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Best Overland Campers: Overlanding is not just a type of outdoor activity. It’s a lifestyle!
You believe that too, don’t you? Otherwise, you won’t be here looking for a huge vehicle-slash-mobile house that can take you to your next adventure.
You’ve come to the right place! In this top list, we’ll give you:
- The five best campers I’ve tried with my family and friends;
- Our first-hand experiences with each trailer;
- Their most notable specs – ground clearance, chassis, material, size, weight, and capacity, among others;
- Their pros, cons, and best features – which one has durable wood or aluminum construction, the best rooftop tent or bed, and other details; and
- Lots more!
If you want to shop for campers, you don’t just go to a store and pick one out. You need to know if it’s a good enough sale, a steal, or a waste of money. We kept trying them, so you won’t have to!
Along for the ride?
Let’s hit the road then…
If you’re planning to take yourself to your own adventures with all of your stuff – and I mean all of them – in tow and within easy access…
Sometimes, we call it overland camping. And for that, you need an overland camper (AKA off-road trailer or camping trailer).
But you already know that, don’t you? What you don’t know is what trailer or camper would give you the best overland experience.
This massive vehicle has a built-in kitchen, sleeping quarters, sometimes a rooftop tent, off-road tires, and other features.
An overland camper is specifically built to drive over any terrain. When you go out on adventures, you’re not going to stay on cemented roads, are you?
These top-notch campers are naturally durable and stable on dirt roads and bumpier rides. So, we took that out of our criteria for judgment.
The campers in this list have competed against others based on the most important qualities.
We’re talking about…
… capacity, ease of driving and setting up, design, construction, build quality, comfort level, and overall fun.
My family and friends never forget a camper once we ride it. Even years since we sold it and upgraded it, we still remember a great deal.
So hold on to something, and let’s keep on driving…
1. Opus Camper – Op-4
The OP4 camper immediately caught our attention because of its price. We thought it looked promising despite being cheaper than most trailers, so we got it.
But we went to our first stop, Jumbo Rocks, with our expectations at less than 50 grand.
And to our surprise…
My family loved it! It’s 5.5 x 1.8 x 1.2 meters when folded and expands to 6.4 x 1.8 x 2.4 meters. You can pack up to six people in there.
There are only five of us, so it’s more than enough room.
Your whole family doesn’t add up to 1100 pounds, does it? The OP4 has that maximum capacity. So, you can still haul your gear, supplies, and other camp needs inside this truck.
Just remember that you have to add that to the OP4’s initial weight of 2870 pounds. But you won’t be reading this if you’re not ready to drive that, right?
Besides, it all adds to the fun!
But that’s not even the best part…
You’ll find two double beds inside the trailer. But you can convert the dinette to make room for two more sleepers, and that’s a nice space saver!
And what’s even nicer is that the OP4 has leatherette seating. It’s as good as leather, but without hurting any animals.
There’s a fridge locker at the front and a kitchen at the rear.
Its outdoor kitchenette has four burners, a sink, and a drying rack. And the hot and cold water completes the whole home-away-from-home experience!
Speaking of experience…
The first thing that we observed was how to set the camper up. From releasing the roof cage to fully extended home-in-the-outdoors, it took us less than seven minutes.
You heard that right! But we’ve been doing this for years, my wife and I. And we have pre-teen kids who love to help out. If you’re a beginner, I’ll say it’ll take you ten to fifteen.
You’ll find everything with easy access. We got familiarized with our OP4’s interior in the first few hours of our trip. And by the end of our first stop, we’d gotten more confident around it.
I can also confidently say that the OP4 can protect you from a heavy downpour.
My family had the misfortune – or poor planning – of going to Ramblin’ Redwoods at the worst time. We got caught in a storm, and it rained for the most part. But we enjoyed the coziness of our OP4, plus some hot chocolate.
And the best part…
We had to drive over mud and puddles on our way home. And our OP4 survived those with only the inevitable drops on the latches. No water inside the lockers, which was a great sign.
And its independent suspension was a dream! Bumpy roads felt so smooth that my kids could sleep the whole ride.
Overall, the construction is sturdy, stable, and durable. You’ll definitely have a great time with your family or friends in the OP4!
2. Tentrax – Ascend
If you’re looking for something less complicated, the Tentrax Ascend might appeal to you. It’s as simple as towing a tent in the back of your car.
Just a reminder…
This is not a self-sufficient camper with everything you need to survive in the wild for weeks. But there’s fun in a two-person bed over ample storage for a few days outdoors.
That’s what the Tentrax Ascend is!
We couldn’t bring our kids in a 600-pound camper with 35 cubic feet of storage. So, we didn’t buy this even though it’s affordable. But my friend did, and I thought it would be fun to try it myself.
So, off we went…
My wife and I took my buddy’s Tentrax Ascend to Trailer Lane for a weekend camping trip. It was summer, so it hadn’t rained a single drop. But it wasn’t too hot inside the tent either.
And the owner of this camper swore that it’s a great shelter even when it rains cats and dogs. Judging by the Ascend’s quality construction, I’d guess my friend wasn’t lying.
So it gained full points from us for its UV, mold, and water-resistant material. Not to mention tough.
But what I loved most about it…
… is its durable all-terrain tires. The owner of this camp trailer is a full-blooded guy of the wild outdoors. He goes camping and hunting on the rocky, muddy ground and in unforgiving weather. And his Tentrax Ascend has always been his companion.
So, we were surprised that the tires had no major damage when we borrowed them. We asked if they’d been replaced, and he said not a single time that he had it in a couple of years.
Needless to say…
We had a smooth road trip to and fro the campsite.
It also doesn’t hurt that it’s easy to hitch to the back of our car. I had doubts initially because it’s a borrowed camper, but it loaded as if we’ve been using it for years.
And setting up a small camper like this is no rocket science. Even without my experience, you’ll easily get the hang of it.
In the end…
The Tentrax Ascend didn’t lose any functionality despite its small size. It’ll also provide ample comfort in any weather.
So if it’s just you and your partner – no kids nor nosy friends – you’ll do well with a Tentrax.
3. TAXA – Cricket
Once again, we have an affordable choice here. The Taxa Cricket – is a pop-up camper with a unique design.
I say unique because…
This is one of the few pop-up campers you can use in both its pop-up and folded position. So there’s no need to collapse it while taking a quick rest on the road.
The Taxa Cricket expands to 4.6 x 2.04 x 2.1 meters and can accommodate two adults and two kids or a maximum of 900 lbs. So, you can see why we had to get another trailer – our fifth family member came!
And I must admit, my wife and I were reluctant to let this go.
This Taxa Cricket has a high-quality aluminum construction that has seen the worst days.
We used to have more time in the outdoors back then, so our Cricket took several beatings in the years we had it.
And it had signs of wear and tear, but we could still sell it for a good price when we needed to upgrade.
Along with those…
It’s super easy to hitch, drive, and set up in the wild.
Its ground clearance is just enough to keep the chassis safe from possible abrasives on the road. At the same time, it’s stable and sturdy to drive, as if it’s always been a part of my truck.
The same is true even on steep routes!
And at camp…
Taxa Cricket provides a cozy shelter in any weather.
We had to install an air conditioner because we always took it out during the summer. But it gives ample protection against the sun.
And rest assured, you’ll be safe when it rains. Even with all the details of my wife’s planning, we still get caught in bad weather. But our Cricket never let us down – or get soaked.
It’s easy and safe to cook inside the Cricket. My wife prefers this feature over cooking out because she likes doing her magic in private. If you’re like her, you’ll love this camper too.
Plus, you’ll find a mosquito net, shower tent, and an awning in the package. That’s more than I can say about other pop-up campers.
Two of its beds are suspended from the sturdy roof. And that’s what my two older kids missed most about our Cricket.
As for me, I liked its 12-gallon fresh water and 13-gallon gray water tanks. That’s surprisingly big for a small camp trailer. And it gave me more time to explore the outdoors and less time throwing dirty water out the door.
Overall, this small thing has lots of stuff to offer your small family!
4. Turtleback Trailers – Adventure Trailer
To be honest…
We were doubtful about our Turtleback Adventure. Not only that it’s cheaper than cheap, but it doesn’t look appealing.
This Turtleback camper just looks like the back of a tow truck! But its design is the only thing that we could complain about.
Its high capacity allowed us to take the whole family out – plus a friend! And we were all comfortably settled without bumping elbows at night. And don’t forget the 50.25 cubic feet of storage.
My wife thought we could squeeze another one in, maybe a kid. We didn’t have the chance to, but I agreed it was manageable.
As for its other features…
The Turtleback trailers have standard wheels. Nothing special there, but it does the job. We’ve always arrived at our location safe, sound, and without gear damage.
And it has a drop hitch and a Cruisemaster hitch with a hand brake. You can also use the break-away safety switch in emergencies.
Luckily, my family hadn’t encountered any accidents in our camping years. But I figure the safety switch adds to the peace and security of our trips.
The Adventure’s aluminum construction is one of the best on the market. You can tell its quality with a single look. But you have to experience it.
We’ve been using our Adventure camper for two to three years. And it hasn’t aged, except for a few minor dents and scratches. When we finally upgraded to the Opus, we sold this for half the price.
And the buyer was more than glad about his purchase! It looked almost as good as new as if it didn’t see storms and rocks while on a Californian tour.
But most importantly…
As the main driver of the family, I’m really happy about the comfort that Adventure’s air ride suspension provides! It makes the ride easier, quieter, and has less vibration than usual.
That saved us a lot of money on accessories too. I had to buy a separate upgrade to have this feature in the other trailers I drove.
Last but not least…
The Adventure camper is built for a comfortable off-the-grid experience.
Some of its kitchen parts are wood, so it’s pretty light. And it doesn’t have a fridge so you might want to bring a cooler.
But our main cook – my wife – loved the kitchen! The stove flame cut-off was designed for safety, and the hot and cold water was very convenient.
And our kids – the main sleepers – loved the rooftop tent. They never complained about insects, dribbles of water, or heat. Now you can see why we recommend it…
5. Vorsheer – XER
The Vorsheer XER is one of the most compact and lightweight campers we’ve seen. It weighs only 1300 lbs, and its size is a mere 3.7 x 1.9 x 1.7 meters. But it’s more expensive than the biggies.
That last part isn’t surprising since Vorsheer is a household name on the overland trailer market. And for a good reason too.
Needless to say…
I bought one for the wife and the kid – when there was just one. Sometimes we had company, and the camper still had room for them.
But, since the size isn’t Vorsheer XER’s best feature, I’d like to emphasize its many pros.
Vorsheer XER has a 21-inch ground clearance that proved stable on the road. That’s how it can stand rocks and bumps on the way to your camp location.
It also has compression latches, allowing complete comfort and ease of driving. Knowing this – I was sold!
Based on what I’ve read before I bought our XER, its frame is Vorsheer’s pride and joy. And it’s completely justified because it’s super sturdy and durable.
Unlike other campers, I hadn’t had to repair it once before we had to upgrade.
But we had to buy accessories to make it more weatherproof. It didn’t matter when it was just my wife and me because we could stand more discomfort than our kid. But you know who the priority is, right?
Then, it came to a point where we’d only use our XER for short trips in good weather conditions.
We assure you that Vorsheer can deliver you safely and sound to your next adventure. It also has a fairly comfortable interior. You just have to schedule perfectly with the seasons.
But I have no complaints about the roll-out kitchen. The hot and cold water works well, the stove’s impressive (as my wife called it), and we could fit a large cooler.
And a 17-gallon water tank for a small camper? I was down with it…
Vorsheer XER’s build quality is durable. It’s designed for rugged terrains in mild weather. If that’s the type of camp that you’re up to, this might be your best bet.
Conclusion: Best Overland Campers
Newbie or experienced – you deserve the best overland camping adventures! So don’t hesitate to spend on your camp vehicle, equipment, and gear.
You won’t settle for a so-so bed; why would you settle for a mediocre truck?
This top list has the best campers, AKA camp trailers, on the market. They’re all durable, weather-proof, high-capacity, and comfortable.
They’re also easy to drive or tow behind your truck. The Opus OP4, especially, with its independent suspension.
What’s a large storage capacity good for with no proper camp gear to store in it?
You need to get the best ones to have the full camp experience. We have top lists of all sorts of outdoor gear and overland camping equipment on the market!
There’s no harm in checking them out…
I see you have an appointment with the wild outdoors – you better get to it!
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