RV companies have their roots in all sorts of places, but I bet you haven’t seen a company who started by building sheep camps. Yet. But that’s exactly where Western Range Camps had its roots. They continue to build sheepherders campers but now can build one of the same caliber for us RVers.
Western Range Camps
Headquartered in Mount Pleasant, Utah, Western Range Camps started out catering to shepherds as the company founders were in this profession and had several Camps (trailers) but needed several more. The format and configuration of these hasn’t changed in generations. Many of this style of camper have stayed in the family for generations.
The company today builds to the same standards that have proven successful over many generations, but uses modern methods for doing so. For example, today the company employs modern CNC computer-based routers to make cabinetry and interior components.
But the walls and chassis are done how they have been for some time.
Western Range Camps are custom-built and heavy
Starting with the steel chassis these are custom-built by the company to their specifications. Then they employ 2X6 flooring and use rolled insulation between the layers.
Wall construction is half-inch plywood with 3/4-inch bracing and then 3/4-inch foam insulation. The corners are 2 X 2 steel angle iron. The entire floor is enclosed in sheet metal to keep rodents out.
Yes. These are heavy trailers. But their design originated in being used heavily in a harsh environment. Oftentimes one of these Camp trailers will spend months in the field as the sheepherder tends his flock. The interiors have to withstand heavy use, and the exteriors have to withstand whatever weather Mother Nature chooses from her palette of climatic challenges for the day.
One of the things I noticed is that heating for many of these is done by a wood stove. Again, tradition. But you can opt in a propane furnace if you so choose.
In fact, there are all the modern amenities available you might expect in an RV. These include propane-electric refrigerators, propane stoves, air conditioners and even fancy indoor plumbing.
As to plumbing, there are several paths you can take with these. You can opt for a simple system that draws from a portable tank. But there are also options to have your typical RV plumbing system with fresh, gray and black tanks.
Typically, if they do this type of system, the 40-gallon fresh water tank resides under the bed inside the trailer so that it’s resistant to freezing. The black and gray tanks ride underneath, but with 12-volt heating pads on them.
You can also opt for things like composting or cassette toilets.
One of the hallmarks of Western Camps is that each trailer is a unique machine. The company works with the prospective owner to build exactly what they want rather than have every trailer be the same unit.
So there are options like decks on the tongue of the trailer, cargo bays that can swallow a side-by-side, propane-fired furnaces, wood stoves, multiple sleeping surfaces and more. Yes, there are standard floor plans, but you can really tailor the trailer to what you want.
What is typical from model-to-model is that these have very high ground clearance—24” being typical. They are designed to go places where there may not be anything even thought of as a road.
In speaking with Heidi at Western Camps she is a camper herself and said that she recently spent some time camping with a few others. Her Camp doesn’t have air conditioning and she found it to be so well insulated that it didn’t need air conditioning, whereas others were upset when generator hours were over and they had to suffer in the heat.
Since each unit is unique, the company can also customize details of the trailer. Heidi indicated that they have built trailers from as short as 19’ to as long as 47’ in length. Sleeping, storage and other components are customized for the owner. While the price indicated on the chart might be an average, the price also varies based on the size, options and details chosen by the customer.
Incidentally, they also build a chassis that’s more like a wagon chassis with the wheels at each end of the trailer rather than in the middle. I’ve wondered why this wasn’t a more common thing in the past. Apparently, they’re quite difficult for most folks to back up. So while there are advantages in weight bearing, there are enough disadvantages with backing and behavior on highways, so that’s why you never see them.
Western Range Camps builds an unusual trailer
When it comes to building an unusual and quite solid trailer, you could say that Western Range Camps isn’t sheepish about doing so. I hope you don’t dislike this final paragraph and force me to go out on the lamb.
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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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