Monohull off-road teardrop trailer expands into a bustling base camp
Every time we think we've seen every possible style and configuration of teardrop/squaredrop trailer, a totally different spin on the genre pops up, often in the Southern Hemisphere. Joining recent Australian innovations like the AOR Sierra, Lumberjack Birdsville and BRS Sherpa comes the South African-designed Mobi X. This tear tucks down tiny inside a fiberglass monohull on the way to camp, but slides out, drops down, pops up and swings around into a large living space with everything a family or group of buddies needs, including the ever-important toilet and shower, a huge kitchen area built to create serious meals and loads of compartmentalized storage.
On the outside, the 12-ft (3.7-m) Mobi X departs from the typical metallic look of other teardrop trailers owing to its clean-white fiberglass monohull reinforced with steel and planted atop a galvanized steel chassis.
It still manages to look plenty rugged and Outback-ready thanks to the chassis-anchored roof ladder and attached shovel up front, jerry cans tucked neatly in purpose-carved nooks at the rear and 16-in Hankook all-terrain tires below. A huge picture window on the driver's side breaks up the sheer whiteness and looks especially good reflecting the red-orange glow of the setting sun.
Like most other teardrops, the Mobi X has a rear hatch, but this one's quite different. Instead of a lift-gate that rises up to reveal a shallow galley, the X has a swing-away that accesses a bulging slide-out. Pulling this unit out simultaneously brings out the available fridge and large storage cabinet while freeing up the two-person cabin in which it resides during the ride.
Mobi could probably fit the whole kitchen on that single slide-out, but instead it blows the kitchen up into a chef-grade space. A drop-down hatch on the side of the trailer brings down the dual-burner stove and work surface while opening a large pantry with space for cooking utensils, dry food, condiments and plenty more. The pantry even comes stocked with cookware, dishes, utensils and containers as part of the standard package. A simple basin sink with drying rack quick-mounts to the sidewall behind the fender to complete the expansive outdoor kitchen, which sits below an available 270-degree wraparound awning.
With the sides taken up by the galley hatch and long picture window, Mobi pushes the entry door forward to the side of the nose. Here, campers enter the cozy two-person interior with sidewall-mounted storage and electrical system controls. The fridge appears accessible from inside, which would make it easy to grab a drink in the middle of the night.
The ladder on the other side of the nose provides access to the roof and available two-person hardshell roof-top tent that makes the Mobi X a four-sleeper. Mobi suggests the trailer can sleep six, but that appears to require the other two to share the floor-less tent on the window side with the outdoor shower – seems better left as a bathroom/changing room, where the included portable toilet could also be kept. A 150-L water tank, high-pressure water system and automatic water heater supply the taps, and an electrical system with 105-Ah deep-cycle battery, battery monitoring and 15-A charger keeps the (seven LED) lights on.
The Mobi X followed its larger brother, the Mobi Lodge, to market in South Africa in 2018 before making the trip over the Pacific to Australia in 2020. At 1,675 lb (760 kg) to start, the smaller X was designed specifically for hardcore adventurers with compact 4x4s. Mobi Australia lists starting price at AU$29,000 (approx. US$20,850) with the standard features and an optional Kings fridge/freezer thrown in. Other options include the roof-top tent, 270-degree batwing awning and solar charging.
All in all, the Mobi X is an intriguing little trailer at an attractive price – the US off-road trailer market would certainly look a little more attractive if Mobi became the latest brand to make the trip over from South Africa.
Source: Mobi Australia