Trailer Camping - What are you towing off road and do you like it?

GTGallop

Well-Known Member
First Name
Greg
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
479
Reaction score
853
Location
Cave Creek, AZ
Website
www.qrz.com
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ranger XLT 4X4
Occupation
Project Manager
As I get older I see the beauty in a Tear Drop Trailer or other small camping outfit. Does anyone here have a set up you'd like to share and discuss and what works well / not so well?

I'll be using this in primitive and dispersed sites. No facilities. No shore power. No water. Off Grid and Remote.





Advertisement

 

sbreech

Well-Known Member
First Name
Steve
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
63
Reaction score
159
Location
Central Ohio
Vehicle(s)
2020 Ford Ranger XLT
Occupation
Systems Administrator
As I get older I see the beauty in a Tear Drop Trailer or other small camping outfit. Does anyone here have a set up you'd like to share and discuss and what works well / not so well?

I'll be using this in primitive and dispersed sites. No facilities. No shore power. No water. Off Grid and Remote.
Our rig is the 2020 Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 Crew Cab pulling a 2021 NuCamp Tab 400 Boondock. This is the larger end of the spectrum for teardrops, but it still tows very well at under 3000 pounds empty. I believe I use a 6" drop hitch for this, no WD hitch and no anti-sway bar. It tows like a dream.

For boondocking, our freshwater tank is 27 gallons, and does my wife, dog, and myself just fine for 3 nights conserving water. The twin 6v gel cells that came with the camper do very well, and stay pretty much topped off with the solar panels. This is enough power to run the lights, 2 fans, TV, radio, fridge, and a couple small appliances as needed. For heat, we have propane. The alde system does an incredible job. We were sitting in the camper the other evening on a 12 degree night, in the camper, which took about 3 hours to get up to 69 degrees. The alde system also has a tankless hot water system, which can run on electric OR gas OR both. The alde system isn't forced air, so it is practically silent. It runs hot glycol lines around the perimeter of the camper and under the floor in the bathroom (heated floor for shower or late night bathroom break). The camper also has a built in inverter to run smaller items on A/C while on battery power.

Boondocking, you cannot run the AC UNLESS you have a generator, like the (#1 rated) Predator 3500 from Harbor Freight. It is very quiet and fairly light. If you'd like, you can spend twice the money on a Honda generator...

IMG_7676.jpeg
 
Last edited:

the1mrb

Well-Known Member
First Name
Matt
Joined
May 22, 2019
Messages
2,086
Reaction score
4,025
Location
Duluth, MN
Website
www.fuelly.com
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ford Ranger, XLT FX4
Occupation
Aerostructures Engineer
Vehicle Showcase
1
We absolutely love our rig! We have a TC Teardrop 5x10 model and it is the perfect camper for our needs. We got it a couple years ago after debating it for almost a year. What really put us over the edge was tent camping in the wet snow and cold at the beginning of October. Came home from that and put in our order for the camper. haha All we really wanted was a hardshell well insulated bed off the ground, and that's essentially all a teardrop camper is. You don't need to re-set it up at home after a wet trip like you do a pop-up or tent. You can leave it behind at the site unlike a truck camper or roof top tent. It does have less amenities than a full travel trailer, but we're minimalist outdoor people and are fine doing a lot of activities outside.

IMG_20201009_123325469_HDR.jpg


There are quite a few teardrop makers out there these days, all of which offer a different ideal and functionality. And I did a lot of research before our purchase. A lot of teardrops are either road cruising focused, or ultra off-road focused. And a lot of them I found had convertibility inside (move the pads around to convert from a couch to a bed and the like), but we didn't like that idea. We just wanted an actual comfortable matress without compromise. Others also incorporated a built in fridge/cooler, stove, and sink with onboard water. Not necessarily interested in that because that adds weight and takes away storage space. We wanted to keep ours simple and lightweight (originally were pulling it with my last Subaru Crosstrek).

IMG_20200826_125420503_HDR.jpg


TC Teardrops is a Wisconsin based company that allows extensive customizability. I literally conversed with the owners about what we wanted and what we were planning on doing with our rig. And since they're avid campers, using their own product, they had good recommendations for things to get/add and what they've found work best. You basically start from a base shell in any of 4 sizes (4x8, 5x8, 5x9, or 5x10) and add whatever you want to that. The come in 196 different colors, so really there is likely no other rig out there exactly like ours. The base models are very cheap and light for those minimalists, but you can still add a bunch of options to make it plenty more comfortable and useful.

Ours, the largest model of 5x10 (since I'm 6' 1" and wanted space to sleep comfortably), weighs in at 1200lbs dry with all our options, and is still small enough to sit below the roofline of the truck (especially with our topper), so it doesn't result in much frontal area addition. That means I still get ~20mpg pulling it with the Ranger on the highway. Goes down quite a bit on the freeway as expected, but we don't do that too much.

Weight: 1200lbs dry, ~1800lbs loaded for 10day trip
Size: 5x10 cabin, ~16' total
Cost: $7500 base, $11,800 with our specific options
Options from factory: 90w solar panel, front toolbox, 2" lift, off-road style tires, spare tire, shore power hookup, Rhino Rack roof bars, Rhino Rack Batwing 270deg awning, electric brakes, onboard Autowbrake brake controller, 12v outlet in galley for electric cooler, squared fenders, electric heater, queen mattress
Options I've added: second battery, inverter in galley, reciprocating fan in cabin (x2), more to come

IMG_20200829_122357739.jpg


Off-road-ability: We've taken it many off-road places. Many times on rough overgrown two-tracks in the middle of the Superior National Forest enroute to dispersed camping sites. And since the camper has much more ground clearance than the truck, then I have no doubts it'll go anywhere the truck is able.

Livability: We regularly sleep my wife and me, and our two 50-60lb dogs inside without issue. The 270deg awning allows for 3 times as much protected space outside, especially with the addition of the optional walls which provide great wind and rain protection. It takes 5mins to setup and teardown, including unhook and setting up the awning. A bit more to stake everything down and setup the walls (if we want them). With the solar we never need to get electric campsites and can easily stay at dispersed sites. We lasted 9 days, with shaded sites and rainy/cloudy days, while running our fans (x3) almost constantly and charging phones, computer, dogs collars, and smart watches. The panel charges the battery from dead to full in a single day in direct sunlight.

IMG_20201008_164845603_HDR.jpg
 

Frenchy

Well-Known Member
First Name
Chris
Joined
Mar 15, 2020
Messages
1,811
Reaction score
1,551
Location
Poncha Springs
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ford Ranger, 1983 Datsun 280ZX 2+2 Turbo
Occupation
Ford Dealership Mechanic
One camper I have considered is the X1 and X3 by Patriot Campers out of Australia. There is one dealer in Oklahoma that sells them and they can go just about anywhere offroad. There is a very tough trail out in Moab Utah that is a Jeep trail and the guys over at Patriot Campers took both a Ranger and an X2(I belive an older version of the X1) on that trail. It is possible that is the only camper that has been that way but no promises there.

Here is a link to thier website.
https://www.patriotcampers.com.au/
 

the1mrb

Well-Known Member
First Name
Matt
Joined
May 22, 2019
Messages
2,086
Reaction score
4,025
Location
Duluth, MN
Website
www.fuelly.com
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ford Ranger, XLT FX4
Occupation
Aerostructures Engineer
Vehicle Showcase
1
One camper I have considered is the X1 and X3 by Patriot Campers out of Australia. There is one dealer in Oklahoma that sells them and they can go just about anywhere offroad. There is a very tough trail out in Moab Utah that is a Jeep trail and the guys over at Patriot Campers took both a Ranger and an X2(I belive an older version of the X1) on that trail. It is possible that is the only camper that has been that way but no promises there.

Here is a link to thier website.
https://www.patriotcampers.com.au/
So expensive! Anything from Australia will be crazy good and capable, no doubting that. And leave to the Aussies to go above and beyond and really go for camping in the bush with everything and even more in mind. Man, everytime I see camper from down there I'm amazed at how elaborate and intricate they are. Of course, like I said, quite expensive as well.
 

Frenchy

Well-Known Member
First Name
Chris
Joined
Mar 15, 2020
Messages
1,811
Reaction score
1,551
Location
Poncha Springs
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ford Ranger, 1983 Datsun 280ZX 2+2 Turbo
Occupation
Ford Dealership Mechanic
As the saying goes "you get what you pay for" and if you are looking to off grid like such then this will do the trick.
 

mtbikernate

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
202
Reaction score
270
Location
NC
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ranger XLT 4x4, 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek
I have a Hiker Trailer.

50020510593_dd401bfd10_c.jpg
0615201313
by Nate, on Flickr

Mine is a highway 5x10 model. Was right around $10 with options, very similar to what the1mrb has.

I put a 100Ah LiFePo battery in it this year, as my old AGM was on its last legs. Got a Dometic fridge at an REI garage sale, too, and am in the process of making adjustments to the galley storage to be able to fit it on a slide back there.

I've been thinking about flipping the axle (it's currently above the leaf springs) to give it more ground clearance, and then throwing on some Timbren bumpstops to give it even better manners. It handles well enough on the kinds of gravel roads I take it on, but a little more ground clearance and bounce control would be handy when getting around in less "groomed" spaces. That'd probably give me room for more gravel-friendly tires, too.
 

Marshal.

Well-Known Member
First Name
Marshal
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
136
Reaction score
124
Location
Canada
Vehicle(s)
2019 ford ranger, 1979 Mazda rx7
This is what I tow. It’s 21’ in total, and about 4000lbs loaded. I use a WD hitch, as well as I’ve equipped the truck with SumoSprings. It’s been really good to us, I generally lock it out of 8/9/10 gears on the highway, and stick to 110kph. We’ve been all over the mountains with it, an the only complaint is the tiny fuel tank of the ranger.
A894A672-DB6E-4D5D-B4B4-211E30D181D0.jpeg
 

Frenchy

Well-Known Member
First Name
Chris
Joined
Mar 15, 2020
Messages
1,811
Reaction score
1,551
Location
Poncha Springs
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ford Ranger, 1983 Datsun 280ZX 2+2 Turbo
Occupation
Ford Dealership Mechanic
This is what I tow. It’s 21’ in total, and about 4000lbs loaded. I use a WD hitch, as well as I’ve equipped the truck with SumoSprings. It’s been really good to us, I generally lock it out of 8/9/10 gears on the highway, and stick to 110kph. We’ve been all over the mountains with it, an the only complaint is the tiny fuel tank of the ranger.
A894A672-DB6E-4D5D-B4B4-211E30D181D0.jpeg
On a side note a bigger tank is in the works as we speak.
 

Big Blue

Well-Known Member
First Name
Lee
Joined
May 5, 2020
Messages
1,106
Reaction score
1,655
Location
Wisconsin
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ford Ranger XLT FX4 Supercrew lighting blue
Occupation
Retired mechanical designer
This is what I tow. It’s 21’ in total, and about 4000lbs loaded. I use a WD hitch, as well as I’ve equipped the truck with SumoSprings. It’s been really good to us, I generally lock it out of 8/9/10 gears on the highway, and stick to 110kph. We’ve been all over the mountains with it, an the only complaint is the tiny fuel tank of the ranger.
A894A672-DB6E-4D5D-B4B4-211E30D181D0.jpeg
Looks very similar to my R-pod, which we like alot. Ranger pulls it great. We don't do wilderness camping, but it's solar ready and an axle block is available. So with bigger tires I probably could. We just like a few more creature comforts than the smaller tear drops afford.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EJH
First Name
Daryn
Joined
May 10, 2020
Messages
6
Reaction score
23
Location
Tumwater, Wa
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ranger STX FX4
Occupation
Air Traffic Controller
I’ve got a 2020 high altitude trailer.
full foam/ composite construction.
100w solar, 1100w inverter, 10lb propane, stove, domestic 35l fridge, hot water sprayer/ shower, Thule racks, batwing awning.

FFCD185B-8E98-42ED-9A2C-BC1B9C5311A2.jpeg


8D645223-3AD8-4EFB-9552-6DEBD31814A2.jpeg


AFFB53E1-EA5E-4553-BB66-28838D08A6D6.jpeg


7D91DD8B-A78B-482D-8875-B5C9D510444A.jpeg


D1E11F53-61D1-4385-8417-E207A9733D69.jpeg
 

jeffe

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jeff
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
110
Reaction score
205
Location
Texas
Vehicle(s)
'98 Lincoln MK VIII, '19 Ranger XLT, Magnetic, 2WD CC, Sport pkg, towing pkg, rear locker.
Occupation
CPO, USN Retired, Retired AT&T Field Tech
I tow a 2008 17' Casita. Durable fiberglass construction. Loaded out supposed to be 3500lbs. Not rigged for solar (yet) but my 2KW Honda can run the AC and the rest (minus microwave) no problem.
20190808_094822.jpg
 

Rescue Ranger

Active Member
First Name
Don
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
35
Reaction score
34
Location
Finksburg MD
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ford Ranger XLT FX4, 1998 Ranger supercab 4.0 4X4 xlt
I have a Jayco 145RB I took it from Maryland to Yellowstone September 2020. Its not had it axel flipped and off road tires put on but going into the Shoshone National Forest Lily Lake it went fine just was aware of the drain. There are a lot of off road type campers a lot are being set up with solar and the new 12 volt compressor refrigerators. The GeoPro from Forest River seams to tick a lot of boxes for my next camper Jayco has the SLX7 series and the new Micro line that is a direct competitor to the GeoPro. I look at boutique manufactures and got the Jayco seamed like the best option at the time and its easy to make your own. You never buy your forever camper the first time around. If you want to search YouTube check out Josh the RV Nerd from Haylett RV in Cold Water MI. I would drive there to buy from them. He does great walk around videos
 

Sashimi_Moto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
203
Reaction score
264
Location
WA
Vehicle(s)
2012 E450 C-Class, 2019 Ranger Lariat 501A FX4
I’ve got a 2020 high altitude trailer.
full foam/ composite construction.
100w solar, 1100w inverter, 10lb propane, stove, domestic 35l fridge, hot water sprayer/ shower, Thule racks, batwing awning.

FFCD185B-8E98-42ED-9A2C-BC1B9C5311A2.jpeg
I love Ski Camping in B-Lot at Crystal! I did it with my E450 Class C and in a big storm, I quickly learned how much I hate open differentials and having to put chains on a motorhome!
 
  • Like
Reactions: EJH

E Monty

Well-Known Member
First Name
Eric
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
67
Reaction score
145
Location
Mitten
Vehicle(s)
‘20 Ranger XLT/‘03 Excursion
Occupation
Sheet Metal Worker
I have a Jayco 145RB I took it from Maryland to Yellowstone September 2020. Its not had it axel flipped and off road tires put on but going into the Shoshone National Forest Lily Lake it went fine just was aware of the drain. There are a lot of off road type campers a lot are being set up with solar and the new 12 volt compressor refrigerators. The GeoPro from Forest River seams to tick a lot of boxes for my next camper Jayco has the SLX7 series and the new Micro line that is a direct competitor to the GeoPro. I look at boutique manufactures and got the Jayco seamed like the best option at the time and its easy to make your own. You never buy your forever camper the first time around. If you want to search YouTube check out Josh the RV Nerd from Haylett RV in Cold Water MI. I would drive there to buy from them. He does great walk around videos
Haylett is 20 minutes away and they are a great RV dealer from sale to service !! We are customers of theirs.
 

Advertisement





 


Advertisement
Top