One of the sadder aspects of modern RVs is that so many of them look and are, largely, built the same. You get a box on a steel frame that often looks like a casino inside. One of the biggest differentiators between Brand B and Brand A is that you get different swoops. And then there’s this: the 2023 inTech Sol Dawn travel trailer. It brings refreshing ideas to the table while looking like a habitat from the future.
If you haven’t heard of inTech before it could be because it’s not a household name like Winnebago or a powerhouse conglomerate like Thor or Forest River. The people of inTech aren’t rapid-firing campers out of factories and the company has been around for barely longer than a decade. I’ve said before that I adore independent camper brands. We’ve featured a number of these campers before from the adorable Barefoot fiberglass camper to Taxa Outdoors’ rugged insect-inspired creations. Don’t forget about the startups crafting neat fiberglass units!
It seems to me that if you want something truly different, look for a brand that isn’t under the umbrella of Thor or Forest River. There’s nothing wrong with those campers–Airstream is a Thor brand–but the little guys get really weird. A great example of this is this inTech Sol Dawn travel trailer that I saw while at the 2023 Florida RV SuperShow.
What Is inTech?
InTech is a company that sprouted out of the Great Recession, having been founded in 2010 by Adam Maxwell and Tom Franko. At first, inTech’s target customers were telecommunications companies. The small Nappanee, Indiana firm sold fiber optic splicing trailers. You’ve possibly seen one of them being towed by an AT&T truck or similar.
InTech didn’t stick to just that niche product and, over time, the company expanded into building custom-built car haulers. In 2016, the brand moved into the RV space with the Flyer, a small teardrop-style camper. Today, inTech’s travel trailer lineup includes the Flyer, Luna, Sol, Terra, and O-V-R. The company still sells utility trailers, too, including the fiber optic splicing trailers that the brand started with.
The biggest way that inTech stands out is in how the company constructs its trailers. These aren’t boxes bolted to steel frames. Instead, inTech uses an aluminum frame and welds an aluminum structure to it. The company touts strength and corrosion resistance as selling points, as well as a weight advantage.
InTech says that, on top of this, its trailers are built with quality as a priority. When I spoke with dealerships at the RV Open House in Indiana, a representative for a large dealership chain told me that a problem with the quality of RVs today is that many manufacturers pay factory workers based on completed units, so there is an incentive to work as fast as possible. The quality problems that arise from this are the left to the owners and dealers to resolve.
InTech has deployed a profit sharing structure. The idea here is that workers can take their time and build a better product since their pay isn’t directly tied to cranking out as many campers as possible. The company is still small compared to the big guys; it started with six employees but now has a couple of hundred workers.
The funky camper sprawled across your screen is the 2023 Sol Dawn. It launched in late 2019 for the 2020 model year and is positioned at buyers wanting a stylish camper that can be pulled by a wider variety of tow vehicles. It weighs just 2,650 pounds in its base form and 2,731 pounds loaded down with options.
Starting with the exterior, this camper stands out with its aesthetic. These are made with what inTech calls a Tilt-Forward Design. Really, it’s just a fancy way to say that these campers aren’t boring rectangular boxes, but they look more like rolling parallelograms. The roof on this unit is a single piece of fiberglass and fiberglass exterior skin coats the walls. Remember that Jayco camper with a one-piece roof and huge front window? Well, inTech did it first.
Arguably, inTech does it better, too, because when I stepped into the Sol Dawn I was stunned by the panoramic front window.
It’s a huge uninterrupted piece of glass that makes the interior feel airy. This doesn’t give off the same “bringing the outdoors indoors” vibe that a Taxa Mantis has, but you won’t feel like you’re stuck in a box in this.
The concept of keeping things light continues throughout the rest of the interior with inTech’s usage of lighter colors and large windows. From the tongue to the back of the box, the camper is just 16 feet long. This isn’t a huge space, but I didn’t feel cramped. Headroom is decent with enough room for a 6-foot, four-inch person to stand.
In terms of equipment, everything that you would expect is there. You get a galley kitchen with a farmhouse-style sink, two-burner cooktop, refrigerator, and microwave. There’s also a Bluetooth stereo system and a television for those who like watching a movie in their camper. A highlight of this interior for me was the wet bath. It feels rather roomy for a camper of this size and it seals off from the rest of the camper. You’re getting a 20-gallon tank for fresh water here and 28 gallons for your waste.
Another thing I love about inTech’s designs is that they nail the futuristic look. These look like something that you’d camp in at the KOA on the Moon. In a world of rectangles with swoops, I welcome these parallelograms!
Should your campground be off of the beaten path, inTech does sell a version of the Sol Dawn with knobby tires and a lift kit. The regular Sol Dawn has 11.5 inches of ground clearance, while the Sol Dawn Rover pumps that figure up to 15 inches. If your campground doesn’t have shore power, inTech will also sell you 200 Ah of batteries and 300 Watts of solar panels. The trailer featured here is the Sol Dawn Rover.
I walked away from inTech’s display impressed. A number of manufacturers talk about quality, but at least from my short time exploring these campers, it seems that inTech’s trailers do back it up. I love how the frames on these aren’t rusting out like I’ve seen on competing units and the design is a refreshing one. Seriously, the frame on my family’s 2022 Heartland Mallard M33 already looks nasty and it hasn’t even been on a single camping trip yet. The weight is also low enough to be towed by the crossovers so many people already own. Its interior felt pretty great, too.
The 2023 inTech Sol Dawn starts at $39,564 and that’ll get you either the regular version or the lifted Rover. I’m not seeing huge discounts on 2023 models, but leftover 2022s seem to have some deals. For someone looking for a quirky design and build, it seems like a decent price to me!
(All photos to the author unless otherwise noted.)
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Why don’t trailer manufacturers understand aerodynamics?
From what I understand, unless you’re doing something pretty radical like a teardrop the aerodynamics of a camper are largely irrelevant. It’s got such a huge frontal area that Cd doesn’t have a big impact on real world towability. You can sculpt the body all you want but it’s still going to tow like a brick on wheels.
It’s always a struggle to make something good looking while also space efficient.I think they’ve done well
^^^ This is how I am going to respond the next time I am asked, “How do I look?”
Love these looks into what’s out there, and Mercedes, really enjoy how you present them. I’m not qualified to judge the product, but learning through., thanks to this community.
I really like this one. If it had a bunk option, I’d definitely start saving my pennies! Then again, three across the large bed layout wouldn’t be unlike our tent. Hmmm…
It’s appropriate that conventional RV interiors look like casinos since the iffy quality of construction and all the systems that might fail make ownership sort of a crap shoot.
The large windows are a great feature out in the real outdoors, just make sure they are covered when going down the road. I’m a big fan of their Sol Horizon. However, I do have some skepticism on the aluminum frame on the larger models. Aluminum is wonderful but it’s characteristics have pluses and minuses for frame use. Especially with weight distribution hitches.
Those are neat features! 16′ and has a wet bath? Nice!
About 3500 lbs loaded is towable by a 3 row crossover. That looks like it’s fairly tall so frontal area is a consideration. At least it won’t be a sail in crosswinds.
Wet bath? I thought that was the spaghetti eating room.
I like that big window up front as well. I don’t want to imagine it’s cost to replace, but if you are in the camper due to rain, at least you can look outside.
Mercedes you are the weird RV camper jugfernaught. Once again a very nice camper. I wonder with ot being lite weight and airfoil shape what kind of traction you get with all the updraft design. Also i think much like the produce aisle a dollar per foot cost should be a measurement. Frankly I look at RV TRAILERS like I look at mousetraps. The perfect design is bland and square because it is perfect for its usage Now everybody wants to get some of thar market. So they do all kinds of crap to tear away a piece but so far they are all perform their job worse.
Wouldn’t touch anything from a manufacturer with build quotas, any flaw that’s possible to hide will be hidden instead of fixed.
I saw my first Sol about 8 or 9 years ago. They’re definitely in their own space with their design.
Hey Mercedes (or any Autopian, really), I have a question about the off road package for trailers.
Why do they need knobby tires? It’s not like the trailer provides any additional traction with them, and wouldn’t they be worse on road? Unless they provide some sort of additional puncture resistance or something, wouldn’t road tires be a better option, regardless of where the trailer is going?
Trailers with slick tires slide sideways on muddy surfaces at low speeds. It’s kind of terrifying 🙂
Knobby tires really help keep the trailer straight behind the tow vehicle on slippery off level surfaces.
Puncture resistance is the correct answer but i’m betting 90% of buyers just like the looks
I am guessing (hoping?) there is more puncture resistance, as in the difference between A/T and highway tires.
But, it could also be (and more likely?) that it just looks more rugged and off-roady looking.
I looked hard at a used Sol Horizon before I bought by Winnebago Micro Minnie. They are very well designed and utilize every ounce of space! However, there were a couple things that stopped me from buying it. They are small for the price – the person selling the one I looked at was upgrading to a fiberglass Escape. As someone mentioned, they have had problems with frame cracking with the Aluminum frames and many times these type of trailers don’t allow weight distribution.
“…more like rolling parallelograms…”
*THEY* said I’d never need Math…….
We’ve recently had ATT fiber installed in our town and saw several of those work trailers. Now I know where they came from, 150 miles up the road here in Indiana.
I went to an RV/Camper dealer to check some out and I saw a worrying amount of 2023 camper trailers on the lot with rust already showing in between the hitch and camper.
I know I live in Florida and it was close to the coast, but that is unacceptable IMO.
This is expensive, but for a change seems like a genuinely nice camper with real construction and feature advantages for the price. I lust after small campers (not in the cards right now, but I can dream I guess) and will continue to tent/car camp. But if I could swing it, this seems like a legitimate option. Love that front window!
An inexpensive Jeep trailer with a rooftop tent is the route I went for a budget camper. Not close to the same creature comforts, but its a self contained “camper” with room for all the gear I need including a “shower” (pressurized cold water w/ garden hose/sprayer), coleman stove, etc.. Nothing special, but all said, it was only $2k and its way more comfortable than tent camping on the ground.
This is intriguing. It’s expensive, but not outrageously so if it’s actually built better than mainstream trailers. Tank sizes are reasonable and they don’t seem to have omitted any major features (AC, fridge, etc.) like so many of the smaller boutique makers.
My one minor gripe is that the tilted front wall feels like a gimmick.It’s adding volume in the least usable place possible: up high and behind the dinette. It also looks like a sizeable chunk of the panoramic window is covered by cabinets? I do like the window though. There’s nothing better than parking your trailer somewhere scenic and getting to wake up every morning to a panoramic view of the Badlands or whatever.
However, as someone who is 6’5″ tall I would like to have a long, violent chat with the person who decided standard interior height for small trailers should be 6’4″. 😛
I was so close to buying one of these last year. But it has one incredibly annoying problem – there is no insulation in the walls, floors, or roof.
They put a layer of reflective foil bubble wrap in these areas, but despite what they might tell you that’s not insulation. R0.3 isn’t going to keep you much warmer (or cooler) than a tent.
The R4 to R6 insulation in most trailers isn’t going to win any thermal barrier awards, but it’s enough to allow for 4 season camping most places.
It’s a shame really, as otherwise it is a great trailer.
The RV industry is terrible about pretending that radiant barrier bubble foil is actually R6 even when sandwiched between layers. It’s really annoying. Scamp does the same thing, and Escape used to as well. Oliver too, though at least it’s lining both sides (!) of a cavity between shells so the radiant part’s not totally useless.
Any chance you could also include metric units?
The rest of the world would be grateful not having to convert every time. =)
The metric system is a tool of the devil. My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that’s the way I like it! – Abe Simpson
I have lived about half my life in Canada, the other half in the US and always near the border, so I have gained the ability to do most speed and temperature conversions in my head.
That panoramic window is excellent – and it’s tinted, which is nice.
I would like to see a small camper like this be available with a modular configuration. Going camping? Install as much sleeping accommodation as needed. Taking a dog? Install the optional kennel. Short trip where you don’t need a full bathroom? Take out what you don’t want. Weather changed? Pop out the AC unit and replace it with the heater.
However, I realize it would be hideously expensive to design a modular cabin with a range of components (which may or may not sell) and thus it will never happen. 🙂
Happier Camper does what you want, the basic fiberglass shell has a track system for installing interior modules or securing cargo
That is really interesting! Thanks!
I like the idea of being able to configure for sleeping and then reconfigure in the morning for cooking and daytime stuff.
You might like the idea, but I bet in practice it gets old faaast. My least favorite part of camping is setting up and taking down camp. Doing it twice a day while on vacation sounds like some ironic circle of hell to me. 😛
Nice tip, thanks. Just starting to look around, these may fit the bill.