Taxa ruggedizes insectoid camper trailers to tow farther into the wild
Taxa Outdoors spent the better part of last decade bombarding the market with some of the oddest-looking camping trailers ever seen. The off-the-wall towables can camp off-grid for up to a week, but they lack the true off-road-specific equipment necessary for rambling over rugged terrain to get to some of the secluded, superlative locations at which many campers want to spend that kind of time. Taxa makes up some ground with its 2021 lineup, upgrading two of its staple models with an off-road-ready Overland package.
The company first showed the Overland package on its original Cricket trailer at RVX 2019, making the Cricket Overland the first of the series. Now it updates both its TigerMoth two-sleeper and Mantis four+ flagship with the optional package.
The Overland edition models all bring in some key upgrades to improve off-road toughness and maneuverability. A common feature of many American-built off-road camper trailers, Timbren's Axle-less suspension adds better off-road cushion and gives each Taxa Overland edition trailer a 4-in (10-cm) lift. The Lock 'N' Roll hitch gives the trailer more maneuverability over bumpy, uneven terrain versus a ball hitch, adding 360 degrees of rotation and three-axis movement. All-terrain Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT 225/75R-16 tires set on alloy wheels provide better bite across the spectrum of unpredictable off-road conditions.
Despite having just gone under the knife for the 2020 model year, the Mantis trailer gets the most significant update suite for 2021. Along with the available Overland package, the Mantis welcomes a split dual-burner stove and sink into its kitchen, providing a little more elbow room compared to the combo unit in previous models. A revised cabinetry layout concentrates electrical and plumbing hardware into a single area for easier maintenance and repair, adds in a more open shelving concept in the kitchen area, and slides in two triple stacks of milk crate drawers. A 61-L garbage can is a new standard feature that should see plenty of use by every future Mantis owner.
The 19-foot (5.8-m) Mantis sleeps four adults on a combination of front bunk beds that fold into a couch during the day and a convertible dinette bed just inside the rear hatch. Buyers can add a roof-top tent (RTT) or even string up an indoor hammock for extra sleeping space. The Mantis includes a pop-up roof for added headroom and ventilation and a convertible wet bathroom. The Overland edition has 14 in (36-cm) of ground clearance and weighs in at 3,486 lb (1,581 kg) dry. Pricing starts at US$49,950, a hefty boost over the $41,950 non-Overland Mantis base price.
We'd say the TigerMoth looks the best with the rugged Overland update, but that might just be because we've always liked its compact, airy design. Sixteen inches (41 cm) of ground clearance doesn't hurt its case, either. Changes are modest for the 12.8-footer (3.9 m) and include an extra window up front that creates more optimal placement for the available air conditioner and rounds out a total of four windows. The TigerMoth Overland also comes with an awning with screen room, Thule roof bars, a tongue toolbox and a 5-lb propane tank with mount.
Optimized for couples, the TigerMoth packs an L-shaped sofa dinette that transforms into a double bed. Buyers can increase sleeping capacity by adding an RTT up top. The compact interior lives larger than it measures on nice days thanks to its combination of wing-like side hatch and tailgate doors. It's too small to fit an indoor kitchen, so Taxa secures a slide-out exterior kitchen below the sofa, fitting it with two large storage cubbies with adjustable organizers, a cutting board top and a portable dual-burner camping stove.
The TigerMoth Overland weighs 1,458 lb (661 kg) dry and starts at $24,950, a $5,000 premium over the non-Overland TigerMoth base model.
Source: Taxa Outdoors