Outdoors

Shreddin' teardrops and other off-road camping trailers of Overland Expo 2016

Shreddin' teardrops and other ...
The BundutecUSA Trekken, a super-simple, lightweight semi-teardrop-style expedition trailer, was one of the creations on display at Overland Expo 2016
The BundutecUSA Trekken, a super-simple, lightweight semi-teardrop-style expedition trailer, was one of the creations on display at Overland Expo 2016
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Turtleback Trailers original trailer all loaded up for a weekend (or two) of fun
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Turtleback Trailers original trailer all loaded up for a weekend (or two) of fun
Turtleback's new Weekender trailer is a lighter, smaller off-road trailer
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Turtleback's new Weekender trailer is a lighter, smaller off-road trailer
Turtleback has been testing the new Weekender behind a four-cylinder Subaru Outback
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Turtleback has been testing the new Weekender behind a four-cylinder Subaru Outback
The BundutecUSA Trekken, a super-simple, lightweight semi-teardrop-style expedition trailer, was one of the creations on display at Overland Expo 2016
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The BundutecUSA Trekken, a super-simple, lightweight semi-teardrop-style expedition trailer, was one of the creations on display at Overland Expo 2016
The BundutecUSA Trekken shown here includes the soon-to-be-available BunduFlip roof tent
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The BundutecUSA Trekken shown here includes the soon-to-be-available BunduFlip roof tent
The show Trekken model includes a mattress for snug sleeping quarters
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The show Trekken model includes a mattress for snug sleeping quarters
Moby1's new tentatively named XTR Short Body (SB)
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Moby1's new tentatively named XTR Short Body (SB)
A peek inside the Moby1 XTR SB
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A peek inside the Moby1 XTR SB
The SB model weighs about 500 pounds less than the full-size XTR and has an 80-in body length
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The SB model weighs about 500 pounds less than the full-size XTR and has an 80-in body length
The simpler XTR SB loses the slide-out galley of the standard XTR
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The simpler XTR SB loses the slide-out galley of the standard XTR
Moby1 XTR tailgate galley
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Moby1 XTR tailgate galley
The full-size Moby1 XTR complete with exterior TV
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The full-size Moby1 XTR complete with exterior TV
MOAB Fort XL trailer with tent lift
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MOAB Fort XL trailer with tent lift
The new and stylish Timberleaf trailer hails from Denver, Colorado
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The new and stylish Timberleaf trailer hails from Denver, Colorado
The Timberleaf is designed for a cozy night of sleep under a starlit skylight
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The Timberleaf is designed for a cozy night of sleep under a starlit skylight
The show Timberleaf trades the leather-handled cooler for a thoroughly decorated fridge
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The show Timberleaf trades the leather-handled cooler for a thoroughly decorated fridge
Not exactly a camping trailer, but a rugged, go-anywhere towable just the same
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Not exactly a camping trailer, but a rugged, go-anywhere towable just the same
The All Over Rover from Southern Utah's Rover Trailers
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The All Over Rover from Southern Utah's Rover Trailers
The combo of stainless steel counter and drop-in stove on the All Over Rover was the first thing to grab our eye
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The combo of stainless steel counter and drop-in stove on the All Over Rover was the first thing to grab our eye
The All Over Rover features a distinct shape that borrows from both the teardrop and box
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The All Over Rover features a distinct shape that borrows from both the teardrop and box
The All Over Rover's fender acts as a step for accessing roof cargo
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The All Over Rover's fender acts as a step for accessing roof cargo
Inside the All Over Rover
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Inside the All Over Rover
The flagship All Over Rover Trail Hawk package includes a Bose Bluetooth speaker in the galley
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The flagship All Over Rover Trail Hawk package includes a Bose Bluetooth speaker in the galley
We weren't sure about the advertisement look at first, but it proved quite handy for gathering info quickly
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We weren't sure about the advertisement look at first, but it proved quite handy for gathering info quickly
TCTeardrops presents the more rugged overlanding ORE model
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TCTeardrops presents the more rugged overlanding ORE model
The Hiker Trailer Off Road Deluxe at the show features a Zamp Solar power system
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The Hiker Trailer Off Road Deluxe at the show features a Zamp Solar power system
Hiker Trailer with roof-mounted Road Shower
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Hiker Trailer with roof-mounted Road Shower
Hiker Trailer's off-road line starts at $8,595
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Hiker Trailer's off-road line starts at $8,595
Hiker builds its trailers in Denver and Indianapolis
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Hiker builds its trailers in Denver and Indianapolis
Inside Hiker's Off Road Deluxe
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Inside Hiker's Off Road Deluxe
Hiker also builds a line of road-based camping trailers
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Hiker also builds a line of road-based camping trailers
PB Fab offers several sizes of its cage cargo/camping trailer
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PB Fab offers several sizes of its cage cargo/camping trailer
This PB Fab Expedition trailer includes a custom Atlas Spring leaf spring system
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This PB Fab Expedition trailer includes a custom Atlas Spring leaf spring system
Plenty of room for cargo aboard the PB Fab Expedition trailer
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Plenty of room for cargo aboard the PB Fab Expedition trailer
Another PB Fab Expedition trailer
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Another PB Fab Expedition trailer
PB Fab builds trailers in three sizes
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PB Fab builds trailers in three sizes
Backcountry Box's new Base Camp trailer
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Backcountry Box's new Base Camp trailer
Backcountry Box Base Camp
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Backcountry Box Base Camp
Generator and cooler up on the front of the Backcountry Box Base Camp
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Generator and cooler up on the front of the Backcountry Box Base Camp
Backcountry Box's Rocky trailer is more of a cargo box, but it can also be equipped with a roof-top tent to make it a camper
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Backcountry Box's Rocky trailer is more of a cargo box, but it can also be equipped with a roof-top tent to make it a camper
The versatile Rocky trailer has a cargo box and can be stood up on its end to save space
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The versatile Rocky trailer has a cargo box and can be stood up on its end to save space
The available Base Camp slide-out kitchen includes a Camp Chef grill/griddle/stove and sink
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The available Base Camp slide-out kitchen includes a Camp Chef grill/griddle/stove and sink
The two-burner Camp Chef stove below can cook directly or power the grill and griddle
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The two-burner Camp Chef stove below can cook directly or power the grill and griddle
Inside, the Base Camp offers plenty of cargo space
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Inside, the Base Camp offers plenty of cargo space
This Backcountry Box Base Camp with generator, inverter, roof tent, cooler, kitchen, etc. was listed at $15,255
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This Backcountry Box Base Camp with generator, inverter, roof tent, cooler, kitchen, etc. was listed at $15,255
To Extreme Rugged 'N Ready trailer
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To Extreme Rugged 'N Ready trailer
Rockbox Off Road Trailers
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Rockbox Off Road Trailers
TCTeardrops shows its Off-Road Extreme (ORE) overlanding trailer at the show
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TCTeardrops shows its Off-Road Extreme (ORE) overlanding trailer at the show
TCTeardrops galley
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TCTeardrops galley
Smittybilt trailer at Overland Expo 2016
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Smittybilt trailer at Overland Expo 2016
The new Turtleback Weekender
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The new Turtleback Weekender
BundutecUSA Trekken trailer
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BundutecUSA Trekken trailer
Moby1 XTR SB
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Moby1 XTR SB
Moby1 XTR SB wheels
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Moby1 XTR SB wheels
We like the map print on the exterior of this trailer
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We like the map print on the exterior of this trailer
Rover All Over Rover (quite a mouthful)
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Rover All Over Rover (quite a mouthful)
Rover Trailers All Over Rover package pricing
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Rover Trailers All Over Rover package pricing
A Schutt Xventure XV-2 trailer
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A different kind of camping trailer, complete with classic-looking Coke fridge
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A different kind of camping trailer, complete with classic-looking Coke fridge
PB Fab at Overland Expo 2016
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PB Fab at Overland Expo 2016

We're just back from a long, windy extended weekend at Overland Expo 2016. In the past when we've made the trip to Northern Arizona, monstrous expedition vehicles like the EarthCruiser FX and EarthRoamer XV-LTS have always made the biggest impression. This year, the big story was really small ... teardrop size, in fact. There was a veritable explosion of interesting off-road trailers, everything from single-person teardrops, to bruising boxes, to simple steel cargo beds with roof tents.

There's something inherently awesome about a small trailer that can roam the Earth's most rugged terrain and support human life independently for days and weeks on end. But there were so many rugged off-road trailers at this year's show, we almost became blasé about the whole thing. Almost. There were still a few models that really stood out in terms of design and features. Here are our favorites, in no particular order:

Rover Trailers' All Over Rover

We weren't sure about the advertisement look at first, but it proved quite handy for gathering info quickly
We weren't sure about the advertisement look at first, but it proved quite handy for gathering info quickly

The metal teardrop with wood interior is a timeless design, but it also tends to feel a little derivative after seeing hundreds over the years. You don't have to stray too far from that well-worn formula to make some noise, though. The rough edges and shiny stainless steel countertop of the new All Over Rover trailer really make it pop. That polished aluminum shell shining under the Arizona sun doesn't hurt, either.

Designed by Utah's Rover Trailers, the All Over Rover features a powder-coated steel frame below an insulated TIG-welded aluminum body, which can be painted or polished to the near-mirror level you see above. The trailer starts at US$16,336 for the most basic version and runs to $24,281 for the Trail Hawk (that name sounds kinda familiar), which includes equipment like the stainless steel countertop, 10-in sink with electric faucet, Bose Bluetooth sound bar, memory foam mattress, interior TV/DVD player, generator and Yeti cooler. We included a photo of the three price/equipment levels in our gallery section for those interested in breaking it down further.

BundutecUSA Trekken

BundutecUSA specializes more in pickup truck campers, but we could argue that the most interesting thing at its expo booth was the Trekken trailer. Sort of a cross between a box and a teardrop, the Trekken has more of a cargo-hauling interior, but the optional mattress on display at the show turns it into a very compact 1/1.5-person off-road teardrop. The flat roof supports a roof-top tent for more sleeping capacity – in the photo below, it's wearing the new BunduFlip two/three person tent, which will launch in the Northern Hemisphere summer.

The BundutecUSA Trekken shown here includes the soon-to-be-available BunduFlip roof tent
The BundutecUSA Trekken shown here includes the soon-to-be-available BunduFlip roof tent

The base Trekken trailer starts at $4,999, weighs 700 lb (317.5 kg), and includes a locked rear cargo door, LED lighting, a seven-way plug, and 12-volt and USB outlets. In addition to the slim mattress and roof tent options, the Trekken can be built up with available add-ons like a 12-volt pull-out fridge, solar panels and a BunduAwn electric awning. Iowa-based BundutecUSA also says that it'll work closely with customers on customizing the trailer. The model on display at the show, with its BunduFlip roof tent, pull-out tray with Group 24 battery, roof vent, VersaTrack wall-mounted organization system, and other options was listed at just under $9,950.

Backcountry Box Base Camp

Idaho's Backcountry Box has added an alternative to its rugged, flip-top gear-haulin' Rocky box trailer (which can be outfitted with a roof tent itself), with the rugged Base Camp aluminum trailer, a more camping-oriented gear box that can be fully customized. The basic $7,995 Base Camp weighs 950 lb (431 kg) dry and includes a DryMax floor with laminated rubber diamond plate, a 2,000-lb (907-kg) spring axle, 31 x 10.5-in AT tires, LED exterior/interior lighting, a seven-way plug, and Thule 60-in Aero Blade Load Bars with adjustable track.

Backcountry Box's new Base Camp trailer
Backcountry Box's new Base Camp trailer

Backcountry Box's options list runs deep and includes everything from camping standards like a $1,495 CVT roof tent and $1,695 slide-out kitchen with sink and cooktop, to Thule gear baskets and racks, and a $495 Deluxe Kenwood stereo package. We really like the versatile Camp Chef stove with grill and griddle that remove to reveal the dual-burner stove below, providing a versatile grill/griddle/stove without taking up extra counter space with individual units.

Moby1 XTR Short Body (SB)

The SB model weighs about 500 pounds less than the full-size XTR and has an 80-in body length
The SB model weighs about 500 pounds less than the full-size XTR and has an 80-in body length

Utah's Moby1 made a name for itself a few years ago with the rugged XTR. Now it's readying a smaller, lighter version that it's calling the XTR Short Body (SB). The new model weighs about 500 lb (227 kg) less than the XTR (which should put it around 1,300 lb/590 kg dry) and features a simpler configuration without the slide-out tailgate galley equipment. Inside is a full-size bed, and a roof-top tent can be mounted up top.

Moby1 is still finalizing the design and isn't even sure the "Short Body" name will stick around. It doesn't have pricing ready beyond saying that it'll start below the $18,500 base price of the XTR. It plans to add more info on its website in the near future.

Hiker Trailer Off Road

Denver's Hiker Trailer offers a variety of sizes of highway-ready trailers, and it recently expanded its lineup with an Off Road Deluxe model. The basic off-road Hiker starts at $8,595 and has a 2x3-in steel frame with aluminum body, a 3,500-lb (1,588-kg) axle, 33-in tire-wrapped 17-in steel wheels suspended by leaf springs, a front storage box and rack, a galley door, a seven-way plug, and other basic equipment.

The Hiker Trailer Off Road Deluxe at the show features a Zamp Solar power system
The Hiker Trailer Off Road Deluxe at the show features a Zamp Solar power system

Just like many of the other trailers here, the Hiker gets cozier and more functional as you start checking off options boxes. Of particular interest is the Zamp Solar system, which Hiker owner Rob Reeve relies on to run his CPAP sleeping machine and other onboard equipment. According to him, the combination of 160W panels, Interstate Group 24 battery and 600W inverter keeps all the equipment powered on road trips, without any need for hooking up to the grid. Other options include a slide-out galley tray and awnings.

PB Fab Off Road Trailers

The simplest off-road camping/cargo trailer layout we saw this year, PB Fab's Expedition trailer, is essentially a steel cargo cage with a roof-tent supports 3 feet (91 cm) above. The roll bars on the ends of the upper frame protect the tent or upper cargo from branches, rollovers and other hazards, and the main cage keeps all your gear protected inside. The trailer provides plenty of work space with its side fender/shelves and fold-out 24 x 48-in (61 x 122-cm) tailgate. A removable tongue helps compact things down for storage and can be attached to the rear during trailer/vehicle extractions. The white show model pictured below includes a marine-grade plywood floor covered in bed liner, custom leaf spring suspension, 6,000-lb (2,722-kg) axle and ARB roof-top tent.

PB Fab offers several sizes of its cage cargo/camping trailer
PB Fab offers several sizes of its cage cargo/camping trailer

Customization is a theme running through this entire list, but PB Fab takes it one step further – even wheels and tires are sold separately or supplied by the customer, and components like the axle and shocks can be customer-selected. Prices (not including wheels/tires) start at $3,750 for the EX-J trailer designed for small/mid-size SUVs and trucks, $4,250 for the EX-L aimed at mid/full-size SUVs and trucks, and $4,500 for the EX-EL designed for full-size vehicles. California-based PB Fab doesn't advertise a long list of camping options, but it does mention available equipment like tilting and removable roof bars for accommodating larger equipment on the trailer bed.

Turtleback Weekender

Turtleback's new Weekender trailer is a lighter, smaller off-road trailer
Turtleback's new Weekender trailer is a lighter, smaller off-road trailer

We looked at the original Turtleback off-road trailer two years ago, and now Turtleback is in the process of developing a lighter, smaller trailer designed for smaller utility vehicles like the Subaru Outback. The test model's spec sheet includes an aluminum chassis, UCF Flexiride rubber torsion axle, LED lighting, Deka Group 24 AGM marine-grade battery and Blue Sea Systems marine-grade electrical components, slide-out kitchen with stainless steel two-burner stove and sink, 30-gal (114-L) fresh water tank with 12V pump and hot water heater, exterior shower and more. The trailer lists in at 1,150 lb (522 kg). Phoenix-based Turtleback told us that it's still finalizing and testing the design.

Check out more pics of the above trailers and a few others in our gallery.

1 comment
unklmurray
I had just look at one of these and had decided that it was too expensive,then I see this line up and I see I might as well just keep my pick-up camper that I put on a trailer and I've got more than this for about 1/2 the price and I still have all the room in the pick-up that I tow it with!! It too has a tent on the top!!.............LOL :-)