The new Ares camping trailer from Australia's Mars Campers is among the most distinctive on/off-road campers we've seen this year. This polygon of rough-and-tumble adventure eats up bumpy terrain behind your 4x4, then pops open into a cozy, two-story mini-lodge that seats six and sleeps four. It's yet another example of boundless nomadic adventure meeting homestyle comfort.

The 18.3-ft (5.6-m) Ares represents a new direction for Mars, which specializes largely in compact box trailers with fold-out tents. The company calls the Ares a "loft camper," alluding to the pop-up roof that houses an extra two sleeping berths for the kids. It's not the first camping trailer of this kind, but pop-up roofs are a feature more commonly seen in full camper vans than tow-along caravans.

In addition to housing the extra bed, the Ares' pop top increases interior headroom and puts some mesh on either side of the trailer, improving airflow. Those mesh panels work with the full-size door and windows on every side in providing views outdoors from every sitting/standing position and letting plenty of light into the trailer during the day. If you don't need the extra bed, the loft can be used to store gear.

The Ares' interior is filled out with a convertible sofa/dinette/bed, TV/DVD/MP3 combo, Bushman refrigerator and plenty of organized storage. An outdoor kitchen combines a slide-out dual-burner stove and sink. Available indoor and outdoor shower/toilet options provide bathroom amenities. Capacities include a 65-L fresh water tank and 240 V electrical with 100-Ah battery.

The Ares' aluminum-frame, aluminum-composite-panel shell rides atop a rugged galvanized chassis. Mars offers both solid axle and independent suspension options to cushion the 15-in wheels. Depending upon specification, Ares models are good for everything from light off-roading on unsealed roads to serious 4x4 expeditions. Weight will of course vary by specification, but Mars puts base weight around 2,645 lb (1,200 kg) and gross trailer mass at 4,400 lb (2,000 kg).

Mars first got the Ares rolling earlier this year and plans to get full production running in early 2018. The trailer starts at AU$34,999 (approx. US$27K) before delivery.

Source: Mars Campers

View gallery - 16 images