Outdoors

Bruder EXP-4 camping trailer marries cinder block toughness with teardrop coziness

Bruder EXP-4 camping trailer m...
The Bruder EXP-4 has a rugged composite body built for all-terrain exploration
The Bruder EXP-4 has a rugged composite body built for all-terrain exploration
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Like the EXP-6, the Bruder EXP-4 relies on a custom-built adjustable air suspension for eating up bumps and adjusting clearance
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Like the EXP-6, the Bruder EXP-4 relies on a custom-built adjustable air suspension for eating up bumps and adjusting clearance
Seeing if the Bruder EXP-4 will take off in flight
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Seeing if the Bruder EXP-4 will take off in flight
The Bruder EXP-4 has a rugged composite body built for all-terrain exploration
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The Bruder EXP-4 has a rugged composite body built for all-terrain exploration
Bruder keeps awning options open, offering power awnings, wraparound batwing awnings, manual awnings, etc.
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Bruder keeps awning options open, offering power awnings, wraparound batwing awnings, manual awnings, etc.
Bruder hit the scene with the EXP-6 back in 2016 and adds the smaller, less pricey EXP-4 this month
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Bruder hit the scene with the EXP-6 back in 2016 and adds the smaller, less pricey EXP-4 this month
The EXP-4 includes chassis-integrated recovery points, and Bruder offers an optional winch
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The EXP-4 includes chassis-integrated recovery points, and Bruder offers an optional winch
Powering through land and water with the Bruder EXP-4 in tow
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Powering through land and water with the Bruder EXP-4 in tow
Bruder fully seals its chassis, leaving no holes or entry points, so that water, dirt and grit won't eat it away from the inside out
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Bruder fully seals its chassis, leaving no holes or entry points, so that water, dirt and grit won't eat it away from the inside out
It's there somewhere ...
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It's there somewhere ...
The EXP-4 layout reminds us of a teardrop trailer or similar style small camper, with a cabin-footprint bed and storage cubbies, but it's much roomier than average
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The EXP-4 layout reminds us of a teardrop trailer or similar style small camper, with a cabin-footprint bed and storage cubbies, but it's much roomier than average
The tailgate doubles as a kitchen roof
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The tailgate doubles as a kitchen roof
Looks like the perfect time to get cooking for a sunset meal
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Looks like the perfect time to get cooking for a sunset meal
The EXP-4 body measures just over 13.1 feet (4 m), while the full trailer with drawbar measures just under 16.4 feet (5 m)
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The EXP-4 body measures just over 13.1 feet (4 m), while the full trailer with drawbar measures just under 16.4 feet (5 m)
The EXP-4 comes standard with an outdoor shower, and hot water is available optionally 
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The EXP-4 comes standard with an outdoor shower, and hot water is available optionally 
The Bruder EXP-4 braves rugged tracks to let you set up camp wherever you desire
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The Bruder EXP-4 braves rugged tracks to let you set up camp wherever you desire
The tailgate kitchen offers plenty of work space, and if you need extra, the two drop-down storage compartment doors double as tables
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The tailgate kitchen offers plenty of work space, and if you need extra, the two drop-down storage compartment doors double as tables
The Bruder EXP-4 looks like a nice family small trailer thanks to its large main bed, extra raised bed and roof-top tent compatibility
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The Bruder EXP-4 looks like a nice family small trailer thanks to its large main bed, extra raised bed and roof-top tent compatibility
Interestingly, while Bruder does include a built-in fridge, it leaves the stove up to the buyer
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Interestingly, while Bruder does include a built-in fridge, it leaves the stove up to the buyer
Bruder offers an optional induction cooker, or the buyer can supply his or her own portable stove
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Bruder offers an optional induction cooker, or the buyer can supply his or her own portable stove
Preparing dinner at camp
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Preparing dinner at camp
A look at the full EXP-4 galley
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A look at the full EXP-4 galley
Bruder assures that its roof is plenty strong, able to carry a roof-top tent, sports gear or general provisions
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Bruder assures that its roof is plenty strong, able to carry a roof-top tent, sports gear or general provisions
The narrow bed at the foot of the main bed offers more sleeping space for a child or two
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The narrow bed at the foot of the main bed offers more sleeping space for a child or two
Plenty of headroom inside the Bruder EXP-4
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Plenty of headroom inside the Bruder EXP-4
The cabin includes a compact closet for hanging clothes, as well as a shelf
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The cabin includes a compact closet for hanging clothes, as well as a shelf
The drop-down storage hatch doubles as a table
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The drop-down storage hatch doubles as a table
Bruder sizes its exterior storage compartments with a portable toilet or three jerry cans of water in mind
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Bruder sizes its exterior storage compartments with a portable toilet or three jerry cans of water in mind

One of the most imposing, no-nonsense, go-anywhere off-road camping trailers we've ever looked at, the Bruder EXP-6 became an internet sensation back in mid 2016. We reckon it might have become a real-world sensation in the time since, but for the six-figure price tag and limited usefulness to your average Joe and Jane. Bruder has not yet figured out a way of making wrecking ball-tough all-terrain caravans relevant to everyday life, but it has figured out a way to shave away some price. The all-new EXP-4 debuts as the EXP-6's smaller, simpler, more lightly priced younger brother. It's essentially how Bruder does a teardrop trailer.

As far as off-road camping trailers go, the EXP-6 is a sizable pop-top caravan with standing-height interior, bathroom, living space and indoor/outdoor cooking. The 16.4-foot (5-m) EXP-4, on the other hand, follows more in the teardrop style: a sitting-height interior filled out by bedding and storage and an exterior that takes care of the rest with a full tailgate kitchen and outdoor shower. It's certainly roomier, more angular and more rugged than the average teardrop, but its general layout is quite similar.

Like the EXP-6, the 4 starts on a rock-solid foundation of fully sealed, airtight chassis, 17-in alloy wheels rolled in 33-in Mickey Thompson tires, and custom-designed air suspension. Unlike the 6, the 4 has only a single 2,600-kg (5,700-lb) axle and one pair of wheels cushioned by four remote canister mono-tube shocks, with ventilated disc brakes bringing those wheels to a stop.

Like the EXP-6, the Bruder EXP-4 relies on a custom-built adjustable air suspension for eating up bumps and adjusting clearance
Like the EXP-6, the Bruder EXP-4 relies on a custom-built adjustable air suspension for eating up bumps and adjusting clearance

With up to 12 in (305 mm) of travel, Bruder's signature suspension is built to eat up terrain irregularities of all shapes and sizes. It can also be height-adjusted, lining up with the tow vehicle, raising ground clearance up to 33.5 in (850 mm), leveling off the trailer body at camp, or lowering for easier access to the kitchen and cabin.

The EXP-4 living module is made of light, durable closed cell epoxy-bonded composite. Bruder says the living cell offers superior insulation while also having the capability of shouldering up to 10 times its own weight.

The narrow bed at the foot of the main bed offers more sleeping space for a child or two
The narrow bed at the foot of the main bed offers more sleeping space for a child or two

On the softer side of the composite panels, much of the EXP-4 cabin is gobbled up by a large 72 x 86-in (183 x 218-cm) bed. Unlike the typical two-sleeper teardrop or small-cabin box trailer, the EXP-4 is a family camper thanks to the 5.9-foot-long (1.8-m) bed elevated over the foot of the main bed. In fact, Bruder says the cabin will sleep two adults and up to three young children, and given that the main bed has the width of a California king with a couple extra inches of length, it's a believable claim. For larger groups, the roof can accommodate a roof-top tent for even more sleeping capacity.

Bruder fills out the remainder of the interior with some simple storage. In addition to basic shelves, it adds a standing wardrobe to hang shirts, pants and other clothing.

The tailgate kitchen offers plenty of work space, and if you need extra, the two drop-down storage compartment doors double as tables
The tailgate kitchen offers plenty of work space, and if you need extra, the two drop-down storage compartment doors double as tables

Campers do their slicing, dicing, boiling and frying out back, below the EXP-4's tailgate. The neatly organized kitchen includes a sink, 60-L fridge, long worktop, pantry, drawer and shelf space. It doesn't come with a standard inbuilt stove, but campers can easily use their own portable stove or grill. Bruder eliminates the slide-out hardware common on off-road camping trailers (including the EXP-6) to keep things neat, simple and protected comfortably below the raised lift-gate.

Also standard on the exterior, the outdoor shower keeps campers, pets and gear clean, no matter how dirty the conditions. Various portable toilet models will fit neatly inside one of the storage lockers, and an optional awning on one or both sides can be combined with tent walls to create auxiliary privacy rooms.

The EXP-4's 100-L fresh water tank and accompanying plumbing are affixed within the body shell for better insulation and damage protection. Standard electrical equipment includes a 105-Ah AGM battery, solar charger, 240/110V charging, LED lighting, and four USB ports. The trailer weighs 1,875 lb (850 kg) and offers a payload of 1,650 lb (750 kg).

Bruder assures that its roof is plenty strong, able to carry a roof-top tent, sports gear or general provisions
Bruder assures that its roof is plenty strong, able to carry a roof-top tent, sports gear or general provisions

The EXP-4 is designed and built in Australia, where it starts at AU$54,500. Bruder is also offering it globally and has built it to meet US DOT regulations. It ships directly to the States for US$5,000 atop the converted base price, which as of publishing lands roughly around US$38,800. The robust options list includes air conditioning, heating, a cabin pressurization system to keep dust out, hot water, solar panels, lithium battery storage and a portable induction cooktop, along with plenty of others.

If you're anything like we are, you've been patiently waiting for the video clip of the EXP-4 kicking up dust and splashing through water. Or maybe you just scrolled down immediately to see if it was here. Either way, wait no longer – the five-minute clip features both down-and-dirty action footage and an informative walkthrough of the trailer's design and features.

Bruder EXP-4 OFF-ROAD EXPEDITION TRAILER - detailed video

Source: Bruder

4 comments
exodous
I like that teardrops have come back, this is all anyone needs for a weekend camping trip, most people can't do more than that. With a full size trailer it is just too much of a hassle to store it and to haul it for the occasional weekend camping trip. Plus, why have a full size trailer when the average family probably only camps 3 or 4 times a summer?
SDW
Been camping and RVing for 55 years and I can promise you that thing isn't worth the $10,000 to $15,000 it cost. It's really slick the way they market it. Like, showing wine bottles and condiments up in those shelves. But that stuff would be all over the place after driving 10 miles. If the bed takes up the whole trailer inside. It's going to be fun putting on your pants laying down all the time. And don't forget you're going to have to do #1 & 2 outside in cold rainy weather at some point. Notice how they show stuff store on the roof. But they don't show the ladder you have to carry to get to it. For the money, you'd be much better off with a popup tent trailer. And you can jack them up and put big tires on them too. And they come with a sink, stove, fridge, toilet, and will easily sleep six. You can easily get air conditioning also. And hey, you can stand all the way up in a popup. Just do some research before buying something like this. I promise you there are much better campers out there than this.
TomLeeM
That trailer looks like it could handle a rough off road adventure. It looks like it has a lot more room inside than one would think when seeing it from the outside.
MD
Powered gizmos and adjustable suspension makes for a very flexible platform, until it breaks-down 1000km from civilisation...