By Tony Barthel
Based on the number of you who read these stories about overlanding rigs, you’re either wondering what the fuss is about or are seriously interested in finding some great trails yourself. Truthfully, I wouldn’t mind having one of these rigs myself, but I’d want one in addition to my traditional travel trailer, just so I could choose my adventure style. I love being in the middle of nowhere, but I also have no complaints if my couch comes with me to share the journey.
I found a company in Wasilla, Alaska, that makes overlanding-style trailers that feature a lifetime warranty. This isn’t the kind of weenie warranty like on the windows in my house where they won’t even talk to me because I didn’t put them in. This is a warranty against things being wrong in the manufacture of the rig for the life of the rig. Period.
As such, the company is building its trailers differently.
Valiant Expedition Trailers offers a few models. But what caught my attention was the Valiant Extreme Teardrop (XTD). While this trailer does sort of follow the form of a traditional teardrop, with an outside kitchen and indoor bedroom, it’s also very different in some ways.
The Valiant trailers are built with .080” sheet aluminum which is powder-coated on the outside. For 2021, the company has upgraded to a single sheet of aluminum for the roof with no voids whatsoever, so you won’t have to worry about flexible seals failing. This year’s models are slightly larger, but still very lightweight.
With attention to detail, the company has changed to using Dexter hubs, which Jordan McCullogh, founder of Valiant Expedition Trailers, indicates was done to support American manufacturing. However, they take out the bearings that come with those and replace them with Timken American-made bearings.
While these are the kinds of trailers that are perfectly suited to overlanding and following a very capable off-road vehicle, Jordan says that their first sale was to someone who planned to tow it with a Subaru.
In fact, I saw several videos of Jordan literally picking up the tongue of the trailer and moving it around. That means you can push it into a garage if that’s important, or simply move the trailer around as needed without having to hook it up.
There are a few things that I thought were intriguing about the 2021 editions of these trailers. These include the company now providing a pass-through panel from the main sleeping area to the kitchen.
Since Valiant trailers sell their models direct to the customer, there isn’t just one floor plan. They can vary what goes into the trailer based on the wishes of a customer.
So what’s the layout of the Valiant Extreme Teardrop?
Essentially, there’s a front sleeping area and a back outdoor stand-up kitchen. The rear door of the Valiant XTD is a flat panel, sort of like a big garage door, that is hinged upward with strut assists to provide a roof over your head when doing meal prep.
Various models I saw included ones with a Furrion three-burner cooktop and, almost universally, a Dometic 12-volt chest cooler. You have a number of options in choosing the size of the cooler for your build. These include two-well models that have both refrigerator and freezer functionality. These are mounted on pull-out drawer glides.
The main cabin of the Valiant Extreme Teardrop is large enough for a queen-sized bed. Jordan showed off a few examples with tri-fold mattresses so you can have a couch by day and a bed by night if you like. Heaters and high-performance vent fans are among the many options available.
The trailers are framed in steel so roof racks are available. To those you can attach things like a rooftop tent or mounts for all sorts of adventure gear. I’m so used to hearing or reading statements that are dictated by legal departments regarding capacities. So it was refreshing to hear Jordan say, “Basically you can put whatever you want up there. I know how these trailers are built.”
The interior of the Valiant Extreme Teardrop
While the interior is fairly simple, it’s not shoddy and the company uses all birch paneling with a urethane finish. It really looks nice.
There are a lot of options for customizing and accommodating one’s individual choices. They include options for cargo carrying, racks, propane, steps and more. If you’re at all interested in this kind of rig, it’s nice to know a lot of energy was put into the thoughtful touches.
The company has changed its shipping options and now ships to the Lower 48 states with factory-direct builds and sales. But, really, how cool would it be to get one of these and enjoy a trip up to Alaska?
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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