Thor Industries used the inaugural RVX show to get serious about production and potential production RVs like the Sequence camper vanand Tuscany Lithium concept motorhome. But it also kicked back and had some fun … a lot of fun. Its custom-designed Heartland Cyclone Ultimate Tailgate trailer pulls up stadium-side, screens all the biggest games of the day on more than half a dozen TVs, keeps the beer flowing with a built-in keg fridge, and provides plenty of space to relax with dual decks, an indoor/outdoor hot tub and a garage bar. Forget going into the stadium; the real entertainment is hitched to the truck.

We’ve seen a few unique party RVs in the past, including a rolling bachelor pad with remote-controlled beer cooler and outdoor movie theater and a concert-hopping VW bus with “upper deck” seating and slide-out mini-keg. But Thor brand Heartland takes the concept of go-anywhere partying to a new level with its absolutely huge Cyclone Ultimate Tailgate RV.

When the RVIA announced that “Team Tailgate” would be one of the contest categories at the Reveal event of RVX, Heartland didn’t have to work quite as hard as the competition to get nominated. Its range-topping 44-foot (13.4-m) Cyclone 4270 fifth-wheel toy-hauler was born to be a rolling party space, coming straight from the factory with a 13-foot (4-m) garage, available rear and side patios, cocktail bar-style kitchen counter, and plenty of standard and available audio/video equipment.

In fact, Heartland probably could have competed for the title by tacking a couple of optional extras onto a 4270, but instead it decided to throw the kitchen sink in. Inside, it turned the kitchen and living area into a functional sports bar, mounting four 55-in HD TVs in a row opposite the five-seat recliner couch and above the bar area. The wall at the end of that TV lineup houses the heart of the massive audio system, which includes 18 powered speakers and eight subwoofers in total.

Walking past the fully equipped kitchen with French door fridge and residential-grade stovetop and convection oven, one gets to the garage, finding a beer fridge below yet another TV and a beer hall-like picnic table set just ahead of the large doorway to the rear deck. The inflatable hot tub sets up in the garage or outside in the fresh air and should be easy to position in line with the best view (or perhaps in the best spot for enticing members of the opposite sex to hop in).

Tailgaters who prefer to combine fresh air and game-viewing will want to wander around to the side deck, where they can watch the swing-out TV. And if the deck itself is too crowded, there’s a second outdoor TV on the side of the trailer to handle the overflow.

Underbody lighting and a vibrant paint job with loads of swirling bright orange give the Cyclone trailer the proper look of a rolling party. Accessories include an outdoor Blackstone griddle with independent propane tank and a Can-Am side-by-side to add a little fun at events and fill up the rear garage on the way to and from.

Not so surprisingly, this Cyclone party wagon won the Team Tailgate category handily. We reached out to the Thor folks to see if there’s even the tiniest possibility of launching a Cyclone tailgater package inspired by this award-winning show trailer, but we take the lack of a response as an indication that there’s nothing like that in the works.

Ultimate tailgater RV turns parking lot into party with sports bars, patios and hot tub [New Atlas]


String pickers on the road often can’t take their guitars of choice on their travels – due to size or safety concerns – so might carry a more portable flavor to help keep calluses from going soft. We’ve seen many variations on the theme, including a folder from Fender, a strange Strat from Travelerand a novel cross-shaped plank. But what if you played a double bass? That’s where the TravelBass comes into its own.

Currently raising funds on Kickstarter, the TravelBass breaks down into separate components for transport in a custom case, and is assembled for play when double bassists reach their destination. Its makers – out of Parma, Italy – reckon that roving musicians should be able to take it on aircraft as carry on luggage in a custom hard case.

That TravelBassBox is actually a little larger than regular baggage at 35 x 13 x 9 in (88.9 x 33 x 22.6 cm), so you may have to negotiate with the airline before setting off on your trip. The TravelBass team does say that if such negotiations fail, the hard case has been designed to survive life in the cargo hold.

The instrument is fashioned from cedar, maple and ovangkol wood by experienced luthiers using a similar acoustic chamber construction method that’s used to make Italian violins. The body rocks a hollow acoustic chamber for unplugged performances, though a choice of Fishman or David Gage pickups is available.

The maple bridge slots into holes in the body, the adjustable neck bolts onto the body and the 41.3 inch scale ebony fingerboard is made up of two parts that split apart for travel. There are two adjustable bentwood shoulders for familiar shaping and an endpin for contact with the floor.

Kickstarter pledges for a TravelBass start at US$3,449, and if all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in September. The video below has more.

This double bass breaks apart for travel [New Atlas]