11 Off-Road Camping Options That Make Expedition-Style 4x4 Outings ComfortablePosted in Features on July 14, 2017
Pitching a tent on the ground or tossing a sleeping bag in the bed of the truck with a tarp over top is suitable shelter for the younger and more adventuresome four-wheelers spending a few days boon docking. Such shelter, accommodated with a cooler of drinks and an assortment of canned and freeze-dried foods that can be cooked over a campfire, are the only other necessities needed to be comfortable.
Those a bit more “seasoned” in setting up a basecamp during multi-day off-road expeditions, and who may have a spouse or significant other not as fond of roughing it as the younger generation, probably prefer a few more amenities and better accommodations so stays at the Great Outdoors Inn are a restful, stress-free adventure.
That’s where specialty off-road tent trailers outfitted with many of the comforts of home, combined with high-ground clearance axles and other off-road features, are attracting a lot of four-wheeling outdoors-types attention, and there’s no lack of variety from which to choose. It all depends on one’s budget, style and needs.
We’ve highlighted a few examples of some nice 2017 products to give you a taste of what’s available to make the most of extended off-road adventures, be they local, regional, or international.
Moby1 XTRCamp. Tour. Explore. No wasting time setting up basecamp in the process. That’s the Moby1 mentality that drives the design of a Moby1 XTR. This 1,800-pound compact, fully self-contained teardrop-style expedition trailer makes journeys into rugged and remote locations as comfortable and convenient as possible. Its small footprint contains an interior bed and cabinetry for clothing and gear, with an outdoor galley for cooking and a large awning for sheltering your outdoor relaxation space. The XTR’s 54-inch-wide aluminum body rides on an independent A-arm coil suspension with Fox 2.0 shocks and 32-inch all-terrain tires. If you want a queen-size mattress, Moby1 offers that in the 60-inch-wide body as an option. The interior cabinetry is maple, and the galley under the front cover is fullsize with additional cabinets to store food and cookware. From there on, the Moby1 is outfitted like going to a full-service restaurant: look at the menu, order what you want. The company offers roof racks to rooftop tents, generators to solar panels, heating and air conditioning to refrigerators/freezers—and a lot in between. Price, nicely equipped: $25,500.
More info 801/872-4054; moby1trailers.com
EarthRoamer XV-LTSDesigned from the ground up for ultimate capability and luxury in the boondocks, the EarthRoamer XV-LTS is built on ’17 Ford F-550 6.7L Power Stroke 4x4 chassis with a one-piece composite fiberglass camper-style body filled with all the amenities you’d find in a high-end slide-in camper and more. It’s an all-season rig set up so adventurers are totally self-sufficient other than having food, water, and diesel. Handcrafted in Colorado, the EarthRoamer can sleep five, carries 90 gallons of fuel and 85 gallons of water, rolls on an air ride suspension, and features an intelligently designed luxury RV-like interior to make life in the wilds a stroll in the park. Electrical power is solar and lithium batteries, and a satellite system keeps off-road explorers in touch with the outside world. Custom fender flares, EarthRoamer winch bumper, 16,000-pound winch, and a 40-inch curved LED lightbar protect and serve, and the cab is outfitted with a cool EarthRoamer gauge cluster and control panel fit seamlessly into the redesigned center console. From there, each XV-LTS is custom-outfitted to the owner’s tastes and expedition needs. The 2017 base price is $440,000.
More info: 303/833-7330; earthroamer.com
BruderX EXP-6The Australian-built Bruder EXP-6 is the consummate extreme expedition-style trailer, engineered and built to meet the needs of those living off the grid in the harshest of environments from the Sahara to the Arctic. Popular with oil/gas exploration companies and the military, the 3,700-pound, 22-foot-long trailer is built on a watertight chassis atop a multi-link, tandem-axle air suspension with a foot of travel.
The composite body is fit with a queen bed, LED lighting, internal/external showers, internal/external kitchens, electric winch, onboard air system, diesel-powered hot water/heating system, diesel generator, 12V/110V/240V electrical, remote water pick-ups, and 500-800-watt solar and lithium battery power. Options abound including motorcycle storage, clothes washer, satellite system, and gun lockers, just to name a few of the cool stuff. Bruder plans to have U.S. distribution by late 2017. Price, nicely equipped: $88,000.
More info: (61)73-172-8838, bruderx.com
Turtleback Expedition TrailerPurpose-built off-road camper-type trailers are attracting a lot of attention from both young and seasoned four-wheelers, and USA-built Turtleback’s Expedition Trailer is on their radar. A full range of camping accessories are engineered and integrated into the 1,900-pound unit, which sits atop a 3,500-pound torsion axle capable of running 37-inch tires. The use of space, quality components and overall durability allow it to stand up to the harshest off-road uses. The frame is a SolidWorks-designed chassis, which is hot-dip galvanized with an industry-leading 10-year warranty. The 4x6-foot main box contains a 42-gallon water tank, 6-gallon water heater, and a full Baltic birch kitchen and pantry with stainless sink and two burner stove. Up top is a heavy-duty, two-room 23Zero roof-top tent, and a wrap-around awning to maximize the outdoor living space. Price, nicely equipped: $23,000.
More info: 855/732-2383; turtlebacktrailers.com
Turtleback Getaway TrailEntry-level, budget-minded off-road adventurers should find the new Getaway Trail series of camp trailers from Turtleback Trailers in Phoenix, Arizona, very appealing. Priced from $8,995 to $12,995 ready to go, they share the same galvanized chassis as the premium Expedition line, but offer the more Australian Outback-style of camp amenities. The Getaway Trail weighs in at just 1,140 pounds with a 2,000-pound GVW axle. It can run up to 33-inch tires (limited by the tent design) with plenty of clearance for the toughest terrain. With both the main and nose boxes it boasts 53 cubic feet of storage for all of your camping gear and belongings. On top of this is a “Soft Floor” OZTent trailer tent. This style of tent is the most popular style of camp tent used Down Under. It provides lots of covered space with an insulated roof, screen room with vinyl floor, and most importantly, a queen-sized bed with a 7-inch-thick mattress. Price nicely equipped: $12,995.
More info: 855/732-2383; turtlebacktrailers.com
Patriot X1 Grand TourerWhen it’s time to set up camp, the Australian-built Patriot Campers X1 Grand Tourer, which rolls on 35-inch mud tires and a dual-shock, long-travel air suspension, opens up like a Transformer to make camp central very sweet. The 2,100-pound trailer boasts 66.5 cubic feet of storage spread across a variety of drawers, compartments, and stowaway areas. Dual batteries provide plenty of juice, and LED lightbars illuminate storage compartments while pressurized air inlets and rubber automotive seals keep cargo clean and free of dust. Sleeping quarters includes a king-sized bed in the spacious flip-open tent that has wide stairs leading from the floor to the bed. A drawer extends from the belly of the X1 to reveal a 60-quart portable fridge and stainless steel kitchen that hides a wet-storage compartment, cutlery drawer, and plumbed kitchen sink. The L-shaped kitchenette has anti-scratch benchtops, and there’s 20-gallons of fresh water in the tank. A twin-burner gas stove and grill sits alongside pull-out pantry drawers. Up front a lid lifts to reveal a Rhino-lined “Man Cave” with twin propane bottle holders, fire extinguisher, high-lift jack, a large, convenient utility shelf—and a swing-away barbecue. A diesel heating system for the tent and hot water for shower and sink is just one of many options available on the 11-foot-long trailer, as is a second 20-gallon water tank. Price, nicely equipped: $38,390.
More info: (61) 75-597-0638; patriotcampers.com
Cascadia Mt. Shasta TentsOne of the most popular tents for the off-road expedition crowd designing their own camp trailers are those from Oregon-made Cascadia Tents. The green tent on the trailer towed behind the Super Duty is a Mt. Shasta Pioneer Series, 280g fabric with the extended rain fly ($1,795). It also includes dimmable LED lighting, USB charging ports, and options such as telescoping ladder, diamond-plate reinforced floor, and a comfy 3-inch-thick memory foam mattress with waterproof cover. The tent on the Super Duty is Cascadia’s Mt. Thielson, an automatic pop-top for $2,195.
More info: 541/312-8368; cascadiatents.com
Conqueror UEV-440The Australian-made UEV-440 Extreme is one of the most innovative and user-friendly off-road campers in the Conqueror North America product mix. It’s compact, yet provides all the camp amenities of a well-outfitted RV, sleeping four on double beds inside the rooftop tent that also sports a drop-down room. The design and construction quality have been safari and outback tested for more than 25 years in the harsh and unforgiving environments of Africa and Australia. The rugged, 2,700-pound Urban Escape Vehicle (UEV) is jam-packed with individual features, accessories and storage, including slide-out Dometic propane stove and a 90-liter National Luna fridge/freezer. An ingenious blower pressurizes the interior during travel keeping it dustproof. The roof, supported on gas-struts, is insulated, and the floor is carpeted. A pressurized water system and a large 42-gallon water tank provide showering and wash-up solutions wherever you make camp. Dual batteries and 110V inverter handle the power side. The UEV’s all-metal body rides on a solid-beam axle with high-end off-road shocks and 31-inch all-terrain tires. The 12-inch brakes and a 360-degree Alko off-road coupler add to its go-anywhere functionality. Price, nicely equipped: $38,950.
More info: 937/594-9565; conqueror4x4usa.com
Forest River r-podFor those who prefer a more conventional trailer to pursue extended outdoor trips, the Hood River Edition r-pod by RV manufacturer Forest River might be just the ticket. It’s much different than your conventional towable travel trailer. The 20-foot trailer’s tear-drop shape was designed to both maximize interior space while minimizing overall drag, and keeping it light enough to tow behind midsize pickups and six-cylinder SUVs. In fact, the height to width ratio gives the r-pod a low center of gravity, and a perfect stance for a safe tow, no matter the terrain. The Hood River option package comes with taller tires on the torsion-axle suspension, improving ground clearance over less traveled backroads, diamond-plate rock protection, and special graphics. Inside, it’s well designed with a two-burner propane cooktop and three-way fridge in the slide-out that opens up the interior space. The r-pod also features a 20,000-Btu furnace, DSI hot-water system, LED lighting, and comfortable sleeping space for three campers. Dual batteries, an outside shower, 30-gallon holding tanks and 36-gallon fresh water tank extend dry camping. A 13,500-Btu A/C, microwave and awning are just a few of many options available. It’s an impressive setup for a compact travel trailer that weighs less than 2,800 pounds. Price, nicely equipped: $23,599.
More info: 574/642-3119, forestriverinc.com
Schutt Xventure XV-2At 1,190 pounds and a payload capacity of 2,300 pounds, Schutt Industries’ XVenture XV-2 Severe-Duty Off-Road Trailer was originally developed to exceed the stringent performance standards demanded by today's military. The aluminum structure is huck-bolted instead of welded, making it one of the strongest, lightest, and most durable of any expedition-style trailers in its class. The trailer is coated with spray-on bedliner material and covered by a 10-year chassis warranty. The Cascadia Tent or James Baroud USA roof-top tent system elevates to place the sleeping quarters above the trailer, which transforms into the kitchen, eating, and cleaning area. At the front of the trailer is a 5-foot-wide utility cabinet containing the trailer’s power distribution center with deep-cycle battery, inverter, and charger, plus space for two jerrycans and another sealed compartment to carry the 20-pound propane tank. The XV-2 can be optioned with a fresh water tank, electric pump, propane hot water system, freezer/fridge, outside shower and additional LED lighting. Solar power is also an option. Customize the XV-2 just the way you want it. Price, nicely equipped: $21,400.
More info: 715/823-8025; schuttindustries.com
Livin’ Lite Rock ClimberThe aluminum-bodied QuickSilver Rock Climber off-road tent camper, from Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles, lives up to its name, weighing in at just under 1,300 pounds. It’s based on an aluminum tube frame with an enclosed torsion axle running 34-inch LT315/70R17 all-terrain tires that put 17 inches between the trailer’s diamond-plated skidplate and terra firma. This is a wallet-friendly tent trailer for those who enjoy wheelin’ in the backcountry. The heavy-duty flip-out tent sits on strong tubular aluminum supports, and the 60x78-inch mattress bed sleeps two adults in comfort, while the 5-foot sofa bed in the trailer can accommodate the younger explorers. The trailer has emergency exits on the bunk ends, a foldable dinette table, welded floor with linoleum, and aluminum cabinet with airplane-style latches. The Rock Climber also includes 12V/110V outlets, a 12V interior Fan/Light Package, and LED exterior lighting. At just under 11-feet, it’s easily towed by small SUVs. Electric brakes, A/C, awning and awning room are options. Price, nicely equipped: $13,000.
More info: 800/768-4016, livinlite.com