Outdoors

Badger Extreme camper trailer expands with roof that becomes a room

Badger Extreme camper trailer ...
Badger Extreme camping trailer set up and ready to camp
Badger Extreme camping trailer set up and ready to camp
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The Badger caravan series keeps a sprayer in a rear compartment, allowing it to work as a shower and kitchen faucet
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The Badger caravan series keeps a sprayer in a rear compartment, allowing it to work as a shower and kitchen faucet
Badger's design also looked pretty cool as a pickup camper, but it appears it's now focused solely on camping trailers
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Badger's design also looked pretty cool as a pickup camper, but it appears it's now focused solely on camping trailers
The Badger slide-out kitchen includes a rear table for holding the sink basin
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The Badger slide-out kitchen includes a rear table for holding the sink basin
2020 Badger prototype pickup camper
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2020 Badger prototype pickup camper
The fold-out expansion creates space for a large bed and breezy bedroom
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The fold-out expansion creates space for a large bed and breezy bedroom
Badger's Extreme trailer is built for full off-road adventure
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Badger's Extreme trailer is built for full off-road adventure
The Badger slide design allows for indoor or outdoor fridge access
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The Badger slide design allows for indoor or outdoor fridge access
The large kitchen includes a slide-out dual-burner stove, full cupboard and slide-out fridge/sink/worktop
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The large kitchen includes a slide-out dual-burner stove, full cupboard and slide-out fridge/sink/worktop
Badger camping trailers slide, flip and fold like few others
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Badger camping trailers slide, flip and fold like few others
Hitched up and ready to explore and camp
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Hitched up and ready to explore and camp
The Badger's fiberglass design lands somewhere between a small tear/squaredrop trailer and a longer caravan, and its folding expansion makes the most of the space
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The Badger's fiberglass design lands somewhere between a small tear/squaredrop trailer and a longer caravan, and its folding expansion makes the most of the space
Ready to cook up dinner, lunch or breakfast
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Ready to cook up dinner, lunch or breakfast
The rear doorway is split into a flip-up upper hatch and swing-out lower door
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The rear doorway is split into a flip-up upper hatch and swing-out lower door
On the road with the Badger camping trailer
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On the road with the Badger camping trailer
Enjoying a sunrise from the comfort of the Badger Extreme caravan
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Enjoying a sunrise from the comfort of the Badger Extreme caravan
No mention of a microwave option, but if Badger doesn't offer it, buyers could add their own
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No mention of a microwave option, but if Badger doesn't offer it, buyers could add their own
Ready to get off the beaten path
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Ready to get off the beaten path
The multi-size bed works as a sofa, leaving the aisle open for full trailer access, expanding into a 190-cm-long bed at night
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The multi-size bed works as a sofa, leaving the aisle open for full trailer access, expanding into a 190-cm-long bed at night
In the works ... this Badger shell shows the clasp-like expansion
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In the works ... this Badger shell shows the clasp-like expansion
Badger offers an available TV with slide to access the kitchen pass-through behind it
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Badger offers an available TV with slide to access the kitchen pass-through behind it
The available rear annex tent adds extra interior space
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The available rear annex tent adds extra interior space
Telescopic legs drop down from the roof crossbars to support the bedroom expansion
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Telescopic legs drop down from the roof crossbars to support the bedroom expansion
Badger Extreme camping trailer set up and ready to camp
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Badger Extreme camping trailer set up and ready to camp
Heading into the bush
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Heading into the bush
Badger camping trailer with available rear tent
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Badger camping trailer with available rear tent
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Combining elements of the fold-out tent camper, caravan with slide-out sidewall expansion and pop-top camper, the Badger series of caravans expands in an unusual way. A large section of its fiberglass roof and sidewall fold out to instantly create a separate room amidships the floor plan, adding some serious head and elbow room atop the small single-axle footprint. The trailer doesn't stop there, either, packing as much slide-out, flip-up, fold-down and swing-out equipment as a modern multitool to give bush adventurers a big, comfy hard/soft hybrid base camp that tows like a chiseled teardrop.

We haven't looked at the South African camper market quite as often as the American, European and Australian markets, but from what we have seen, we get the idea that unique expansions are a point of pride for the builders there. The same market has given us the camper-inside-a-camper-shell from Monohull, and the multiple pop-ups and fold-outs on trailers from the likes of Conqueror and Trailvan.

Ready to get off the beaten path
Ready to get off the beaten path

Badger brings yet another twist on the expandable camping trailer design. Its 4.8-m (15.7-foot)-long trailer measures in around the size of a teardrop trailer but gets carved into the rugged shape of a larger off-road caravan, with a sharp, ruggedly faceted nose and rectangular body.

Not content to merely fall back on the small, snug interior typical of a trailer this size, Badger adds in a central fold-out that sees the right sidewall and center roof fold down as one piece, making the wall the floor and the roof the rear wall. The owner simply uses the grab handles to fold the expansion down, relying on telescopic legs built into the roof rack to deliver structural support.

Telescopic legs drop down from the roof crossbars to support the bedroom expansion
Telescopic legs drop down from the roof crossbars to support the bedroom expansion

After pulling down the expansion, some quick interior pole setup creates a canopy bedroom with sidewalls of weatherproof canvas. The bed uses multi-position slide-out extensions at its foot to create a sofa that doesn't block the trailer's center walking aisle, further expanding into a large, 190-cm (75-in) double at night. The heightened fabric roof above, meanwhile, increases headroom over the central floor and just inside the doorway.

The remainder of the interior is as small and simple as you'd expect from a teardrop-sized trailer, especially one loaded with slide-outs and outdoor cupboards that take up space when retracted inside the walls. There's a fabric storage organizer up front and more storage at the rear. An available TV hangs on the wall in front of the bed, providing some nighttime and morning entertainment, and Badger offers a sliding mount so that campers can easily move the TV out of the way and access the pass-through to the outdoor kitchen area.

The multi-size bed works as a sofa, leaving the aisle open for full trailer access, expanding into a 190-cm-long bed at night
The multi-size bed works as a sofa, leaving the aisle open for full trailer access, expanding into a 190-cm-long bed at night

The kitchen packs some serious size that spans most of the entry side of the trailer. Directly rear of the door, a lift-up hatch accesses the tall kitchen cupboard, and below, a wide slide-out provides access to the dual-burner stove. A step farther back, a particularly long slide-out holds the fridge/freezer and a storage cupboard. The face of that slide-out folds down to add extra worktop space, and a table on the rear holds the sink basin that works with the pull-out hot/cold sprayer stored in a cubby near the left corner of the trailer rear-end. Plumbing includes a Hansen hot water heater, 12-V water pump and 80-liter water tank.

Badger camping trailers slide, flip and fold like few others
Badger camping trailers slide, flip and fold like few others

When pushed back inside the trailer, the fridge box can be accessed from the interior. The trailer sleeps two standard, and the available rear tent adds extra sleeping room.

The Badger lineup does not include a full standard bathroom, but the rear sprayer works as a shower, complete with hot water, and there's dedicated storage space for a portable toilet. Buyers can make the rear tent a bathroom tent instead of a sleeping tent, creating an enclosed private bathroom space.

The Badger slide-out kitchen includes a rear table for holding the sink basin
The Badger slide-out kitchen includes a rear table for holding the sink basin

We almost pinned Badger as yet another new, pandemic-driven camper brand because it launched in 2020, but it actually debuted its initial caravan and expanding pickup camper models in February 2020, just before coronavirus spiraled into a life-changing global event. It no longer lists a pickup camper among its models, but it offers its trailer in three configurations.

The flagship 1,100-kg (2,425-lb) Extreme model described in the specs mentioned above starts at R330,000 (approx. US$21,825) and comes equipped as a full-fledged off-road model that includes exclusive standard equipment like shock absorbers, mud flaps and rock sliders, along with a fridge/freezer that's optional on lower-tier variants. At the other end of the lineup, the base-level Lite Onroad model starts at R218,000 ($14,600) and options out many amenities, including all the slide-out kitchen equipment and the water heater, rolling on a 950-kg-rated axle instead of the 1,750-kg axle on the Extreme and mid-tier R274K ($18,175) X-Over. All models come built on a steel chassis with leaf spring suspension and include an electrical system with 105-Ah battery.

Heading into the bush
Heading into the bush

Source: Badger Adventure Caravans

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2 comments
2 comments
Michael son of Lester
I'd love to have one of these units. What stops me from buying one of these right now is the added shipping costs and import fees. I hope that one day somebody will import these trailers to the North American market.
Ornery Johnson
I'm often a hard-sell on some of these off-road campers/trailers, but this may be the best-designed compact trailer I've ever seen.