Military-inspired off-road multi-trailers explore the backcountry
A new name in rugged, off-road camping trailers, UGOAT – that's Utility Go-anywhere Off-road Adventure Trailer – lets its military roots shine. Made by a trio of marines, UGOAT's versatile, Swiss Army-inspired "multi-trailers" put military surplus supplies to work supporting recreational off-road expeditions. They're tough, modular and ready for virtually anything.
Developed in Idaho by father and son US Marine Corp veterans Ray and Austin Gore, along with retired British Royal Marine Commando Jim Fuller, UGOAT trailers are designed as tough-as-nails options for expeditioning deep into the backcountry away from cushy paved roads and amenities. The company's military roots run deep in its two trailers, the Basecamp and Scout.
UGOAT is launching first with the Scout, a modular utility/camping multi-trailer with a raised roof-top tent platform reminiscent of the Xventure XV-2. Instead of just your basic trailer bed, as on other similarly formatted trailers, UGOAT's modular construction pairs that bed with available second- and third-level aluminum boxes that provide added space and organization. So if you need to haul something large – say an ATV – you can just roll the open-air base bed, but if you want more organization for smaller camping gear and tools, you can add one or two levels between the sleeping platform and bed.
UGOAT says that the second- and third-level boxes can be easily removed by two people with the quick-connect fittings. The sleeping platform raises and drops as needed, and can also be removed completely, turning the UGOAT from full-blown expedition trailer into rugged utility trailer good for hauling tools, furniture, garbage or whatever else you might need to stack up and drive out. Currently, the Scout has a manual "lift and secure" system for the sleeping platform, but UGOAT is testing a crank system that Ray Gore tells us will be offered as standard equipment if it performs up to task.
UGOAT says that the galley box is designed to sit on top, whether in two- or three-level configuration. Behind its flip-up door, it holds kitchen equipment secured with straps. A slide-out LED provides light when cooking runs after dark. The company will outfit the kitchen area optionally or the buyer can fill it up with his own gear. Instead of including a stove in the galley box, it mounts it directly to the side of the trailer in the configuration below.
In terms of sleeping quarters, UGOAT tops the Scout with a Tepui roof-top tent in buyer's choice of two-, three- or four-person size. The trailer bed can also sleep two people.
Beyond that, UGOAT can build the trailer from gear-hauler/overnighter up into a full-blown camper with options like the aforementioned galley equipment, fresh water tank, hot water heater, shower, onboard battery, Zamp solar system and more. Other handy options include slide-out loading ramps, a hammock mounting system, an awning and tent annexes.
The UGOAT is built atop a 1/8-in steel tube frame and has 17 in of ground clearance to the axle when equipped with the optional BFG KO2 235/70R16 off-road tires. It relies on an independent torsion suspension system.
UGOAT tells us that the pricing for a two-level Scout with three-person Tepui tent, 21-gal fresh water tank and pump, powder-coated box with bed liner-sprayed interior, ramps, removable tailgate, front toolbox, step fenders, electric brakes, LED backup lights, spare tire carrier and rear adjustable side crank jacks is US$14,995. Adding a fully stocked kitchen, heavy duty steel stove, hot water shower, kitchen sink, onboard battery and those 16-in BFG off-road tires brings the price up to $17,569. The third level box is available as a custom option, and buyers can also choose just the basic utility trailer with no extra boxes or options, building it up on their own or just using it for hauling.
The Scout is a versatile little trailer, and UGOAT's second product, the Basecamp, looks like it will take versatility even further. In a video released on an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year, the Basecamp's Swiss Army inspiration really shines through. Equipment unfolds and slides out, turning it from a simple box into fully outfitted camping trailer.
As seen in the video, the Scout accommodates three people, relying on a pop-up roof to increase headroom. A futon drops quickly from couch to bed form, and a pull-out cot mounted to a separate wall adds more sleeping space. There's also a storage rack for each person's carry-on-sized bag, a food storage shelf and a screw-in removable table. Outside, pull-out kitchen components take care of meal prep, and an externally mounted overhead sprayer serves as a hot shower and kitchen faucet. The roof-access ladder on back drops down to double as a worktop.
We've included the video clip below for readers to get an idea of what UGOAT is thinking with the Basecamp, but the model is still under development and being actively tweaked, reworked and tested as it approaches a planned launch before Spring 2017 (Northern Hemisphere). Some of the design and equipment might change by the time of launch. Gore does say that it's planning to go with the pop-up design, military surplus frames (as available), propane heater, stove, slide-out sink, and space for two to four people, depending upon chosen floor plan.
We hope to take a closer look at the Basecamp once it's ready for market, but you can check out the prototype in the clip below.