There’s nothing quite like hitting the road for a night or two in nature. It’s a sense of adventure like no other, and it makes all the difference when you have the right camping gear to start with. But choosing a camping companion can be difficult when there’s so much to consider. What’s your budget? What kind of places do you plan on visiting? How long will you be there? How many will be travelling with you? What will the weather be like? These are only but a few questions to consider answering.And if you’re an off-the-beaten-track kind of adventurer, it’s likely you’re deciding between two great companions; the teardrop caravan or an off-road trailer. Both options provide a comfortable camping experience and give you enough packing space to include the necessities or luxuries you might want to bring along on your travels. Let’s break down each a bit further to make your decision a little easier.
The off-road trailer or crossover
It’s the upgrade of a rooftop tent for sure – the off-road trailer tent, also known as a crossover, is an easy enough choice for those with a larger SUV car, and may even get away with using a smaller vehicle. Simply tow it and go.
What’s great about the off-road trailer option is that with any tent, you generally do feel more connected to nature. But it’s not always a plus. Safety and comfort can be a concern when the weather suddenly turns, as well as if animals (or humans) are lurking around. A tent is not always fully weatherproof, meaning wind, rain or thunder can be worrying, and your tent can be easily damaged. In fact, security and comfort are one of the main reasons why campers decide to upgrade their camping gear.
Setup time for an off-road trailer can be quick or long, depending on which type you have, but generally, the off-road trailer is designed for convenience, so a quick setup time should be a crucial element when choosing which one to buy.
Our verdict is that with the off-road trailer, you can always pack as little or as much as you want to and hit the road with ease, but weather is always a concern. At the end of the day, it circles back to questions around how long your stay is, and what places you plan on visiting.
The teardrop phenomenon
A favourite among many young travellers, small families and retired adventurers because of it’s ultimate convenience. The teardrop trailer suits the spontaneous traveller that wants to hit the road in comfort, style and ease. This lightweight caravan acts as a trailer on the back of almost any car and it’s robust enough to go through most off-track roads, and requires very little setup.
Compared to the crossover, weather with a Vagabond is not a concern at all when it comes to this great camping companion. Listen and drift off to the sound of the rain hitting the top of the roof and sleep in absolute comfort – no need for tossing and turning on uncomfortable mattresses, and tent back pain will be a thing of the past.
With the teardrop trailer, everything is neatly stored for your convenience, and you won’t need to spend hours packing or unpacking. The convenience, safety element, and robustness of the teardrop caravan make it perfect for short-term, and long-term stays.
Both the off-road trailer and the teardrop caravan are affordable options compared to bigger caravans and motorhomes. Often these more expensive options also require purchasing a bigger car to be able to tow a bigger camping companion. Because of the size and weight of both, you can keep fuel costs down too, saving money on petrol for all trips. Just tow and go with both.
What’s also great about owning either a teardrop trailer or an off-road trailer, is that you won’t need to go through the effort of redoing your driver’s license to obtain an EB license. This is an important requirement when owning a regular caravan. You will, however, need to ensure that your driver’s license legally allows you to tow a trailer as in South Africa there are different codes for different size trailers.
To sum it up, an off-road trailer tent can be fun but the pros of the teardrop beat it hands down. The teardrop trailer makes travelling with small children much easier and safer too and you won’t need to worry about the weather one bit. Although biased, the teardrop caravan really is the perfect travel companion that wins over the pros of safety, comfort, versatility and cost.