Recent­ly, I read a post over at Scott William’s, Bug-Out Sur­vival blog called 4x4 Tent Trail­ers for Haul­ing Your Stuff Off Road.  With­out going into great detail, I have looked at these before with great inter­est, pri­mar­i­ly because I dri­ve an SUV.  There are a cou­ple dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers of “sur­vival trail­ers.” that would allow you to use them for camp­ing or bug­ging out.  So, this prompt­ed me to do a lit­tle more research. Pric­ing, avail­abil­i­ty, etc…

Liv­ing in an apart­ment in north­ern NJ, you might think I am a lit­tle wacky, and hon­est­ly I cur­rent­ly have nowhere to park it.  If I were to invest in one of these trail­ers (I will get into the dif­fer­ent brands/models short­ly) I would have to find a place to park it.  I would pre­fer indoors, which means that I would have to find a garage to rent basi­cal­ly indef­i­nite­ly.

I need to pref­ace, that if I were to look into pur­chas­ing one of these units that I cer­tain­ly would use it for both a Bug Out Vehi­cle and for the camp­ing expe­ri­ence that it might be able to pro­vide.  This is espe­cial­ly true if I am pay­ing 100+ dol­lars a month to rent a garage bay near my home so that I have “easy access” to the unit.  From a no debt per­spec­tive, anoth­er $100 a month adds up.  From a bet­ter pre­pared­ness per­spec­tive, and giv­en that I can store preps in the trail­er for both camp­ing and bug­ging out, and have easy access to it.

The pros to this are that camp­ing and boon­dock­ing do not have to always hap­pen at a camp­ground only.  Park­ing lots, wilder­ness, and camp­grounds can become your home for the night.  In addi­tion, it would not be hard to retro­fit these options with a few crea­ture com­fort extras assum­ing they are not already options you can pur­chase.

Anoth­er rea­son, or so I thought, for look­ing at a small trail­er option for camp­ing and bug­ging out is cost.  I fig­ured that a trail­er like this might fit into my finan­cial bud­get more effec­tive­ly, and just give me more flex­i­bil­i­ty.

There are a few com­pa­nies to look at if you are look­ing at if you want to look at any of these trail­ers.  You will notice the above pic­ture is a teardrop trail­er.  There are many man­u­fac­tur­ers of teardrop trail­ers.  List­ed below is just one of them.  You should “Google” them and judge for your­self what might be right for you after talk­ing with the com­pa­nies if inter­est­ed.

I like the idea of the teardrop trail­er, but I like the idea of more open air camp­ing.  They do, how­ev­er offer more pro­tec­tion from the ele­ments than the below above ground safari tents attached to the trail­ers.

As for the trail­ers, there are a cou­ple dif­fer­ent ways you can look at.  Scot­t’s post 4x4 Tent Trail­ers for Haul­ing Your Stuff Off Road does a good job of out­lin­ing Over­land Trail­ers.  But there are a cou­ple addi­tion­al com­pa­nies you may be inter­est­ed in look­ing at:

  • Cam­pa: Camp USA has both a Trail­er and an Expe­di­tion Vehi­cle.  Both the trail­er and the EV are built for dis­as­ter recov­ery, off road camp­ing, and many of the oth­er adven­tures you can come up with.  Both vehi­cles have a myr­i­ad of fea­tures and options that you can add on if you have the funds.
  • Wells Car­go:  Wells Car­go is a trail­er man­u­fac­tur­er that I found online that seems to make a good trail­er if all you are look­ing to do is haul your gear.

The most inter­est­ing thing I found, how­ev­er, was a web­site by a gen­tle­man named Scott Chaney.  Scott lives in the Pacif­ic North­west and runs a small com­pa­ny that sell the plans to build your own camp­ing trail­er called “The Explor­er Box.”  Inter­est­ing­ly, it is a “Tent Topped Camp­ing Trail­er™.”  In Scot­t’s own words from the intro­duc­tion to his 85 page step by step instruc­tion book, that I pur­chased recent­ly are:

The Explor­er Box design is strong­ly influ­enced by the sim­plic­i­ty of vin­tage tent trail­ers.  It’s a rolling camp box, of sorts, with a kitchen/galley area that includes orga­nized stor­age and counter space on the front and gen­er­al stor­age area in the rear.  On top is a mount­ed tent unit for sleep­ing which can be used with­out unload­ing the trail­er.  It is the per­fect com­pli­ment to a small­er fuel-effi­cient  vehi­cle for folks who enjoy camp­ing adven­tures.

The plans are a step-by-step instruc­tion man­u­al show­ing yow to build “The Explor­er Box.”  I have been look­ing through the plans and real­ized quick­ly three things.  First, I do not have the room to buy the parts and store them until I build the trail­er.  Sec­ond, I have nowhere to actu­al­ly build the trail­er.  And, third, I know that I would have to spend a LOT of time review­ing the doc­u­ments pri­or to build­ing the trail­er.  I also real­ize that it would not be too hard to make a few cus­tom mod­i­fi­ca­tions to add a solar pan­el, bat­tery, 20lb propane tank, water reser­voir, etc…

For the record, the draw­ings are very detailed and aug­ment­ed with clear black and white images.  The parts list and the tool list are detailed, as well.  The man­u­al is bro­ken into 18 chap­ters or steps…  Scott cer­tain­ly took the time to make it as easy as pos­si­ble for some­one to build The Explor­er Box.

The plans I pur­chased for this trail­er are $29.99, and were deliv­ered to my home in two or three days tops.  You can get them here.  Scott includ­ed a nice note based on our email cor­re­spon­dence pri­or to my order.  In my price range, based on what I have seen I think this might be the route I am going.  Take a look at the below videos and order the plans, just in case you get ambi­tious.

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