Just days after we looked at a 298-lb (135-kg) prototype camping trailer that is literally featherlight, we found a trailer that weighs even less – and this one's built to go off-road. The SportsRig TrailStomper is a wagon-like towable that buyers can build into the nimblest of off-grid camping trailers. Top it with a roof-top tent, slide some kitchen gear inside, tune the custom suspension system for the added weight, and you have a trailer that will pull less than US$10,000 out of your wallet and feel barely-there behind your bumper.
Usually it's the massive 6+ wheeled vehicles that most catch our attention at Overland Expo West, but once in a while it's the smallest wheels of the show. The skinny little tires of the SportsRig TrailStomper stopped us dead in our tracks this year, making us wonder what exactly the beefed-up wheelbarrow in front of us was.
At first, we thought it a motorcycle trailer, and it does indeed feature some motorcycle components, riding on Kenda K270 dual-sport tires clinging to 17-in aluminum motorcycle wheels. But, while SportsRig reckons it could make a nice motorcycle trailer, the company has focused its testing and development on towing it behind four wheels. So those svelte motorcycle components are there to lay the foundation of a minimalist design that keeps things as simple and light as possible but also rugged and all-terrain-ready.
California-based SportsRig has years of experience designing light, skeletal cargo trailers meant to pull the likes of bicycles and kayaks to trailheads and water edges. The TrailStomper brings that same light, simple mentality into the booming off-road camping trailer market, where SportsRig beats the competition by reaching a new level of lightweight, compact design, driving base weight all the way down to 250 lb (113 kg).
The TrailStomper starts with a steel frame and custom-designed independent suspension with Fox coil-over shocks. The adjustable suspension can be fine-tuned to the weight of the day's load, ensuring that the trailer provides the right amount of cushion and doesn't bounce around like a misthrown football.
With its low base weight and a total length that measures in around 10 feet (3 m), depending on selected tongue length, the TrailStomper is designed to breeze up steep, slippery slopes, follow the tow vehicle into narrow spaces, and make minimal impact on the fuel gauge. Much like the Earth Traveler teardrop we linked above, the TrailStomper also seems like an ideal solution for those towing with smaller, more efficient cars and crossovers in place of large, rumbling trucks and SUVs. Or, hitch it behind something like the Rivian R1T electric overland pickup, and you have some extra sleeping and storage space as you explore distant spaces without emitting a puff of exhaust.
The TrailStomper's 40 x 43 x 23-in (102 x 109 x 58-cm) aluminum body features 22 cu ft (623 L) of total storage, and the trailer can carry up to 650 lb (295 kg) with the stock suspension. Those looking to carry more can work with SportsRig to upgrade the suspension system around their needs.
From there, buyers can build up the TrailStomper into a more complete camper, either on their own or with the help of SportsRig's options list, which includes roof-top tent mounting, drop-down walnut worktops, leveling jacks, and electrical components. The company also offers storage expansion options for those that need more cargo capacity.
The TrailStomper bases in at $4,899 before options, and TrailStomper says the well-equipped model it showed at Overland Expo, with Tepui tent, awning, slide-out fridge and other add-ons, would run roughly $11,000. It also tells us that model had a base weight of closer to 350 lb (159 kg) with its extra cargo boxes (before add-ons like the tent and fridge).
The TrailStomper looked almost like a scale model or bikepacking trailer when compared to many of the other hulking masses of towable expeditioning at Overland Expo West, but in many ways we prefer the idea of a cheap, ultralight, build-it-up off-road trailer over a hefty, expensive, fully equipped model. And happily, it seems like we'll only be seeing more trailers racing to the bottom of the weight scale in the years to come.
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