Whether you’re an adventure seeker or an off-grid enthusiast looking for a simpler life, having a trailer that can both travel and sustain a minimalist existence is important. There is nothing quite like the rewarding feeling of waking up in the backcountry without the hum of traffic and buzz of electricity.
For some, it’s more than just getting out into nature, it’s a deep longing to feel a strong connection with our roots. However, obstacles and limitations have caused many to push the pause button on off-grid living.
If you’re looking into getting your feet wet with survival trailers and are unsure of where to turn, this guide should give you a heads up on what to look for in a survival trailer and give you some examples of the best the market has to offer.
What Is A Survival Trailer?
Survival trailers, also called bugout trailers, are designed to get you off the grid with all of the essentials needed to sustain a person for several days.
They can come in a variety of forms but generally, you’ll see them in as small a form factor as possible, since these trailers are meant to go off-road.
Some people make their own survival trailers; however, some companies build and outfit solutions for almost every situation.
Trailer manufacturers have years of experience in the outdoors and the products they bring to the market make living off-grid in a survival trailer an easy goal to attain.
What To Look For In A Survival Trailer
When shopping for a new survival trailer there are a few necessities that you’ll need to be included for it to be ready for off-grid living.
This is a staple on most survival trailers and a lot of companies have designed their trailers to either include onboard components such as solar panels, batteries, and controllers or have the infrastructure in place for you to add these items yourself.
Most trailers will include shore power capabilities for when you go back to civilization.
Size and Shape
Survival trailers need to be compact so that they can easily travel off the beaten path. Most companies use a smaller form factor for traveling which can then open up into a formidable living space that can fit multiple people.
There are three body styles that you’ll come across when searching for a survival trailer, those include:
- Teardrop trailers
- Expedition style trailers
- Cargo off-road trailers
This is an important factor for the longevity of your survival trailer. It’s all well and good to have something that looks shiny and new, but having it leak during a rainstorm defeats the purpose of having one.
Lightweight materials such as carbon fiber provide ample protection from the elements while keeping the load as low as possible. Try to stay away from cheap plastics that are designed to cut costs.
Make sure that most if not all of the metal components are powder coated. This protects it from rusting out if there are prolonged periods of damp climates. It also protects the wood within the trailer from being exposed as well, increasing the insulation inside
The Top Survival Trailers For Off-Grid Living
Turtleback Expedition Trailer
Just because it’s called a survival trailer doesn’t mean it can’t be comfortable to live in. This trailer in particular is Turtlebacks flagship product and they spare no expense.
It has a small form factor when traveling and then becomes a sprawling compound when you’re ready to set up camp.
The whole trailer is powered by 2 AGM batteries which are kept topped up by the additional solar panel, all of your home amenities are at your fingertips. If you’re keen on getting into the backcountry, the reinforced chassis will make the trip an easy one.
- All the bells and whistles you’d want while staying comfortable
- Build quality is excellent and has a hardwood kitchen
- Everything is easily accessible
- Can be pricey
Turtleback Getaway Trailer
This is another trailer by Turtleback and it’s a less expensive version of their Expedition series.
The Getaway trailer is designed to be pulled by vehicles that don’t have a large towing capacity, something like a minivan or large sedan. It has ample storage inside, and with options to include things like a propane tank and solar panel, it does pack a punch in a small package.
When you’re done traveling for the day you set up the optional tent on the top of the trailer which leaves the bottom open for things like cooking for storage needs.
Turtleback offers upgrade packages that give you better tires and additional quality of life upgrades for your trailer.
- Lightweight build materials make this towable with any small SUV
- Additional options are endless
- 35+ cubic feet of storage
- The tent topper makes this ideal for 3 seasons
OP 15 Off-Road Hybrid Caravan
If you’re looking for a survival trailer with all the bells and whistles then look no further. The OP 15 is designed to take you off the grid and keep you there.
This trailer opens up into a liveable trailer complete with all the modern amenities. 300 watts of solar power will keep your lithium-ion batteries topped up to keep your Dometic fridge, TV, and on-demand hot water tank fully operational while you enjoy nature.
Designed to be towed by a Ford F-150, the OP 15 makes traversing the backcountry simple with a reinforced chassis and all-terrain tires.
You could easily take this out in both arid climates and snowy escapes. If you need to customize it for your family, OPUS has a range of additions you can add to your survival trailer.
- All of the modern amenities, including on-demand hot water
- Can be towed with a pickup truck
- Versatile survival trailer for all seasons
- More of a glamping trailer rather than a survival trailer
Boreas XT Off-Road Camper
This is a teardrop-style survival trailer that has a lot of functionality in a small footprint. It can sleep 2 inside while providing all the comforts of home.
The Boreas XT comes with 100 watts of solar, 30 gallons of onboard water storage, and a large propane capacity to run both the stove and the forced air furnace.
You do have the capability of adding a rooftop tent or a side room to increase your sleeping capacity.
Boreas hand makes these trailers to order and as such, can only be purchased by appointment. This allows for great attention to detail and a customized experience for you.
It has an axle-less suspension with electric brakes to make sure that you are in complete control when towing this trailer. When you’ve decided to set up camp for the night there are a couple of leveling jacks to make your life just a little bit easier.
- A complete package in a small footprint
- The design is thought out and efficient
- Can keep you off-grid for an extended period in all seasons
- Quite pricey for most
Taxa Outdoors Tiger Moth
The Tiger Moth is one of those campers that can be towed by smaller vehicles. It’s so light that most four-cylinder vehicles could pull it. The Tiger Moth is capable of going over 7 days off-grid makes this an excellent choice for those remote locations.
Inside the trailer is surprisingly spacious with enough room to sleep 2, you can also add a rooftop tent for additional sleeping room. A kitchen space off the back makes it possible to enjoy the views while making your favorite meals.
Taxa partnered with Thule on this trailer so a lot of the storage options are high-end. You can power this entire trailer with two group 27 batteries and keep them charged up with solar panel options.
- A lot of space in a small trailer
- Lightweight for easy towing
- Extended off-grid capabilities
- Doesn’t come with AGM batteries or solar panels
Boreas EOS-12 Camper
If you’re looking for an advanced survival trailer then the Boreas EOS-12 camper is a step into the future. The construction of this trailer is entirely made of composite and metal, with no wood to rot if any leaks develop. The roof is a single piece of fiberglass that has been molded to the frame.
The ceiling on this trailer is massive with a height of over 6 feet when fully opened. A spacious dining table that can seat 5 is a must-have if you’re taking your family with you. It even includes a wet bath with a cassette toilet so you can use the washroom inside.
In keeping with the futuristic theme, you can also control all of the onboard electrical systems through a touch screen tablet. This also gives you access to the rear trailer camera and GPS capabilities.
- Large living space inside
- Can be used in all seasons and weather
- A built-in water filtration system
- Very reliant on technology to work properly
Taxa Cricket Overland
Much like the name, the Taxa Cricket is a smaller survival trailer that still manages to create a comfortable living space.
It has an axle-less wheel system that uses rubber springs to create a smooth ride on bumpy forest roads. A high 14-inch clearance ensures that rocks and errant logs won’t scrape the bottom of the trailer.
Adding your power to this trailer is a cinch with hookups for both lithium batteries and solar panels. A hot and cold shower is available outside of the trailer with an on-demand propane heater.
- High clearance is beneficial for rough roads
- Most home amenities are included
- Can be towed by an SUV
- Smaller cabin space meant for 1-2 people
OP Lite Camper
This survival trailer is made for warmer climates and has an inflatable shelter that deflates at the touch of a button. The trailer has a ceiling height of 8 feet when fully inflated and a fully screened interior provides great views without any invasive bugs coming in.
The OP Lite camper comes with 12v and 120v connections for shore power and includes some solar panel ports for extra power and to keep the onboard battery charged up. Keeping your gear stored isn’t an issue with ample storage in the rear.
- The trailer has a small footprint for easy traveling
- An inflatable tent that is easy to set up
- Full slide-out kitchen
- Lack of insulation and heating make this inadequate for winter
Patriot X3 Camper
The X3 boasts live-in luxury with the rugged engineering that Patriot campers are known for. Even though it is a pop-up trailer with a large tent it can still handle frigid temperatures with a built-in diesel heater. It comes with a 300 ah battery system that can handle electronics up to 1500 watts.
There are a plethora of add-ons for this trailer, everything from a pop-up cafe to different stud patterns on the tires. You can make this live-in survival trailer into a dream home with wheels.
- Extensive options allow for a customizable trailer experience
- A diesel heater for both the water and tent is a plus
- Galvanized chassis makes it great for rough terrain
- Pretty heavy for a small trailer at over 2,000 pounds
This survival trailer is a minimalist approach to comfortable living. With the proper modifications, you could easily take this trailer through all 4 seasons. It has great insulation inside and you can add on an electric heater for an additional cost.
The inside of this teardrop-style trailer is massive, you can even add a bunk bed inside for an extra sleeping room. The axle-less wheels and 16 inches of clearance provide stable traction on the roughest terrain.
- Huge living space inside
- Plenty of power options make this an off-grid powerhouse
- Rugged suspension and tires for all terrains
- The seamless Fiberglass exterior is weathertight
- Heating options are limited with only an electric option
As you can see the market for off-grid survival trailers is diverse, with options available for different styles of living.
All survival trailers have the necessities covered with plenty of options to customize the experience. You can’t go wrong with any of these trailers if you’re looking to bug out or experience nature far away from civilization.
Perrin is an adventure guide and naturalist currently living a nomadic life in the Canadian wilderness. His education and expertise is in wilderness survival and wildlife tracking. He enjoys teaching people about the outdoors and has managed large groups on expeditions.
With several accredited certifications, including being a wilderness first responder and a leave no trace expert, Perrin believes it is important for all of us to reconnect with the natural world.