Aspen Classic -- "... a brief history" 


While vacationing in Portugal in the '70's, Mr. Dal Allison of Systems Sports Inc. met an older gentleman who was hand-building and selling a collapsible tent designed to mount on an automobile's roof rack; and during this same time period, Trailmaster Inc. was manufacturing and marketing it's first motorcycle trailer on a national basis. 

In the early '80's, Gary Cooper of Trailmaster met Allison and began assisting him in marketing his new product idea that he brought back from Portugal - Dal named it the "Topbunk", but after nearly two years of sales efforts, it became apparent that the camping public in the U.S. just wasn't ready to accept the concept of climbing to their auto's roof for a night's sleep.

In 1984, Cooper suggested mounting Dal's Topbunk to a small trailer body. Cooper named it the Bunkhouse and began targeting sales to the motorcycle market. Many changes were implemented in the camper over the following years. 

In 1999, Cooper teamed-up with Nuko Industries (manufacturer of Aspen campers), to introduce the Aspen Classic. This camper now includes a host of all new features and options. A few of these items included:
  • Fiberglass Body for the ultimate in strength, precision tolerances and surface finish. Hand lay-up, chopped fiberglass.
  • Enlarged Front Living Room-- nearly 6 ft. sq. with 'pan-rolled' floor (all seams turned 8" up off the wet ground!)
  • Basement Level added to cargo body (utilizing space between main frame & highway).
  • Larger Screened Windows for maximum 'breeze-flow!' Dual-zipped with single piece 'V-Peak' design for the most versatile use.
Aspen Classic Camper
  • Window Canopies created for all sides (no ground stakes or guidelines required).
  • Forward vertical wall incorporates 2"(w) x 6'(h) Velcro runner strips along outward vertical seams for a precision fit of the (optional) 81 sq. ft. Clubhouse or 30 sq.ft. Den.
  • 81 sq. ft. Add-A-Room developed in 'square' format for the most effective use of interior ground space.
  • Spring-Loaded Rear Roof Bow for proper water shed over rear zippered window (kicks back wall on 'outward' pitch).
  • One-piece 'seamless' heavyweight vinyl roof.
  • New screen room (30 sq. ft.).
  • Telescopic 'Bed-To-Ground' Supports to maintain level sleeping surface.
  • Straight-Line Main Frame for maximum strength (no cuts or 'steps' in tongue).
  • All telescopic tent bows located INSIDE the tent for ease of one person set-up, and superior performance in strong side winds.
  • Internal aluminum 'arched' roof struts that simply 'snap' into place-- which joins all tent bows into a 'rigid' frame construction.
  • 12" wheels, impressive 9" turn signals, 2-way locking cargo bay and suspension upgrade (to accept electric brakes) ...all stock features - just to name a few!
GWRRA Chat Room Posting

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Years ago, one of the partners left Bunkhouse and formed Aspen.
That's why they look basically the same.

Posted by:
Gary Cooper (Trailmaster)
I chuckle every time I see chat rooms mention Aspen vs. Bunkhouse and the 'partner?' who left B&F Specialties to 'copy' the Bunkhouse. Truth is (and this is FACT...) the 'Partner' (who owns Trailmaster Inc) was building, marketing and selling motorcycle cargo trailers nine (9) years before meeting B&F in 1982. At that time ('82), B&F Specialties had NOTHING to do with the motorcycle industry. Trailmaster (TM) helped B&F design the Liberty cargo trailer in '82 and put B&F in the motorcycle industry. TM then began marketing & selling the Liberty for B&F.

In '84, TM worked with another independent contractor and helped design a 'Pop-Up' camper for B&F. TM named the product Bunkhouse, created all of the artwork and (as an independent contractor) TM marketed and sold every Bunkhouse. In '96, while working a rally in Tennessee, TM learned from another vendor that B&F was 'quietly' trying to sell the business– not telling TM. So in '97, TM began developing the Aspen (knowing what changes should be made) and teamed up with Nuko Industries in '99 to produce the new line!

'Long-Story-Short...' TM was NEVER an employee of B&F and the Bunkhouse would not exist if it wasn't for TM – nor would B&F even be in the business of bike trailers if it wasn't for TM! The reason you may see more Bunkhouse trailers at a rally is simply because they've been on the market twice as long as Aspen.

I hope this clears things up and if anyone has any further questions, they're welcome to contact me.

Gary Cooper
Trailmaster Inc

If you believe there's a better
'Lightweight' than Aspen–
please let us know. We would enjoy
pointing out the differences!


Aspen ® - Engineering Excellence