I don’t want to age myself, but when I was a kid, there didn’t seem to be all that many camping trailer options. You could get a bumper pull, a fifth wheel, or a truck bed camper, and that was about it.
But today, the market is flooded with dozens and dozens of types of camping trailers. Some are bare-bones and dirt cheap. Others are luxurious mansions on wheels. And there are many different off-road trailer options for overlanding, too.
Honestly, the huge selection of trailers today can be a bit overwhelming. With all sorts of options, amenities, and price points, it can be tough to sift through the noise to find the best trailer for your money.
That’s where this camping trailer buying guide comes in.
In this case, I want to narrow the possibilities to off-road capable, hard-sided campers that offer superb build quality and a long list of amenities.
So, let’s get to it!
Table of Contents
- What Off-Road Features Should You Prioritize?
- Trailer Storage is a Must
- What to Look for in a Functional Camping Trailer Layout
- Power Needs for Your Camping Trailer
- Amenities to Consider
- Final Thoughts
- Recommended Overlanding Gear
What Off-Road Features Should You Prioritize?
While it might seem at first like all off-road trailers are alike, nothing could be further from the truth.
When you’re shopping for an off-road capable trailer, there’s certain features you want to ensure the trailer is able to go where you want it to go – and do so safely.
For example, the OBi Dweller 15 comes with an independent coil suspension, dual heavy-duty shocks and springs, and 16-inch wheels with all-terrain tires. Additionally, the trailer has electric brakes, a hot-dipped galvanized chassis, and an articulating towing coupler.
In other words, this trailer is loaded up with chassis and suspension components that make it an off-road beast!
Since this is a fairly large trailer at 5,070 pounds dry and 17.9 feet long, having a heavy-duty chassis and suspension is crucial for maintaining long-term durability and stability on rough trails. If you intend to get as far off-grid as you can, a trailer with components like this is crucial for your success.
Trailer Storage is a Must
As we all know, even short weekend camping trips involve taking a ton of gear. Having a place to store and organize that gear is essential when looking for a camping trailer that gives you the most bang for your buck.
You’ll want to prioritize a camper that has loads of internal and external storage – something the OBi Dweller 15 excels at.
For example, there’s a front-mounted tool box with exterior access and locking integrated exterior storage boxes as well. These areas are perfect for larger items, while inside, there’s tons of cabinets and storage space, for clothing, linens, and other gear to make the interior of the trailer just like home.
The trailer also has a 21-gallon fresh water tank, a 31-gallon city water tank, and a 21-gallon gray water tank. You can bring enough water for an extended adventure and have the gray tank capacity to stay in the wilderness for days at a time.
It might seem like this trailer has too much storage, but if you’ve gone on any number of camping adventures, you know that there is no such thing as too much storage space!
What to Look for in a Functional Camping Trailer Layout
When shopping for a camping trailer, you likely have a list of needs and wants for the interior space. And while having a list like that is important, it’s also important to consider how those features are laid out in the trailer.
By this, I mean that you might find a trailer that has all the interior features you want, but in a floor plan that simply doesn’t make sense. There is something to be said for having a camper layout that improves the functionality and comfort of the space.
Again, the OBi Dweller 15 hits the nail on the head with the layout of the interior space.
As you can see above, the trailer is arranged in a way that maximizes the available space. Having the main bed in the rear of the camper, for example, allows you to take advantage of the full width of the trailer for a longer bed.
Positioning the second bed to one side and the sofa and table to the other side of the trailer gives good flow to the living area. And having the bathroom in the front corner of the trailer enables it to be as large as possible, but without eating into the living space.
Perhaps the most ingenious part of the layout of this trailer is that the kitchen is a slide-out. By removing the kitchen space from the interior of the trailer, you get more living area, and you don’t stink up the trailer when you cook meals!
Additionally, having a slide-out kitchen allows you to have a sizable area for preparing and cooking food. The kitchen slide has a sink and a two-burner stovetop while a separate slide for the refrigerator and freezer maximizes the space you have for perishable food items.
Power Needs for Your Camping Trailer
When you go camping, there are a few items that you can only take in finite quantities – water, food, and power.
As discussed above, trailers like the OBi Dweller 15 ticks the boxes for water and food storage. But what about power?
Again, the folks at OBi have knocked it out of the park…
With a 2,000-watt inverter, three 100AH batteries, and three 100-watt solar panels, you have all the power you need to stay off-grid for a good, long while.
In fact, this power setup gives you ample juice for all the trailer’s components – the fridge/freezer, lights, water pump, A/C, and so forth. You can be off-grid, yet still enjoy amenities like running water, interior and exterior lighting, TV, and radio!
Amenities to Consider
Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you have to rough it. When shopping for a camping trailer, it’s advisable to consider the amenities you can get for your hard-earned dollars.
What impressed me about the OBi Dweller 15 the first time I saw it is just how many amenities are squeezed into the trailer. You get an expanding pop top roof that gives you additional headroom inside the camper. You also get an outdoor shower to go along with the indoor shower.
Other amenities to look for include a toilet (in this case, it’s a cassette toilet), a high-quality bed (like the Dweller 15’s folding queen mattress), and day/night window shades for privacy.
This trailer also has a combi heater and hot water unit, a TV with DVD and stereo system, and a skylight. There’s even an under-bunk A/C system to keep you nice and cool, even when the temperature outside soars. You can enjoy a 12-foot electric awning, too, and bask in the shade while sitting outside in the fresh air.
When you look at camping trailers, also look at the finishes that are used, as that can make a huge difference in the comfort and durability of the trailer.
For example, OBi uses high-end laminate cabinetry to give you the storage space you need that will also stand up to the rigors of years of use. The laminate flooring offers the same level of long-term durability.
As I mentioned earlier, going camping doesn’t mean you have to rough it. There are many excellent off-road trailers that combine the ruggedness needed to go off-road with the luxury amenities you desire for a more comfortable camping experience.
After seeing the OBi Dweller 15 and how it’s designed, laid out, and built, I find it to be an ideal example of what luxury off-road camping trailers can – and should – be.
As you undertake your search for the best camping trailer for your needs, remember this guide and heed my advice regarding what features to look for. Don’t forget to visit OBi Camper to learn more about the Dweller 15 and their other excellent off-road camper trailer models.
Recommended Overlanding Gear