Adding an off road trailer to the mix is a great way to transform camping, touring, and overland travel. There are some negative impacts to adding a trailer, but overall there are huge benefits. One of the biggest is adding capacity by transferring weight to an additional axle. A good rule of thumb is that the impact of a trailer on the gross vehicle weight of the tow vehicle is roughly 10 percent of the trailer’s total weight.
This is a huge win if you’re travelling over great distances. You can carry more water, more food, and that means you can stay remote for greater lengths of time. Beyond that the current North American overland crowd tends to overload their vehicle with modifications, gear, and accessories. Which we all know is unsafe and detrimental to reliability.
Another huge benefit is increased interior space for a vehicle’s occupants. The amount of required gear, soft goods, and food grows exponentially you have a few kids and a dog. A trailer really helps free up space for your passengers and travel companions.
Trailers also great if your adventure rig is also your daily driver. As long as you have a secure spot to park the trailer; you can leave it packed and ready for your next adventure. Brilliant, right?
Trailers don’t come cheap, and they do add a degree of complexity to navigating streets and trails. But, if you have the means they’re a great tool to add to your adventure vehicle arsenal. And, since they’re getting so popular we decided that it might be helpful to get some of the details for the more popular trailers in one place.
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Patriot Camper Trailers
Molendinar, Queensland Australia
Like Conqueror, trailers from Patriot weren’t always available in North America. But, lucky for those of us outside Australia; someone brilliant decided to load these awesome trailers onto a ship and send them across the ocean.
They appear to be pretty robust. Galvanized frames, powder coated everything else, and heavy duty suspension. You can even get some cool electrical tech courtesy of, and controlled by, RedArc.
Patriots X2 is the company’s smaller model. It’s great for a Jeep Wrangler or small SUV since it’s pretty small and fairly light (about 1400 lbs dry). But, don’t let those numbers fool you the X2 packs about 60 cubic feet of your junk away in dust proof storage. The suspension is pretty impressive too. It’s a independent setup with coils and a shock on each side.
The base X2 doesn’t come with a rooftop tent, but Patriot does provide a rack from Rhino. That way you can outfit it with the tent sitting on top of your current adventure rig.
|Fridge||Patriot Branded 53 Qt|
|Sleeping||N/A (tent optional)|
|Height (w/o tent)||5.8 Feet|
Upgrading from the X2 to the X1 requires a jump in price, but you’ll get a lot more capability and standard options. The X2’s suspension is independent, supported by airbags, and boasts 4 shocks in total.
|Suspension||X-Cruise™ Long Travel Dual Shock|
|Water||18 gal (optional)|
|Fridge||Patriot Branded 60L|
|Sleeping||Roof Top Tent / Optional Annex|
|Height (w/o tent)||5.8 Feet|
|Key Options Available||Water Tank, Additional 120 AH Battery, Tow Vehicle Stud Match|
Conqueror Off-Road Campers
Heidelberg, Gauteng South Africa
Conqueror North America
Contact: David Bates (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Conqueror trailers were unavailable in the US market until 2017. But, that doesn’t mean that Conqueror is new to the trailer/caravan game. They’ve been building recreational and military trailers for quite some time. And, the reputation they’ve built is virtually unparalleled. If you want a well built trailer that has an impressive track record you should definitely take a look at these trailers.
Across the Conqueror line you’ll find an abundance of galvanized steel and powder coated metal. What you might not see it the construction techniques that make these trailers so resilient and well-built. A combination of fasteners and incredibly strong adhesives make these trailers light, strong, and rattle resistant.
They’re water tight and some feature a positive pressure system to help keep the finest dust on the outside. That means your clothes, gear and the trailer’s internal components will remain dry and clean throughout your adventure. Inside the trailers you’ll find various luxury items like large refrigerators, hot pressurized water, and plenty of storage for pretty much anything you want bring along.
Conqueror UEV-310 Extreme
This is the entry-level trailer in the US Conqueror family. It’s robust but, fairly simple compared to its larger siblings. You’ll sleep in a roof top tent like similar trailers from Turtleback or Patriot. This model is best suited for smaller tow vehicles and customers with limited space in their garage or storage shed.
|Suspension||3,500 lb Torsion Axle|
|Fridge||85 Liter Snomaster|
|Sleeps||4 (in Rooftop Tent)|
|Height (w/o tent)||5.21 Feet|
|Key Options Available||AGM Battery, Solar, 400W Inverter|
Conqueror UEV-390 Extreme
The UEV-390 is the next step up from the UEV-310 slightly larger, and slightly better equipped. Okay… maybe much better equipped. The kitchen on this trailer is pretty impressive and the other compartments keep things very well organized. Like the smaller trailer you’ll sleep in a roof top tent. But, when you’re not sleeping you’ll enjoy some awesome amenities like a pop up shower, a vanity, and very nice cutlery and crockery.
|Suspension||5,500 lb Axle|
|Fridge||85 Liter Snomaster|
|Sleeps||4 (in Rooftop Tent)|
|Height (w/o tent)||5.79 Feet|
Conqueror UEV-440 Extreme
If you want a trailer with an interior this might be the trailer for you. It still has all of the awesome amenities of the UEV-390, but you can climb inside and enjoy a bit of air conditioning – or a movie. And, one of the best upgrades… it has two beds. There are way too many features and gadgets to cover here, but if you want a “glamper” that can survive Africa and the Outback this is probably one of your better options. If you’d like to rent a UEV-440 before you buy; Overland Gear Exchange has one available for about $1,400/a week.
|Suspension||7,700 lb Stub Axle|
|Fridge||85 Liter Snomaster|
Conqueror UEV-490 Extreme
The UEV-490 offers a lot of the same, like bomber independent suspension of the 440 . However, it’s larger and even better equipped. This model will tempt larger adventure families with a front fold out bed and a dinette that can be used as one larger or two separate beds. This model’s luxury and spacious interior is well worth the trailer’s increased size and weight. It will however require a larger tow vehicle than Conqueror’s smaller models. But, compared to the poorly built, run of the mill “off road” trailers at your local RV dealer this model is still pretty compact.
|Suspension||7,700 lb Stub Axle|
|Fridge||85 Liter Snomaster|
Conqueror Trailer Reviews:
We’ve been able to poke around a few Conqueror trailers, but have not been lucky enough to spend the night in the cozy confines of these South African beauties. But, lucky for you, there are some great reviews on some of or favorite sites from people who have.
SA 4×4 Magazine
Back in 2012 an awesome South African overland adventure mag put a Conqueror through a pretty rigorous hands-on review. You should definitely check it out there’s some great info on why they use steel and rivets to build these beasts.
We are pretty surprised that Christophe Noel hasn’t pulled a Conqueror to a remote Arizona locale for a review. But, he did publish a great article announcing the trailer’s arrival in the US. Who knows… maybe he’s keeping a trailer to himself, or maybe they’re still too new for a thorough hands-on evaluation here in the states.
Camper Trailer Australia
We’re always jealous of the awesomeness of Australia. It’s rugged, has some crazy creatures, and if you’re into adventure travel… it doesn’t get much better. They even have dedicated camper trailer magazines that cover trailers like the Conqueror. Here in the states a run of the mill RV/Camper Trailer publication would be telling you how great a stapled together particle board laden “off-road” package performed at a KOA.
Well, until the general American public comes to their senses here’s Camper Trailer Australia’s 2015 best camper trailer comparison. The Conqueror didn’t take the cake, but it did really well.
Turtleback makes great trailers. They’re rock solid, customizable, and… a perfect fit for a large swath of offroaders. Turtleback builds their trailers on a solid platform; a 2×3 perimeter box frame that is hot dipped galvanized, and coated with bedliner. From there Turtleback offerings split in roughly three directions (Adventure, Adventure Trail, and Expedition). The first and most basic starts at in the high $9,000 price range, while the Expedition starts at just under $22,000 before extras are factored into the equation.
For what you get…. those prices are very reasonable. If you don’t plan on sleeping inside your offroad trailer you should definitely consider checking out a Turtleback trailer.
If you’re tow rig is small, or you traverse tight trails Turtleback’s adventure trailer might be just what you’re searching for. Its stout frame rides on 2,000 pound stub torsion axles. Above the frame you’ll find a full aluminum floor topped with a one piece aluminum box to store all of your overland essentials. The box is capped by a large, gas strut supported, lid that hosts a large rooftop style tent with sleeping quarters and a screened living room.
The Adventure can be pulled in almost any direction. The trailer has both a front and a rear mounted receiver hitch. Turtleback also places a recovery point at each corner. Out back there’s a swing away spare tire/carrier. Oh and it only weighs 940 pounds. Which is perfect for all of you with Subaru Outbacks, Foresters, and other light duty vehicles.
Turtleback Adventure Trail
The Adventure Trail is fairly similar to the Adventure (not Trail) version. Same frame, box, tent, and basic accoutrement. But, Turtleback gives the Trail beefier 3500 pound torsion axles, self adjusting brakes, and larger 16 wheels wrapped in BFG KO2’s.
Turtleback also equips the trailer with a kitchen complete with a two burner stove, a sink, and 21 gallons of on demand H20. To fuel the stove they mount an 11 pound propane tank in a nice bracket behind the left fender.
Turtle back also upgrades the Trails swing out tire carrier with two mounting locations for Roto-Pax fuel or water cans.
To keep the extra kit (like the water pump) running, Turtleback build in an electrical system that comprises some of the best names in electrical. A Deka group 24 deep cycle marine battery is routed to a Blue Sea fuse panel and battery disconnect. You, the end user, receive LED lighting (inside and out), charge ports, and running water.
Chances are… this is the Turtleback you’ve seen in the wild. We see them fairly frequently. And whenever we do see the Expedition we spend a few moments dreaming about towing one around North America. It would serve as a great base camp on extended trips in our Jeep Wrangler or 4Runner.
Like its siblings the Expedition features a full steel… hot dipped 2×3 frame sitting atop 3500 pound torsion axles. But, to support and stop the extra heft you also get 2,750 pound rated springs and ten inch electric brakes.
The big upgrade, however, is the refined compartments that comprise the trailer’s body. Instead of the smaller pickup-bed-style cargo area of the Trail models, the Expedition give you a ton of well laid out and easily organized storage. They’re keyed, filled with drawers, and house some awesome systems.
We’re enamored by the plumbing… not only does it have a hot water heater, Turtleback uses really high quality fittings and such to move water around. And there’s 42 gallons of water on board. The kitchen is amazing. There are works surfaces and well thought out details everywhere… We could go on and on about what is awesome about this trailer, but Chris Cordes article/hands-on review from the spring of ’17 pretty much nails it all down.
Schutt Industries XVenture Trailers
Conqueror is not the only trailer with a military pedigree. Schutt Industries is one of, if not the, leading manufacturer of trailers for the various branches of our armed forces. If that’s not a strong enough endorsement, Schutt is also well regarded among hard-use commercial users. And, similar to the way your daily driver can benefit from the R&D poured into a race car… all of that Schutt trailer engineering trickles down to the XVenture line of trailers. Those are the ones common folk like us can get their hands on, without starting a Oil and Gas conglomerate or enlisting that is.
You may have also seen Schutt’s XVenture trailers tagging along on multiple seasons of Expedition Overland (in fact here’s a video of their awesome XV-3). It seems like it serves them well whether they’re headed for the Arctic Circle or on a trip to the southern tip of South America.
Our favorite features of the XVenture line…. a 10 year chassis warranty, Alcoa Huckbolt fasteners (instead of welds), and ultra utilitarian design (basically an awesome pickup bed). Oh and just in case you have a helicopter laying around these trailers have sling There are three basic trailers with a solid selection of packages and options in each. They’re a great value and offer a lot of non-backcountry utility to those of us with SUV’s.
The XV1 starts at just under ten thousand dollars, a pretty solid bargain if you consider what that provides. It’s similar in weights and measurements to the XV2, but is more a bit more utilitarian by design.
The unoptioned trailer weighs in at 1,200 pounds, and offers you 2,300 pounds in capacity. The overall length is 155.5 inches; while the overall width comes in at 79 inches. Inside the cargo are you’ll find 19 inches of depth, 59 inches of width, and almost 90 inches in length. Fairly similar to the interior dimensions of an F150’s bed (between the truck’s wheel wells); though not quite as deep but falling somewhere between a short and long bed in length.
There are two packages available base and “ARB.” The latter adds an ARB rooftop tent and awning as well as crossbars. The upgraded trim level will bring the price to $12,500 which is a substantial price increase. If it were our money we’d probably spend a little more on an X2 and forgo the ARB goodies. But, that’s just our opinion…
Like the other trailers in the lineup… the X1 has a selection of available options alacarte. But, since those may change from time to time we recommend that you call, email, or visit their website for those details.
The XV2 is the flagship of the line, although one could argue that the XVF flat deck now holds that honor. But, The XVF is more suited to those with ATV’s who don’t venture into difficult terrain on tight trails. So… back to the XV2.
The base XV2, will set you back almost fifteen thousand dollars. For that bump in price you’ll receive a larger front tool box, an elevating roof rack, polyurea coated chassis, and a power control center. Connected to that power control center you’ll find LED lights, a 50 amp hour battery, and provisons for up to six accessories. You’ll also get both a “110v in” shore power receptacle as well as a 110v outlet mounted to the trailer’s exterior.
There are five packages (including the base model). The top of the line XV2 deluxe hits just north of 20 grand before you start getting into the plethora of available accessories. Of which, there are plenty… check with Schutt Industries for the current upgrades and such.
Like the XV1 the base model XV3 starts at just under ten grand. If you’re embarking on an adventure that will throw tight trails your way; this might be the best trailer for you. At least when you’re shopping in the XVenture line.
The XV3 is the small trailer in the XVenture line. It measures, in overall length, roughly 2 feet shorter than the XV1 and 2 models. It’s also light… only 850 lbs without optional gear added. That’s about 350 pounds lighter than the base XV1 and 2 models.
Also smaller on this trailer is the cargo area. It offers nineteen inches of depth like its siblings, but measures a compact 49 inches wide by 65 inches long. The overall width is the same as the other trailers in the line, so that shouldn’t sway your decision at all. But… if you do have a smaller vehicle with limited towing and payload abilities (like a Wrangler or smaller), the XV3 might be the way the best option.
XVenture Trailer Reviews
If you want to see some great detail shots and a solid review be sure to check out Bruce Smith’s piece (here). He tows this awesome trailer around the even awesomer state of Oregon behind a Toyota Tacoma.
The trailer Smith toted around the Northwest was loaded… about $24k as tested. We just wish that he would have dropped it off in Bend so we could have taken it for a spin.
If you’re considering a Xventure, watch any season of Expedition Overland on Youtube. They always have a Schutt in tow. And, it’s held up very well traversing pretty much every longitudinal inch of the Western Hemisphere. If memory serves… there were only one or two issues along the way. A mechanical in Alaska and a tiny electrical problem in South America.
Bottom line… if you want to watch hours of Xventure footage (and some solid adventure travel content), check out their various seasons of high production value content on Youtube… or head directly over to their XV-3 page.