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On Road Vs. Off Road Camper Trailers

There are thousands of different camper trailers to choose from in the marketplace, especially when it comes to off road camper trailers. Off road camper trailers are designed specifically to do what the name suggests – and that is to go off road with you and your 4×4.

What makes an off road camper trailer different from a regular camper? It all starts with the construction and materials used. An off road camper trailer needs to be built tough – tough enough to endure harsh terrains such as sand, mud, rocks and corrugations. The chassis of an off road camper trailer will be made from heavier, stronger material, as it not only needs to be strong enough to handle the bumps and bruises, but it also needs to support the weight of all of the additional equipment that is typically included in off road camper trailers. This includes things such as additional water tanks, kitchens and additional canvas for added living space, so the platform needs to be strong.


An area that sets an off road camper trailer apart from its road-going cousin is its suspension system. A typical camper may have a single beam axle suspended from a couple of leaf springs, but a dedicated off road camper trailer will usually have an independent suspension system that allows each wheel to move independently. This helps off road camper trailers cruise over rough terrain and obstacles with ease while enabling them to avoid sharp angles that may tip them over.


The equipment that is fitted to an off road camper trailer will differ significantly from that found on a basic camper. The hitch on an off road camper trailer is critical to how it performs off road. The hitch needs to have a much greater range of articulation than a standard 50mm ball, so hitches such as a Treg system or those that incorporate a universal joint will often be found on an off road camper trailer to help it cope with side angles and steep break-over angles.

Likewise, the jockey wheel that is fitted to an off road camper trailer will also need to be upgraded compared to a basic camper. Off road camper trailers will usually be much taller than a standard camper to give it the ground clearance needed to traverse rough terrain, and so it stands to reason that the jockey wheel must also be longer to allow the trailer to be hitched and unhitched easily and quickly.


Quite often, the manufacturers of off road camper trailers will include things like 12v power systems and additional water tanks as standard equipment. As owners of an off road camper trailer are more likely to be heading away from civilisation for extended periods of time, these additions become very handy when away from the comforts of home. Off road camper trailers will also typically come fitted with a kitchen and storage for gas bottles, which must be certified. Any off road camper trailer that does not have this all-important certification is a ticking time bomb and should be avoided at all costs, despite how much marketing hype the company that manufacturers that particular off road camper trailer may make.


As you can see, the differences between off road camper trailers and on road models are quite substantial. If you plan to go off road, make sure you choose an off road camper trailer for your travels.