If you’ve noticed in a lot of the overlanding trailers we’ve looked at such as the OBI Dweller, Opus Camper, Black Series HQ21 and AntiShanty there is one thing in common – they can trace their roots back to Australia. Such is also the case with the BruderX EXP-4 we’re looking at today. What’s the deal? –
Well, Australia is a country roughly similar in size to the continental U.S. but with only a fraction of the population. That means that less of Australia is covered in concrete and more is covered in the original surface that came standard with the continent. Or island.
More overlanding trailers Down Under
While we’re all nuts about RVs suddenly with the pandemic, it’s not just this country where that’s happening. Australia (and New Zealand) have terrific camping infrastructure and support, though it’s significantly different than our own. For example, RVs tend to be less full hookups and more overlanding. And that’s why we’re seeing these types of rigs coming out of Australia.
Oh, there are absolutely full hookup RVs including Class C and travel trailer models. But these are the ones that seem to be making their way over here just because, until Ember, this seemed to be an underserved market in the U.S.
Bruder means brother, and for co-founding brothers Dan and Toby, their entire lives have revolved around exploring the most remote areas of Australia and the world. Their knowledge of the outdoors and lifelong off-road experiences are what drive them to build these trailers.
The company sells three main models, the EXP-4, EXP-6 and EXP-8. We’ve looked at the EXP-6 in the past, but this model might be more in line with what many people are interested in. However, none of these are inexpensive at all. Even the EXP-4 starts at $83,900, with plenty of options that could push the price up above $100,000.
Keep in mind that the configuration of this trailer is basically what we Yanks would call a teardrop. Well, sort of. It’s built a bit differently.
Rugged construction is the name of the game – starting with a rigid steel frame. Underneath that frame is a fully independent suspension built with tubular aluminum and sporting four shock absorbers, two at each wheel.
Then there are the air bags, as well. They can raise and lower the entire trailer, but can also be used to level the trailer side-to-side.
There are disc brakes at each wheel instead of the typical drums we see in the absolute vast majority of trailers here.
The body is constructed completely of a composite material that is waterproof and very rugged. The molded structure is bolted to the frame with isolating bushings between that body and frame to minimize the vibration transmitted upwards.
The floor plan of this trailer is best described as being typical of what you’d expect in a teardrop trailer – but there are some differences. For example, you have choices of cooktop including available induction cooking or propane-fired cooking. The drawers and cabinets all feature stainless steel latches and soft-close mechanisms.
Like a typical teardrop, a large rear hatch provides access to what is essentially the outdoor kitchen. But since you have the ability to adjust the height of the trailer with the air suspension, you can also set the counter height to best serve whoever’s using the counter.
Further, for a mere $3,700 you can get a tent-like structure to enclose the kitchen when the hatch is open so you could literally have an outdoor indoor kitchen if you’d like.
One of the unusual things about this rig is the storage. In the main body of the camper is a closet with a provision to hang shirts and such. There are also a decent amount of shelves including adjustable shelving. Fans abound, including high-performance vent fans. There are also fans to blow on you while in bed, which would be a big hit with me.
There are a lot of these overlanding trailers that look quite capable for off-roading. This one is a step above most. For example, there is an optional Warn winch under the rear to aid in recovery. You can match the tires on this trailer to many of the off-road tires you might find in a four-wheel-drive tow vehicle. So you only have to carry one set of spares to cover tow vehicle and trailer.
One of the most unusual options I’ve seen in an RV of any kind is a device that pressurizes the interior of the trailer. That means dust doesn’t get in on the journey to and from wherever nobody else is.
Sleeping in the BruderX EXP-4
There are also a good number of choices for sleeping. These start with the standard arrangement that sports two twin-sized mattresses that make up about the same area as a king-sized mattress. You can also get a sort of “loft” bunk above this, if you choose to bring smaller campers with you. And, since the roof is fully walkable, you can also order a roof-top tent, as well. So, if you have the bunk option, that means you could quite literally sleep six people in (and on) this trailer.
And you thought you were going to the deep recesses of the forest to get away from those people! Ha!
In addition to the impressive suspension, there are other details that are worth noting in this trailer. One of those is the roof liner, which is a marine material that’s padded or soft to the touch. I like it. The walls are covered in marine-grade carpeting.
Owing to the fact that most people around the world would be towing this with a diesel-powered vehicle, the space and water heating for this are accomplished with diesel fuel. Yes, there is a shower mounted in the side of the trailer. You can even get an enclosure to surround yourself, if you find yourself modest around bear and coyotes. Or, perhaps, the wolves are the real concern – what with their whistling and all.
Power in the BruderX EXP-4
This rig comes with 200 watts of solar on the front angled section of the roof. The company states that leaves the majority of the roof available for cargo, like a boat or even that roof-top tent. Those panels charge 200 amp-hours of lithium batteries.
The interest in overlanding vehicles is definitely increasing with the idea that you can go places to avoid the crowds, so long as you don’t bring them with you. And there are definitely places where you can go. A trailer like this, hooked to a very capable off-road vehicle, might be a fun way to see some places most folks never get to.
I appreciate the BruderX products
I can certainly appreciate both the build quality and thinking that went into the entire range of BruderX products, including this one. But I wonder how many of us ‘Mericans are going to plop down almost $100K for a teardrop, even if it is a well-thought-out one? For those who do, you are certainly in an exclusive club where the meetings are far from any “bored” room!
I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.
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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