Comparing the Mini Mate and Easy Camper

Q:What is your opinion regarding differences in the Mini Mate vs. the Easy Camper??? For instance—should my wife camp with me ?

A:First, watch this video. Then join me afterward (below), for more commentary.

If your better half will be joining you once in a while, then I think either camper would work for you.

P1010660The bed area is exactly the same between the Mini Mate, Easy Camper, and regular size Time Out — 6.5 feet long, 4.5 feet wide. The Easy Camper bed area probably feels a little bigger because you have the extra covered space inside, but that’s just an illusion.

(Little Known Fact: You can put a queen air mattress in any of these units. When you inflate it, the mattress pushes the tent material out a little and creates a couple of extra inches of space. A queen is only six inches wider than these beds anyway.)
If I were regularly traveling two up, the Easy Camper or regular Time Out would be more comfortable for two because it has the sitting area inside. I think the Easy Camper is the best value in the Time Out line. It uses all the external accessories as the Time Out and Time Out Deluxe, and has almost as much inside space, but is lighter and less expensive.

P1010666The Mini Mate set up is faster and easier and the unit is 60 lbs lighter. I know you’re pulling with a trike, so weight isn’t as much of a factor in how it affects handling, but it would have a reduced impact on your gas mileage.

So to recap, both have the same bed size. Easy Camper has more interior room and options, but is heavier. Setup requires medium effort. The Mini Mate is lighter, sets up faster with light effort. It has fewer options.

To be honest, I think they’re both great campers and you would quickly adapt to whichever you choose. I would gladly tow and camp with either of them.

Be sure to check out videos of both the Mini Mate camper setup and the Time Out camper setup. (The video shows the regular size Time Out. Setup for the Easy Camper is essentially the same.)

For a comparison on any other aspects of motorcycle campers, please feel free to contact me at Open Road Outfitters.

Softail Hitch Compatibility with Quick Release Accessories

Chrome Hidden Hitch for Harley Softail
Chrome Hidden Hitch for Harley Softail

Q: I would like to get your receiver style Chrome Hidden Hitch for my 2005 Heritage Softail Deluxe. I have the deluxe rigid saddlebags & a detachable solo rack which includes the required docking hardware kit, all mounted on the bike. Will these items cause a problem in installation?

A: The hitch would fit, and should work with your saddlebags without issue. The rub may be with the detachable rack.

When you install a hitch on the outside of the fender, as is the case with almost all cruiser style bikes, you add a total of about 3/4 of an inch to the total width. This additional spread affects the ease with which you can put on and remove detachable items.

So, I don’t think those accessories would present a problem to installing the hitch, but might make it difficult to use the luggage rack. It’s possible you could spread the attachment points and angle them a bit to make them work better. After all, it’s probably not something you are putting on and taking off every day.

Be sure to check out the Harley Softail Hitch installation video. This bike has a fixed backrest and luggage rack and, as I mentioned above, I had to stretch them a bit, but they do go back on the bike.

We also have Softail hitches for current model bikes as well as other members of the Softail family, such as the Fat Boy. I don’t always have them all listed, so if your bike is not among those on the current hitch list, use our contact form to ask me about a motorcycle hitch for your Softail (or any other bike, for that matter!)