Outdoors

The Turtlebacker flatbed camping trailer plays hard, sleeps well

The Turtlebacker flatbed campi...
The Turtlebacker hosts a biking adventure 
The Turtlebacker hosts a biking adventure 
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The Turtlebacker puts a flatbed behind a Turtleback trailer, combining toy hauling and camping capabilities
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The Turtlebacker puts a flatbed behind a Turtleback trailer, combining toy hauling and camping capabilities
Unlike the Australian-market Patriot TH610, the Turtlebacker is built and sold in the US
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Unlike the Australian-market Patriot TH610, the Turtlebacker is built and sold in the US
The Turtlebacker is of course heavier than simple off-road tent-top trailers and teardrops, rated at up to 7,000 lb
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The Turtlebacker is of course heavier than simple off-road tent-top trailers and teardrops, rated at up to 7,000 lb
The Turtlebacker is all about having fun in the outdoors, for days on end
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The Turtlebacker is all about having fun in the outdoors, for days on end
The basic Turtlebacker starts just under $27,000, and options like the roof-top tent, fridge/freezer hardware and upgraded electrical equipment will push the price up from there
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The basic Turtlebacker starts just under $27,000, and options like the roof-top tent, fridge/freezer hardware and upgraded electrical equipment will push the price up from there
The slide-out kitchen comes standard with a dual-burner stove and sink 
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The slide-out kitchen comes standard with a dual-burner stove and sink 
The Turtlebacker is designed to be towed by a half-ton truck
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The Turtlebacker is designed to be towed by a half-ton truck
The 12-foot bed offers space for an ATV or two-seat side-by-side, while the 14-foot bed adds the room needed for a four-seat side-by-side
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The 12-foot bed offers space for an ATV or two-seat side-by-side, while the 14-foot bed adds the room needed for a four-seat side-by-side
Heading out to desert adventure with the Turtlebacker trailer
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Heading out to desert adventure with the Turtlebacker trailer
Turtleback Trailers is based in Phoenix, Arizona
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Turtleback Trailers is based in Phoenix, Arizona
Turtleback originally planned to offer the large 23 Zero Sydney tent as part of the Turtlebacker standard package, but customers were looking for a little more customizing flexibility, so tents are now optional
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Turtleback originally planned to offer the large 23 Zero Sydney tent as part of the Turtlebacker standard package, but customers were looking for a little more customizing flexibility, so tents are now optional
The Turtlebacker hosts a biking adventure 
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The Turtlebacker hosts a biking adventure 
23 Zero's largest tent, the Sydney provides dual ladders 
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23 Zero's largest tent, the Sydney provides dual ladders 
Turtleback introduced the Turtlebacker earlier this year
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Turtleback introduced the Turtlebacker earlier this year
The new Turtlebacker toy haulin' camping trailer from Turtleback Trailers
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The new Turtlebacker toy haulin' camping trailer from Turtleback Trailers
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Back in 2014, we looked at a particularly rugged, new off-road trailer from market newcomer Turtleback. In the three and a half years since, Turtleback's lineup has grown from a single trailer to a range of trailers built for everything from extended intercontinental expeditions to weekend adventures. Its latest trailer carries more than just cookware and camping gear, shouldering an ATV, side-by-side or dirt bikes for a serious weekend (or full week) of fun in the desert or mountains.

When you have six figures to drop on a lifted and loaded Jeep Wrangler Rubicon towing a fully loaded camping trailer, there's a good chance you have a few other toys at home, some of which might greatly enhance any camping expedition you take with your vehicle and trailer. But if you're already towing a trailer, there's a question of how to get those toys to camp. Bicycles and kayaks can find a home on a vehicle or trailer-top roof rack, but larger, more powerful toys need some extra space.

Camping trailer companies aren't ignorant to this need and have come up with a variety of solutions, including multipurpose interiors, as on the Knaus Deseo, and raisable tent tops, like the one on the Schutt Xventure XV-2. Other manufactures have combined camping trailer with flatbed to make a big, mean towable fit for hauling a sports car, Jeep Wrangler, or dirt bike or two.

We've previously looked at the Australian-market Patriot TH610 and the less rugged, more highway-oriented Nuthouse Acorn, and the Turtlebacker becomes the latest toy hauler/camping trailer to find its way to market. The new trailer combines Turtleback's proven ultra-rugged, "expedition inspired" construction with a dual-axle flatbed built to haul an ATV, UTV, two-door rock crawler, motorcycles, or whatever else you're into that'll fit on a 12-foot (3.7-m) bed. Turtleback also offers a 14-foot (4.3-m) bed large enough for a four-seat side-by-side.

Heading out to desert adventure with the Turtlebacker trailer
Heading out to desert adventure with the Turtlebacker trailer

Much like Patriot did by combining the features of its X1 camping trailer with a flatbed, Turtleback has taken its signature model, the Expedition Trailer, and rolled in a flatbed to create a fun-loving toy hauler with full-blown camping capabilities. The bed features aluminum deck plating atop a hot-dipped galvanized steel chassis, along with 3 rows of tie-down track for securing all those wheeled toys in place.

Up ahead, the deck gives way to the rugged but feature-packed camper, its powder-coated aluminum body housing camping equipment and storage solutions. The passenger side includes a slide-out Baltic birch kitchen with stainless steel dual-burner stove, sink and storage, and an available fridge/freezer slide can be mounted next to the kitchen. A 42-gal (159-L) water tank supplies the sink and exterior shower, which uses the flatbed as its floor to get you off the dirty ground. A 6-gal (23-L) water heater is also standard.

The Turtlebacker puts a flatbed behind a Turtleback trailer, combining toy hauling and camping capabilities
The Turtlebacker puts a flatbed behind a Turtleback trailer, combining toy hauling and camping capabilities

The Turtlebacker can carry a roof-top tent or gear atop the trailer box's integrated four-rail cargo deck. Buyers can choose from a variety of available tent models, including the extra-large 23 Zero Sydney, which includes dual ladders, a spacious mattress and an annex with floor. Turtleback originally included the Sydney as standard, but company chief Dave Munsterman tells us they found that customers wanted more flexibility so Turtleback switched to an optional tent pricing model.

The Turtlebacker includes a tongue box that houses some of the hardware for the standard electrical system. That system stores power in an AGM battery and distributes it to hardware like the LED flood lights, storage lights and undercarriage lights, along with 12V and USB outlets.

The Turtlebacker has a 7,000-lb (3,175-kg) torsion axle system and is designed to be towed by a 1/2-ton truck. It rides on 15-in Pro Comp steel wheels and BFGoodrich KO2 tires.

The Turtlebacker starts at US$26,995, and like any camper, can rise quickly in price based upon options selected. Along with the roof-top tent and fridge/freezer slide, available options include a 270-degree Foxwing awning; electrical system upgrades like dual batteries, a 1,000- or 2,000-watt inverter and solar panels; and an upgraded kitchen equipment package.

Source: Turtleback Trailers

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