XploreRV XR 22 Extreme Offroad Travel Trailer (& Toy Hauler)
The XploreRV XR 22 Extreme Offroad Travel Trailer (& Toy Hauler) has its roots in designed by Imperial Outdoors a subsidiary of Nelson Industries who have been manufacturing 'Fish Houses' for over 10 years. Its in the overall construction that this camper shines and the industry could perhaps learn something from this manufacturer. This 'Off-Road Camper' is constructed around a reinforced coated steel frame. Thick fully insulated high density foam and hung fibre glass walls with a thermal insulation rating (R) of 13 stand on an insulated floor with an R value of 11. Overhead the 'A' frame fully insulated 'walk on' aluminium roof is 6.5" thick with an R value of 24! Everything is designed above the frame leaving the 'under carriage' obstruction free. There are no heat 'transits' that breech this outer thermal shell.
This is clearly a very professional build, well finished and presented. It appears there is a team here striving for excellence; the trailer is well constructed and they do not appear to have taken any sloppy short cuts. The trailer frankly is a 'bit of a box' but a pointed nose must help the aerodynamics. A fully articulated tow hitch connects the trailer to the towing vehicle.
When being towed on the black top or stationary for loading, the trailer's tandem axles have a ground clearance of about 12 inches. For towing off road this can be raised to 20 inches in just 20 seconds. An onboard air compressor is available for adjusting tyre pressures to improve handling off-road. An electric 18 foot awning can be deployed nearly the full length of the trailer over high quality polycarbonate double windows that keep the weather out. LED lights run around the top so the campsite can be lit with all round lighting.
A rear camera and working lights stand above the full size rear ramp (door) that can be fully lowered to allow 'toys' to be driven inside. This trailer should accommodate most ATV's / UTV's or several bikes. Two full size spare tyres on wheels are mounted on swing away arms on the rear door. Recovery rings below are another indication of off its road capability. Once the trailer is parked at a campsite, if the full functionality of the camper is to be used then the 'Toys' will really need to be removed from the trailer. Perhaps a canvas garage attached to the trailer could be designed for security purposes and to keep toys out of the weather.
The top of the trailer is robust and weight bearing. There is plenty of room for the 2 (or more) x 100W solar panels and a fully insulated Roof top tent.
The water, grey and black water tanks and all the associated pipework lies above the floor in heated areas of the trailer to prevent freezing. In addition hot pads are fitted to the tanks for use in very cold weather.
Tie down rings are fitted on deck (floor) to secure carried loads. At the back by the rear door sits a folding dinette with a drop down bed double overhead. The bench seating down each side does not appear to be very cozy. A U-shaped seat would provide a better space for working and lounging about. Of course this is not really how most users would probably want to utilise the trailer but it should be possible providing it could be removed to facilitate loading and unloading. Maybe it would open the trailer up to other markets and buyer segments too?
Overhead a tung and groove cedar ceiling and LED lighting is standard.
The cabinetry is solid wood. All the furniture is soft close with robust yachting type locking latches to keep gear secure and minimise breakages on the tracks and trails. It includes a 3 burner cooktop and oven with a vent air extractor overhead fitted with a light. A sink with mixer tap and a large 11cuft, 12V Fridge / Freezer with shelves deep enough to hold a 12 pack of coke length ways. Air Conditioning is available. This trailer is fully insulated for extreme cold weather in Wisconsin.
Lounge / Office
The bench seats and collapsable table are very functional for use as originally designed. For an extended expedition such as Tip Toe, it would be nice to have an option for a more luxurious, cozy feel. Somewhere you can stretch out and snuggle up on rest days or in the evenings.
Sleeping. Arrangements are functional. There is a double lift lift bed in the rear above the table and bench seats - U shaped seating below? Depending on the load (Toys carried) it might be necessary to unload to provide sufficient space to drop the bed.
There appears to be space on the deck in front to lay mattresses to sleep a couple more and a high quality roof top insulated tent with a 4" thick mattress overhead.
Water. The trailer has a 36 gallon (~163L) fresh water tank and a 36 gallon grey water tank with its drain above the frame. This potentially gives it roughly a 5 day endurance with two people being careful. An additional tank could be added if necessary. Additional water could also be carried in Jerry Cans in holders at the rear. 12V tank heating pads and tank air warming is provided to avoid freezing tanks and pipes in extreme cold. Hot water is supplied on demand. The system is driven by a Surflow pump.
Shower / Toilet. There is a separate area for the shower and sink. The shower has a functional Maxair reverse air flow covered vent overhead that can be thermostat controlled and even opened when its raining. There is no black water tank in this trailer and therefore nothing to freeze here either. Space allocated for the dry flush toilet appears a little tight. On 'flushing', waste is sucked into a waste bag. The bags support two people for over five days with normal use and thereafter they have to be changed. The used bag can be disposed of in the trash. The replacement process is simple and takes just a fews seconds
Gas. 2 x 20LB (approximately 17.8L) LPG tanks.
Power. The trailer boasts a 40 Ah Lithium Battery bank. 9 x USB Ports and 6 power outlets are spread throughout the inside of the trailer. Its anticipated that the batteries will be able to be charged by 110V shore power where available or a generator and of course solar panels above and / or solar mats. 12V fridge / freezer and TV are available. Air conditioning keeps the trailer cool on hot days.
TV. A 12V TV on a swing arm that locks during travel is available.
Storage. The design and function means there is lots of storage space in this trailer. Cargo nets could even be used to tie gear down to the deck if required.
A penalty of the high quality construction appears to be weight. At 6400lbs (2902kgs) dry weight this is a heavy trailer. A Honda UTV weighs 574kgs. For towing with a 4WD (maximum towing capacity of 3500kgs) this leaves a payload of just 24kgs, not much more than enough for your toothbrush and a change of underwear! Its size though that is the major factor for shipping. At 23'4" long and 120" high, it would probably require RoRo shipping.
Take a look at the product review video below; its a great endorsement by ROA (RV's of America) who it must be said are a Distributor (and for the avoidance of doubt, are not paying me to write this!) but do of course do have a vested interest here. Touring the Americas is another bucket list trip. (If you buy a camper from ROA you automatically join their 'Roamer' program and qualify for lifetime technical support from their team.)
The construction and thermal protection qualities of the XploreRV XR 22 Extreme Offroad Travel Trailer (& Toy Hauler) are outstanding and should be seriously considered by other manufacturers. A reduction in weight without compromising thermal qualities is clearly the challenge. The comprehensive Owners Manual, with check lists, maintenance, technical details, loading, electrical systems etc, is also commendable and an important point of reference to assist self repair. It is not the prettiest shape but it is certainly functional and the ability to carry (say) a UTV for local running is attractive; but one of the advantages of towing is of course that the vehicle can be detached to allow local exploration. Being practical, its a heavy trailer and will require a large 'tractor' to tow it. Despite its good off road clearance, its arrival and departure angles do not appear to be as good as some other trailers and its use would probably constrain route choice especially in Africa. The overall length may cause some problems on some of the smaller ferries. Not that its a measurement, but this trailer is not going up Baboons Pass in South Africa whereas the Patriot and Opus Camper Trailers might!!
Right now its unlikely that the 12 month warranty terms could be supported in say Northern Europe or Africa. The company is not currently set up for export so it would need to purchased and shipped. Whilst it does not appear to be suitable for Tip Toe, if you are looking for a well built trailer for cold weather operations then you should take a good look at the XploreRV R22 Off Road Trailer (& Toy Hauler).
Notes to readers:
1. The above trailer has not been physically towed or sighted by Tip Toe. The above summary is a view formed following desktop online research of websites and a number of different YouTube videos. Comments offered above are offered in the context of Tip Toe's overland requirements. It will be used to assist in the choice of vehicle and camper.
2. For the purposes of these articles, differentiation between the different categories of trailer as follows:
Camper Trailer: A trailer fitted with an integrated 'trailer top tent' (with or without a hard shell), galley, water, power and associated items and storage for most or all of your clothing and equipment. For example Patriot Campers X3.
Off-Road Camper: A purpose built caravan style trailer with hard walls possibly with a soft walled 'pop up', galley, water, power and associated camping items and storage for most clothing and equipment. The 'Bruder EXP-6 Expedition Trailer' falls into this category.
Off-Road Camper & Toy Hauler. A trailer equipped with sleeping and living facilities but capable of carrying 'Toys' such as ATV / UTV, Motorbikes, Boats etc. For example the XploreRV XR 22 Extreme Offroad Travel Trailer (& Toy Hauler).
Expedition Truck: A truck of 7500 kgs or greater fitted with a camper box with or without crawl through. For example the Mercedes Unimog Camper.