An immense RV with the retractable sun room, attached patio, foyer, and mezzanine is an acceptable way to “camp” if you’re tired of spreading your backpacking sleeping bag out under the stars. If your trip includes a lot of pavement and one of those expensive campsites with electrical hookups, water, sewer, gas, and a complementary satellite dish, then a house on wheels is acceptable. On the other hand, if you want to take your adventure off the beaten path but still want ultimate comfort, you must get an off-road trailer.
These trailers are different than pop-up campers, rooftop camping tents, and larger recreational vehicles. They are generally smaller with a single axle on which is mounted a pair of big, off-road tires that are bold as brass and just as tough. You can find them in luxurious teardrop hard-top models or those with more of a pop-up vibe that are part trailer and part camping tent with all the accessories of a full RV. When you’re ready to hitch up your four-by and head into the wilds, taking along one of the 8 best off-road trailers will have you sleeping in style.
Manley ORV Explore
Pro: Huge ground clearance can go anywhere your car can
Con: No burners, shower, heater, or a/c options
Military Might: Needing to cart around a few creature comforts doesn’t mean you need to lug a whole cottage behind your truck. For the macho minimalist and the camper who still thinks that camping is something you do out of doors, there’s the Explore. Massive 33″ tires attached to a frame inspired by the M416 military trailer makes this ready for going wherever the wind takes you. A six-foot, lockable bin holds all your gear while a pop-up tent is mounted on the top. Frills are nowhere to be found and only the hardy camper need apply.
Schutt Industries XV-2
Pro: Flush-mounted hard tonneau cover
Con: Many options are costly add-ons
Beyond Heavy Duty: The XV-2 comes on the heels of the widely popular XVenture from Schutt, and it improves in all the right ways. As part of their “supreme-duty” line, this is the off road trailer for the camper who might decide to take over his spot permanently though military annexation. It has a huge chef’s galley, a full nose box big enough for a 50 quart kegerator, and a gate that can hold your ATV or dirt bike without bending. The XV-2 is a full attack camper that doesn’t skimp when it comes to a few modern conveniences.
Pro: Two floor plans to choose from
Con: Still suffers from many pop-up limitations
Hidden Wonder: At first blush, the Baja looks like just another pop-up camper. But then you notice the beefy 15-inch Dunlop sport tires that are meant for going on mud runs and living large miles from civilization. That’s when you realize this is bigger and badder than the meager body would have you believe. On the front is a toy deck with included easy-load ramps where your four-wheeler or even a jet ski can find a home. When deployed, you’ll find a sturdy DuraTek tent canvas that is water-resistant and as tough as the rest of the Baja’s bold chassis.
High Camp Teardrop Trailer
Pro: Electric brakes come standard
Con: Very few customizable add-ons available
Just Like Homemade: Crafted and created in limited quantities right in Portland, Oregon, High Camp makes specialized camper trailers that aren’t loaded down with a specialized price tag. They even throw in a ton of “extra” accessories with their base price, like a queen-sized IKEA quilt-top mattress, a triple-burner range that blows your camping stove away, and a Coleman cooler. Individualized attention to every trailer made along with easy communication with the company ensures that you’ll have a quality product that High Camp stands 100% behind from the second it rolls off their assembly line.
Pro: Can work with solar panels
Con: Must sacrifice storage for heat or a/c
Little Luxury: The XTR is as close to a baseline as we could find in the off-road trailer game. Made for a combination of ruggedness and luxury, this has a versatility that goes above and beyond. Beginning with the simple teardrop shape you can get it in widths of either 54″ or 60″ with or without a rooftop tent that more than doubles sleeping capacity. The racing shocks give it a stable ride that can go over hill and dale while the deadbolt locks on the doors add a layer of security when you’re bedded down for the night.
Pro: True 3-D storage
Con: Limited expansion options
Funky Fantastic: Former NASA architect Garrett Finney knows a thing or two about getting the most out of tiny spaces. After all, he worked with the people who build space ships, which are slightly more complicated and compact than trailers. His expertise yielded the Cricket Trailer with its angular design that is light enough to be towed by most 4-cylinder cars, yet has more than 6 feet of standing room when deployed. With a combination of pop-up and teardrop trailer technology, you’ll find the aluminum exterior and tough-as-nails steel chassis to be strong, spacious, and simple.
Pro: Streamlined for better fuel efficiency while towing
Con: Not constructed for heavy-duty off-roading
Silver Bullet: Like all Airstream trailers, the Sport is made in the classic retro design that has been tested for years and stood up to the worst conditions without fail. Compacting their larger models into a tiny trailer could have ended in tears, but Airstream has managed to capture the fun and simplicity of a home away from home in an even tighter model. With a full kitchenette, dining area, sleeping quarters, bath, and intuitive storage, this is the tiny RV of choice for those who want to be able to go at a moment’s notice.
Pro: Space to spare
Con: Takes skill to maneuver properly
Luxury Level: At 116 square feet, this is nothing like most off-road trailers that have more in common with standard trailer hitches than they do with RVs. At 17 feet long with a full stand-up size, the Outpost is as at home in a posh campground as it is out on a hill in the badlands. With storage space to spare, a table/bed/couch arrangement for resting your weary bones out of the weather, and places to mount a microwave and small fridge, this is the nicest hotel room we’ve ever drug behind a truck.
HiCONSUMPTION'S DAILY NEWSLETTER
Beast Packable Technical Backpack
Hitch and Timber
EDC Card Caddy
Pocket Samurai Titanium Knife