This Single-Wheel Camping Trailer From 1955 Is Absolutely Adorable
31 May 2020 - motor1
The clever design is actually very easy to tow.
Yes, we are aware of the irony in this recently ended auction on BringATrailer.com. Does one still need to bring a trailer to pick up a trailer? In this case, that's not a bad idea because we're dealing with a very small, 65-year old camping trailer that rides on just one wheel.
This is a 1955 Heilite trailer, constructed of lightweight aluminum and fitted with a canvas tent that opens up to create a rather spacious little camper. With the tent portion up, the top of the trailer serves as a double bed and it includes lockable storage space underneath. The tent has clear vinyl windows, and the seller of this particular model tells Bring A Trailer that the top and windows were replaced in 2011.
Now for the really interesting aspect of this quirky trailer. It rides on a single caster wheel at the rear and has a shock absorber to help cope with rougher terrain. When unhooked, there are support stands at all four corners to keep the trailer stable. As for when it's being towed, a dual hitch system connects to both sides of the tow vehicle instead of a single point in the middle.
In essence, it means this trailer becomes a fixed addition to the vehicle. That also means you don't need to do any steering witchcraft to back this short trailer up. Simply turn the direction you want to go, and the single caster wheel guides the camper into place. It's quirky, crazy, and clever, and we absolutely love it.
It's certainly an interesting artifact from a completely different era of travel and tourism. It predates the US Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, which was the birth of America's high-speed interstate highway system. As such, the Heilite's small, single-wheel design was intended for use on slower two-lane roads of the day, and there's no denying its charm. This well-kept example sold for $2,827 – a small price to pay for a very cool piece of American history.