Last week we started talking about RVs that can stand up to off-road RVing, ones built to take you to the boonies, where the typical RV can’t travel. We got the opportunity to introduce you to the newest addition to Guaranty’s inventory, the SylvanSport GO.
This week, we’re going to talk about some of the other RV models and manufacturers who have long-standing, excellent reputations for building the kind of tough RVs that can get off the highway and out of the campground. If you need more RV than a tent camper and you refuse to head into the wilderness without a bathroom, then read on!
Truck campers are the original off-road, boondocking RV. They can handle a rough road, they’re extremely maneuverable, and you can tow your boat or a trailer behind. Like the SylvanSport GO or a travel trailer, they also give you the advantage of being able to use your pickup separately from your RV. So you can set up your base camp and use your truck to head to the lake. Truck campers also tend to be less expensive than many motorhomes and travel trailers, and manufacturers like Oregon’s own Northwood build four-season models that make this RV style perfect for hunters and snow sports enthusiasts. You can get models with slide-outs for extra living space, and there are models for a variety of pickup styles as well, so you don’t necessarily need to own a big ¾-ton truck to add a camper to your life.
The obvious advantages of a truck camper over a tent camper like the GO are:
- Protection from the elements
- Heat and insulation for four-season camping
- Water storage
- A handy kitchen and bathroom with built in running water
- More storage
- Options for generators
The only thing for off-road RVers to consider in deciding if a truck camper is their off-road RV of choice, is that the higher profile of this RV style will limit some of the back roads you can travel—if the track is too narrow for the overhang of the camper, if there are low overhanging limbs, etc. Otherwise, if your truck can drive it, a good truck camper can handle it and will give you a cozy home away from home when you get to your destination.
Note, however, that we said a good truck camper. They’re not all built alike and some can handle the rigors of off-roading better than others. Take a look at Northwood’s Arctic Fox and Wolf Creek models, and also truck campers built by Lance for long-lasting, tough construction and value.
Class B 4X4 Campervans
If you don’t already own a pickup and you’re not a fan of the tent aspect of tent campers, then your best bet in an RV to take you off the beaten track may be a 4×4 campervan. The small size of these Class B motorhomes makes them extremely maneuverable and the 4×4 option gives them good off-road capabilities. You might not be able to go all the same places your big ¾-ton truck can manage, but almost. You also get a lot of the same advantages as you have in a truck camper with this RV style: protection from the elements, heat, water, electricity, storage, generator and solar options, and you can tow a boat or trailer behind.
Campervans have a few advantages over truck campers:
- Better gas mileage
- They’re easy to use as a second car around town, for tailgating, etc.
- Inside access to kitchen and bathroom
Class B motorhomes do tend to cost significantly more than a truck camper, but if you have to purchase a pickup as well as a camper, the Class B may be the better deal. And looking for a low miles, high quality, pre-owned campervan can save you a lot of money.
If you think a Class B motorhome/campervan might be the right RV for your off-road RVing adventures, be sure to look at the Roadtrek Adventurous CS 4×4. This model is equally good for cross country travel and off-road camping. It will not only provide you with the power and tough build you need to head to the boonies, it will also give you a luxurious living situation when you get there, with sleeping options for two people, LED TV, stereo, door screens so you can appreciate the sounds of nature without the bugs, a wet bath, instant hot water, a Diesel Alde hydronic heating system that includes heated floors, a power awning, etc.
Travel trailers are not the ideal RV if you’re trying to get way off the beaten track or if you’re planning to take potholed, rough roads to your personal backwoods paradise. They aren’t as maneuverable as any of the other off-road RVs we’ve talked about, and they aren’t as sturdily built. The higher profile of a travel trailer also gives them some of the same issues as truck campers in regard to traveling through wooded areas where there are overhanging branches. However, if you need room for a larger family and your off-road adventures aren’t so rough and rugged, a well built travel trailer with high clearance may be exactly the right RV.
Travel trailers have a number of advantages that make them particularly nice for families:
- Good prices on new and pre-owned models
- The most storage of all the off-road options
- The most living space of all the off-road options
- Detachable, so you have use of your tow vehicle
- Four-season options for all year camping
If you’re looking for a travel trailer with some off-road capabilities, we suggest taking a look at Jayco’s Jay Flight SLX Baja Edition. These are some of the most popular travel trailers among RVers at Guaranty. Jayco is a trusted brand that provides a 2-year warranty on all their products, which is a testament to the enduring quality of their RVs. The Baja Edition trailers have some of the highest ground clearance, have off-road tires and are usually lighter weight, so are easier to tow, which helps when you get off the highway.
If you want to see some of these off-road RVs in person, or if you’d like to talk about what RV might be right for you, come visit us. And if you have any questions, give us a call.