So my wife and I have been wanting to get a family camper trailer for quite some time now. The only problem is I want something that I can take off roading. No offense but I’m not a huge fan of KOA or Yogi Bear Campgrounds. My idea of camping is generally me and my family and maybe another close friend or two’s families getting together and that’s about it. No crowds or loud late night guitar playing neighbors, just us and the outdoors. So, I have been doing quite a bit of research and found several varieties of off road camping trailers. The types vary from just a small intelligently designed trailer with a fold out roof tent attached, all the way through to what many might consider an RV. Each of these examples are almost a categories of trailers in themselves. Many of my examples may have numerous manufacturers that make similarly designed products, but here are a few of the cool ones I’d like to share with you.
1. Adventure Trailers
The first category or example of off road trailers is a compact, very utilitarian workhorse type of trailer. The Horizon trailer is a small tow-able that is divided into 3 practical compartments. The compartments are the main load box and two side boxes. The combined total of the compartments provides an additional 54 cubic feet of tow-able storage space. This is equivalent to the cargo capacity of an SUV with the rear seats folded down. One side of the trailer has a small kitchen consisting of a 2 burner stove on a slide mechanism, a removable cutting board which is built into the door, and space within the box for storage of cutlery, crockery, kitchen ware, spices, coffee presses, and other essentials. The main cargo area has a 12 volt compressor fridge, and the tongue of the trailer is used to mount the 19 gallon water tank, fuel cans, and a nose box. Mount a rooftop tent on top and you have a super cool, lightweight, highly maneuverable camping trailer that can go nearly anywhere.
Now we are moving into more of a camper/caravan type of set up. The Conqueror commander is made by a company located in South Africa. One thing my research did teach me is that there are several companies in Australia and South Africa that have kick ass off road trailer designs and this is one of them. Some of the features include a fully patented independent suspension with coil springs, heavy duty shock absorbers and trailing arms for enhanced stability. There are modular slide out units for the kitchen, bathroom, fridge, hot water system and storage shelves, and the primary sleeping arrangements are located inside the trailer. The modular design allows for a large number of various configurations of tents and awnings, which allows increased “outdoor living” space. I think the super cool rugged look and the excellent use of space would put this off road camping trailer at the top of nearly any off road enthusiasts list… Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they have any dealers or distributors outside of South Africa.
The Jayco Baja is more in line with your traditional canvas sided pop up camping trailer but it was “built for adventure and comfort”. That being said, there are quite a few things that separate the Baja from your ordinary “pop up” camping trailer. With 15″ off-road tires, diamond plate located on the front and rear walls and a utility deck with ramps, rated for 1,500 pounds, you get a tough, off road ready camping trailer. This is definitely a spacious and more “civilized” way to camp. The interior of the trailer has a 3 burner stove, microwave oven, refrigerator and a 6 gallon water heater. The 20′ length and 4,500 pounds (not including cargo) make this a considerably larger trailer, but if you ask my wife, this is EXACTLY what she would want in an off road trailer.
4. Moby 1
The Moby 1 XTR teardrop trailer has been getting a lot of publicity lately, and in my opinion for good reason. There has been a revival of the teardrop trailer design and it is very quickly becoming the “in thing” , but I believe the XTR is one of the best ones currently out on the market. The description below is from Moby 1′s website because they so eloquently describe the XTR as…
The ultimate teardrop trailer
“The XTR is built around the principle that one should be able to hook up their vehicle and head out into the wilderness and not look back. Hand crafted one at a time with all components hand picked as the highest quality available. Many components are not available off the shelf and are designed and built in house specially for this trailer. The ability to keep all of your camping adventure gear contained with in the trailer ready to launch into your next adventure at a moments notice, not spending hours loading your vehicle is priceless. The XTR was built with the ability to travel the globe, spend days even weeks unplugged from expectations and chaos of every day life. Whether your trips are several week long expeditions or weekend getaways the XTR will enhance your journey.
It is capable of tackling any terrain where your ventures may take you. With 4-5″ of travel custom coil suspension on independent A-arms with adjustable shocks will glide smoothly across rough terrain. It effortlessly absorbs the abuse of endless miles of washboard roads, steps, drops and bumps of knarly off-road adventures. Forays into very difficult terrain are no problem when paired with a multi-axis style coupler. It’s frame has severe-duty reinforcements for durability, protection and long life in rough service conditions.” I love the look of this trailer and the ability to expand it’s size by adding the second level roof tent. I tell my wife that’s the kid level and we would get the master suite. The finishes look exquisite, and this thing just looks tough. My wife may have her favorite off road trailer choice but the XTR by Moby1 is certainly mine!
Airstream trailers are both iconic as well as beautiful. They are certainly a premium trailer. The Airstream Sport 16 trailer is just over 16′ in length and weighs nearly 3,500 lbs with fluids and cargo. Combine that with limited ground clearance and minimal suspension travel, I don’t think you’ll be doing much “hardcore” off road camping, but if you’d like to get a little off the beaten path and still live the luxury lifestyle, this is the trailer for you… if you can afford the $38,000 price tag…PLEASE don’t tell my wife!
Well, There are my 5 examples of off road camping trailers. Like I said, there are numerous manufacturers of the various trailer types so assess what kind of camping you most like to do. Do you want to get to the most remote and rugged areas and still feel like your sort of roughing it, or would you prefer more of the creature comforts of home? Once you decide, you can begin to further research what brands and models best fit into your price range… or geographic location. Happy camping!