Click for Coverage
  • JP Magazine
  • Dirt Sports + Off-Road
  • 4-Wheel & Off-Road
  • Four Wheeler
Subscribe to the Free

Tent Guide: Trail Hotel Buyer’s Guide

Posted in How To on October 1, 2012
Share this

Exploring the great outdoors is a rich part of the wheeling hobby and for many a family tradition. While wheeling is our primary passion and reason for hitting the road less traveled, camping can be equally enjoyable. Inexpensive store-bought tents work well for the occasional camper, but those who are set on a true off-highway adventure are going to want more than a glorified tarp to keep them covered.

With a variety of expedition-style trailers, rooftop tents, and high-end bed-mounted campers—some of which are fitted with A/C units, mini kitchens, and showers—setting up camp on the trail can be about as plush as your taste and budget will allow.

Gathered here are some great tent and camper options for those ready for an overland adventure or a long weekend outing. While none of these camping cottages are exactly dirt cheap, they are well worth it for the wheeling enthusiast who makes going off of the grid a serious part of his wheeling regimen.

M.O.A.B. Trailers
The M.O.A.B. trailer from Bivouac Camping Trailers is a self-contained off-road camping trailer that measures 10.2 feet long and 6 feet wide and is fitted with 30-inch-tall tires. Supporting the 1,300-pound trailer is a single torsion axle that’s equipped with electronic brakes. Fort and Safari series trailers are also part of the camping trailer lineup.
Information: Bivouac Camping Trailers

Mobile Explorer
Moby 1 Expedition Trailers has a full line of trailers ranging from an ultra-lightweight, 280-pound model to a well-equipped 2,800-pound version. The XTR series is the company’s flagship and is fitted with independent trailing A-arms with coil springs, adjustable shocks, and a large amount of storage space. Door locks, built-in cabinetry, and anodized aluminum skin are all standard issue. A/C, 37-inch tires, a tankless water heater, and DC power can be optioned, and in some cases added on later.
Information: Moby 1 Expedition Trailers LLC

Campa Camp
Campa USA trailers are versatile trailers designed to be used in everything from off-road adventures to aiding with disaster recovery and relief. The kitchen room detaches via waterproof zippers, and so does the floor for easy cleaning. The rip-stop tent material is a waterproof and mildew-resistant synthetic that meets California’s flame retardation specs. The fly screens are made from a triple-weave, self-healing synthetic material which is said to block out 80 percent of UV rays.
Information: Campa USA

ARB Tour
The Simpson Series III from ARB is the latest in the line of Simpson rooftop tents. The tent’s structure comprises vacuum-lamented ABS along with anodized aluminum tubing for weight savings and strength. A 300GSM poly/cotton material makes up the body of the tent, while an Oxford polyester flysheet adds element protection. To access the bonded chip foam mattress inside of the tent, an anodized aluminum ladder is fitted with the kit.
Information: ARB USA

Popup Pickup
Four Wheel Campers offers a full line of popup campers. The Hawk (shown) is designed to fit in the short/standard bed of a fullsize pickup. This particular model is built to sleep four, has a sink and stove, and can be option in a variety of ways. The base model weighs around 735 pounds and offers 6 feet 6 inches of headroom with the camper in the up position. To provide rigidity and save weight, the Hawk is fitted with a welded aluminum flex-frame.
Information: Four Wheel Campers

Easy Camping
The Xklusiv T-Top rooftop tent from Eezi-Awn is the company’s flagship model. Included with the tent is a ground-level private changing room, a thick mattress, a ladder, and an elevated roofline. When closed, the Xklusiv folds to a 13-inch height. The T-Top model is currently offered in four sizes and two colors. A Globe Drifter version is also available for expedition trailers. For U.S. customers the Eezi-Awn tents are sold through Equipt Expedition Outfitters.
Information: Eezi-Awn

Tepui Tents
The three-man Tepui Autana rooftop tents have an extended privacy canopy entrance and include a removable annex with a PVC floor, screened side windows, and a rear door to access your vehicle. The tents come with universal mounting brackets that allow the tops to mount to most roof racks or aftermarket roof bars. The tent includes a telescoping ladder that works with most stock and lifted vehicles and includes an interior LED dome light.
Information: Tepui Tents

Off-Road Teardrops
So-Cal Teardrops manufacturers production and custom Teardrop travel trailers. Currently the company offers three off-road and four on-road models. The Krawler series (shown) is designed for rugged off-highway adventures. Each Krawler trailer is fitted with a 2x3x0.120-wall frame, a 3,500-pound leaf-sprung axle, electric brakes, and a front storage box. Inside the trailer is a 4-inch-thick mattress pad large enough to sleep two adults, as well as a kitchen, 12V power outlets, and cubbies to keep all of your gear in place. (The rooftop tent shown in the photo is optional.)
Information: So-Cal Teardrops

In Oz
Oztents are referred to by their maker as 30-second tents. The quick setup is due in part to the internal aluminum frame that doesn’t require any assembly or disassembly. An Oztent is said to simply unfold. The Jet Tent is the latest offering from Oztent and is similar to the company’s Oztent RV, but is offered in smaller sizes. Oztents have 1- to 10-person designs and a variety of optional side and front panels so you can increase your living space.
Information: Oztent

The RTT-9007 is part of the Expedition Series of rooftop tents, from the aptly named Roof-Top-Tent (RTT) Company. The aluminum-based tent is wrapped in a 300D rip-stop fabric and protected by a 200D polyester rain flysheet. To access the tent, a telescoping aluminum ladder is provided that is adjustable from 45 to 81 inches. An optional ladder extension is available.
Information: Roof-Top-Tent

Overland Adventure
The AT-Overland JK Habitat is a complete hardtop replacement for the four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The Habitat only adds 6 inches of height to the roofline and is built to sleep four adults. The full-length tent is designed to set up in one minute and is made of a breathable water- and abrasion-resistant fabric. The sleeping area is accessible through a hatch above the rear passenger seats as well as via side doors in the tent. Factory colors and a full line of accessories are available.
Information: AT-Overland

Action Camper
The Action Camper by Thaler Design is a slide-on camper for the ’07-to-current Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The expedition camper is said to increase the weight of the Jeep by only 440 pounds while providing you with a kitchen, a seating area, extra storage, and a bed for two. Through computer-aided design the Action Camper has been engineered to make the most of the space provided and even allows enough room for a 35-inch-tall spare tire. When the popup portion of the camper is in the open position it provides 6 feet 3 inches of clearance.
Information: Action Camper

Haul It
M.S.E Welding & Fabrication’s Haultent Expedition trailer has a patented and compact design with the ability to haul up to 2,000 pounds. The all-aluminum design helps keep the weight down, and the foldout action is crafted to make it user-friendly. To support the trailer, a 3,500-pound torsion axle is fitted with 15-inch wheels, brakes, and heavy-duty bearings. The optional tent is made of Sunbrella and is 8 feet long by 91⁄2 feet wide with a max height of 7 feet.
Information: MSE Welding/Haultent Expedition trailers

The Off Road A/T from Tentrax is an all-terrain trailer designed for the 4x4 enthusiast. Each trailer can be tailored to fit the customer’s needs and is fitted with a 1⁄4-inch solid steel frame. With 35x12.50 tires, Tentrax offers up to 19 inches of ground clearance and an overall weight just under 600 pounds. The popup-style camper comes with an integrated tent for easy camping. Available options include nerf bars, skidplates, an off-road hitch system, an aluminum dry box, and a 4-inch lift.
Information: Tentrax

Adventure Trailers’ Chaser trailer takes its styling cues from the classic military 416 and 101 trailers. Each trailer is built to handle harsh off-road conditions and is fitted with a 6-foot cargo box to provided 46 cubic feet of storage for all of your gear. A 19-gallon tank stores water, and a front mount can be fitted with two 5-gallon fuel cans. A rooftop tent, a swing-a-way spare tire carrier, a kitchen, 12V power, and an awning are among the optional equipment that can be installed at the time of the order.
Information: Adventure Trailers

Go Mopar
The Jeep Trail Edition camper available from your local Jeep or Mopar dealer is designed to sleep four adults. The aluminum construction is engineered for weight savings, while the 35-inch tires and high-clearance design (12 inches of ground clearance) are meant for off-road use. Each Trail Edition camper is fitted with a canvas enclosure, 110-power, a storage cabinet, and a storable table. A hardcore Extreme version is available too.
Information: Mopar

Connect With Us

Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe to the Magazine

Browse Articles By Vehicle

See Results