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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    SLC
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    high clearance camp trailers for family- any reccomends?

    Hi all- naturally when any brooding question comes to mind, i immediately think about asking the maggot collective for advice and unwanted and unsolicited badgering, name calling, etc.

    i'm looking to make my family camping adventures more easy. my progression from simple backpacking to solo car camping, to bring along the wife, adding a kid, and recently adding another child to the mix. with a bit of extra money this year we are looking into adding something that will make things that much easier. we typically stay away from rv parks and established camp grounds and like to camp in places like san rafel swell, or other more rugged forest land. i'm not looking for a full 5th wheel, and increased clearance would be ideal to get to some more rugged places. camping with a truck to haul everything down and a tent is nice, but with infants, i'm thinking it would be nicer to have something i can pretty quickly pop up and have some extra gear storage and cooking and cleaning facilities.

    any tips or reccomends? hoping to find used, but i'd like this purchase to last so going new isn't out of the question. i've been looking at something like:

    https://www.parrisrv.com/product/use...2tesp-827011-7

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    5,127
    I would get a more serious but smaller off road trailer with a roof top tent if you are thinking popup. Popups fucking blow. They take just as long as setting up as tent camping. The smaller overall footprint of a true off road trailer is going to be much better in terms of getting out in the bush. The only downside is outdoor kitchens are the norm, but you are camping, if you wanted the comfort you'd get a real RV. a 20+ foot pop up isnt going anywhere a regular rv trailer cant go.

    My wife and I have our eyes on this. Kids can go up in the tent or enclosed in the teardrop. Small enough you could actually take it off roading, and not just forest roads. Maybe not ideal with infants, but I know few people with true infants that are doing serious camping trips. Be realistic with yourself and realize the kids are only infants for a short time period and like one or two trips, given you want to keep this for the long haul.

    https://www.moby1trailers.com/moby1-xtr/
    Live Free or Die

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    4,062
    I'm not sure if their gear is available in the states, but the "gall boys" seem to use some pretty rugged larger offroad campers. I think their utube channel has a lot of info.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Couloirfornia
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    Adventure Trailers in AZ. Owned by a former coworker of mine, Martyn. Ski school director who quit to start the company. Good dude and well-established company.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    The Bull City
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    Some places we hooked up at didn't allow soft sided anything due to bears and other wildlife threats. Yellowstone Fishing Bridge was one example. I'd think with family and little kids you'd be getting more away from hiking with tents and more towards roughing it in a full on RV. I mean, do you still do full on bear bags when taking wife and little kids along in "rugged areas"? When we go with the scouts we don't even allow tents that have had food in them previously, much less on that expedition and change out of our clothes after dinner and hang them with the food away from the tents when settling down for the night. Bringing toddlers along in that kind of terrain with those kind of safe practices seems pretty impossible, Better to just either go full on hard sided RV or leave the little ones behind with Grandma.
    Go that way really REALLY fast. If something gets in your way, TURN!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    SLC
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    Thanks for the tips guys! definitely torn between smaller more rugged units with a rooftop tent versus a full on pop-up. i don't really like or want indoor stove tops, bathrooms, etc. i guess what i really want is a nice bed, storage, water/ sink for dishes, outdoor shower for post bike ride ease (versus solar shower on a tree), and just some mobile indoor space that isn't a tent... Definitely like cooking outdoors, shitting outdoors, hanging and drinking outdoors, but beyond that looking for some inside space. I think i'm chasing a unicorn here. going to have to make some concessions somewhere.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Jayco Baja is worth looking at, IMO. Not sure they make it anymore, but somebody probably makes something similar.

    I might try to find a used one in the next year or two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by LightRanger View Post
    Jayco Baja is worth looking at, IMO. Not sure they make it anymore, but somebody probably makes something similar.
    I had the comparable Fleetwood Evolution -- jacked-up tent trailer. It was a piece of shit. Same shitty build quality as any other tent trailer, only higher off the ground. I would not recommend a tent trailer unless all you care about is low height (towing? storage in a garage?) and a very large amount of tent-like space inside, once set up.

    To the OP -- if your needs run more to the "little more ground clearance to get the family rig down a USFS road," then you might look into any used travel trailer that you can do a spring-over axle conversion on. It's a lot more simple than it might seem Talk to a local RV shop about it. OTOH, if your needs are more "gonna go rockcrawling with my trailer and camp in the desert 25 miles from pavement," then you should look at the burly (but tiny) offroad trailers meant for that sort of abuse. Look at the Australian ones for examples of how to do it right.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Couloirfornia
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    Spring overs are really that easy? I suppose so. I hadn't really thought about it.

    My thinking is I just want something cheap, easy, and light for summer stuff. Will be able to borrow my parents' 1-ton dually diesel with giant winterized cabover for bad weather/Mammoth trips.

    In an ideal world, I'd spring for a 19' Escape, but thinking I want something cheap for now with wife not going back to work F/T for a couple years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Park City
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    2,899
    http://www.hivetrailers.com

    Mauricio builds great stuff.


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    I rip the groomed on tele gear

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    slc
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    10,293
    Depending on what kind of truck you have, this may be an option: https://www.gofastcampers.com/



    Maggot-owned company. Light, rugged, no towing issues. No shower or sink but checks a lot of your boxes otherwise. You and the wife sleep up top and the kids can sleep "downstairs" in the bed. My Dad ordered one, they're in production and he'll have his in about a month.

    Just say no to pop-ups. Those things are the worst of both worlds.
    Last edited by Dantheman; 03-20-2018 at 09:45 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    28,885
    Fuck those pop up tent trailers. Someone should invent something to take their place - like a tent.
    Great time of year for buying used. If you want rugged but cheap as hell, find a camp trailer that could take larger rims and tires for clearance. You can still get all the wifey/kid luxuries and throw up a tent beside it. I'm shopping for a trailer to tow behind my rv for burning man and will prolly do this, as I'm also working on how to do larger rims and tires on my rv for clearance without actually lifting it.

    Have you seen those A frame popups? About the only popup I've seen that looks like it would be really good. I saw some used trailers with tilt outs that are awesome for really good prices that I might be sold on. The extra two or three feet of width makes an incredible difference in the roominess department.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by LightRanger View Post
    Spring overs are really that easy? I suppose so. I hadn't really thought about it.


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    Several local friends have done spring over and it seemed easy.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    The Micky D's in Idaho Springs
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    Another "popup tent on wheels" option.

    https://www.livinlite.com/products/q...-tent-campers/

  15. #15
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    Aug 2006
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    Cute dog

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    146
    FWIW- I went down the very same path a couple of years ago after doing a bunch of tent camping with our kids as toddlers. After looking at all kinds of options--from roof-top tents to vans to truck campers to airstreams--we ended up with a small-ish hardside fiberglass Escape trailer (same one mentioned by someone above).

    I decided that the cost of a decent pop-up or offroad tent trailer wasn't worth the marginal improvement in comfort over regular tent camping. I also don't get those offroad trailer setups in bear country. Sleeping in a tent literally right on top of your food storage and kitchen? No thanks.

    If I'm going to deal with the cost and hassle of towing something (and it is a hassle), for me it's worth having the weather resistance of a hardside, plus an interior kitchen and bathroom. No, our setup probably won't be featured on Expedition Portal, and I can't drag it over true 4x4 terrain. But goddamn, we've had some awesome trips to remote places from March through November the last couple of years- including to the Swell and other places in southern UT and CO where it's not fun to tent camp with small kids when the wind is cranking and temps are dropping into the low 20s every night. My kids can go to the bathroom in the night without waking me up, I can make the morning eggs and coffee while playing a round of Uno with the family, and my wife no longer wakes up cold every night. We all still spend plenty of time outside (having a small trailer helps this), but the trailer gives us a lot more flexibility to retreat inside if needed.

    Overall it's been awesome. I guess what I'm saying is that before you drop a bunch of money, think through what you are actually gaining over regular tent camping. There are tradeoffs with every kind of setup. If I did it again I would look a bit harder at truck campers, if only to avoid towing and to provide more flexibility for campsite selection. But to me it's always seemed like you need a pretty big truck camper to be comfortable with four people, especially as the two little ones grow. I've also really enjoyed the "base camp" aspect of a trailer, i.e., we often camp in one spot for 3-5 days and can use our SUV to explore the area. That can be harder to do with a van or truck camper, depending on your setup and locale.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    FEMA Region X
    Posts
    737
    We went the RV path for our crew but these hard sided pop-ups always look solid. http://trailmanor.com

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