Outdoors

Cargo Camp turns boxy cargo trailer into light, simple home-on-a-hitch

Cargo Camp turns boxy cargo tr...
Cargo Camp trailer with screen room
Cargo Camp trailer with screen room
View 14 Images
It's hard to tell from this diagram, but the smaller 5 x 8-foot trailer shares its basic interior layout with the larger model, complete with convertible dual-bench dinette/bed
1/14
It's hard to tell from this diagram, but the smaller 5 x 8-foot trailer shares its basic interior layout with the larger model, complete with convertible dual-bench dinette/bed
The 5 x 10-foot model
2/14
The 5 x 10-foot model
Cargo Camp gives you the simple structure and lets you personalize it with a variety of options, including air conditioners or fans
3/14
Cargo Camp gives you the simple structure and lets you personalize it with a variety of options, including air conditioners or fans
Cargo Camp offers an ARB awning and accompanying screen room
4/14
Cargo Camp offers an ARB awning and accompanying screen room
The dinette set turns into a bed
5/14
The dinette set turns into a bed
The insulated interior includes front nose cabinetry
6/14
The insulated interior includes front nose cabinetry
Cargo Camp doesn't build a kitchen into its trailers, but the rear storage area is there to carry a camp stove or grill, fridge or cooler, and other camp cooking equipment
7/14
Cargo Camp doesn't build a kitchen into its trailers, but the rear storage area is there to carry a camp stove or grill, fridge or cooler, and other camp cooking equipment
While some compact trailers and camper vans offer limited cooling capacity, with iceboxes that look like they'll barely fit three bottles of soda, the Cargo Camp's large, open rear storage bay houses a 137-L cooler for plenty of cold storage
8/14
While some compact trailers and camper vans offer limited cooling capacity, with iceboxes that look like they'll barely fit three bottles of soda, the Cargo Camp's large, open rear storage bay houses a 137-L cooler for plenty of cold storage
While the Cargo Camp is a very simple, affordable design, free of bells and whistles, that front cabinetry certainly looks perfect for housing a TV, maybe a full entertainment center
9/14
While the Cargo Camp is a very simple, affordable design, free of bells and whistles, that front cabinetry certainly looks perfect for housing a TV, maybe a full entertainment center
It's not the prettiest camping trailer, but the Cargo Camp trailer is intended to give you a safe, comfortable space in the great outdoors
10/14
It's not the prettiest camping trailer, but the Cargo Camp trailer is intended to give you a safe, comfortable space in the great outdoors
Cargo Camp bases its camping trailer on the Continental Cargo V-Series cargo trailer
11/14
Cargo Camp bases its camping trailer on the Continental Cargo V-Series cargo trailer
Cargo Camp dining area
12/14
Cargo Camp dining area
With starting weights between 1,200 and 1,400 lb before options, Cargo Camp trailers are designed to be towed by a wide variety of vehicles
13/14
With starting weights between 1,200 and 1,400 lb before options, Cargo Camp trailers are designed to be towed by a wide variety of vehicles
Cargo Camp trailer with screen room
14/14
Cargo Camp trailer with screen room

The modern camper market has a dizzying array of complex, ornately-finished motorhomes and caravans that try to recreate the comfort of home ... bringing much of the price of that home along with them. But what if you want to get away from all that and just enjoy the outdoors, without remortgaging your house? A tent is still an obvious go-to, but Texas-based Cargo Camp offers a sturdier, four-walled alternative – a big, rugged box trailer simply outfitted with a convertible bed/dinette, plenty of storage space and an available auxiliary screen room. It's everything you need to get out of the city and stay a while, without the bells and whistles emptying your bank account.

We've been seeing a rather steady deluge of fancy, premium-priced caravans that could double as Design Week exhibits, but we've also noticed a discernible move in the opposite direction – dirt-simple trailers with four-figure price tags that provide the barest basics and leave you alone to enjoy the wilderness. No wall-spanning TV, silk or leather trim, or matching stainless steel oven and refrigerator – just four walls and a roof, somewhere to store a cooler and cooking gear, and maybe some extra room for a few fishing rods and folding camp chairs.

Wee Roll offers just that type of camping trailer, and now we see another style from Cargo Camp. Whereas Wee Roll focuses mostly on the exterior structure, leaving the interior more to the customer's imagination, Cargo Camp has spent a little more time structuring out its interior as a camper. And we guess it had to in order to put a stamp on its product, because it starts with an existing cargo trailer – the Continental Cargo V-Series, which brings a 3-in tube steel chassis, leaf spring suspension and plywood construction below an aluminum skin.

Cargo Camp bases its camping trailer on the Continental Cargo V-Series cargo trailer
Cargo Camp bases its camping trailer on the Continental Cargo V-Series cargo trailer

Cargo Camp largely leaves the V-Series structure and shell alone, outside of adding camper-specific details like windows and mounting hardware where necessary to support awnings and roof racks.

The bulk of Cargo Camp's work happens on the inside of the box, where it looks to strike a balance between the unrefined bed-in-a-box cargo trailer and more homey teardrop trailers. It separates the interior cabin from the rear doors with a walled-off rear storage area. This isn't the tailgate kitchen you'd see in teardrops and other small trailers – really just a few cabinets, a side shelf and plenty of open space for your gear. Photos show it as a functional indoor/outdoor kitchen space stocked with things like a portable gas grill, big ol' 137-L cooler and coffeemaker.

While some compact trailers and camper vans offer limited cooling capacity, with iceboxes that look like they'll barely fit three bottles of soda, the Cargo Camp's large, open rear storage bay houses a 137-L cooler for plenty of cold storage
While some compact trailers and camper vans offer limited cooling capacity, with iceboxes that look like they'll barely fit three bottles of soda, the Cargo Camp's large, open rear storage bay houses a 137-L cooler for plenty of cold storage

While the rear storage area falls short of a full camper kitchen, the interior leans a little bit more toward "full-blown caravan," featuring a dual-bench dinette set that easily transforms into a 56 x 84-in (142 x 213-cm) bed when you drop the tabletop down to join the benches together. The 4-foot 11-in (1.5-m) standing height will require most adults to duck down, but if you compare that to the lie-down/sit-up-only sizing of many teardrop trailers, it looks plenty roomy.

Cargo Camp fills out the cabin's wedge nose with cabinetry that looks like it could work nicely as an entertainment center ... should you decide you want that TV after all. Additional storage is available under the structure of the benches/bed.

While the Cargo Camp is a very simple, affordable design, free of bells and whistles, that front cabinetry certainly looks perfect for housing a TV, maybe a full entertainment center
While the Cargo Camp is a very simple, affordable design, free of bells and whistles, that front cabinetry certainly looks perfect for housing a TV, maybe a full entertainment center

Cargo Camp's design is nice in its own right, but we wonder if it isn't missing out on a chunk of its potential market. The beauty of tall, boxy cargo trailer-cum-campers, including those from Wee Roll, is that the large rear doors and open interiors invite owners to haul motorcycles, bikes or other toys before rolling them out at camp and overnighting inside. That's a key advantage of towing around a big box, as opposed to a smaller, sleeker teardrop or mini-camper. But Cargo Camp cuts the interior off from the generously-sized rear double doors, so its trailers are definitely not optimized for toy-hauling.

Cargo Camp trailers come with an insulated ceiling and walls, a 30-amp shore hookup, LED interior lighting, interior outlets and USB ports, and an exterior GFCI outlet. Those who want to use the trailer off-grid can opt in on the available 200-watt solar package with dedicated battery.

The model described above features a 5 x 10-foot (1.5 x 3-m) trailer box and starts at US$8,000. It weighs in at approximately 1,400 lb (635 kg), offering a 1,590-lb (721-kg) payload. The smaller 1,200-lb (544-kg), 5 x 8-foot (1.5 x 2.4-m) box trailer starts at $7,500 with the same layout and features, but a smaller bed and dinette and higher 1,790-lb (812-kg) payload. Both trailers are two-sleepers, though Cargo Camp reckons you can also invite your dog inside the 5 x 10 model.

Along with solar, options available directly from Cargo Camp include the ARB awning and screen room shown in some of the photos, Honda generator package, 78-L ARB fridge/freezer or 137-L roto-molded cooler, air conditioning and heating.

Source: Cargo Camp

1 comment
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is interesting. I would not mind using something like that. I like it when I want to get away from it all not to bring it all with me when I go camping.