By Tony Barthel
As campgrounds fill up, boondocking is becoming a bigger focus for a lot of RV manufacturers. But I think I’ve found the boondocking champion in the small travel trailer space. The Outdoors RV Back Country 20BD is one of the best-suited smaller RVs I’ve seen for boondocking, period. Why?
Insulation in an Outdoors RV
Outdoors RV is a company that takes its climate readiness very, very seriously. The walls of the trailer are a full 2” thick, the underbelly is fully enclosed with heat ducts directed to it and even the knife valves are inside the heated space.
Frankly, this isn’t horribly unusual. But the fact that even the outside shower is behind a 1” thick door represents how well this rig is insulated. There are also thermal pane windows throughout.
The Outdoors RV Back Country 20BD is a boondockers delight
Insulation and weather readiness aren’t the only things that really set this trailer apart. What made my chins drop is the 100-gallon fresh water tank aboard a trailer this size. I’ve been excited about 52-gallon tanks in the past. So I’m doubly thrilled with this much fresh water storage available.
My wife and I can camp for three to four days with our trailer that has 37 gallons of fresh water. So we could easily be out a week in this trailer, especially since the gray and black tanks are 40 gallons apiece. My wife would also love the 10-gallon water heater in this, as opposed to the typical six-gallon models in many RVs.
There’s also 170 watts of solar on the roof. But, if you’re camped in the winter, there’s an Onan 3.6 propane generator aboard. Worried about running out of propane? You shouldn’t be, as there are 80 pounds of propane capacity as well. This trailer is absolutely a boondocking monster. It is easily as capable as a lot of toy hauler fifth wheels in this regard, but isn’t nearly as gigantic or unwieldy as those.
The Back Country 20BD has a gun safe
Oh, and get this. There’s a gun safe in the trailer as well as a mounting bracket where you can mount your ax up in the front storage compartment. You can tell that Outdoors RV is truly in lumberjack country. Okay, they don’t call it a gun safe but it’s a safe about the size of a handgun with a combination lock right above the nightstand on the road side in the bedroom – so draw your own conclusions. Actually, the brochure calls it an “easy access home defense bed safe.”
Lastly, the battery storage on the tongue has a provision for up to four batteries, again, assuming you’ll want to just go off-grid and stay there.
What’s inside the Outdoors RV Back Country 20BD
The bottom of this trailer is higher than many, so you’ll go up three steps to get in, owing to the trailer’s design for going into the backcountry.
Inside, the first thing that made me happy is the U-shaped dinette in the back which is surrounded by absolutely huge thermal pane windows. If you’re going camping where it’s beautiful, which is sort of the whole idea, this camper lets you experience that beauty from inside. There’s even a skylight above the dinette on the road side.
The TV is viewable from the dinette and Outdoors RV has fitted this with a 12-volt TV so no need to run an inverter to catch your favorite cartoons.
The galley is on the camp side with a large stainless steel sink in which there’s a drying rack. This is next to the three-burner stove with a 17” oven and, above that, the microwave.
Opposite the galley is the bathroom. This also has a sink and a shower. Taller travelers will love the fact that the interior height of the ceiling in here is 6’11”. Yep, lumberjacks can take a shower in this trailer.
Lastly, the bedroom features a true queen-sized bed with a hanging closet on each side along with a nightstand. There’s storage under the bed, as is typical.
A brick what?
To accommodate that weight and beefiness there is a heavy-duty suspension that incorporates shock absorbers and Goodyear E-rated tires on 5,200-pound axles. Many trailer suspensions aren’t quite able to carry the entire weight of the trailer when you look at the specifications with the assumption that 15% of the weight falls on the shoulders of the tow vehicles.
In fact, I had someone file a warranty claim wanting a suspension and tires that would fully support his trailer, which was denied by the manufacturer. Here you’ll find there’s more than enough suspension and tires to accommodate the 9,995 GVW of this trailer. That means you have 3,840 pounds of cargo-carrying capacity. That should accommodate 800 pounds of water just fine.
Outdoors RV builds their own frames in-house, which is part of why they can offer something like this with this much water capacity.
A trailer that is built like a tank and insulated like a fortress is also not going to fit into anyone’s “light” category, as you might expect. So this rig starts around 6,155 pounds with a dry hitch weight of 755 pounds. So you’re likely not going to tug it around with your half-ton truck or SUV.
I also wish they hadn’t put the solar charge controller right over the bed as it does have a lighted indicator panel. I just want to sleep in complete darkness. Also, the gun safe takes up some of the space on the camp side nightstand. But, more than that, it’s a sharp-edged metal box. So I’m sure there will be more than a few times someone shoots their mouth off after unexpected contact with it in the middle of the night.
This trailer intrigues me so much I am putting it on my very, very short list of trailers to look at for my own camping adventures. The build quality and beefiness of this design just really intrigue me. But I love boondocking, so the credentials of this model in that space are almost beyond reproach.
Add the optional second solar panel and fill the battery tray with all four batteries and you can spend a lot of time off the grid not worrying about when you have to go back into the civilized world. Except with this nice interior and first-rate insulation you’re essentially bringing the best parts of the civilized world with you – right into the forest.
In fact, I even like the stickers on the outside. And I hope you were sitting down for that.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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