Bruder's unstoppable US-bound off-road campers get carbon fiber reskin
If you asked us to name the absolute gnarliest off-road camping trailer we've ever covered, the name "Bruder" would immediately jump to mind. We'd think for a minute to be sure, nod in agreement with our first reaction and probably choose the EXP-6 specifically, since it was the original that made the biggest impression. Bruder trailers already count a tough composite body among their many innovative features, but Bruder is taking the next step, offering a carbon fiber body option for every model, from the small but hard-hammering EXP-4 to the Arctic-ready flagship EXP-8. It's the same tough-as-nails, comfy-as-velvet Bruder lineup, only dressed in a lighter, tougher skin.
Bruder dipped its toes into carbon fiber construction in July when it announced a carbon fiber body option for the updated EXP-4. The water must have felt just right, because it then announced in November it was officially launching the option across the entire lineup, letting buyers shave some weight off their off-grid trailer without cutting performance. The announcement was the headliner for a November "Innovation Month" Bruder sponsored on the back of an October that saw it take home Australian Good Design Awards for both the EXP-4 and EXP-8.
Weight savings are, of course, the major selling point of the newly available carbon fiber body. Bruder estimates the switch to carbon will cut roughly 110 lb (50 kg) off the EXP-4, which has a tare weight of 2,094 lb (950 kg) with the traditional composite body. It's still developing the first carbon fiber variants of other models but tells us the figure should rise to hundreds of kilograms saved on the largest trailers.
Bruder stresses the weight savings will result in better fuel economy for the tow vehicle and improved handling and maneuverability on and off road, adding that the carbon fiber will also boost durability and strength. The carbon fiber skin will also look pretty cool, adding that familiar burst of high-tech layering prized on everything from high-end track cars to EDC provisions.
Pricing for the carbon fiber option ranged at launch between AU$19,990 (approx. US$13,150) for the EXP-4 to AU$73,450 (US$48,550) for the EXP-8. Bruder was careful to note those prices are subject to change; however, using them as a guideline brings us to an AU$146,490 (US$96,850) base price on a carbon fiber EXP-4 and AU$390,950 (US$258,475) price on the carbon EXP-8. And remember, those trailers still require an actual motor vehicle to get anywhere.
Carbon fiber is never cheap, but we suppose it blends in best with items that are already among the most expensive in their market. Bruder buyers shouldn't feel that pain quite as much as a minimalist teardrop buyer would.
Bruder followed up the carbon fiber announcement with another Innovation Month introduction: toy hauler concepts. While still merely renderings at this point, the trio suggests the only way to go deeper into the wild than a Bruder is with a different Bruder.
Our favorite of the three concepts shows a profile that looks slightly revised from the high-roof EXP-6 GT. Instead of filling it out with the usual living amenities, Bruder carves it into a ground drone command center and garage. The idea behind this "next frontier in exploration vehicles" is that you can get as far into the wild as possible, park on the edge of impossible and keep exploring via 6x6 drone.
With no space to camp, the mobile drone commander looks to be more useful for industrial and military use. The other two toy hauler concepts are more traditional camper + flat bed layouts, and while Bruder hasn't specified any immediate plans to launch a toy hauler, it does sound quite enthusiastic about the most straightforward of the three, the Trailblazer.
"Stay tuned, as the Trailblazer is poised to redefine the standard for adventure-ready toy haulers," Bruder urges.
Finally, good news for American Bruder customers. The company has always offered the option of shipping trailers from Australia but is now beginning a broader expansion into the US market. It is showcasing the EXP-4, EXP-7 and EXP-8 in Dallas through December 12 and taking the first US orders ahead of plans to establish a Dallas residency in 2024.