We have reviewed many motorhomes here at CarsGuide and I have written many articles on motorhomes and caravans (including small ones, tears and other different sizes and styles) over the years, but the field of offroad trailers is not limited to only to models that offer accommodation to its users.
No, there are off-road trailers that are meant to increase your freight hauling capabilities, lug your boat or cut a few off-road motorcycles, etc.
The type of off-road trailer you purchase will depend on your specific needs, the terrain you will be tackling, and the tow vehicle you have available.
Do you need an all terrain boat trailer? Do you need something designed and engineered to boost your carrying capacity? An all terrain box trailer, all terrain cargo trailer, or an all terrain enclosed trailer – all different names for pretty much the same thing – might be right for you in terms of a trailer designed specifically to meet your needs.
Lucky for us, the Australian off-road trailer market is thriving and so we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to imported, factory-made or heavily customized examples of this work.
Now remember, we are not talking about RV trailers in this thread, we are talking about offroad trailers which are mainly used for hauling things, but that does not mean that these trailers cannot be fitted with ‘a tent roof or something similar – because often they can.
The guiding principles for buying an off-road motorhome that we’ve already covered – and include price, suitability, and build quality – also apply when buying an off-road trailer.
Here’s our guide on what to look for when buying an all terrain trailer.
What is an all terrain trailer?
You know what a trailer is, don’t you? Simply put, the type of trailer we are referring to in this feature is a flat wheeled, non-motorized (no engine) chassis, platform, or container, which can carry supplies, materials, equipment, machinery, a boat, a vehicle or anything that is really (except people) that can be towed safely and legally behind another vehicle.
A trailer gives you more flexibility so you can pack more and distribute weight more evenly between tow vehicle and trailer.
Well, an all terrain trailer is simply a more rugged version of it with a suspension setup, build quality, and materials suitable for long periods of travel over more difficult terrain than just tarmac roads and rough terrain. well maintained trails.
Also, while we aren’t focusing on RVs in this thread, there are some offroad trailers that can accommodate a roof top tent or whatever so you can actually use your trailer as mobile accommodation.
All-terrain trailers come in various forms: flat platform, body (open or mesh cage, with tilting or pivoting door) with ladder rack, closed platform, up to 7.3 m long – and at very different prices.
There’s nothing rocket science here – just good old-fashioned common sense: do your research, have a budget in mind (and stick to it), ask lots of questions, take your time.
There is nothing wrong with cheap and cheerful trailers – they certainly meet the demand of many – but hopefully if you spend more money when buying a well-designed trailer and manufactured, you will ultimately save more money in the long run, in terms of maintenance, repair or part replacement costs.
In general terms, depending on the style, age and condition of a used trailer, prices can start from as low as “Free!” (I saw a small box van trailer in a front yard with this sign), up to around $ 15,000 for a three-axle 7.2m long boat trailer.
New trailers – again depending on style, build, function, standard features and available accessories, can cost anywhere from around $ 2,000 to over $ 74,490 for something like the TH730 toy hauler. with a length of 7.3 m from Patriot Campers.
For a lot of money, you would want a top quality product from a company with a great representative; a well-designed trailer with exceptional build quality, along with great attention to detail and decent off-road suspension.
An all-terrain trailer has a tough job ahead of it – hauling loads over potentially inhospitable terrain – so it should have, at the very least, a sturdy frame.
If you plan to take your trailer off-road, you need to make sure that it is actually built for this purpose.
A trailer with a hot-dip galvanized frame (marine grade steel and aluminum for light weight and high strength) comes in handy, and if not look for full, clean welds with supporting pieces in the corners and crucial joints, including on the chassis and drawbar, and just a general appearance of great attention to detail in terms of design and construction.
The hinges, clips, and latches need to be durable enough to withstand the rigors of off-road hiking.
Check the paint work on the non-galvanized frame and drawbar; a powder coated finish is tough enough for hiking and camping; hammertone is also hardwearing – everything else can be a bit of a compromise.
Plus, if you’re buying an Australian-made trailer, it’s pretty safe to trust that the materials and parts used – including the bearings, tires, and suspension components – are top notch and the processes involved. in the creation of the trailer were completed at the highest level.
Better engineering practices here also usually mean lighter but stronger trailers.
Buy a trailer that is right for your lifestyle and your towing vehicle. Think about it: if the most difficult trip you make is along a well-maintained gravel road to your favorite national park campsite, you really don’t need to buy a bush-ready trailer. which has a rugged chase and a hard core all-terrain suspension and Mud Terrain tires.
Just like it’s the bad side of the idiot to buy a trailer that weighs 2000kg and has 2400 liters of storage if you have a Jimny (with a braked towing capacity of 1300kg).
Check your vehicle’s towing capacity – these numbers will be listed as unbraked and braked * in your owner’s manual. Towing capacities can range from 640 kg (unbraked) and 1,200 kg (braked) in a compact all-wheel-drive SUV, to 750 kg (unbraked) and 3,500 kg (braked) in many large SUVs and utility vehicles at double cab, up to towing capacity of 6,989 kg (braked). Ram 3500 pickup. (* Your towing vehicle needs an equipped and functional electric brake control system so that you can legally tow any motorhome, boat trailer or caravan weighing more than 750 kg.)
If your vehicle is legally capable of supporting the burden, then you are good to go; if not, change your target trailer or towing vehicle.
As mentioned, if you’re planning on off-road trips, try buying a trailer that has at least a light but strong chassis, heavy-duty suspension, and all-terrain tires (off-roaders are a good all-round bet).
If you are planning long distance rides and in remote areas, it is handy to have a trailer with the same wheel and tire combinations as your tow vehicle so that you can swap out spare parts as needed, rather than carrying more spare parts than you absolutely have. duty because any extra weight is a real problem.
It is good if the trailer in question also has a hitch with a 360 degree articulation, like one of the off-road hitches in the Cruisemaster range, as this means that your trailer will be able to move over hilly terrain with much more flexibility than a trailer with a fixed hitch, avoiding a tiller twist scenario.
In addition to all of these things, of course, be sure to check the warranty (factory or otherwise if applicable) and the availability, if applicable, of after-sales service and support.