Imagine you could combine the ease and convenience of towing a teardrop camper, but once onsite, you could magically create the space and comfort of a large, hard side travel trailer. Welcome to the Safari Condo Alto R. This unit has a collapsible roof that allows it to be stored in your garage and easily towed – with the drag profile of a small teardrop camper – not a monstrous fifth wheel trailer.
The Alto has the look of a teardrop with a lot more features.
The alto weighs in at well under 2,000 pounds, an extreme lightweight in the four person camper market. The roof is built from a single aluminum and carbon fiber sandwiched panel that creates a long lasting, weatherproof roof. The roof raises up with electrical pistons for a quick and easy transformation. Once the roof is in the up position, the interior features a generous 80 inch height, tall enough for all but the tallest campers to stand upright.
The roof popped up, note how it pivots at the front to increase rear lift for more even height.
In addition to the extra head space, the extended roof opens up with glass panels along the bottom of its curve to provide lots of natural light, creating an airy feel, much different than your average, boxy RV. Most trailers in this class also require transformation between “modes” to use all of the features, but the Alto allows the dining areas to remain setup while the rear sleeping area is open for use, creating a lot more usable space.
Dinette converted into the master bed, this dinette can remain up with the smaller rear bed in use.
There is an available shower that can be added and all altos come with a full kitchen featuring a two burner LPG stove, a sink, mini fridge and plenty of storage for utensils. In addition, the trailer also houses a fixed position flush toilet, which feels a lot more like home than many RV toilets that are portable and feature either composting or chemicals – both of which can produce strange smells.
Alto’s bathroom closet, featuring a fixed position, flushable toilet.
Options are numerous, including a rooftop solar system for boondocking, and a heat pump and air conditioning unit for cold and hot weather camping.
“The Alto is genuinely aircraft-inspired,” says Daniel Nadeau, CEO of Safari Condo. “Being a pilot for over 35 years and having built my own aluminum aircraft, this type of construction was well known to me. The goal with the Alto was to get a travel trailer that was truly easy to tow. We wanted to make a small, extremely light and very aerodynamic travel trailer, while maintaining a comfortable interior height. The need to combine the aerodynamic features with a generous vertical space inside was the source of the retractable roof design.”
The Alto’s kitchen with stove, sink and slide out storage shelves.
The Alto is pricier than traditional “popup” style campers, although considerably nicer. It is still about half the cost of other travel trailer and motorhome style RVs with similar features, so it represents a fairly good value in terms of bang for your buck. They start at about $26,000.
The Alto feels very spacious for a mid-sized teardrop
Safari Condo, while based in Saint-Nicolas, Québec, Canada, sells the Alto in the USA directly from the factory. For more information, visit their website.