Rugged teardrop trailer spreads its gullwings deep into the wild

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Not a bad place to set up camp(Credit: Inka Outdoor)

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The Venture OHV (off highway vehicle) teardrop trailer from North Carolina's Inka Outdoor makes an immediate impression, whether on-highway or off. Its gullwing doors give it a distinct look, while a rugged chassis and build allow it to go places other trailers wouldn't dare. Thoughtful features and plenty of customization options ready it for a comfortable stay off the beaten track.

The thing we love about camping vehicles, particularly small trailers, is that every major manufacturer, startup and DIY amateur has their own idea about how to best pack up a few people and all the provisions they'll need to survive a few nights, weeks or months and get them there out there, whether by paved road or exposed dirt and rock. And everyone's idea is just a little different, so even when a trailer uses a form we've seen a million times before – say, a teardrop body – there are a few details that stand out.

The Venture OHV, full given name: Venture OHV Rough Ridge Edition, exemplifies this theme well. We almost passed the trailer over because we've seen off-road teardrop trailers many times before, with the likes of the Vintage Overland and Moby1 XTR. But then we looked a little closer, checked out the spec sheet and found a few details that make the Venture OHV an original. These details add up to a package that looks greater than the sum of its parts.

The first feature that really pops out on the Venture is its gullwing doors. We looked at the Mogo Freedom not so long ago, but the vast majority of small trailers we've covered, particularly teardrops, use traditional, side-hinged doors. That includes all the off-road teardrops we saw at the recent Overland Expo West. Gullwing teardrops have been done before, but they're not that common, especially on a model with the Venture OHV's off-road chops.

According to Inka Outdoor managing partner Mike Stanford, the gullwings offer a few advantages. Coupled with a seamless hinge, the doors offer some protection from rain and other weather. They also provide for large side entryways. Most importantly to fingers, ankles and other extremities, the wind won't blow them shut, as it could with a traditional door. And, of course, they look pretty cool, too.

Inka does a lot within the confined cabin of its teardrop, offering storage and organization by way of eight cabinets and two shelves. The 81 x 60-in (206 x 152-cm) sleeping area supports two with a 7-in-thick (17.8-cm-thick) queen-sized mattress. Overhead LED lighting and dual LED reading lamps handle illumination, and a 12V outlet and dual USB ports let you tap into the 55 Ah AGM battery. There's also a 120V AC outlet for when the trailer is hooked to the grid via its shore connection. The cabin has 46 in (117 cm) of headroom at the peak.

The Venture also has one of the more complete galleys we've seen in a teardrop, offering plenty of space to cook, prep and store. It includes a 60-in (152-cm) stainless steel counter top, a two-burner propane stove and a stainless steel sink piped into the pressurized water system and 10-gal (38-L) tank. Below the counter, a central slide-out tray is sized to hold a fridge/freezer or cooler. There's also a cubby for a microwave or convection oven (for use with generator or shore power) and up to seven cabinets for plenty more storage. Remote controlled LEDs help out when cooking after sundown, and dual USB ports, a 12V outlet and two 120V outlets supply power.

In case a stove and microwave don't give you enough cooking capacity, Inka also offers an optional grill rack, which mounts to a 1.25-in receiver in the frame and holds a Weber Q 1000 grill. The grill rack and its mounting hardware fold up and pack away when not in use. Inka says that it can also make customize mounts for other grills, tables and more.

Below all that storage, sleeping and cooking stands an 11-gauge rectangular tube chassis and dual trailing arm suspension system with Firestone Ride-Rite air springs and Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks. The 15-in crawler steel wheels are wrapped up in 32-in BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires, and that package is tucked below 11-gauge aluminum diamond-plate fenders. Braking is provided by the standard 10-in electric drum brakes or available disc brakes. Steel skid plates protect critical underbody areas, and rock rails protect the trailer sides. A 2-in rear receiver can hold a bike rack or carrier.

The trailer's body construction is based on the same epoxied wood-fiberglass fabricated construction Inka uses for its Brevard Hustler road trailer, but reinforced for off-road duties. Inka says that it's added glass layers and extra epoxy-composite reinforcements, reinforced the corners, and sealed up the floor pan.

The Venture OHV teardrop measures 172.5 in (438 cm) long, including frame and coupler, stands about 83 in (211 cm) from the ground to the top of the roof rails. It has a 76.5-in (194-cm) track and offers 17 in (43 cm) of ground clearance (up to 19 in/48 cm possible). Empty weight slides in around 1,500 lb (680 kg).

Inka began showing the Venture OHV at the 2016 Easter Jeep Safari back in March. The trailer starts at US$17,995. Although Inka's website has a lengthy options list, Stanford says it's a bit out of date and suggests interested parties contact the company directly for current information.

Source: Inka Outdoor

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