What Makes a Travel Trailer Off-Road or Off-Grid?

Dweller Roa Montana

This article takes an extremely simplified approach to the topic. It covers the concept at a newcomers level in a way that  people who are new to the Overlanding or Off-Road trailer camping can relate to. There is so much more information that can be shared about this topic at a much greater depth. If you still have any questions, please talk with one of our helpful Sales Coaches for help or clarification! They are more than happy to chat with you about any of the topics covered or not covered in this article! 🙂


Off-Road Suspension

The best way to explain this to a newcomer is to relate it to something else. Trailer suspension is as important to an Off-Road vehicle as shoes are to a distance runner. Distance runners need a shoe that is durable, lightweight, and cushions against impact. Off-Road trailers need to be able to clear obstacles, and absorb vibrations, cushion against any impact, and be able to “move with” the terrain. The suspension is what makes all of these things possible. Without the proper suspension, we don’t consider a trailer to be Off-Road capable. It’s almost the entire kit and caboodle in Off-Road/Off-Grid trailer camping!

X145 Suspension


The camper’s suspension helps it clear obstacles.Suspension components determine how high the frame is from the ground. A lower vehicle isn’t able to pass over many obstacles. Think of a slammed car scraping off its undercarriage on a speed-bump. This is especially true while Off-Road, where no patch of ground is level or smooth The dips, ditches and rocks your trailer will go into can cause you to rip something off or scrape your frame against the unforgiving ground.

Pause XC 16.4

Impact Absorption:

Almost all of our units have independent suspension. Very few have solid axle suspension. This is because a trailer with independent suspension can better move with the terrain compared with a solid axle trailer because each wheel can move independently of the others. This means that if one wheel rolls over a rock, the independent suspension allows that wheel alone to absorb the impact instead of transferring it to the trailer. This highlights another benefit of independent suspension. Since the impact is better absorbed,  there is less wear and tear on a trailer compared to one with a solid axle. Read this article here that more in depth on Idependent Suspension on a trailer.

A suspension that gives good clearance, cushions against impact, and moves with the trail is a great start to the foundations of an Off-Road trailer. But you need one more component in order for your camper to be able to maneuver down tight trails behind your tow vehicle: an articulating hitch.

Articulating Hitch

An articulating hitch can articulate in every plane. Our trailers utilize a variety of Articulating Hitches that can articulate in every dimension, but, unlike a standard ball hitch, allow a tilt. A tilt allows a tow vehicle to tow a trailer up an uneven surface where the truck tilts one way and the trailer tilts the other. The tilt adds 2 important functions: Safety and Stress Reduction on the Frame


xtArticulating Hitches protect you on the highway: 


RV Trailer Roll OverA trailer flipping over is extremely dangerous. If your trailer tips over, it will invariably flip your tow vehicle with it. With an articulating hitch, your tow vehicle stays upright no matter what keeping you safer on the highway. This is because they can move and articulate independently of one another. 



Articulating Hitches protect your frame from stresses:

Roamer 1 Outside Front Tilted Desert

The ROAMER 1 pitches toward its passenger side while the truck stays level thanks to its articulating hitch.

If you are on an uneven road and your truck wants to tilt one way while the trailer wants to tilt another, an enormous amount of stress is placed on the frame. This can result in the frame acquiring a twist. A twist is a condemnation of any vehicle. This isn’t all. Remember we talked about how a suspension system is responsible for cushioning an Off-Road trailer against vibration and impact? A good suspension needs to be paired with a strong frame. 



Some of our favorite articulating hitches;

Check out some of our favorite Articulating Hitches on YouTube:


How the Frame Protects You Off-Road:

A trailer’s frame is as critical to an Off-Road travel trailer as any other vehicle, but Off-Road, your frame needs to be able to endure much more stress. Here at ROA, we ensure customers understand that the vibration a trailer experiences as it travels down the highway is comparable to an earthquake. The seismic activity that the trailer is exposed to jumps up when you start down a trail. The frame on an Off-Road trailer should be even stronger to handle these stresses. They also need to be impact resistant, in case you run the frame into the ground!

Off-Grid Solar and Battery Power keep you running Off-Grid

To liberate yourself from the constraints of traditional campgrounds and ‘cut the shore power cord,’ you can’t do without a robust power system.

Off Road Battery Bank X145

1080 Amp Hours of Lithium in the X145 by Imperial Outdoors battery bank. These batteries are the best Expion has to offer. Each contains a Battery Management System and can hold 360 Amp hours.

An Off-Grid worthy Battery Bank

The minimum you need for independence is a battery bank with sufficient capacity. The battery compartment on a camper by Taxa Outdoors or ‘Habitat’, can only fit 200 Amp hours of battery power. Other campers like the Pause or X195 By Imperial Outdoors can be optioned with more than 5x that amount. The battery capacity of any overlanding vehicle comes down to the needs of the adventurer. Read this article on our favorite Lithium Batteries!

Camp longer with Solar Power!

While a Solar System isn’t necessarily required for us to consider a trailer Off-Grid, it is preferred. RV camping without power isn’t that much fun. A decent solar system will allow you to stay out camping longer because you have more power. Read this article on solar expectations and misconceptions to learn more. Without a solar system, you are forced to rely on noisy and heavy generators or a very large battery bank to be able to spend much time camping Off-Grid. Cutting out noisy generators makes your experience more peaceful. Get closer to nature without the sound of a generator rattling away in your ears.

off road solar panels

Not any one thing.

An Off-Road, Off-Grid trailer has a blend of components and qualities, but most importantly, its any vehicle that gets you out into nature making memories that last!

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Talk to us!

If you have any questions about Off-Grid Trailers, Contact us!!!

Text a Sales Coach at 801-860-0035

Check out our YouTube Channel @ROAOffRoad