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Can You Take a Small Teardrop Trailer Overlanding and Off-Roading?

Large trailers are comfortable, but they can sometimes spoil the fun. Why is that? 

Well, the big size comes with a lot of weight; therefore, you need a huge truck to tow a large trailer. Furthermore, they are impractical on narrow trails and cannot be towed up steep terrain because their weight drastically hinders the truck’s off-road abilities. 

In many ways, a small teardrop trailer is an even better option for overlanding and off-roading. This article discusses the reasons why that is the case.

Table of Contents 

What is the Difference Between Overlanding and Off-Roading?

jeep on the rocks

Photo by 1000kbps via iStock

Even though overlanding and off-roading can, in many cases, co-exist, the basic concept of the two is different. 

Overlanding is the action of getting into a vehicle with the sole aim of crossing long distances for adventure and exploration. It is a form of travel done by car and not by plane. While overlanding, we tend to chase the prettiest views often located in hard-to-reach areas. This is where the off-roading part of overlanding comes into place.

However, off-roading by itself is entirely different from overlanding. The purpose of an off-road trip is to head out to a location that offers difficult challenges that will put the vehicle and driver to the test. These challenges are usually on trails that do not lead to particular locations and, in some cases, may be man-made. 

Sure, off-roading can involve driving through scenic locations, but that isn’t the primary goal. The main goal here is to test vehicle and driver skills.

By combining off-roading and overlanding, we get the exploration aspect of adventure and travel with the additional excitement of off-roading.

Reasons Why a Small Teardrop Trailer is Ideal for Overlanding

so-cal teardrops xs11 5 off road teardrop interior

To cover why a small teardrop trailer is ideal for overlanding, we will use one of our favorite models as an example – the So-Cal Teardrops XS511

First and foremost, small teardrop trailers provide additional interior space that can be used for sleeping or storage. For example, inside the XS511, you will find a 59” x 44.5” x 120” cabin and a 59” x 78” queen bed with a 4-inch-thick foam mattress, a Baltic Birch interior, and two doors – one on each side of the trailer. Not bad, right?!

However, the interior of a teardrop trailer isn’t just for sleeping. This specific model features a fold-out table that can be used for hanging out or eating inside. Furthermore, if you want to charge your phone while sleeping or just sitting around at camp, you can do so thanks to an array of power points.

so-cal teardrops xs11 6 off road teardrop galley

Don’t let the size of this small teardrop trailer fool you. There are still plenty of amenities for you to enjoy. Outside and towards the rear, you will find a huge galley that offers loads of space for all your kitchen essentials. Furthermore, there’s a spot for a slide-out fridge or cooler and a slide-out two-burner stove.

Finally, a spacious countertop provides the perfect spot to prep your meals while also helping keep all your food and cookware organized, thanks to an abundance of drawers and cabinets.

Reasons Why a Small Teardrop Trailer is Ideal for Off-Roading

Teardrop trailer rock crawling

There are many reasons why small teardrop trailers are better for off-roading when compared to larger units. First and foremost, a small teardrop trailer can fit through a narrow passageway and squeeze in between rocks without sustaining body damage. 

Furthermore, a small teardrop trailer is easier to tow, so it won’t drastically hinder your vehicle’s off-road abilities. Since trailers like the XS511 from So-Cal Teardrops are also light, you won’t need a large truck to tow it. 

As you can imagine, the size of a small teardrop trailer isn’t enough to make it capable off-road. The trailer needs a capable suspension to cope with the rough terrain. 

so-cal teardrops xs11 2

For this exact reason, the XS511 features the below list of off-road specifications:

  • 18.5 inches of ground clearance
  • A more robust frame with gusset reinforcement in all corners
  • A straight axle with electric brakes
  • A shock reservoir system and airbags (which are built by So-Cal Teardrops and feature dual switches and a gauge mounted in the front battery box)
  • Beefy 30-inch mud tires

This small teardrop trailer can cope with any terrain, from the punishing heat of Death Valley to the breaking cold of Alaska.

Invest in a Small Teardrop Trailer That’s Purpose-Built for Extreme Travel

so-cal teardrops xs11 8

This XS511 model from So-Cal Teardrops belongs in the extreme travel section of their line-up. Therefore, it is off-road capable, off-grid capable, and strong enough to handle extreme road conditions.

According to the manufacturer, extreme road conditions may involve driving over large boulders, large rock roads, tree trunks, and other obstacles not typically encountered on paved, packed dirt, or cleared roads.

so-cal teardrops xs11 3

The trailers that belong in the extreme trail design category have the intent of being towable by any car, SUV, or small truck that has a tow rating of 3500 lbs. This small teardrop trailer design is purely intended for those seeking to camp in remote and difficult locations. 

Final Thoughts 

Teardrop trailer being pulled in the desert

A small teardrop trailer is the way to go regarding overland travel. We surely love the larger options, but you cannot beat the combination of capability, versatility, and comfort offered by the small teardrop trailer.

Likewise, the off-road features of a trailer like the XS511 from So-Cal Teardrops allow you to get off-trail and explore some gnarly territory, which isn’t possible with a full-size trailer.

If you have any further questions regarding So-Cal Teardrops, get in touch with them today. If you have other off-road or overland-related questions, visit the forum section of our page to ask away! 

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