If you look online, there are “off-road camping trailers” for sale that run the gamut from affordable basic units you can adapt to expensive turnkey units. Or you can even purchase a .pdf file with plans to build your own trailer!
We have a 4×4 Roadtrek 190 Popular, which is a Class B RV (van) and people often ask us about going off-road with it. Ari has a post about that here: Off-road vs. off-roading in a Roadtrek 4×4.
The folks over at Rogue Fabrication in Sandy, Oregon offered to provide some basic ideas to consider when you’re looking to purchase an off-road camping trailer. We’re happy to provide that guest post below.
10 Things to Look for in Off-Road Camping Trailers
Off-road camping trailers are great for multiple reasons. They offer a cheap way to spend time with family and friends in the outdoors. But they come with some disadvantages, too. Here are 10 things that you should look for when you’re thinking about buying one of these tiny homes on wheels.
1. There Should be a Waterproof Floor
Wet control wires laid out on the floor can short circuit and cause major problems. Find an off-road trailer with a waterproof floor so there’s no chance anything bad can happen to your home away from home.
2. The Body Material Is Important
Knowing what kind of material is used for the body of your off-road camping trailer is important so you can tell how durable it is. The least durable material available for an off-road camper trailer is one with a steel pipe frame and a polyester cover. The most durable one is made from an aluminum pipe frame and galvanized steel tray.
3. You Need to Know What Kind of Tires are on It
While not all off-road camping trailers come with tires, they’re definitely something that you should look out for when buying. There are two types: 12-inch balloon tires or 15-inch radial tires; both of which have their pros and cons. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but make sure to research what you’re getting yourself into beforehand.
4. Some Extras Are a Nice-to-Have
Finally, while not having certain extra features shouldn’t be the end of the world, it is nice to have some extras on top of your off-road camping trailer if possible. This includes things such as awnings for protection against rain and wind, screen doors in place of more standard ones, solar panels for power when you’re away from an outlet, etc. They’ll add to your cost without adding too much weight and space so they’re definitely worth checking out.
5. You Can Find One with Everything You Need at a Price You Can Afford
The best off-road camping trailers are usually built with the right intentions. So see if you can find one designed for the single purpose of getting out there for a cheaper price than if it had been designed for multiple uses. If you need something special, then make sure to do your research! For example, you can purchase pipe benders for installation on some models. No matter what you want or need, though, there’s probably an off-road camper trailer out there that has it.
6. You Shouldn’t Have to Sacrifice Comfort & Safety
All of these 10 points might seem like common sense but there are still a lot of people who don’t consider them when buying an off-road camper trailer. Make sure to check your off-road camper trailer for each one before you buy. And this also includes basic creature comforts and how safe you will feel hauling and camping in the unit.
7. You Can Find One at Every Price Point
Off-road camping trailers come in all shapes and sizes. The only limit is how much money you want to spend on them. There are even some available for under $2000 but these usually lack many safety features. Meanwhile, those costing over $5,000 will be very heavy and bulky but safer. With enough time looking around, it is possible to find exactly what you’re looking for at a price that works for your budget.
8. Off-road Camping Trailers are Great for Travel
Off-road camping trailers are made to be mobile and durable. So it’s no surprise that you can take them almost anywhere; even on bumpy, uneven surfaces like gravel roads or unpaved trails! You just have to make sure they’re built tough enough to handle what you throw at it.
9. You Can Stay More Than One Night
From one night to a whole weekend to a week, there are off-road campers that can accommodate almost any length of time away from home. When purchasing, consider how often you’ll be living in it when determining what features you really need.
10. They’re Great for Going Off the Beaten Path
The best part about an off-road camping trailer is that it can go just about anywhere. While most people who have traditional campers will stick to going out into nature, those who take their tent camping seriously might prefer something more mobile and flexible. This is where off-road camper trailers come into the picture. They might not be as comfortable or customizable as regular camping trailers but they’re definitely more fun to go out in. And they can provide a better overall experience for those who enjoy getting away from it all by exploring wherever nature takes them.