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NASA Architect Designs an RV for Outdoor Enthusiasts

The Taxa Mantis is a practical travel trailer designed by former NASA architect Garrett Finney. Finney’s vision is in every aspect of this unit as founder and designer.

He approaches trailer life from an outdoor-adventurer point of view, not from a POV of an RVer. This approach makes the trailer very adaptable to each user’s specific needs.

Before we dive deep into the Taxa Mantis, you can watch our tour & interview with the founder below:

Taxa Mantis Camper Trailer & Its Functionality

Functionality is key to this design. Instead of hiding joinery (mostly rivets), Taxa keeps the frame and hardware visible and easily editable. Using quality materials creates a minimalistic aesthetic with a focus on materials.

The powder-coated steel frame also has many strategically placed holes. This allows you to connect carabiners for hanging & strapping items as you wish.

The storage areas are the size of standard milk crates. This design allows you to easily store and access your goods without using customized containers.

Taxa Mantis Trailer

Power Options for Taxa Mantis

12V DC is the primary power source throughout the trailer. It has two house batteries and is ready to be connected to solar power. The Mantis can plug into shore power (they have an Air Conditioner option), but there’s only one location to plug into AC power.

How Many Can The Taxa Mantis Sleep?

Even though the Mantis only measures 17 feet, it can sleep up to four people. The front seating area transforms into a bunk bed. The rear U-shaped dinette joins to create a mattress that sleeps two.

If you’re brave enough to sleep on the small top bunk, you can rest easy knowing there’s a net to catch you.

Taxa Trailer

Key Specs of the Taxa Mantis

Here’s a list of some of the key specs of the Taxa Mantis:

  • Aluminum Composite Panels
  • Powder Coated Steel Chassis
  • Torsion Axle with suspension and electric brakes
  • Truma Water Heater
  • 20gal Fresh Water
  • 22gal Grey Water
  • 12″ ground clearance
  • 780 lbs cargo capacity
  • 3,020 lbs Dry weight

7 Vehicles that Can Likely Tow the Taxa Mantis

Here are seven small vehicles that are capable of towing 3,200 pounds or more:

Subaru Outback: The Subaru Outback is a popular crossover SUV with a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds. It combines versatility, off-road capability, and ample cargo space.

Jeep Cherokee: The Jeep Cherokee is a compact SUV known for its ruggedness and towing capacity. Depending on the engine and configuration, it can tow up to 4,500 pounds, making it suitable for towing needs.

Ford Escape: The Ford Escape is a compact SUV that offers towing capacities ranging from 2,000 to 3,500 pounds, depending on the engine and configuration. It provides a comfortable ride and a range of features.

Chevrolet Equinox: The Chevrolet Equinox is another compact SUV that can tow up to 3,500 pounds. It offers a spacious interior, fuel-efficient engines, and various technology and safety features.

GMC Terrain: The GMC Terrain is a sibling model to the Chevrolet Equinox and shares its towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds. It offers similar features and a comfortable interior.

Toyota RAV4: The Toyota RAV4 is a compact SUV that is renowned for its reliability and versatility. Depending on the trim level and configuration, it can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Honda CR-V: The Honda CR-V is a compact SUV known for its practicality and fuel efficiency. It has a towing capacity of up to 1,500 pounds for the standard models, but the CR-V Hybrid offers a higher towing capacity of 1,500 to 2,000 pounds.

    It’s important to note that the towing capacities mentioned above are approximate figures and may vary depending on factors such as the vehicle’s specific configuration, engine choice, and additional towing packages.

    Always consult the manufacturer’s specifications and guidelines for accurate towing capacity information.

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    1. Interesting concept. But the vid of it shows so many unprotected sharp metal angles of stuff sticking out in lots of places where an elbow, knee or noggin could easily find them. Also the “bathroom” was a total deal killer.

    2. KR says:

      1. Price and where-to-purchase info was not provided.

      2. The CRV tow weight doesn’t add up to the minimum needed.