Choosing a Trailer



Part 2a: Decided to go with a camping trailer. What's next?

When choosing a trailer for travel there are 3 factors to look for. Size, weight and ease of use. Keeping it small is essential for 2 reasons. Maneuverability and arrow dynamics. A small vehicle is much easier to maneuver through the back country and more arrow dynamic when cruising down the highway. Keeping the weight down is important so there is no need for a big expensive tow vehicle. And finally ease of use. Face it, the easier it is to pack up and go, set up once there and tear down when done the more enjoyable your trip is going to be.

The 3 basic types of compact camping trailers are:

The expedition trailer
These trailers are really designed for serious off road users. Fairly heavy compared to the other 2 types, they have large off-road tires and lots of ground clearance. These are a good choice for a serious off-roader driving a lifted 4x4. They can be outfitted with a roof top tent, maybe a galley and usually have a full articulating hitch allowing them to go just about anywhere.

The teardrop trailer
These trailers first became popular in the 30s when plans were published in several different magazines. Easily built by a skilled DIYer, they are also a good solution for madventuring. Not near as rugged as an expedition trailer so generally are more conducive to on-road use or maintained dirt road. They can be built by a skilled DIYer and loaded up with all the conveniences. They do have some drawbacks however. Although about the same weight as an expedition trailer they are about twice the size and lack in maneuverability. They also lack the storage space. You either have to use the sleeping area as storage for extra gear or leave it behind. If you do use the sleeping area for storage you need to find a place to store that extra gear while you're sleeping. And that can create a problem

The Madventure Camper
The Madventure camper was designed as a cross over between the expedition trailer and the teardrop. The idea was to take the best features of each and combine them. Rather than having the sleeping area part of the main box as in a teardrop it is reserved for the galley and storage for those extra essentials. Then a rooftop tent is added to the top to create the sleeping area. Every compartment is independent allowing you to use the galley without setting up the sleeping area or use the sleeping area without having to unpack the storage area. They can be loaded up with all sorts of amenities such as an on-demand hot water heater. These little extras can be added making longer stays more enjoyable. A necessity if you want your significant other with you. Weighing in at just 700 lbs. fully equipped these trailers are the lightest of the 3 making them tow-able by any vehicle.

Regardless of what solution fits you best remember, the goal to madventuring is simplicity. Less time packing, less time setting up, less time tearing down. slowing down and enjoying the travel and do some site seeing. So keep that trailer packed and ready to go. And don't be afraid to drop it on the hitch and head out at a moments notice.

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