By Tony Barthel
As I write these from the comfort of my traditional travel trailer, in my mind, I’m also interested in one of those off-road trailers. These serious off-road-caliber trailers are very popular in Australia, as evidenced by the Black Series Classic12. There are people making them in North America, too, including RKS Purpose and the TAXA TigerMoth. Now, in addition to those, I’ve found the Off Grid Trailers Expedition 2.0.
What is it?
Off Grid Trailers are a line of four trailers designed very specifically for the off-road lifestyle. The common factor in all the trailers is the complete lack of wood or other materials that can be damaged by water (excluding the obvious bedding and such).
Looking at the Off Grid Trailers Expedition 2.0, the specs are well suited to off-roading. You’ll find a powder-coated aluminum body riding on a Timbren 3500HD suspension with a 4-inch lift and 12-inch brakes. This is all 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.
Options in the Expedition 2.0 to accommodate your off-roading style
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. That offers greater freedom of movement between the tow vehicle and the trailer. You can also get wheels that match those of a Jeep.
In some ways, you could define this trailer as being of the teardrop variety only because there’s a sleeping space on the interior of the trailer. Also, the kitchen is outside and accessible through opening panels.
The kitchen in the Expedition 2.0 is separated into two different compartments. At the very front is a Dometic 55 liter “cooler-style” 12-volt refrigerator-freezer on a slide-out drawer-type arrangement. At the back of the trailer are a two-burner stovetop and a stainless steel sink on a drop-down mechanism. Hot water comes courtesy of an on-demand water heater that’s propane-fired with a small propane bottle on the side of the trailer.
We used these same water heaters at a resort I owned and they were miserable, but that’s because the guests couldn’t figure them out. They do take some fiddling with the knobs.
The entire back of the trailer has a lift-up panel that reveals a pantry with adjustable metal shelves.
Options galore in Off Grid Trailers
One of the advantages of dealing directly with a manufacturer is that there will be plenty of options to choose from. For example, the Switchback R features a 30-gallon fresh water tank and can be had with an on-demand water heater with a shower head. This is made better by the optional outdoor shower tent (depending on who you’re camping with). There are also a few awning choices that, according to reviews by owners, set up very, very quickly. In fact, that’s a hallmark of these trailers – setup and tear down are extremely fast.
In addition to the awnings there are full-on tents and a roof-top tent available for the trailer as well.
One of the things that tickled my funny bone was the solar package, referred to as “Canada proof.”
This is clearly a trailer designed for those who like roughing it – as the heater and air conditioner are both just options. However, I can see the folks who buy this are happy sleeping on an actual mattress with a high-performance fan.
There are a number of solar, battery and inverter options depending on how civilized you’d want to get with this trailer.
A lesson for all
If you have been shopping for a new pickup truck, you have likely looked at the manufacturer’s website and gone through their shopping tools. As you build your truck it shows the colors, price and all of that through the process. Off Grid Trailers is the first one I’ve seen really do this exceptionally well in the RV business.
I also love that you can wrap the trailer with various graphics. There are no swooshes and swirls. Instead there are solid colors or tasteful images that are reflective of the outdoors.
There was one thing I truly disliked about the design of the Expedition 2.0, and that’s the white painted metal interior. It feels like a submarine or battleship to me and is very cold. The company has done such an outstanding job with their website and the optional exterior graphics of these trailers, so the interior is a bit of a letdown. However, owners can fix this in short order with something like stick-on wallpaper from a company like Spoonflower. It makes wallpaper that adheres like a Post-It Note and can be easily removed.
Admittedly, you only have limited space in a trailer designed to find hidden spots deep in the forests. But I thought it was odd that you had the pantry at the back of the trailer, the kitchen on the side and the cooler at the front. You’ll be running around just to make a sandwich.
But, still, I like the all-metal design of the trailer and the rugged appearance. Also, the tents and awnings available are pretty slick. This is definitely a trailer that’s ready for adventure and, based on the materials being used, it would be ready for adventure for years to come.
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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