Off-road camper trailer: is it worth buying
Perhaps there is no doubt that traveling in a four-wheel drive car gives you much more freedom and the opportunity to explore different places. And when you have a bed, a kitchen and even a toilet with you, then you are provided with wonderful impressions of the rest.
Off-road camper trailer (or off-road caravan) – this is a great opportunity to discover the world of adventure and the most beautiful corners of the country – who does not like to climb where there are no other people and be alone with nature?
Fans of road trips in recent years know firsthand about our roads and how difficult it is sometimes to get to a particular lake, river, and even a popular attraction. Due to the climatic conditions and the quality of the roads, you quickly realize that for good travel you need at least an all-wheel drive car.
Conventional or off-road caravan?
Off-road camper trailers are similar to their on-road counterparts, but have a few key differences that allow them to travel off-road. At a minimum, this is a reinforced chassis, a powerful frame, spring suspension and suitable tires so that the trailer has good grip on the surface and makes it easier to tow the car. Many models are also equipped with an inertial braking system.
It should be borne in mind that such options and stronger materials cost extra money. Therefore, off-road trailers are more expensive. Before buying, ask yourself the question, do you really need a trailer capable of off-road driving? If you just occasionally get out to the lake or into the forest, maybe a regular camper trailer can handle it?
Is my car suitable for off-road?
First of all, it’s not even about the weight of the trailer and the towing capacity of the car, but simply about your car. Is it suitable for off-road driving? Because if this is an ordinary crossover that drives well in the area where you like to relax, maybe a simple camper trailer will do just fine here.
If you are a happy owner of a good SUV, then you need to know the towing capacity of your car. This concerns not only the total weight that the SUV can pull, but also the type of transmission, axle strength and engine power. Will the brake system allow you to tow a trailer in mountainous and hilly terrain?
All these characteristics can be found in the user manual for the car or on the manufacturer’s website.
The off-road caravan itself
Camper trailer type
Camper trailers are divided into two types: with a soft floor (tent trailer) and with a hard floor. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, you can read about it here:
The main difference is material and weight. The one that turns into a tent weighs less, it is easier to tow, but it also takes longer to assemble. An off-road caravan with a hard floor weighs more, but it is also more comfortable – it can store things, as well as better sound and heat insulation.
If you decide to buy an off-road camper trailer, then pay attention to the materialsused in the construction. Good body cladding (for example, from composite aluminum), spring suspension and underbody protection are a necessary minimum for off-road.
You also need to pay attention to whether the trailer is well built. How are small parts fixed – glued or bolted? Will nothing fall off when the trailer goes into serious off-road and shakes it?
An important point is the tightness of the off-road camper trailer. It is clear that it must be built so that water does not get there, but what about dust? After all, you don’t buy such a model in order to always park on a green lawn near the lake. And after driving kilometers of dusty roads, it will be unpleasant if everything inside is also covered in dust.
Study how the kitchen, bed and toilet (if available) are built. Of course, good experienced companies in this business know how to build off-road trailers, but it’s always worth seeing for yourself. Won’t all the kitchen drawers open and the bed fall down while driving? Are there any special straps for fastening, etc.
How much does an off-road camper trailer cost?
The range of prices among trailers is quite large. If we consider new models, then what immediately catches your eye is the off-road trailer of the Laggar Company (from 467,000 rubles) or the Sandtrekker Company (from 1,200,000 rubles ), which also offers trailers for rent. Many other manufacturers do not publish the price on the site, but offer to place an order – but without a preliminary price, you don’t seem to know how much it can cost …
Can you drive off-road with a trailer?
If we are talking about serious off-road, then many even very experienced drivers in this matter know that driving an SUV without and with a trailer is not the same thing. Remember that you are dragging an extra ton behind you, which on a flat road will not play a special role.
But having left on ice, mud or a mountain path with cobblestones, you will immediately notice the difference. If you’ve never towed a trailer before, it’s a good idea to do a few practice rides before going wild to get a feel for both your car and off-road camper trailer.
A well-chosen and well-designed off-road camper trailer is able to give freedom to the most sophisticated travelers, because with it you can really climb anywhere. This is especially true for recent travel with the quality of our roads.
After all, it is not in vain that in countries such as Australia or the USA this is a favorite type of camper – there, too, if you want to get somewhere, you need a suitable vehicle and you won’t be able to travel on anything. The current market also has different models in different price ranges. To understand which one is better to choose, it is worth reading the reviews of other people and understanding how the trailer behaves during operation.