Do you want to be able to camp off-the-grid and boondock in the great outdoors with a little bit of luxury? An off-road camper may be the right choice for you. They are built tough to withstand rough terrain but compact, so set-up is quick and easy.
There are plenty of models and sizes of off-road camper trailers. The choices can be overwhelming, but it gives campers the chance to find the trailer perfect for their adventures. Different campers have different features for different terrains, so it is important to know what your plans are in advance.
Why Should You Get an Off-Road Camper?
Off-road camper trailers are customizable to suit your needs. They come in three main styles: slide on campers, camper trailers, and hybrid caravan/campers. This means owners have plenty of options based on their camping goals.
An off-road camper is also smaller than the standard RV or camper. This makes them easier to maneuver. They also are more compact to make set-up quicker and easier. If you are an avid camper, it may be time for you to ditch the tent and upgrade to an off-road camper.
Benefits of an Off-Road Camper Trailer
Now, we’ll talk about the benefits of an off-road trailer for your next adventure.
Off-road travel trailers can be customized to suit an individual’s personal preferences. This allows someone to ensure their camper is exactly what they need for their trip. Often times add-ons include things such as showers, water tanks, kitchen appliances, etc. This helps elevate the comfort factor of the off-road camper.
As opposed to tents, campers won’t leak on you in the middle of the night if it rains. The hard-shell exterior enables you to enjoy your trip in any type of weather. Many campers are also fully-insulated to protect you from extreme temperatures.
Large Storage Capacity
Instead of shoving all your supplies into the trunk of your car, off-road campers come with plenty of storage space. Often times, there are exterior storage spaces that can lock along with interior drawers and storage under furniture. These types of campers are designed to maximize storage, so they get creative with their pop-outs, under storage, and cabinets.
Camping in Style
It’s no secret that camping in a tent can be rough. With an off-road camper trailer, you have a mattress, heat, indoor plumbing, a kitchen, and more depending on the model. Off-road campers also give you more privacy and security, so you can feel confident when you leave camp or go to bed. Campers are meant to be homes on wheels so it is important you feel comfortable in yours.
Downsides of an Off-Road Camper
Now we’ll go over some of the downsides of an off-road camper that tows behind your vehicle. You might want to consider a pop-up truck camper if you don’t feel like towing a rig.
Hard to Maneuver
Campers involve extra skill when driving; they require focus and patience. While it is not as difficult as most would think, the biggest problem is when a camper does not follow your tracks. This can lead to accidents or getting stuck on your terrain. Turns are also more difficult. It is easy to flip a camper if you take a turn too quickly or you hit something while turning.
They are Not Meant for Cities
Cities are crowded and have limited parking, making them not camper friendly. This is where detaching your camper is a viable option. If that is not an option, your best bet would be to parallel park. It can also be hard to maneuver a camper around city street corners, especially if the streets are crowded.
The Price Tag
The campers themselves can be expensive. Most off-road campers start at around $6,000 for the base model. They also prompt you to purchase more stuff which many campers may not budget for. The add-ons, while beneficial, can also rack up the cost very quickly. Pay attention to upgrade fees as well for things such as tires and other amenities.
Rent a camper before you buy (coupon included)
What to Consider Before Buying an Off-Road Camper
Because off-road campers for sale can be pricey, it is important you choose the right one to have the best experience. Make sure you do the proper research so you don’t waste your money. Here are a few things you should consider before you purchase:
Where are you going?
Different off-road campers can handle different types of terrain. You also need to determine if you have trailer access where you are going. If you don’t you may want to choose a slide on camper, or you will have to leave your trailer behind. Harsher terrain will also put more pressure on your vehicle and can cause damage. It is important to match the weight distribution for your vehicle.
How Long Will You Be Gone?
Depending on the length of your trip, you will need more storage and access to gear. Certain campers are also easier to set up and pack up than others which is another factor to consider. Off-road camper trailers and caravan hybrids have more storage than slide-on campers. Slide-on campers tend to be more minimalist.
How Many People are Going?
Slide on campers is made for singles or couples. A camper trailer is better for families with children. Caravan/camper hybrids are great as well and also can provide a comfortable indoor environment for children.
What Activities are You Planning?
If you plan on exploring your surroundings, you may need to rely on your vehicle. If that is the case, a camper that can detach from your vehicle may be the best option. Also, consider what you need to bring for said activities. Many campers have racks available as an add-on so you can bring bikes and other large equipment with you. For smaller equipment, pay attention to the storage space in the camper.
The Best Off-Road Campers for Sale Right Now
Ready to jump in the off-road camper game? Here are our top picks for the best off-road campers for sale.
View this post on Instagram
Cost: $9,395 MSRP
Weight: 775 pounds
This trailer is made to follow you to the most remote areas. It comes with an aluminum lid, trailer rack, rooftop tent, 31″ A/T Tires, 2″ ball coupler, and Manley toolbox.
It also features a 3″ mattress, LED lighting, military tested independent torsion axle, trailer stabilizer, and patented tailgate design. Available add-ons include rear hitch trailer stabilizer, lid tie-down kit, and a 3rd trailer rack uprights/ bar.
Taxa Outdoors Tiger Moth
Cost: $22,276 retail price
Weight: 1,360 pounds
The Tiger Moth camper was made to sleep two adults but has the option to add a rooftop tent for two more. The simple design is lightweight and rugged, making it a viable choice for different terrains.
Features include a full-size bed & couch, under bed storage, wireless brake controller, roof tracks, LED interior & exterior lights, freshwater tank, USB outlets, all-terrain tires (with 5-year manufacturer warranty) and more.
With all these features, this camper leaves little to be desired. Available add-ons include the rooftop tent, birch plywood camp kitchen, mesh screen door, rear awning, and a portable 2-burner stove.
2019 Topo Series Escapod
Weight: 1,600 pounds
The Topo Series off-road camper is fully insulated for your comfort. The minimalist design makes it a great choice for more difficult terrains. The base price includes rhino rack crossbars, rhino rack seven-foot awning, Goodyear Wrangler trail runner all-terrain tires, 3,000 lb. rated rear stabilizing jacks, weather-proof sealed undercarriage, and a stainless-steel countertop.
Available add-ons include solar power, two-burner stove, propane tank, water tank, water heater & shower, welded storage deck, electric brakes, and more. The add-ons available enable you to fully customize your camper to ensure it is perfect for your trip.
Terra Trek Australia
Weight: 810 kilograms- 980 kilograms (weight varies by model)
The Terra Trek Australia is designed to handle rough terrain and weather. It’s light & compact for easy maneuverability. The camper also boasts quick set up and clean up times for shorter trips.
Features include a fridge/ freezer, side access pantry, solar panel, mud terrain tires, slide out kitchen with pumped water, internal storage, outdoor twin burner cooker, and more. Some features are optional and will change the price of your camper.
Airstream Basecamp X
Weight: 2,585 pounds
The Basecamp X Airstream was made for all terrains from snow to rough woods. It is small and sleek to make set up and clean up a breeze. Features include a functioning kitchen, pull-out sofas, attachable tents, solar pre-wire kit, outdoor shower, bench storage, and more.
The Basecamp X also can be customized inside to suit your style preferences.
Boreas XT Off-Road Camper by Into the Wild Overland
Weight: 1,950 pounds
The Boreas XT off road camper trailer is made to be the perfect backcountry basecamp. It is specifically designed to handle sandy, muddy, rocky, and other rough terrains. The camper is envisioned to hold all the supplies you may need.
Exterior features include electric brakes, aluminum roof rack, fiberglass exterior, instant hot water shower, LED lights, rear stabilizer jacks, and more. The interior boasts PVC cabinetry, memory foam queen bed, full insulation, air furnace, and a USB power source.
The camper also boasts a pull-out galley complete with a 2-burner propane stove, sink, electric refrigerator/ freezer, freshwater pump, and more.
Schutt XVenture XV2
Weight: 1,200 pounds
The XV1 is crafted with aircraft grade aluminum, making it durable in extreme climates. Every trailer, even different models, are backed by a 10-year factory warranty. Each one is made in the USA and is designed with military engineering basics.
Features include a heavy-duty fold-down tailgate, max coupler hitch, large toolbox, LED lighting, and electric brakes. Add-ons available are the water system, propane system, water heater, lighting systems, and power upgrade.
Turtleback Trailers Expedition Trailer
Weight: 1,300 pounds
The expedition trailer is the largest trailer Turtleback offers. It can accommodate up to 6 people, making it an option for families. The water tank holds up to 48 gallons and the entire camper has 50+ cubic feet of storage. Features include a shower, stove, slide-out kitchen, steel fold-down tables, LED lighting, standard roof rack, electric, and more. There are also inverters, solar systems, awnings, and tire upgrades available to add-on.
Colorado Basedrop Teardrop Camper
Weight: 1,000 pounds
The aluminum frame makes this camper lightweight and durable. It is designed around a full-size queen mattress for your comfort. This camper is so lightweight, it can be towed by cars with small engines. Every trailer comes with a 1-year warranty.
The Basedrop is a very bare bones camper with plenty of upgrades available. This includes LED lights, solar generator, solar panel, front cargo rack, water tank with a hand pump, hot water/ shower, small tent, memory foam mattress, propane tank, and more.
Hickory Expedition Trailer
Weight: 1,200 pounds
The Hickory was designed with convenience and durability in mind. It has an aluminum body for strength and tube fenders for maneuverability around trees and over rocks. Every Hickory trailer comes with an aluminum tongue box which can be modified to suit your specific needs. The base model includes off-road tires, a urethane coating, adjustable hitch, LED lighting, battery breakaway and safety chains, and four jacks.
The camper also has the option to add on a roof rack for added storage. Other add-ons include two different water packages, two different propane packages, solar package, portable solar package, shower package, power package, heat & AC package, and more.
Where to go in your new off-road camper trailer
If you’re looking for some incredible places to go boondocking in your Jeep camper, you might want to check out these amazing boondocking guides.
These guides are written by frugal RVer Marianne Edwards and are a wealth of information. Marianne and her husband have been traveling by RV for eighteen years, and have scouted out most of these boondocking locations themselves.
The books give details on the elevation, view, cell phone service and how to get there. Plus, they won’t cost you more than a single night in a campsite.
So far, Marianne has written six boondocking guides, which are all updated on a regular basis. I’ve purchased the guide to Southwest Utah as I want to camp there soon, and am planning on buying more guides.
Here are the boondocking guides you can get:
- RV Boondocking in Arizona
- California Boondocking: The Sierra Nevada Mountains and Coast
- California Boondocking: The Desert and Eastern Sierra
- Boondocking in Southern Utah
- RV Boondocking in Southern Texas
- Boondocking in New Mexico
Conclusion on the best off-road campers for sale
While you may want to buy the first camper you see, it is important to stop and evaluate your needs. The camper you choose can make or break your trip.
Always do thorough research and be specific with what you’re looking for. There are plenty of options out there but not all of them are right for you. It may be beneficial to speak with a dealer who can help evaluate which off-road camper suits your needs best.
Some campers can also come with a hefty price tag, so pay attention to what the camper includes and what is actually an add on. You should also take into account what you will have to buy to stock the camper; the cost adds up quickly and you don’t want to go into debt over your camper.
Camping should be an enjoyable experience; an off-road camper may be the key to taking your trips to the next level!
Other stories you’ll love:
- The best teardrop trailers for sale
- The 7 best pop-up campers
- 9 unique and small campers under 3,000 pounds
Kristin Hanes is a journalist and writer who lives on a sailboat and in a Chevy Astro van in San Francisco. She worked in radio news for 15 years before a massive layoff in 2016. Kristin has written articles about alternative living published in Good Housekeeping, Business Insider, Marie Claire, SF Gate and The Bold Italic, among others.