Mopar Introduces A Line Of Camper Trailers
What you see here is Mopar's concept trailer that was first debuted at the 2010 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, with the idea that wheelers would be able to comfortably camp wherever they were able to take their Jeeps. We were lucky enough to get our hands on it for a weeklong test, and due to the high level of interest in this trailer, Mopar has decided to offer production versions of it. The two versions being offered are the Jeep Trail Edition and the Jeep Extreme Trail Edition.
The most noticeable difference is that the concept trailer we tested has 37-inch Goodyear Wrangler M/TR tires while the production Trail Edition will come with 32-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain tires; the Extreme Trail Edition comes with 35-inch BFG Mud-Terrains. The difference in tire sizes also means a difference in ground clearance. The concept has 16 inches of clearance, the Extreme Trail 15 inches, and the Trail Edition 12 inches.
Other than a heavier-duty frame on the Extreme, both production trailers feature lightweight all-aluminum construction. The Extreme Trail weighs in at about 1,050 pounds, while the Trail trailer is only 850 pounds. Both trailers feature a torsion-bar/trailing-arm suspension, diamond-plate covering and an available 360-degree-axis pintle hitch (a 2-inch ball is standard). The Extreme adds high-mounted diamond-plate fenders and full underbody skidplating. These trailers have been extensively tested in order to assure buyers that they can live up to be the Jeep branding. To keep in line with the Jeep theme, they offer Wrangler styling cues such as the standard 17-inch Rubicon five-spoke wheels, Wrangler hood latches and taillights, and a Trail Rated badge.
Both trailers include the same fold-out tent, but when it is stowed, the diamond-plate deck is capable of carrying 450 pounds of gear. We imagine that outfitting either trailer with a cargo basket or even bike racks to expand cargo-carrying capacity when in tow mode will be a popular option.
During our test, we pulled the Mopar trailer around the Mojave desert with both our long-term Ram 1500 TRX4 and our Project 'Con Artist Wrangler JK. The Ram didn't even know the trailer was there, and the 'Con had no problem at all, even with its own 37-inch tires.
We first took the Mopar trailer camping for a four-day excursion to our favorite desert spot with the Ram, and then went wheeling on some tight technical trails with the 'Con. We found the trailer to be very manageable and stable on two-tracks with its 88-inch width. Our only complaint is that the trailer can become bouncy at speed, regardless of terrain. Fortunately, the trailer is designed to carry cargo, and we found that adding some weight definitely mellowed out the trailer's bouncy tendencies.
Once at the destination, the tent is easy to deploy. It will take two people who have done it before about five minutes, although we found that one person can do it in less than 15 minutes. Campers get a generous 76 inches of headroom and a large mattress that can easily sleep two adults. Impressively, the tent fabric is very high quality, and the fine mesh screen kept all the no-see-ums out. A small sofa which can fold into a bed offers daytime seating at a removable dinette table, and a built-in aluminum cabinet provides for extra storage and can also convert to an additional seat. The trailer even has 110-volt and 12-volt outlets that can be used when plugged into an outside energy source. We figure that two adults and two kids could sleep comfortably in the trailer, although we did manage to fit four adults snugly for lunch.
Overall, our experience with the Mopar trailer was great and we found it to be very accommodating. However, we'd love to see a rear access door to make use of the sofa's under-seat storage when the tent is stowed. An onboard water tank and deep-cycle batteries that could be recharged by the tow rig or by solar panels for power anywhere would round out our wish list of upgrades.
The Mopar trailers should be available as you read this and come in the following four colors: Bright Silver Metallic, Flame Red, Mango Tango Pearl, and Natural Green Metallic. The Trail retails for $9,995 and the Extreme Trail for $11,995 at your local Mopar dealer.