Recreational vehicles are comfortable, cool, and everything, but are often too expensive for the average adventure seeker. Even entry-level offerings could come close to the $100,000 mark and that’s definitely not a price everyone can afford. But don’t lose faith – there is one vehicle on the market that fits even more tight budgets.
In fact, the Bruder EXP-4 is not a motorized vehicle but a camping trailer riding on a single-axle off-road suspension with 17-inch wheels that is ready for use on any terrain. It’s designed and built in Australia but, don’t worry, the company that makes it is happy to ship it to the United States for about $5,000.
Gallery: Bruder EXP-4 camping trailer
First, about the chassis. The EXP-4 uses four remote canister mono-tube shocks and has a suspension travel of up to 12 inches (305 mm). Interestingly, it can be height-adjusted for easier coupling with the drawbar of the towing vehicle. Last but not least, a pair of big ventilated discs provides the stopping power.
The cabin of the trailer is made of light but durable closed cell epoxy-bonded composite and, according to Bruder, is “first-class comfort.” The interior sleeps two grownups on a California King bed, but can also accommodate up to three young children on a 1.8-meter bed that doesn’t impact the main sleeping area.
The rest of the cabin space is equipped with three large storage shelves and dedicated hanging space for clothing. There are also internal USB charging outlets and LED lights.
Just behind the sleeping area, there’s a kitchen area made of lightweight, durable, and easy to clean materials. It features a stainless steel basin and swivel tap, a 60-liter fridge, and generous storage for food and pantry items.
And now about the price. At the beginning of this article, we said the EXP-4 is relatively affordable and with a price of AU$54,500 (US$38,726 at the current rates), it really is. For a similar price, all you can buy on the motorhome scene is a second-hand RV which needs additional fixes to be completely ready for off-road camping.
The Bruder EXP-4 soaks up bumps, undulations and corrugations like no other off-road trailer. Our patented suspension truly revolutionises off-road travel and camping; not only can the EXP-4 level out uneven terrain for camping, it can counteract steep side slopes while off-roading. For perfect towing balance, the suspension can also calibrate its ride height to suit a wide range of tow vehicles.
The Bruder EXP-4 is fully engineered: the suspension, the chassis and even the body construction. We use best practise design and engineering principles, regularly overlooked by others in the trailer industry. This includes correct geometry throughout the full range of suspension motion, thereby maximising efficiency of components including all four Bruder-specific remote canister mono tube shock absorbers.
The EXP-4 has nearly triple the adjustable wheel travel of the nearest air suspension system. Our suspension is only available on Bruder expedition trailers and is made from Australian 450 grade high tensile circular hollow section steel and shaped to maximise ground clearance. Our attention to detail and knowledge of off-road environments makes the EXP-4 extremely durable and in maximum height mode its body can achieve over 850mm of clearance.
The EXP-4 incorporates the same technology and design practises we supply commercially to global exploration companies, military groups and humanitarian organisations. We understand how demanding the off-road environment can be so the EXP-4 has been tested for durability in 50c (122f) ambient heat, and incorporates manual override and backup systems to get you through an unlikely worst-case scenario. Although lightweight, the EXP-4 has 2600kg rated axles, ventilated disc brakes for maximum stopping power and can accommodate tyres up to 37inches tall.
The EXP-4 chassis is also completely unique. It is airtight and completely sealed, with no openings for salt, sand or other debris to get caught within it (just like large ships or steel poles that hold up a seaside jetty are sealed). Plus the EXP-4 undercarriage has rear recovery points and an optional Warn recovery winch. The chassis joins forces with the fully engineered EXP-4 body cell, which is made from lightweight composite material up to 60mm thick – engineered to handle up to 10 times its own weight.
Optimising insulation is key. The EXP-4 body cell has an insulation R-value over 5.1 making it not only the strongest but also the most insulated trailer in its class. Even the main drinking water supplies and all plumbing are kept within the EXP-4 body cell, not outside mounted to the chassis. This means precious water supplies are better protected from damage off-road and prevents freezing in extreme climates.
The EXP-4 body uses a closed cell epoxy bonded composite, which is better insulated and has 20% more tensile strength than commonly used polyester bonds. Unlike so many “composite” trailers that use aluminium foam sandwich panels or honeycomb core panels, our material and construction methods are both stronger and more insulated. Our composite construction improves insulation by preventing pathways for heat or ice to migrate to the interior. Put simply, no other camper trailer manufacturer matches the fully engineered specifications and capabilities of the EXP-4.
Teaming our patented designs of suspension, chassis and body makes the EXP-4 a formidable off-road expedition trailer.
Inside the EXP-4 is first-class comfort. Sleep in bliss even if it is snowing, raining or storming. With a hugely spacious 6ft wide and 7ft2 long sleeping area, the EXP-4 is supremely comfortable. The interior can be tailored to accommodate young children on a 1.8m bed that doesn’t impact the use of the main sleeping area. No setup, no pack up – the EXP-4 bed is always ready and level regardless of the terrain.
With an insulation R-value over 5.1 you’re better protected from heat or cold, plus climate control air-conditioning or interior heating can be added. The EXP-4 can be fully closed with blinds shut for those who like to sleep in absolute darkness, or the windows can be opened with pull down insect mesh allowing you to enjoy tremendous views, with protection. Or relax with both doors completely open. It’s your choice on how you’d like to experience nature.
Careful consideration in the design allows for a huge sense of space as well as creature comforts. Internal USB charging outlets and LED lights are conveniently located, along with three huge storage shelves and even dedicated hanging space for clothing.
The Bruder EXP-4 makes it easy to travel and explore your favourite destinations in supreme comfort and security. Entry and exit is made easy for the tall or short, with up to 12inches of adjustment. Rest easy with the added protection and safety of knowing you have the strongest engineered composite body all around you. The EXP-4 can also be slept in discreetly when fully closed, giving outsiders no clue that you maybe within it. In environments with dangerous animals, or just for a road-side stop, the ability to sleep locked safely within can be of great security to many travellers.
The EXP-4 sleeping area can accomodate two adults and three young children. For larger families the EXP-4 roof is engineered to accommodate virtually any roof-top tent on the market.