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Coleman Evolution Series E3 Camping Trailer - Built For Adventure

Posted in How To on August 1, 2010
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We're no sissies when it comes to camping. We'll throw a tarp on the ground and roll up in it for a night's sleep without issue. But we also don't mind a few creature comforts once in a while, especially for multi-day adventures during the colder months. RVs are nice, but they are a bit large for getting out to the types of camping spots we like to enjoy. Seeking something easy to tow behind a trail rig that can travel beyond a graded access road, we looked to Coleman and its extensive line of pop-up camping trailers.

The Coleman Evolution Series E3 camping trailer is a good fit for any off-road camping situation. A gear deck at the front of the trailer allowed us to bring along a 2010 Yamaha Grizzly 700 4x4 ATV. We towed the Coleman pop-up trailer behind a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Coleman manufactures a wide range of highway series pop-up tent trailers but it was the company's Evolution Series models that caught our eye. The Evolution Series models are designed and built for adventure in every way, featuring larger diameter off-road tires and adequate ground clearance for venturing off the highway and in to the dirt.

Available Evolution Series models include the E1, E3, and Cobalt camping trailers. The E3 is the big daddy of them all with a 4,400-pound GVWR and the most sleeping space and standard features, including a gear deck large enough to fit an ATV or other camping or sporting equipment. The E1 is a bit smaller than the E3 and has a smaller gear deck and no slide out. The Cobalt is the smallest of the Evolution Series models and is about half the size of the E3, with no gear deck or slide out. With its 2,300-pound GVWR, the Cobalt model would be ideal for towing behind a small SUV, such as the Jeep Wrangler JK or Toyota 4Runner, among others.

The E3 can easily sleep six, but there's room for more provided you don't exceed the maximum capacity on the slide out beds. The front and rear beds offer 6 feet 5 inches by 5 feet 10 inches of space. The dinette bed is somewhat smaller at 43 inches by 71 inches, and a there is also a couch space that could be used as a bed if needed.

The 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee towed the Coleman E3 surprisingly well. No doubt due to the rear heavy rate Old Man Emu coil springs and Air Lift air bags. The trailer has a 4,400-pound GVWR so we were just making it with the Grand Cherokee's 5,000-pound max capacity (and likely a bit over with the Yamaha Grizzly 700 4x4 ATV on the gear deck). Electric brakes are standard equipment on the trailer but our tow rig was not outfit with a trailer brake controller.

The interior of the Coleman E3 tent trailer is spacious and includes most of the typical features of a fullsize RV. You can even order such luxuries as air conditioning or an attached screen room to tailor the trailer to your needs and desires. The interior is sealed with breathable Sunbrella 302 tenting and offers clear, zip-open windows with fine mesh screening. With all of the windows open the interior stays well-ventilated and cool; closed up the interior seals well and stays as warm as needed, especially with the heater going (or cool with available option of AC).

The Coleman E3 is a sturdy rig. It uses a tubular steel frame and chassis, powder-coated steel body reinforcements, and full perimeter aluminum body and bed rails. The front, rear, and sides of the trailer feature durable Krystal Kote and diamond plate panels. The roof is a one-piece fiberglass skin and the flooring offers a one-piece structure wood construction.

PhotosView Slideshow

Towing the Coleman E3 tent trailer was a breeze. It sits low enough that wind drag isn't an issue and, provided your tow vehicle is properly equipped, the trailer is light enough that it won't slow you down too much when tackling steep climbs. The Coleman E3 is also an attention getter - every stop for fuel or supplies found us in a conversation with a camping enthusiast eager to learn about what we were towing.

Pop-up tent trailers aren't for everyone. There is quite a bit of set up and break down required, which can become downright tiring if you are attempting it solo for a one night camp-out. It is, however, one of the more fun and easy ways in which we've enjoyed camping. Once set up and stocked we easily could have enjoyed a multi-day camp-out, spending the days hitting area trails and the nights in the comfort of a home-away-from-home.

Mike Thompson's RV Super Stores
We worked with Coleman and Mike Thompson's RV Super Stores to coordinate the loan of the Coleman Evolution Series E3 camping trailer. Mike Thompson's RV offers four locations in California, including Santa Fe Springs, Fountain Valley, Colton, and Cathedral City. The company sells new and used travel trailers and motor homes and offers complete service facilities at each location. In addition to the Coleman brand, Mike Thompson's RV offers many others.

(888) 325-1409 (inside California)
(888) 325-1378 (outside California)


Box Size Classification 12ft
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 4,400 lbs
Unloaded Vehicle Weight 3,030 lbs
Unloaded Hitch Weight 420 lbs
Maximum Carrying Capacity 1,370 lbs
Gear Deck Carrying Capacity 800 lbs
Gear Deck Dimensions 4' 6" L x 7' 0" W
Total Storage Capacity 36 cu. ft.
Dimensions Open 27' 1" L x 11' 4" W
Dimensions Closed 21' 9"L x 7'5" W
Dimensions Open 8' 11" H
Dimensions Closed 5' 3 H
Dimensions Interior 6' 8" H


Coleman Trailers
Somerset, PA 15501

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