We get a lot of emails about new products here at RideApart. Some are from tried-and-trusted names in the powersports space, while others are from startups that are hoping to make their mark in the world.

And, you know, we love to see innovation and development within our niche. Even a good aspirational design or two, whether it actually comes to fruition in the future or not.

We're generally not fans of scams, of course, but sometimes even the best-laid plans don't go as well as someone hopes. And sometimes they do.

As just one well-known example: In the 'smart helmet' space, Skully was very much a scam. Forcite, on the other hand, isn't, and it subsequently went on to be acquired by GoPro

We recently learned about a young company called Next Adventure Trailers, which apparently started in 2022. It touts a lightweight trailer design that it says is "towable by nearly any size vehicle," which instantly made me joke about "What about a Honda Motocompacto?" I mean, sure, it's tiny and underpowered, but EVs have mad torque, right? I kid, I assure you.

But as I looked deeper, my brain started to go in two different directions. One side wanted to frisk and gambol and play, imagining all kinds of outlandish vehicles that could potentially tow this thing for overlanding adventures.

And the other side kept looking for details beyond empty marketing superlatives like "built tough" and meaningless generalizations like "fully off road capable - can go anywhere any 4x4 can go," but unfortunately found none.

As someone who's seen my fair share of poorly designed websites that frustratingly don't provide the information that you, the user, actually want and need, I know there are a number of reasons why this happens. Family-run mom n' pop restaurants tend to be this way, for example. A lot of times, if they have websites at all, the design is terrible, and possibly even well-nigh unusable. That's absolutely not to say that the food isn't fantastic; it very well might be. But if the only available menu on your website is an unreadable PDF that you have to download to even start to scan, it's preventing people who might otherwise love your food from ever giving you a chance.

That doesn't mean those restaurants are scams, however. Just that someone let Cousin Nicky hammer out a questionable website design because he's the youngest guy in the family and he knows how to use Gmail. It happens. It's relatable content.

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Anyway, back to Next Adventure Trailers. The site has a lot of buildup, including phrases like "Available with all the comforts a toy-hauler provides," "the only micro toy hauler built for off-road use [emphasis theirs]," and "designed and built with groundbreaking processes that sets it apart from any other trailer in the world." 

Now, you might see language like that and think "Great, that's what any company's brochure is going to say about its product. Let's see some specs to back it up."

That's a perfectly reasonable thing to think, but I'm sorry to tell you that you're not going to find them. At least, not on NAT's website.

On its main homepage, there are links you can click that say "Learn more." But all they actually do is take you to another page full of meaningless marketing mumbo-jumbo.

NAT Website, Learn More Menu - Screenshot Captured June 28, 2024

NAT Website, Learn More Menu - Screenshot Captured June 28, 2024

NAT Website - Where 'Learn More' Lands You - Screenshot Captured June 28, 2024

NAT Website - Where 'Learn More' Lands You - Screenshot Captured June 28, 2024

As I said, talking up your product is something every company does. But if you're going to actually convince someone to buy it, you need to also provide technical specifications.

Even some really basic stuff would be nice. What does it weigh, for a start? What are its dimensions?

What about load weight restrictions? Does it come with the tent up top, or can it be specced that way, or is that just an image meant to show prospective overlanders scenarios they might be able to enjoy if they purchase it?

NAT Website - RV Industry - Screenshot Captured June 28, 2024

NAT Website - RV Industry - Screenshot Captured June 28, 2024

Again, it's great to talk up your company and product, and say "we didn't see the thing we wanted on the market, so we built it." Awesome.

But what, exactly, is "it"? What's involved? If you're not providing those crucial details and all you have are some scenic photos and a marketing brochure on your website, along with a "Contact Us," especially as a startup, it looks significantly less trustworthy than any business is probably intending.

Or, as I've mentioned a few times now, it looks like someone possibly had good intentions but didn't think the site all the way through. Like our mom n' pop restaurant example above. It happens. People are, well, people. Some are scammers, and some are legit but just not great at making websites. 

Cursory Internet Sleuthing Time Activate!

A simple Whois search shows us that the website was made with Squarespace, like so many small business sites are. Social media searches show Facebook and Instagram follower figures that are just over 100, but some businesses are smaller than others. The overall web presence appears to have existed since 2022.

The contact phone number is listed with an Arizona area code, but since virtual phone numbers through services like Google Voice exist, that's not particularly meaningful (although the press releases quoted on other websites also mention Arizona).

The YouTube video embedded at the top of this piece has less than 1,000 views, despite having been posted just one year ago by a YouTube account calling itself "META Media Mangement" (might want to get that checked at a vet, bruv). 

This account has exactly one subscriber. If you do even the most cursory due diligence and follow the link listed in its profile, you'll find that this domain is, in fact, currently for sale as of June 28, 2024.

Meta Media Mgmt - Screenshot Captured June 28, 2024

Meta Media Mgmt - Screenshot Captured June 28, 2024

The Next Adventure Trailer video on its YouTube account is an unlisted video, and there's no way for a random visitor to know how many such unlisted videos it might have for other clients. 

But as for publicly available videos on its YouTube account, the company has just two of those. Both are about social media marketing, and both were uploaded approximately three years ago at the time of writing. Both also have fewer than 30 views apiece.

Now, that's not the same company as Next Adventure Trailers, and plenty of digital media businesses come and go all the time. Three years is an eternity on the Internet. Is this meaningful, in the end? That's unclear.

What I can tell you is that I can't find a single review of a Next Adventure Trailer anywhere online. All I can find are its website, social media presence, and a couple of pieces that look like rehashed press releases on a couple of design and outdoor websites. Nothing hands-on, nothing concrete. 

And if it's a startup, let me repeat: There's absolutely nothing wrong with being a small business that's just getting started.

But that's also something that the people considering buying in need to know, as are all the other pertinent details that would help someone decide whether they actually want to buy a product or not (if it's real). Otherwise, it looks sketchy, even if you may not mean for it to do so.

Consider this a little free advice on web design for small businesses within the powersports space and elsewhere.

Or, to simplify things: Think about what you'd want to know if you were your own potential customer. Don't approach it from your all-knowing angle of "Here's why we're the best," unless you're going to give concrete details and proof to back it up. Are you using awesome materials? Tell us what they are! Will it fold up and fit in a seriously tiny space? Give dimensions, and maybe show us how the folding mechanism works! 

It's not that hard to show off with detail. You can do it. I believe in you. 

But it looks like I'm going to have to wait a little longer to go overlanding with my souped-up Motocompacto. Boo.

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