I’ve written before about how there is a growing movement of people converting cargo trailers to something you can go traveling in. The reasons for doing so and design of these is as varied as the people who do this. But, what if you’re really into overlanding and want something small and capable? For that you may consider the Off Grid Trailer Switchback series.
The tie-in to cargo trailers stems from the fact that these are, technically, cargo trailers and not really RVs. But, of course, they’re used as RVs. The line is somewhat blurry on paper but clear in real life.
Off Grid Trailers
Off Grid Trailers is a line of four trailers designed very specifically for the off-road community. The common factor in all the trailers is the complete lack of wood or other materials in the structure that can be damaged by water.
Looking at the Off Grid Trailers Switchback Series, the specs are well-suited to off-roading. Those include a powder-coated aluminum body riding on a Timbren 3500HD suspension with a four-inch lift and 12-inch brakes. These are on 265/65/R17 wheels paired with 6×5.5 bolt pattern off-road tires. In other words, if your Jeep can do the trail, the trailer should be able to follow it.
Depending on your definition of off-roading, there are various options that will accommodate your style. For example, instead of a standard ball hitch, you can opt for a Max Coupler articulating hitch, which offers greater freedom of movement between the tow vehicle and the trailer. You can also get wheels that match those of a Jeep.
Wait. Didn’t I just write that Jeeps aren’t well-suited to towing? The point of that article, as anything I write about towing, is to know your tow vehicle’s limitations and specifications before you make a buying decision. I wouldn’t tow an Airstream with a Jeep even though the Stellantis press materials show it doing just that. But I would absolutely tow one of these with a Jeep.
Let’s clarify something else. Technically, since there are no sleeping quarters in the Switchback series, it’s essentially a cargo trailer. But because there’s a kitchen available along with a rooftop tent, that makes it worthy of this space. You can tow this somewhere and spend the night with it.
There are two different models of the Switchback series: the Switchback R and the Switchback S. The designation refers to where the kitchen accommodation is: “R” means rear, “S” means side.
What’s in that kitchen depends on the option boxes chosen – and there are plenty of these. While the Switchback series starts at $23,500, I was easily able to pile on the goodies and bring the price well over $30,000.
The standard features include a Dometic 35-liter 12-volt refrigerator, two-burner stainless steel stove and Timbren axle-less suspension. Also, it’s all-metal construction that is powder coated with colors you don’t normally find on trailers – but might find on the color choices at the Jeep dealer.
Options galore in the Switchback
To the base trailer you can add things like tankless water heater with shower wand, barbecue on sliding tray, stabilizing jacks, and larger refrigerators. Also available are upgraded battery systems including systems with inverters, and on-board water storage.
The intriguing thing is that the options include a batwing awning that covers up to 270° of space around the trailer. There’s also that rooftop tent. That’s where this really goes from toting your adventure gear to becoming a place to stay, as well.
As long as you’re checking optional canvas stuff, you can also add on a shower enclosure. So if you want privacy you can have it.
The trailer itself has a large front storage compartment. The amount of additional storage varies, again, based on options chosen and how those play out with your chosen side- or rear-kitchen layout.
Know that this is not the trailer to get if you want to spend time way off the grid but sheltered from the rain. That would be the Black Series trailer we looked at yesterday. This is about pure time spent in nature and just having a very portable home base in which you can enjoy that.
Cool stuff in the Switchback
Just because these trailers are simple doesn’t mean there isn’t some cool stuff aboard. For example, in the slide-out gravity-drain sink there’s a cutting board beneath that you can slide out or use in place for extra counter space.
There are tracks available to lock down your gear. Also, the company puts small storage cubbies all over so that you have a place to stow things.
Furthermore, as mentioned, you can get a number of exterior colors that you don’t usually see. The company can even wrap your trailer in graphics of your choosing.
The ability to customize and configure these combined with the extreme off-roading design make this a very capable rig for those who really do live in the world of adventure. The beautiful thing about the RV industry is that there are so many different configurations available to suit almost any taste.
Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
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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