By Brianna Mathias
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN A little over five years ago, Todd Olson of Lester Prairie was taking a trip up north with his 115-pound sheperd-husky mix, his girlfriend and a couple of friends. With only a small Subaru station wagon and trailer to haul all their gear, Olson was left to choose what to leave behind, and it wasn’t going to be the dog.
“There had to be something better than the trailer I had, so I went online and looked,” Olson said. “I searched for trailers that would work better with my Subaru, and there just wasn’t anything.”
At that moment, Olson said, the idea of starting a new business sparked his interest. And thus Space Trailers was born.
Today, this business has “Space Stations” in Minnesota and Colorado, locations from which the company delivers its products all over the country. “The Mother Ship” of the central and eastern US is located in Lester Prairie.
“I had a background in business,” Olson said. “My family started Rollerblade Skates back in the early ‘80s.”
Drawing from his experience with the Rollerblade business, Olson said he took some money out of his 401K, switched to cheaper dog food, and started from there.
“Our models are lightweight and car-friendly for smaller cars,” Olson said. “They make it easier loading stuff up, and they are lower-profile.”
Space Trailers can haul up to a half-ton of weight, and come in a variety of models with several add-ons available, according to Olson. These trailers can come with or without tops. Tops can also have space bars which hold bikes, canoes, kayaks, et cetera.
A new addition that Olson claims is gaining popularity, are “Space Camp” models. These include a tent lofted up on top of the trailer.
“They’re good for camping when there is bad weather,” Olson said. “They’re also becoming more popular in the South because people won’t have to worry about rattlesnakes or anything.”
Another Space Trailer model includes an extra long tongue, which, according to Olson, make it easier to tow longer canoes and kayaks.
“Another cool thing about our business is that we sell and rent,” Olson said. “Not everyone needs a trailer 365 days a year. Renters usually use the trailers just for vacation.”
Olson said regular prices range from about $2,500 to $3,300. “Space Camp” models may cost up to $4,000 or $5,000.
The business charges $180 a week for rentals and $300 a week for models with tents.
For showroom hours, call (612) 239-3216 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information can be found online at spacetrailers.com.
Olson said Space Trailers are able to hold items that people need to take with them, as well as the items they want.
“My favorite part about the business is providing a quality function,” Olson said. “People usually take the trailers on vacation, when they’re hiking in the mountains, and it’s nice that they’re able to bring both the stuff they need and they things they want.”
Olson may be a full-time businessman, but he is also a full-time dog lover. Work does not stop Olson from taking care of his best friends.
Cash and Ozzie are the two energetic dogs who spend their days with the employees at Space Trailers.
“It’s all about the dogs, man,” Olson said. “They’re the real reason I started this business.”