Sleeping on the ground in a cold tent is not everyone’s idea of a good time. There’s the weather, mosquitoes, curious critters, and the difficulty of virtually everything. When pitching a tent by flashlight gets old, it’s time to consider a camper. We’re not talking about the over-sized dorky ones festooned with silly graphics that crowd RV parks. We’re talking about the cool, retro-inspired trailers and mobile tents, small and light enough to easily tow into the outback with a car.
1. Bruder EXP-6.
The Australian built EXP-6 is downright luxurious once inside. Engineered for the brutal outback, its airtight construction includes a snorkel system for fording rivers, a must-have for your next expedition. Other features include adjustable, in-motion ride height via smartphone app, an on-board air compressor, and a water filtration system—in addition to accommodations rivaling the best hotels.
2. Airstream Basecamp.
Conceived by Nissan Design and built by the legendary trailer company, the aluminum-sheathed Basecamp looks the bomb, a mobile man-cave of the first order. Equipped with shower and flush toilet, a two-burner propane cook top, refrigerator, stainless steel sink, and lots more, living well on the lam just got easier.
3. Air Opus.
This slick camper folds flat for travel and inflates to a 13.5 foot tent at your destination in just 90 seconds. Winner of Australia’s coveted Good Design Award in the Automotive and Transport category, the Air Opus redefines the compact, foldable camper with five berths and built-in roll-out stove.
4. Dub Box.
Brilliantly exploiting America’s enduring affection for vintage VWs, the Dub Box line can be outfitted to spec or, if you’re the handy sort, purchased as an empty shell to configure on your own. If you enjoy being a spectacle, this is just the ticket. Bring one to your next tailgate party and let the good times roll.
5. Taxa Cricket Trek.
This cool, little, tent on wheels weighs in at a lithe 1450 pounds. It’s clever origami concept comes courtesy of former NASA habitation module designer, and company founder, Garrett Finney, who specialized in small spaces aboard the International Space Station. Sleeping space for two (plus two kids) and equipped with integrated plumbing and electrical systems wired for optional solar panels for many blissful days off the grid.
6. So-Cal Teardrops 459 Krawler.
Krawler’s are built for serious off-road escapades with 10″ electric brakes and 9-way adjustable shocks. The trailer tongue accommodates a front storage box and two 5-gallon gas/water can holders. Wheel hubs are spec’d to match your vehicle’s wheels and tires for maximum capability and visual synergy with your vintage ride. The reinforced, ribbed cabin construction resists the torsional forces of driving over uneven, rocky terrain.
7. Moby1 XTR.
Its reinforced frame sits atop more than five inches of suspension on independent A-arms with adjustable shocks, like a dual-suspension mountain bike with storage. Available rooftop tent, awning, a sink with hot water, propane heat, toilet, solar panels, and generator makes a complete kit for your outdoor adventures.
8. Happier Camper HC1 Travel Trailer.
Dangerously cute, especially with its hot dog stand side window. Reconfiguring is a cinch with a modular system that swaps out components to create a variety of living spaces from a bedroom to dirt bike hauler in minutes. The ultra-lightweight, all-fiberglass HC1 weighs only 1,100 pounds.