper models are hand crafted with a majority of US manufactured parts. From the custom RV style hatches and windows, to the locally sewn custom air conditioner cover, I could see a common theme emerging. If possible, parts are sourced locally, then nationally. While there are a few parts that originate overseas, the product itself is proudly assembled in the USA. Paying close attention to detail, both Jim and Chuck were beaming like proud parents as I snapped away with my camera.
The interior of the SignaTour campers are very warm and welcoming! With a natural birch wood grain interior coupled with a wooden design vinyl flooring, this makes a great contrast of wood grains for when you want to just chill out and relax in your SignaTour. The high quality, custom manufactured windows and doors offer screens to allow a nice cross breeze as well as a roof vent to keep the breeze flowing. Want to make sure you and your belongings are secure? The heavy duty locking latch mechanism is just what you need for piece of mind.
Being in business for almost 3 years now, SignaTour has streamlined their product to just 3 models for 2014. If you are familiar with the feature rich Biscayne model of years past, you’ll be pleased to know that it has been renamed the Matrix. The entry level TOTE 4 is available starting at just $2895 and the wider Tote 5, starts out at $3995. Customers can choose from features like air conditioning, a dual hatch, custom foam sleeping pad, tongue box, spare tire holder, roof racks, aluminum wheels, and even a receiver hitch on the back for lugging round additional gear. If you want to personalize your SignaTour camper, you can choose from RV style graphics which will really make your new camper stand out. I’m willing to bet if there is something special you just can’t live without in your new camper, Jim might be able to work something out for you.
So why am I so excited about these unique SignaTour campers? Well for starters, the wife and I drive very small vehicles. I know it’s funny to say this, but I can tow a SignaTour camper with my Focus! Our Mazda Tribute is a bit of a better choice since it already has a trailer hitch, but at least we have the option. This seems like a match made in heaven! We have been wanting to check out local state parks with camping facilities but because of the drive time to many of them we haven’t been able to explore that far away. With such a light weight, option we can pack away everything we need for an overnight trip and still have some weight to spare! Our SUV is pretty overloaded with the dual stroller the Mrs. just had to have, so we don’t have much room in the vehicle for camping gear. We generally don’t need much, but even the cooler won’t fit in the back of the car. Another major concern my wife has is an air conditioner. After all this is Florida and she hates to sweat at night.
Since demand is high for the entire SignaTour lineup, there is currently a 4 week lead time on your new custom camper and up to 6 weeks for the more complex and feature rich Matrix. We are seriously considering purchasing a SignaTour Tote 5, as I think it would be perfect for our growing family and in comparison to many of the other camping options, is quite affordable. I like the idea that we can add on options like the roof racks for future kayaks, tents, or anything else I can strap to the top. Until we discovered the SignaTour camper lineup, I thought we would need to upgrade our vehicles in order to really have a great camping trip. With the SignaTour Tote 5 model meeting all of our criteria, I think we have found our future camper!
SignaTour Camper Details: