Overlanding, off-roading and boondocking in remote areas are skyrocketing in popularity. And I mean…what’s not to love?
Escaping the hustle and bustle of urban life?
Exploring new areas?
Seeing the sky full of stars at night?
Pretty sweet, right?!
But try and take a normal camper trailer off-road and you’re gonna quickly wish you hadn’t. You need a travel trailer that’s a little more rugged, something that can take a few bumps and ruts and not complain.
You need a mini off-road travel trailer.
Don’t worry, I gotcha covered. Here are 11 of the coolest small off-road campers that can go pretty much anywhere your vehicle can.
11 Super Awesome Small Off-Road Campers and Travel Trailers.
These mini off road campers are kinda like John Wayne — they’re rough, they’re rugged and they’re ready to hit the trail.
On this list of the best mini off-road campers you’re gonna find some…
- Teardrop style trailers
- Off-road pop-ups
- And other unique designs that are in a class of their own
Just keep in mind that these small off-road campers aren’t organized from best to worst or prettiest to ugliest. Think about your towing vehicle, where you’re gonna go with it, and your budget. Then choose the one that fits your needs and go have fun!
Let’s start with a small off-road teardrop!
What it’s a great mini off-road camper: Don’t let the candy-like “DoDrop” name fool you. This is definitely the Alpha of small teardrop campers.
The base model is extremely capable and starts at less than $15,000. Get a deluxe version fully outfitted and you’re gonna have to put down more than $20,000.
It’s similar to some of the other Do Drop trailers, but it’s been reinforced, beefed up and made more rugged in every way possible. I mean this little guy’s got long-travel suspension, 15” off-road wheels and tires, industrial powder coating, reinforced chassis, and jeep style fenders.
Plus there are tons of cool extras you can get:
- A roof rack so you’ve got a place for a roof top tent.
- 7-gallon Road Shower
- 55-inch awning
- Power bank
- Rocket stove
- Off-road shovel
Check out the Do Drop Alpha.
What other small campers does this brand offer?
Oregon Trailers currently offers several different trailer options — some off-road, some not. In my article — best off road trailers under $10,000 — I feature the regular Do Drop since it starts at under $9,000.
Now let’s move on to the Cadillac of small off-road campers.
Why this is an awesome mini off-road camper trailer: Take one look at the NS-1 and you can easily see that it’s not your average small off-road trailer.
It’s got a unique, seamless composite body. That means there are no seams, zero leaks, and long-lasting durability. The insulated wall panels also provide extra insulation for four-season camping.
And while most small off-grid campers rely on propane stoves and water heaters, this baby’s all-electric. Yup…electric water heater, electric induction cooktop, and electric A/C unit! So how does it power all that?
There’s a built-in solar panel on the back of the camper and you’ve got the option to hook up extra solar panels. It’s got a 5,500-watt hour battery and space to add another!
Some other cool features:
- Solid wood cabinetry
- Comes with a WeBoost cell booster so you can stay connected
- 17” TRD Off-road wheels
- Timbren 3500 HD Axle-less suspension
- Slide-out kitchen with butcher block cutting boards
So, yeah…this thing’s pretty awesome. However, it’s gonna cost you. It starts at about $40,000. Fully loaded, you’re looking at over $60,000. And there’s a waiting list so if you want one you’ll need to put $1,000 down to get on the list.
Watch a video tour of the awesome NS-1.
Now let’s come back down to earth with a small off-roading camper that’s a little most realistic for most of us. 😋
Why this is a great off-road mini camper trailer: If you are an extreme off-roader who needs a small camper that can keep up, I 100% recommend you go with the TenTrax Ascend. Other small campers limit where you can go. The Ascend doesn’t.
When it’s all folded up, the TenTrax Ascend is only a few feet long and has a dry weight of just 600 lbs, so yeah…it’s tiny! But that means it won’t weigh your tow vehicle down when drudging through deep mud or navigating rocky hill climbs.
So how does the Ascend work?
When it’s all folded up, it’s a small trailer that’s barely bigger than its 38-inch all-terrain tires (optional). But the top has a built-in roof top tent that folds out when it’s time to hunker down for the night.
Inside, it’s got storage for all your gear. Plus, it’s available with optional accessories like:
- LED Lighting
- 4-Gallon Road Shower
- Dometic Cooler
- 12V Electrical Package
- Lock N’ Roll Articulating Hitch
And one of the best things about this mini camper is its starting price of just under 10 grand!
Check out this video with the TenTrax on the Rubicon trail.
If you love taking off-grid camping trips, be sure to check out my overlanding articles!
- Your Overland Camping Kitchen – The Guide to What You Need and What You Don’t
- 12 Super Cool Overlanding Tables for Your Off-Grid Adventures | 2022
- 12 Best Overlanding Shower Systems for On-The-Go Bathing | 2022
Now let’s get back to a more traditional teardrop style mini off-road camper.
Why these are great small off-road campers: Teardrops NW offers 4 different off-road models. All share similar features but are slightly different sizes.
The smallest, the Scout, has a 5’ x 8’ footprint and a dry weight of 1,550 lbs. The largest, the Commander, is 5’ x 10’ with a 1,900-lb dry weight and a slightly more boxy shape.
All of the models come standard with some pretty impressive features, like:
- 3,500-lb TImbren Axle-Less Suspension System
- 12” Trailer Brakes
- Deep Cycle Battery and Charger
- Max Coupler Receiver
Plus, you can add a host of cool optional features like a roof rack, awning room, roof top tent, and a hot water system.
Each of the 4 trailers offers an impressive galley for off-the-grid cooking. There are dual slide-outs with a place for a 53-Quart Dometic fridge/freezer and a cook stove. They make great use of space so you’ve got plenty of usable countertop space for meal prep.
Check out more of what TearDrops NW has to offer.
And check out this review of the TearDrops NW Ranger.
Why the Pursuit is a great small off-road camper: It’s got a toilet and shower! What!? Yeah, you read that right. This little camper manages to pack a unique toilet/shower slideout into its small size.
Keep in mind the BRS Offroad Pursuit is one of the largest campers on this list of small off-road campers, but by no means is it a huge camper. I mean…it’s just a hair over 13 feet long and weighs about 3,500 lbs.
But despite its small size, this trailer packs a surprising amount of luxurious features.
- Queen mattress
- 80L Fridge/Freezer
- 4-Burner Cooktop, Sink, and Microwave INSIDE the Camper
- Exterior slide-out galley
- Ducted AC/Heat
- Fully Enclosed Hot Shower
Something that really sets this one apart is the shower. It’s got a unique slideout with a cloth curtain that becomes a place for your portable toilet and shower.
No more pooping in the woods! (If you do have a small off-grid camper without a bathroom, then you’ll need to check out my article How to Poop in the Woods – An Illustrated Guide to the Lost Art. You DON’T want to miss it 😜)
See where you can get one at the BRS Offroad website.
Watch the BRS Offroad Pursuit video walkthrough.
Ok, let’s get back to a more traditional style teardrop with some off-road chops.
Why the Pika is a great small off-road camper: Why mess with the classics? The Pika is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a simple and classic teardrop design that can follow you almost anywhere off-road.
The Timberleaf Pika comes in three different trims:
- Standard – for regular road use.
- All-Road – With beefed-up suspension and bigger tires, this is good for rough back roads and mild dirt roads. Basically, it’s meant to be paired with a crossover SUV.
- Off-Road – With extra rugged features, the off-road version can be paired with pretty much any off-road or overland vehicle.
The Pika off-road has got some impressive off-roading features:
- 4” Lift
- Electric Brakes
- Max-Coupler Articulating Hitch
- Rock Sliders
- Custom Fenders
Plus, it’s got all the standard Pika features. One of the cool features that I love is the skylight. Lay in bed and look up at the stars or close the shade to keep things dark for lazy mornings.
The galley in the back is simple, yet functional. There are two different countertop levels so you’ve got plenty of space to work, even once you add a 2-burner stove. You’ve also got the option to choose from a slide-out for a Dometic cooler or a set of drawers and two cabinets.
Check out Timberleaf Trailers.
Watch a Timberleaf Pika walkaround tour.
Why the Mean Bean is a nice small off-road trailer: Other than the cool name, the Mean Bean is a fantastic combination of luxurious features that make off-grid camping a little easier, while still being rugged enough for most 4×4 trails.
In my article 9 of the Coolest Off-Road Teardrop Camper Trailers I feature the Mean Bean’s larger brother, the Black Bean. But since we’re focusing on small off-road travel trailers, here we’ll talk about the Mean Bean.
It’s got a dry weight of 1850 pounds so it won’t weigh your vehicle down, but is still packed with a lot of nice features. You can really tell that Bean Trailers really wants you to feel at home while using their trailers and not to feel like you’re just in a wooden box on wheels.
You’ll love thoughtful features like:
- LED accent lighting
- Stainless steel sink and faucet
- Paper towel holder on the rear hatch
- Large front window makes the interior feel less cramped
- Outdoor porch lights
Plus, there are TONs of extra options you can add on to customize your Mean Bean.
- Pop-Up Table
- Road Shower
- Thule Roof Rack
- Children’s Bunk
- Awning Annex
- Lithium Battery
- Instant Hot Water
- And lots more!
Personally, I love the pop-up table option. It’s hard to find a small camper like this with the option of interior seating. That’ll really come in handy on windy, rainy days when a small outdoor awning just won’t cut it.
Check out Bean Trailers here.
Watch this quick walkaround of the Mean Bean off-road.
Keep going to see one of the most unique options on our list.
What makes it a great small off-road trailer: The Sylvansport Go definitely isn’t the most off-road-ready camper on this list. It is more rugged than your average camper and can go pretty much anywhere a crossover SUV can (like a Rav4 or Outback).
However, what it lacks in extreme off-road ability, it makes up for in practicality. This thing is engineered to support all your outdoor adventures.
It’s got a unique design that allows you to haul extra outdoor gear — anything from a small ATV to a couple of kayaks.
There’s a gear deck where you can stash extra camping gear, pancake syrup, and bacon. Above that is a tent pod that’s kind of like a hybrid between a pop-up camper and a roof-top tent. Open it up and you’ve got sleeping space for up to four people.
While you’re traveling, you can adjust the height of the folded-up tent pod so you can fit larger items on the gear deck — like an ATV or dirtbikes.
Or you can use the equipment rack on top of the tent pod for carrying bikes, skis, or kayaks.
Check out the Sylvansport site.
And watch how it sets up in this video.
Why the Tigermoth is a great small camper for off-roading: All of the Taxa campers are super unique, and once you learn about Taxa’s roots, it’s easy to see why. The founder and designer, Garret Finney, used to work for a NASA design center figuring out ways to make astronauts more comfortable in space.
As you look at all of Taxa’s options, including the Tigermoth, you can definitely see that influence. The campers have funky looking designs that are extremely well thought out and practical. Everything has a purpose and is designed to stand up to the rigors of off-grid travel.
*A lot of Taxa’s campers have made it on my other lists like…
- 11 Cool Travel Trailers Under 2000 lbs
- 13 Best Off Road Travel Trailers and Campers with Bathrooms | 2022
- 10 Best Off Road Camper Trailers Under $10,000
More about the Tigermoth…
WIth the built-in electrical system, solar-ready hookups, and external water system, the Tigermoth is ready for 7+ days off-grid so feel free to explore.
Access the interior from the rear or side hatch. Inside you’ll find a truly multi-purpose space. You can set it up to be a large bed, a wrap around bench and table, or just a bench. And if you need more sleeping space, just throw a roof-top tent on top.
Around back there’s a pull-out kitchen with a portable sink, lots of storage and plenty of counterspace.
See more from Taxa here.
Watch the Tigermoth tour and see just how practical the Tigermoth is.
Head on to our next option to see a cute but capable little off-road camper.
What makes the Boony Stomper a nice little off-road camper trailer: This little thing truly is for stompin’ the boonies, or boony stompin’…or however you want to say that. It’s got a dry weight of just 600 lbs, a tongue weight of just 89 lbs, and is only 111” from trailer tongue to the rear bumper.
There’s no galley. No hot water system. No A/C. It’s just a simple, no frills, ultra-rugged and lightweight off-road teardrop.
But you know what…sometimes simple is better, right?!
The Boony Stomper’s simplicity is also what makes it ready to go just about anywhere your vehicle can. In fact, it’s so lightweight that you can even pull it with some UTVs.
Learn more at the Sunnyside Offroad website.
Watch this Boony Stomper video to see it in action!
Check out the last camper option on the list. This one’s fully loaded for long off-grid expeditions.
Why the Expedition 2.0 is a great small off-road camper: Off Grid Trailers make some of the best small off-roading campers around. They are all intelligently built and feature filled to give you everything you need and more for staying comfortable on extended off-road camping expeditions.
The Expedition 2.0 is a rugged, all-metal trailer with a starting weight of just 1700 lbs. In addition to all the normal off-roading features like Timbren 3500 HD axle-less suspension, electric brakes, and all terrain tires, it also is available with tons of other really nice standard features, like:
- Outside shower room attachment
- Stainless steel countertop
- Stainless steel sink
- 55L fridge/freezer
- LED lighting
Plus, it’s got some cool optional features.
- Exterior bluetooth stereo
- 24” Smart TV
- 6500 BTU furnace
- OGT Evolution Series Suspension
- And lots more
Learn more about Off Grid Trailers here.
Watch the Expedition walkaround tour.
Small Off-Grid Camper Features to Look For
Here are a few things to consider when looking for the perfect mini off-grid camper for your adventures.
How Far Off-Road are You Planning On Going?
“Off-road” means different things to different people.
To some it means “off-pavement”. So maybe some relativel smooth dirt roads — basically anywhere a crossover SUV could go.
To others it means hitting some proper off-roading trails (established dirt roads with a few technical sections).
To others off-road means exactly what it says…off roads. That means they might be going where no vehicle has gone before and no matter what they encounter — rivers, rocks, ditches — they either have to go over or around it in their vehicles with camper in tow.
A good rule of thumb is to get a small camper that matches your vehicle.
- If you’ve got an unmodified crossover SUV (Rav4, Tucson, Outback, etc) then you could go with a small camper like the Sylvansport Go or the Mean Bean. Just double check the towing capacity on your vehicle first.
- If you’ve got a normal unmodified truck or 4×4 SUV, you could opt for something a little more capable, like the Tigermoth or DoDrop Alpha.
- But if you’ve got a modified off-roader that can handle deep water crossings, steep hill climbs and some rock crawling, you’ll need something that can keep up like the Boony Stomper or the TenTrax Ascend.
Look for these off-road features if you need a small camper that can handle proper off-road trails with technical sections.
- Rugged design: Heavy-duty frame and axle. All-terrain tires. Long-travel suspension. Rock sliders.
- Independent Suspension: Look for independent, axle-less suspension. This will help increase ground clearance and provide a smoother ride.
- Articulating hitch: A normal ball and coupler hitch struggles on technical trail sections. That’s where an articulating hitch comes in handy. It has a larger range of motion so your vehicle and trailer can twist in different directions.
How Long are You Planning On Staying Off-Grid
Are you planning on just 1-2 nights between access to water and electric? Or are you planning on staying off-grid for a couple of days or more?
If you want the ability to easily stay away from water and electric hookups for days on end, look for these features:
- Solar Ready Hookups: Check the camper specifications and see if it is solar ready. That makes it way easier to hook up your own solar panels and extend your time off-grid. Fortunately all of the ones on this list have solar options.
- Batteries: Most people with small campers can get by with one or two normal 12V or 6V deep cycle batteries to power things like LED lights, fans, small electronics, etc. Make sure your camper comes with them or has a space for you to add them and easily hook them up to the camper’s electrical system.
- Water Storage: Make sure there’s an onboard water tank and/or space for storing extra jerry cans with additional water. Figure at least 2 gallons per day per person (not counting any you might use for showering).
What Is the Cheapest Small Off-Road Camper?
The cheapest small off-road camper is a close tie between the TenTrax Ascend, the Sylvansport Go, and the Boony Stomper. All cost right around $10,000.
What Is the Smallest Off-Road Camper?
The smallest off-road camping is a tie between the Sunnyside Boony Stomper and the TenTrax Ascend. Both have starting weights of around 600 lbs.
The Fun Starts Where the Road Ends
Ready to head off-road with your mini camper? Choose the right one and it’ll be ready to go anywhere you and your vehicle can.
-Maybe you’ll spring for the luxurious Campworks NS-1.
-Or if small and simple if for you, maybe you’ll stick with the Boony Stomper or the DoDrop Alpha.
-Of if you want the ultimate in cargo carrying capacity, you might choose the Sylvansport Go.
Whichever you choose (or even if you just stick with a tent), just be sure to get outside and enjoy the outdoors!
Wanna have even more fun on your outdoor adventures? Check out my other camping, overlanding, and RVing articles!
- Pooping Outside | The Illustrated Guide to Taking A Dump Outdoors
- 14 Best Portable Camping Showers to Stay Squeaky Clean in the Woods | 2022
- 13 Best Portable Camping Toilets to Go On the Go!
- 55+ Ultimate RV Gadgets & Accessories You Can’t Camp Without
- 9 Best Portable Camping Kitchens for Easier Camp Cooking | 2022
- How to Waterproof a Tent: Master the Art of Staying Dry in the Great Outdoors - November 18, 2023
- The Ultimate Tent Camping Checklist: Don’t Forget a Thing! - November 16, 2023
- The Top 9 Slide Out Camp Kitchens And DIYs - October 5, 2023