Offtrax camper trailer packs base camp (with bathroom!) in a box
Australian-developed off-road camping trailers continue to impress. The latest comes from Queensland's Offtrax and tows to camp as a simple, compact box. Upon arrival, the camper slides, rises and drops into a complete base camp for two people, with outdoor wet bathroom, expansive kitchen complete with two grills, and hard-shelled pop-up topper tent. A hardwearing chassis brings a proper Aussie level of off-roadability, taking adventure as far as the driver can stomach.
Offtrax looks to be gunning for a chunk of the expandable off-road box camper market that Patriot Campers has helped to accelerate both in Australia and abroad. The 12.5-foot-long (3.8-m) Offtrax trailer has a similarly compact, tough-as-nails build loaded with the comforts of home, albeit with its own purposeful design and layout optimized for twosomes and maybe small families.
It all starts off with a proper foundation. To prevent damaging twisting of the drawbar, Offtrax runs it back to the crossbeam that secures the suspension. The rear hitch receiver beam, meanwhile, stretches forward to meet at the same crossbeam, creating a front-to-rear spine. The chassis is built from Australian steel that's hot-dipped galvanized for long-lasting, corrosion-free performance. Several of the spaces between structural beams accommodate the sunken pans holding the batteries and water, allowing weight to rest below chassis height for an optimized center of gravity.
Suspension-wise, Offtrax cushions the 265/70R17 mud-terrain tire-wrapped 17-in alloy wheels with a Cruisemaster XT independent suspension with dual HD shocks.
"It's all fair and well to design the structure of a trailer strong enough to accommodate the hard, bouncy ride of a leaf spring suspension, but how do you accommodate for all the other components like door hinges, door latches, awning and tent mounts, and accessories (drawer slides, electrics, gas hot water system, plumbing) that take an absolute hammering from a stiffer suspension?" Offtrax explains rhetorically.
Offtrax accounts for all those large and small bits with the soft but solid Cruisemaster setup, and it's little wonder the company concerns itself with protecting moving parts. The 5005 aluminum trailer body comes positively stuffed with features that pop, drop and slide out from all sides.
The most impressive bit is the kitchen, the "hub" of the trailer design. Dedicated stove/sink and fridge/freezer slides bring all the main appliances outside, while the single drop-down door opens up a split pantry to create plenty of work space for preparation and plating. The dual-burner stove is located at the same height as the worktop for easier transfers, while the fridge slide is standard but the 60-L National Luna fridge optional.
A small grill compartment sits below the burners of the stove, and those seeking out open-top grill space can drop the optional Weber Baby Q onto the standard front worktop that pulls out from under the stove. The portable Weber can be faced in either direction so one person can be cooking on the stove while another is cooking on the grill, right next to the fridge for easy drink grabbing and passing. When not in use, the Baby Q grill stores away on a purpose-built slide above the retracted kitchen.
Swing around to the driver's side, and the Offtrax trailer pulls full bathroom duty. The 130-L water supply is internally plumbed to a gas water heater that feeds the outdoor shower hose. A drop-down tent encloses that shower and can also provide privacy for an optional portable toilet that stores away in a neighboring cabinet. The long storage cabinet on this side holds oversize gear like camping chairs.
As for sleeping, the Offtrax is optimized around a standard aluminum-shelled Camp King two-sleeper roof-top tent, which includes the necessary brackets for mounting the shower tent hardware. The offset mounting leaves room for carrying an auxiliary tent or swag atop the trailer, since that space isn't needed for the custom awning, which carries on the tent roof. Buyers can also work with Offtrax on different tent/awning configurations, including larger family tents.
It should be clear by now that Offtrax has no interest in skimping on components, and its electrical system is yet another example. Two 110-Ah AGM batteries run amps through a RedVision management system from Redarc. Beyond just battery management, the system makes available on/off switching of lighting and monitoring of battery, water levels and fridge temps via a swing-out control screen and accompanying smartphone app. Available electrical add-ons include 200-W foldable solar panels, a Redarc inverter and lithium batteries.
The Offtrax trailer's tare weight eats up 930 kg (2,050 lb) of the 1,600-kg (3,527-lb) gross vehicle weight rating. The trailer starts at AU$44,890 (approx. US$31,900) and rises to AU$56,890 (US$40,425) when "maxed out" with options. Offtrax builds the trailers in Australia and sources Australian components and materials throughout. It's probably too early to talk about export markets, but we certainly wouldn't mind seeing the Offtrax become the next Aussie off-road camper trailer to leap the Pacific and find its way onto American overland routes.
In addition to building some of the best camper trailers the world over, Australians make some of the best camper videos. The six-minute Offtrax intro below combines some nice forested off-road towing footage with a full walkthrough.