Camping and Off Road Cargo Trailers

Time was a Subaru was plenty of space for us. Then we got a dog, and later, two little beings that smell as bad but require far far more equipment. With a family, we require a bit larger footprint, though we’re still pretty minimal by most standards. While our 4Runner with Yakima SkyBox got us through a recent 4 night overlanding trip through Death Valley, there are times when we need a little bit more capacity. For those times, we turn to our vintage 1990’s AeroTow Trailer. It was purchased in southern California more than 20 years ago and served as sherpa for many a family camping trip to destinations in the lower Kern River valley, like Dome Rock, Elephant Knob and Peppermint Campground as well as many destinations far beyond.

1983 Ford Bronco with Aerotow Camping trailer

Our 1983 Ford Bronco with Aerotow camping trailer at Y-Boulder Spring of 1996

It’s light, but not a lightweight. We loaded it with camping and climbing gear for a family of 5 back then. My wife and I have used it to haul landscaping materials to our various houses in recent years and recently have taken is on camping trips with our family and even added the capacity to cary bikes on the rear.

Camping out of our Aerotow Trailer

Camping out of our Aerotow Trailer

It’s traveled as high as the White Mountain road and as low as the Black Rock playa, drawn by our old Subaru Forester. In recent years, I added a rear receiver hitch where I can mount a rack for bikes.

Overlanding

While it’s seen a lot of dirt road travel, it’s not an overlanding trailer. The wheels are small, and the springs don’t have much travel. I could modify it to take my extra set of 4Runner wheels/tires, but that would require a new axle (like a Torsion or super bling Timbren) and custom fenders. Which would admittedly be rad, and fairly cheap. OR, I could get one of these AWESOME trailers…

My Favorite Overlanding Trailers

So here are my favorites, or the ones I think are coolest. For a complete list of available expedition trailers, check out The Adventure Portal’s Off Road Trailer Buyer’s Guide.

Patriot Campers X1

I’ve done a lot of lot of window-shopping tor adventure trailers, and this one is the best in the world. If you could get it in the USA it would cost you more than $26,000. When it comes to camping the Australians are The Rock to our Wesley Crusher. I’d like to take a standard orbit around that bad boy… Patriot Campers

Turtleback Trailers

These made in USA and much more affordable trailers have everything and the kitchen sink with a roof top tent, awning, water, power and storage for gear and grit for the trail.  Turtleback Trailers

Xventure Off-Road Trailer

These are super rad. Where other trailers makers put all their energy into drawers, and sliders, and racks and kitchen sinks, XVenture has engineered an incredibly strong chassis as a platform for hauling just about anything. Seems a tad overkill to me, and the price is stout for not a whole lot of “features,” but nothing exceeds like excess…  Schutt Industries XVenture Trailer

Echo 5 4×4 Trailer

echo-5-front These recently are being distributed in the USA. Check out the article on Expedition Portal. It’s quite utilitarian in design, though it has a lot of the features of the Patriot like drawers and storage for every little thing. Echo 4×4 Trailers and Tents

Base Camp Trailer

Another cool made in USA overlanding, camping, bug out trailer. This one is more of a custom build than others, the company is new to this kind of product, but they have been making lighting trailers for a while. This one weighs 2200 pounds with 4 batteries and the roof top tent. The Base Camp Trailer

Rock Box

Not 100% sure of the details on these but they look like about the most 4 wheelable of the bunch. Basic box with a lid you can mount a roof top tent on. And BIG TIRES!!!  Rock Box Offroad

Earth Exploration Technologies

SUPER MEGA AEROTOW!!! Sweet! These guys have basically done EXACTLY what I want to do to mine. And check out that rad radius arm air bag suspension! I emailed them and they said their prototype was an AeroTow body in a custom frame. No other details, but you can find more photos on the Earth Exploration Technologies Instagram.

  • Ben Schumacher

    It’s great to see you’ve had such great use out of your trailer. Do you know if the AeroTow company is around anywhere? I recently bought one, but it’s a little more beat-up; I was hoping to find parts somewhere, especially a nosecone. I’ve found that the Venter Super 6 from South Africa looks to be the same trailer. If it isn’t related, I would guess one of them copied the other.

    • http://www.iamindisposed.com/blog/wolfy/ Mike Henderson

      Hi, sorry for the delayed response.

      I know at one point someone was making a clone of the Aerotow, but I can’t find it now. That Super 6 is totally an Aerotow!

      For a nose cone I’d look at one of the generic trailer tongue boxes. They will be bigger and have a nicer lid most likely.

      -M

    • http://www.iamindisposed.com/blog/wolfy/ Mike Henderson

      Hi, sorry for the delayed response.

      I know at one point someone was making a clone of the Aerotow, but I can’t find it now. That Super 6 is totally an Aerotow!

      For a nose cone I’d look at one of the generic trailer tongue boxes. They will be bigger and have a nicer lid most likely.

      -M

      • Ben Schumacher

        venter sells what I’m pretty sure is the same nose cone as the original, or at least the same size and shape. After converting the South African Rand to dollars, it isn’t a bad price. It is, however, in South Africa. I’m a little scared of the shippin costs.

      • Ben Schumacher

        venter sells what I’m pretty sure is the same nose cone as the original, or at least the same size and shape. After converting the South African Rand to dollars, it isn’t a bad price. It is, however, in South Africa. I’m a little scared of the shippin costs.