A Snowboard Company Wants To Sell You A Camper That Looks Like A Mid-Century Modern Home


Another new travel trailer is hitting the market, and the builder of this one seeks to solve the problem of campers that fall apart too soon. Never Summer Industries, a company known for its handmade snowboards, has decided to join the hot RV market with its Skyview Campers. These little trailers are built to last long and feature something that you won’t see often in RVs: a design inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. Let’s check them out!

The RV market has been sizzling hot lately. In what seems to be somewhat of a culture shift, Americans that may have stayed in resorts are now hitting the road with some sort of camper. Some new ideas appear to be sprouting out of this shift, from new camper van concepts to the return of fabulous fiberglass campers. Now, there’s another entry into the space, and it comes from an unexpected source, a company that builds snowboards.

A Snowboard Company?

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Never Summer

Never Summer Industries launched in 1991 by brothers Tim and Tracey Canaday. When they started the business, the pair loved making snowboards so much that they decided to take on big names in the sport like Burton. But it wasn’t always like that, and as Family Business Magazine wrote in a profile on the company, the brothers found inspiration from a popular summer sport.

The Colorado native brothers visited cousins out in Bakersfield, California. There, Never Summer co-founder Tracey Canaday says that he got an interest in surfing. There was no chance to surf at home, but the Canaday brothers did ski. In 1983, Tracey discovered what he thought to be the next best thing to surfing, snowboarding. A friend took Tracey snowboarding for the first time and he was hooked. Tracey then took his brother, Tim, snowboarding and got him hooked on it, too.

The brothers learned the sport on old, beaten up Burton boards and came to the conclusion that they could build a better board. They opened up Swift Snowboards that year, and the teenage brothers started building their own snowboards. That business failed in 1986 as snowboarding wasn’t quite popular just yet, but the sport’s explosion in subsequent years convinced them to give it another go. Today, Never Summer is still going after over 31 years.

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Despite the company’s name, Never Summer has expanded outside of winter sports. Over the years, Never Summer’s products expanded to include longboards, wakeboards, and even a clothing line. Now, the company is taking it a step further by making a camper infused with co-founder Tracey Canaday’s love of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.

A Mid-Century Modern Camper

As Gear Junkie writes, Tracey says that these campers take their inspiration from the famed architect’s Taliesin West, Wright’s 1937 winter home and Arizona desert laboratory. You can see a little bit of Taliesin West in the Skyview’s big wooden fins, which resemble beams on the Wright property. A lifelong fan of Wright’s work, Tracey says that he designed it himself, and that he’s interested in doing only this design.

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Those fins are said to be oil treated western red cedar, and they’re bolted to .040-inch powder coated 5052 aluminum. Pop open the door and there’s another surprise. Tracey kept the mid-century modern architecture theme going inside, where you’re greeted to a minimalist wood interior. The cabin is made out of bonded and screw-fastened three-quarter-inch marine-grade baltic birch. Baltic birch also makes up the interior shelves. Despite appearances, the floor isn’t wood, but vinyl that looks like wood.

Insulation is taken care of with 2.5-inch insulation in the roof, front wall, and floor. Never Summer says that there’s enough room for two in there thanks to the futon that converts into a bed. And if you want to stargaze before you fall asleep, an opening skylight is on the roof.

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There isn’t much to this interior and what you see is what you get. This is intentional. Never Summer says that the point about this camper is to be different than the campers coming out of Indiana. Its campers are built in the same Colorado factory that builds Never Summer snowboards. And the campers are intentionally minimalist. They’re built around the idea that if there are few things to break, then the camper should last a long time.

The campers come with a few additional neat features. There’s a 200-Watt solar panel, a heated outdoor shower, and an outdoor kitchen unit. You even get a roof rack so you can take extra gear or stuff like bicycles or snowboards with you. Never Summer says that this isn’t just a fair weather camper, either. The company offers an optional package to equip the camper with a heater, air-conditioner, and dehumidifier unit that should allow you to camp in all seasons. It seems, then, that the only thing you’re missing is a toilet, and there are aftermarket solutions for that. That said, interior height is limited at just four feet tall.

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The Skyview Camper starts at $24,900. Never Summer doesn’t offer a list of layouts. And there’s just a single option, the Four Season Package (which adds the aforementioned HVAC system) for $999. It comes in at just 1,500 pounds dry, so this is another camper that just about any car can tow!

The company says that if you order one, the wait will be four to six weeks. Of course, that’s because each one is built by hand. For me, the coolest part about the camper is the design. I’d love to see more campers adopt mid-century modern design. Heck, I’d probably go absolutely nuts for a modern art deco camper.

(Photo credits to Never Summer Industries.)

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31 Responses

  1. About 10 years ago, I built something very much like this, on a twin-jetski trailer I bought off Craigslist for $160. All in, I spent about $1200. I can’t quite fathom how this is $25k.

    I camped in mine twice, wound up selling it for $2k. I decided that “campers” like this aren’t really campers at all. I call them “sleeping boxes”. Maybe that meets someone’s idea of camping, but it turns out, not mine.

  2. That is something I could get behind. Appears to be all of the essentials with none of the fluff. I guess that this is designed for someone who wants it solely to sleep and change at a park or somewhere there is access to a bathroom. The materials being used look to be of high quality for the price. I especially like the work around the window with the window pistons and door holder.

    Mercedes, 1 question- how wide is it? I am 6′ and that looks like I would be leaving the door open to sleep by eyeballing it.

    1. $25,00 for a box that you sleep in. I do not understand the people who would spend that money on these, I can think of literally 1 million other things to spend $25,000 dollars on starting with 100 nights at pretty nice hotels, or 200 nights at crummy hotels, or a cargo trailer with a mattress in the back and a car to pull it with, or a camper I could stand up in.

      1. I like the concept, but it seems lacking in execution.

        After a lot of shopping, my wife and I picked up a one year old ruggedized and solar equipped 19′ trailer from a family that took it out 3x before they realized they needed something bigger for all of $19k. We’ve hauled it all over the Mountain West, used it as a base camp for dozens of hikes and bike rides, and have been able to sleep in a comfortable queen sized bed while enjoying heat, A/C (albeit sparingly, and with a generator), a full bathroom, and room for 3 dogs.

      1. Wright’s more idiosyncratic designs often had equally idiosyncratic problems.

        Falling Water is beautiful to look at, but it’s so plagued with moisture control issues that it requires frequent maintenance to prevent the harsh Pennsylvania freeze/thaw cycle from reducing it to rubble. And they had to reinforce the cantilevers about twenty years ago because they didn’t have enough support when they were built.

      2. His commercial buildings were a different story, the Imperial Hotel was one of the few major buildings to make it though the great Tokyo earthquake unscathed, and I’m pretty sure the demolition company that tore down the Larkin building went broke doing it, those two were built like fortresses

  3. I think it looks cool as shit, but that’s an eye watering price. And that’s my problem with a lot of these little campers. My partner and I have thought about getting something small to tow behind my Sportwagen, but so many options cost as much or more than the Sportwagen itself.

  4. I know they put a lot of work into building these things, but I can’t help thinking that I can come up with a reasonable facsimile for a fraction of the price by outfitting a cargo trainer with stuff I can get off the shelf from Harbor Freight and IKEA.

  5. If it is a Never Summer it will be extremely well made, a bit heavier than the competition, but nearly indestructible.
    I don’t know how well that holds up today, I haven’t rode a board from them in over 10 years.
    They have a very consistent ethos, and are exemplary local business legends around Colorado.

  6. It’s telling that after all of the other crazy high-priced trailers you’ve posted about, I looked at $25k and though, “Well, that’s not bad.” I’m still not sure it’s a good value, but it’s less than what some of the other boutique manufacturers are asking so good for them, I guess?

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