Next week I’ll be descending on Johnson’s Valley in California to experience the thrills of the King of the Hammers. There I will be ride side by side and sleep where the action is in a small off-road motorhome that fits perfectly in a garage. This camper is the Taxa Mantis Overland.
We have repeatedly noted here that the pandemic has changed how some see leisure. where some people may have been to hotels in the past, now they are planning to go camping. Some of these people also get into off-roading and slap the two together in a fun sandwich. People have so many choices for off-road rigs and recreational vehicles that promise some kind of capability.
One of the motorhomes you might see as an option is the Mantis taxaand I will be living in one for almost a week.
TAXA Outdoors was founded by Garrett Finney, former senior architect of the NASA Habitability Design Center. The Center is a place where design teams develop ways to improve human life in the harsh environment of space. Finney came up with the idea for Taxa in 2009. He wanted to do something for people who hate sleeping in tents, but still want to be connected to nature. That’s a perfect description of me.
The result is something that’s better than a tent and more capable than a pop-up trailer, but its not a mobile hotel room. Taxa campers have walk-in windows and huge gates to let the outside in. Taxa says it’s important to build these things from durable materials and even calls them “mobile human habitats,” rather than travel trailers.
Looking at the Taxa Mantis Overland I’ll be in, there isn’t even a TV or stereo. Perfect.
It is designed to go to places away from the roadway. It has axleless independent suspension, eliminating the typical beams that caravans tend to have.
That gives it 14 inches of ground clearance. Of course, it also has a steel skeleton, steel gravel guards and all-terrain tires to make it sturdier. The walls are also made of aluminum composite panels.
And in the front is a snag that has 360 degrees of rotation and rolls on three axes.
What I like the most is the size. At 19 feet long, it could fit in many garages, eliminating the need for storage. It also weighs only 3,486 pounds dry, so you can easily tow it with many vehicles.
It looks like I’ll get everything I need to not be smelly and miserable, so I’ll take a shower and a cassette toilet. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to see how it drives, but what would you like to know about this $49,950 RV before I disappear in the desert?