The ultimate RV guide to lightweight and rugged off-grid camping trailers for those who seek adventure far beyond where the pavement ends

Exploring places off the beaten path has always been part of the American spirit. While our pioneering forebearers used horses to take them to their destinations, we rely on pickups, SUVs and crossover vehicles. They camped under the stars in tents, stored their gear in wagons and cooked over campfires. Today, we can easily get into the backcountry with small but rugged camping trailers and enjoy sleeping on thick mattresses and cooking meals on LP-gas camp stoves.

See Related Story: On-Road Tiny Trailers: Camping Small and Light

Orange Read More button

The camping life was good back in the olden days, but it’s so much better now, and there’s a tiny trailer for just about everyone’s taste and budget. If you are into camping where the pavement ends and the adventures begin, dozens of off-road models — also known as “overlanding” or “expedition” trailers — have sprung up lately, each with its own style and special features.

Manufacturers from Canada, Australia and Europe are now importing these tiny towables, competing with many made here in the United States, which gives buyers who are looking for mini off-road trailers a wide range of choices in price, design and features.

Rear door of XOC trailer up showing galley.
Like many traditional teardrop trailers, some off-road trailers, like the Vorsheer XOC (pictured), feature exterior rear galleys.

Camping Off the Grid

What makes this type of trailer ideal for off-road camping is that they ride on robust frames and axles, and run 30-inch or taller all-terrain or traction tires that provide excellent ground clearance. Whatever the body style, they all focus on maximizing the small space to carry everything from camp stoves to fuel, groceries and gear, all stored or secured in a variety of slide-out, fold-out and pop-up configurations.

Bruce W. Smith’s monthly Tiny Trailer posts go into depth on many of these models.

Orange Read More button

Nearly all come equipped with a rooftop tent (RTT) or are designed to accommodate one as an option. Many come equipped with or have options for such things as awnings, refrigerators, LP-gas camp stoves and heating systems, portable generators, solar panels, hot-water heaters and external showers.

Customizing these tiny trailers and adapting them to individual needs has garnered the attention of outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. While some models are fully equipped, most start with the bare essentials, leaving the buyer to pick and choose from a laundry list of options. These can easily add another $3,000, $5,000 or more to the base price, and also increase the weight of the trailer.

Towing with a Range of Vehicles

Beyond the reasonable price tags of these mini trailers and their ability to be stored in the average garage, they are light enough to be pulled by just about any tow-ready compact SUV or midsize pickup, and many crossovers, be they two-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive. Most are less than 15 feet in overall length, so it’s easy to maneuver them in tight confines. These trailers also have narrow wheelbases, which means they can be towed over a wide variety of 4×4 trails and backcountry roads where conventional travel trailers would never be taken.

Off-road trailers typically range in unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) between 1,200 and 2,600 pounds, with the majority having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 3,500 pounds or less. Finding an off-road tiny trailer to fit the manufacturer’s tow rating of your vehicle should be just as easy as finding one that fits your adventuresome lifestyle.

We’ve highlighted 15 of our favorite off-road tiny trailers here, as well as listing a number of other manufacturers that are building them for this burgeoning market.


BEAN TRAILER

Utah-based Bean Trailer builds teardrop trailers for on-road and off-road applications. According to the company, Bean is the only tiny trailer in the country that claims the roofline of the one-piece fiberglass shell will never leak and backs it with a limited lifetime warranty. The Mean Bean is Bean’s premium off-road model, with Timbren axle-less suspension. Among other features, the Mean Bean offers powder-coated stand-on aluminum fenders and rock sliders to add greater protection and accessibility.

Blue Mean Bean trailer at forest campsiteExterior Length: 14′
Exterior Width: 7′ 2″
Exterior Height: 6′ 9″
Interior Width: 5′
Interior Height: 4′ 5″Bed/Sleeping Area: 78x58x4.5″
Construction: Fiberglass, steel, aluminum
Electrical: 12V DC/120V AC, solar-ready option
Tires: 245/75R15
Ground Clearance: 12″
Freshwater Cap.: 19 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal.
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,850 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 200 lbs
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $16,895
www.beantrailer.com


BOREAS

Colorado-based Boreas (formerly Into the Wild Overland) offers two fully equipped models, the Boreas XT and the Boreas MXT, and a new entry-level trailer, the Boreas AT. “Don’t call it a base model,” says Boreas’ Matt Reichel. The customizable Boreas AT comes standard with a 12-volt DC/120-volt AC electrical system, 125 amp-hour battery and Timbren independent suspension, and is built with the company’s Zero Wood construction process.

Into the Wild Overland trailer towed off road up a mountain.Exterior Length: 15′ 3″
Exterior Width: 7′
Exterior Height: 6′ 3″
Interior Width: 5′
Interior Height: 4′
Bed/Sleeping Area: 57″x80″
Construction: Aluminum, fiberglass, composites, steel
Electrical: 12V DC/120V AC, solar-ready optional
Tires: 235/85R16 BGF ATs
Ground Clearance: 20″
Freshwater Cap.: N/A
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal. optional
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,850 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 195 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $18,900
www.boreascampers.com


CRAWLORADO OFFROAD

Designed with dual-rate independent suspension, Colorado-built Crawlorado Offroad trailers are made for serious off-roaders and tested on some of the toughest trails the Rocky Mountains have to offer. The custom-built Crawlorado is constructed with boxed steel frames and as much aluminum diamond plate as possible, and the company claims they are virtually indestructible. The customer specifies the tire and wheel combo, RTT, paint color and other options.

Orange Jeep towing Crawlorado trailer with aspen trees in background.Exterior Length: 10′ 6″
Exterior Width: 6′ 4″ outside of fenders
Exterior Height: 6’+, depending on selected tire size
Interior Width: 3′ 10″
Interior Height: 2′ 6″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 2-, 3- and 4-person configurations depending on RTT
Construction: Steel, aluminum
Electrical: 12V DC/120V AC, solar-ready
Tires: Match tow vehicle
Ground Clearance: 20″+/- depending on tire size
Freshwater Cap.: 6 gal.
Gray-Water Cap.: Optional
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal.
Axle Rating: 2,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,400 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 110 lbs.
GVWR: 2,400 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $9,500
www.crawloradooffroad.com


ESCAPADE CAMPER COMPANY

Built in Litchfield, Minnesota, Escapade campers come in two 15-foot models, the Backcountry and Backcountry X. Each is available in three exterior widths (5, 5½ and 6 feet), so you can select how much interior space you want. All sit on a welded 2-by-3-inch tubular-steel trailer frame with a proprietary integrated trailer tongue built to withstand the toughest terrain. Timbren axle-less suspension and Falken Wildpeak A/T3W tires come standard on both models. Options are aplenty.
Silver Escapade trailer with doors open at dusk.Exterior Length: 15′
Exterior Width: 6′ 8″/7′ 2″/7′ 8″
Exterior Height: 6′ 5″
Interior Width:   4′ 10″/5′ 4″/5′ 10″
Interior Height:  3′ 10″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 58″x80″/64″x80″/70″x80″
Construction: Aluminum, steel, wood
Electrical: 12V DC/120V AC, solar-ready
Tires: 235/75R15
Ground Clearance: 16″
Freshwater Cap.: 3.9 gal., pressurized optional
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 or 10 gal.
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,400 lbs./1,550 lbs./1,700 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 190-210 lbs.
GVWR: 2,990 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $12,990
www.escapadecampers.com


FOREST RIVER

One of the first big RV manufacturers to embrace the off-the-grid-trailer crowd was Forest River with its No Boundaries line. The No Boundaries 10.6 is a versatile trailer with a rear ramp door and many options that can be added, like the NoBo Nest RTT, Batwing Awning and roof kayak rack. With nearly a ton of cargo carrying capacity on the 10.6, you can fit an assortment of toys inside and out for an adventure-packed weekend.

No Boundaries trailer with orange kayak and rooftop tent.Exterior Length: 13′ 10″
Exterior Width: 7′ 4″
Exterior Height: 7′ 5″ (includes A/C)
Interior Width: 5′
Interior Height: 4′ 6″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 60″x82″
Construction: Composites, aluminum, steel
Electrical: 12V DC/120V AC, solar-ready
Tires: 245/75R15
Ground Clearance: 13″
Freshwater Cap.: 30 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal.
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,763 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 236 lbs.
GVWR: 3,736 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $13,804
www.forestriverinc.com


HIGH ALTITUDE TRAILER COMPANY

“Go anywhere, do anything” is the motto of Colorado-based High Altitude Trailer Company (HAT). The solid-foam-core-composite trailer body of its XT50 has no seams or rivets to work loose over the roughest backcountry trails, and the trailer features a Timbren axle-less suspension. Interior cabinets and exterior storage provide plenty of space for your belongings, and the galley offers ample space to prepare and cook meals. A trifold 4½-inch-thick memory-foam queen bed keeps you comfy at night.

Parked XT50 trailer with rear door open and slide-out extended.Exterior Length: 16′
Exterior Width: 7′ (fender to fender)
Exterior Height: 6′ 9″
Interior Width: 4′ 10″
Interior Height: 4′ 2″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 78″x58″
Construction: Fiberglass, composites, steel
Electrical: 12V DC, solar
Tires: 31×10.50R15
Ground Clearance: 19″
Freshwater Cap.: N/A
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 or 10 gal. optional
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,700 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 150 lbs.
GVWR: 2,990 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $18,400
www.highaltitudetrailer.com


HIGHLAND EXPEDITION OUTFITTERS

Based in Tennessee, Highland Expedition Outfitters (HEO) builds two extremely lightweight all-aluminum trailers, the original 8½-foot-long T3, which weighs a mere 600 pounds (dry) and the new 10-foot-long T3.5, which tips the scales at just 800 pounds (dry). Each HEO T3.5 is custom built and comes standard with independent suspension, a Lock ’N’ Roll three-axis coupler, and a side and rear sliding cargo tray.

Highland Expedition trailer with awning extended.Exterior Length: 10′
Exterior Width: 6′ 2″
Exterior Height: 6′ 7″
Interior Width: 4′
Interior Height: 6′
Bed/Sleeping Area: 72″x96″
Construction: Aluminum
Electrical: Solar-ready
Tires: 31×10.5R15 and up to 35″
Ground Clearance: 18″ (depending on tire size)
Freshwater Cap.: 10 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 10 gal.
Axle Rating: 2,200 lbs.
UVW: 800 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 95 lbs.
GVWR: 2,200 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $9,500
www.heotrailers.com


NUTHOUSE INDUSTRIES

Ohio-based Nuthouse Industries builds everything from expedition-style flatbeds and toy haulers to off-road teardrops and RTT trailers. The Hickory Expedition RTT is a hardcore off-road trailer with tube fenders that are able to pivot around trees and slide over rocks. Like other Nuthouse products, it’s constructed from extruded and fully welded aluminum materials. The trailers are modular so the many options can be added over time or bought as a complete overlanding package.

Hickory trailer towed off road.Exterior Length: 12′
Exterior Width: 6′ 6″
Exterior Height: 7′
Interior Width: 3′ 10″
Interior Height: 1′ 11″
Bed/Sleeping Area: Dependent on optional RTT system
Construction: Aluminum
Electrical: 12V DC/120V AC, solar optional
Tires: 31×10.50R17/up to 37″ optional
Ground Clearance: 20″ or more depending on tire package
Freshwater Cap.: 20 or 40 gal. optional
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal. optional
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,200 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 195 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $16,454
www.nuthouseindustries.com


OFF GRID TRAILERS

Outfitted with Timbren suspension, the Expedition 2.0 is Off Grid Trailer’s most rugged off-road model. This heavy-duty and customizable trailer is built in Edmonton, Alberta, to tackle tough off-road conditions. It comes with a side galley, Dometic 12-volt DC fridge, dual batteries, 1,000-watt inverter, on-demand hot-water system and 31-gallon freshwater tank. Each trailer is built to specific customer’s needs utilizing a long list of options that includes custom roof racks and Overland Vehicle RTT systems.

Expedition trailer on sand in front of blue water.Exterior Length: 13′ 10″
Exterior Width: 7′ 5″
Exterior Height: 6′ 7″
Interior Width: 4′ 9″
Interior Height: 3′ 10″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 78.5″x56.5″
Construction: Aluminum, steel, fiberglass, space-age synthetics
Electrical: 12V DC/120V AC, solar-ready
Tires: 265/70R17 Toyo Open Country ATII
Ground Clearance: 21″
Freshwater Cap.: 31 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal.
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,800 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 290 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $26,900
www.offgridtrailers.com


OPUS CAMPER

Founded in Australia, Opus builds a lightweight expanding tent trailer like no other. The Air Opus OP4 has an insulated aluminum body and features the company’s self-inflating tent system, which operates via an onboard air compressor. Rolling on an independent torsion suspension, the OP4 sleeps six, has massive skylights and a tall ceiling. It comes ready to go with an exterior slide-out galley, four-burner cookstove and extended countertop. At each end is a 68-by-50-inch bed with a wrap-around leatherette lounge/bed in the center. Options abound.

Opus Camper with roof extended at campsite with sunset in background.Exterior Length: 18′ 4″
Exterior Width: 6′ 10″
Exterior Height: 4′ 9″
Interior Width: 6′ 10″ (open)
Interior Height: 8′ (open)
Bed/Sleeping Area: Two 68″x50″ and lounge convertible to king
Construction: Aluminum, water-proofed wood, space-age synthetics
Electrical: 12V DC/120V AC, solar-ready
Tires: 245/75R15
Ground Clearance: 13″
Freshwater Cap.: 40 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal.
Axle Rating: 4,000 lbs.
UVW: 2,870 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 220 lbs.
GVWR: 3,970 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $28,995
www.opuscamper.us


SCHUTT INDUSTRIES

Wisconsin-based Schutt Industries makes durable, innovative cargo trailers for military and civilian use. The Xventure XV-3 has been “civilianized” to give off-road adventurers comfortable nights at a basecamp deep in the mountains, desert or backcountry. Built with military-grade hardware, Huck-bolt construction and an aluminum cargo bed, the XV-3 is backed by an industry-leading 10-year chassis warranty. Options abound, including the choice of Cascadia, Eezi-Awn or James Baroud USA RTT systems to place on the elevated rack.

Venture trailer with rooftop tend up and awning extended.Exterior Length: 10′ 11″
Exterior Width: 6′ 7″
Exterior Height: 5′ 5″
Interior Width: N/A
Interior Height: N/A
Bed/Sleeping Area: Depends on size of RTT
Construction: Aluminum
Electrical: 12V DC power system, solar-ready
Tires: 235/80R16; capable of running up to 35″ tires
Ground Clearance: 15″ or higher with taller tire options
Freshwater Cap.: 22 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal.
Axle Rating: 2,300 lbs.
UVW: 850 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 230 lbs.
GVWR: 2,300 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $15,995
www.schuttindustries.com


TAXA OUTDOORS

Based in Texas, Taxa Outdoors builds lightweight trailers for on- and off-highway use. The rugged, fully equipped Cricket Overland Edition has everything needed for off-road adventures including integrated plumbing and a 12-volt DC electrical system. Taxa’s NASA-inspired design and flip-up roof create sleeping room for two adults and up to two children. The dry weight of 1,800 pounds is a good match for many four- and six-cylinder tow vehicles.

Cricket Overland trailer at rustic campsite with mountain ridge in background.Exterior Length: 15′
Exterior Width: 6′ 7″
Exterior Height: 7′ 4″ closed, 9′ 7″ open
Interior Width: 5′ 3″
Interior Height: 4′ 2″ closed, 6′ 10″ open
Bed/Sleeping Area: 59″x75″
Construction: Aluminum, composites, wood, steel
Electrical: 12V DC, solar-ready
Tires: 225/75R16
Ground Clearance: 17″
Freshwater Cap.: 15 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: 16 gal.
LP-Gas Cap.: 10 gal.
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,800 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 175 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $36,900
www.taxaoutdoors.com


TENTRAX

Brent Nelson bought Tentrax in 2019, moving production to Georgia where the product line, which started in 2001, is being modernized and expanded. Tentrax trailers are built with reinforced fiberglass bodies and heavy-duty steel frames. The Ascend, with a Dexter Torflex suspension system, has a built-in tent and 35 cubic feet of lockable dry storage. The company offers many customization options, including matching automotive-grade paint.

Tentrax trailer and Jeep in front of redrock pinnacles.Exterior Length: 9′
Exterior Width: 6′ 8″
Exterior Height: 4′ 8″ closed, 8′ open
Interior Width: 5′
Interior Height: 4′
Bed/Sleeping Area: 53″x90″
Construction: Fiberglass body, steel frame
Electrical: 12V DC/120V AC, solar-ready
Tires: 31×10.50R17, up to 37″ optional
Ground Clearance: 22″ or more depending on tire package
Freshwater Cap.: 8 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal.
Axle Rating: 2,200 lbs.
UVW: 600 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 50 lbs.
GVWR: 2,200 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $6,995
www.tentrax.com


THREE FEATHERS MANUFACTURING

Among off-road trailer manufacturers springing up across the Pacific Northwest is Three Feathers Manufacturing based in La Grande, Oregon. Of the company’s four models, the 14-foot, 10-inch Trail Head is the largest. The Trail Head comes ready to camp with a 3,500-pound-rated Dexter axle with the leaf springs placed on top to maximize ground clearance for the trailer bottom and durable off-road tires for those rough roads. The options list includes a five-person RTT, portable LP-gas furnace, rubber roof, spare tire and carrier, and on-demand hot-water system.

Trail Head trailer with rooftop tent up and evergreen trees behind it.Exterior Length: 14′ 10″
Exterior Width: 7′
Exterior Height: 7′ 5″
Interior Width: 4′ 8″
Interior Height: 3′ 9″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 56″x64″
Construction: Aluminum, fiberglass, wood, steel
Electrical: 12V DC/120V AC, solar-ready optional
Tires: 235/75R15
Ground Clearance: 22″
Freshwater Cap.: 26 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal. optional
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,680 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 190 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $8,995
www.3feathersmfg.com


VORSHEER

Utah-based Vorsheer builds off-road trailers with class-leading ground clearance — 23 inches on the stock 33-inch all-terrain tires, and more than 25 inches on optional 37s. Vorsheer XOC trailers with Timbren axle-less suspension have a rugged, powder-coated steel frame that uses slanted 2-by-4-inch tubes at the front of the trailer and a 3-by-5-inch steel tube for the rear bumper. Four 2-by-3-inch cross members add rigidity. The interior is made from Baltic birch and includes hardwood cabinets in the cabin and rear galley.

Rear view of XOC trailer being towed on dirt.Exterior Length: 15′
Exterior Width: 7′ 6″ (fender to fender)
Exterior Height: 7′
Interior Width: 5′
Interior Height: 3′ 10″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 59″x80″
Construction: Aluminum, wood, steel
Electrical: 12V DC/120V AC, solar-ready optional
Tires: 285/70R17 (upgrade up to 37″)
Ground Clearance: 23″
Freshwater Cap.: 30 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 7 gal.
Axle Rating: 5,200 lbs.
UVW: 2,600 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 170 lbs.
GVWR: 5,200 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $29,999
www.vorsheer.com


More Off-Road Tiny Trailers to Take You There

Bear Trailersports, www.beartrailersports.com

Bivouac Camping Trailers, www.moabaz.com

Black Series, www.blackseriescamper.com

Blue Ridge Expedition Trailers, www.brxtrailers.com

BorderLand Trailers, www.borderlandtrailers.com

Campa, www.campausa.com

Cascadia Vehicle Tents/CVT, www.cascadiatents.com

Colorado Teardrops, www.coloradoteardropcamper.com

Compact Camping Concepts, www.compactcampingconcepts.com

Crux Expedition Trailers, www.cruxexpeditiontrailers.com

Extreme Teardrops, www.extremeteardrops.com

Hiker Trailer, www.hikertrailers.com

Hive Campers, www.hivecampers.com

Kakadu Camping, www.kakaducamping.com

Lead Dog Motorsports, www.leaddogmotorsports.com

Manley ORV, www.manleyorv.com

New Wave Teardrop, www.newwaveteardrop.com

Oregon Trail’R, www.oregontrailer.net

Overland Trailer, www.overlandtrailer.com

RBX Rockbox Offroad, www.rockboxoffroad.com

So-Cal Teardrops, www.socalteardrops.com

TC Teardrops, www.tcteardrops.com

Teardrops NW, www.teardropsnw.com

Terra Trek Trailers, www.terratrektrailers.com

Timberleaf Camping Trailers, www.timberleaftrailers.com

Turtleback Trailers, www.turtlebacktrailers.com

Vintage Trailer Works, www.vintagetrailerworksinc.com

VMI Off Road, www.vmioffroad.com

Xtreme Outdoors, www.goxtoutdoors.com


Bruce W. Smith head shot with tan capA respected automotive and RV journalist and longtime Trailer Life contributor, Bruce W. Smith has held numerous editorial titles at automotive and boating magazines, and authored more than 1,000 articles, from tech to trailering. He considers his home state of Oregon a paradise for RVing and outdoor adventure.


LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here