Modular bolt-on off-road trailer builds from gear box to camper
Canada's Beaver Built Adventure Trailers has crafted a tiny, ultra-rugged box trailer that builds up into a full-blown micro-camper via a modular ecosystem of bolt-on boxes and add-on accessories. The trailer can simply battle scree, wade through frigid river water and spit out dust on its way to delivering adventure goods deep into the local topography, or it can do all that before expanding into a complete base camp with rooftop tent, outdoor kitchen and electrical system. Buyers can equip it all at once during their initial order or build it up with bolt-ons over time.
When we recently read Boreas Campers' claim about being the first trailer manufacturer in North America to use Cruisemaster suspension, it got us curious about what other North American manufacturers are sourcing parts from the Australian staple. Beaver Built was one of the new names that popped in our search, and the company proudly represents the northerly part of North America in the Cruisemaster-cushioned off-road trailer game.
As it turns out, the dual-shock Cruisemaster CRS² suspension that cushions 15-in Vision wheels is one of only a handful of standard features on Beaver Built's 12-ft (3.7-m) Wapos trailer. Other features among that handful include equally rugged bits of kit like a galvanized steel frame, 31-in Yokohama all-terrain tires and a matching full-size spare. The trailer carries gear and cargo inside and on top of its 1,223-liter powder-coated aluminum box body and on an in-house fabricated platform rack. The roof rack adjusts 4 inches (10 cm) in height, making room below for larger gear like a kayak or set of paddleboards, helpful if the rack itself is occupied by a rooftop tent.
That very basic entry-grade configuration of the Wapos offers a bit of multipurpose utility by way of a drop-down tailgate that doubles as a food-grade stainless steel countertop and a rear receiver hitch that can carry a bike rack or other hitch-mounted solution. The large tongue deck can also be used to strap down cargo, making the Wapos a capable little all-terrain gear-hauler that weighs in at 1,050 lb (476 kg).
Those who want a full camper can take advantage of the Wapos' 3,527-lb (1,600-kg) gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) in picking and choosing from Beaver Built's bolt-on accessories list. The available front cargo box puts some of that large tongue platform to better use and can be outfitted with a fridge slide sized for a 75-L Yeti cooler or Dometic fridge/freezer, a pull-out worktop and a utensil drawer. The front box also includes a roof rack extension so that the roof rack runs the full length of the main and front boxes.
The side boxes make use of the space over the fenders, adding 227 extra liters of storage. Both boxes include front-panel doors that fold into worktops, and the passenger-side box can be further organized with a kitchen management system that includes a pull-out stove tray, multiple storage drawers for kitchen tools and pantry items, and a pots and pans storage area.
The available rear drawer adds some accessible organization to the tailgate area, offering 600 lb (272 kg) of load capacity. Integrated slots allow users to divide the drawer into smaller compartments for neater organization and easier gear and accessory access.
Beaver Built also offers an electrical system and various other accessories, like a spare tire carrier, upgraded Cruisemaster DO35 V3 coupling with hand brake, and aluminum/spray-on protection over critical areas.
We like how Beaver Built has split out what would usually be a large, multi-compartment box into a more modular design that lets buyers get what they need and leave behind what they don't. It sounds like a good way to make the trailer more affordable than the competition, but at US$14,999 for the most basic, empty Wapos spec with the barebones standard features mentioned earlier, we're not sure that it accomplishes that lower price. Maybe if that were Canadian dollars, but switching over to loonies ups the price to CA$18,999.
And the CA$35,699 list price for a fully equipped model (excluding GST) seems tough to justify, even when converted over to US$28,425, since it doesn't include a rooftop tent, awning or stove. Camping trailer prices have risen pretty high in general, but for that kind of pricing, we'd expect a roof over our heads and the ability to make a warm meal without having to hit REI on the way to the campground.
The CA$35,699 model does include a 129-L water tank assembly, 60-L ARB fridge/freezer, rear kitchen drawer, spare tire carrier and electrical system, but no side or front boxes.
Rentals are also an option, and Beaver Built offers trailers in Alberta and British Columbia starting at CA$80 per night. The rental trailers come fully equipped with a three-/four-person rooftop tent, 75-L Yeti cooler, stove, BBQ, dishes and other provisions.
Source: Beaver Built