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XVenture Trailers Review

Written by  Phillip Jones
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In January 2015, I had the opportunity to borrow a fully loaded XVenture XV-2 for a multi-day expedition on the 4x4 roads of Big Bend National Park (see story in April 2015 issue). I was quite impressed with the trailer – so impressed, that I decided to buy the lighter weight version:  the XV-1. In the first 2 months of ownership, I used the XV-1 at Lone Star Jamboree, on a weekend expedition in Oklahoma, and again on the Ghost Divide Expedition to Overland Expo.

The two XV models share the frame, multi-axis hitch, lever-triggered parking brakes, axle, and independent torsion suspension. The trailer is essentially a pickup truck bed configured as an off-road trailer. Width between wheel wells is 49-inches, and length with tailgate up is 89-inches. Metal tie-down loops adorn the inside and outside walls near the corners. The parking brake levers are located at the front for ease of access when hitching/unhitching. Pulling the levers forward lock the brakes into place, preventing the trailer from rolling.

The XV-2 offers more features, such as a 22 gallon water tank mounted under the trailer, a water pump and heater, plumbing lines with quick disconnects for a faucet and shower, gas line for an included stove, and a heavy-duty galley that attaches to the side of the trailer. The galley has a slot for the stove, holes for mounting the faucet, and a slot for a single sink. The included front cargo box can hold a large fridge, two 5 gallon jerry cans, and a dual battery system. LED lighting is mounted underneath, in the bed, and on the elevated rack. The full roof rack can hold a large roof top tent and an awning. The sectioned heavy-duty cover folds up for bed access.

For my XV-1, I opted to get the smaller battery box, a GoalZero Yeti 400 battery, full Rigid lighting, and crossbars instead of a roof rack. My objective was to keep the trailer as light as possible. I chose a tonneau cover and passed on the liner treatment for the bed. Instead, I purchased a rubber bed flooring from Tractor Supply.

When pulling the XV-2 on the highway, I could definitely feel the trailer. When off-roading, the 32-inch tires rolled over rocks and ledges with ease, and the torsion suspension kept the trailer from jerking hard. The spacing between the tires was nearly in line with my tires on the 4Runner. This actually made it easier to pick lines on more technical segments. Being able to see the tires in my rearview mirror meant I could see exactly what I was dragging the tires over.

Towing my XV-1, the first thing I noticed is I could barely feel the trailer behind me, even with the 33-inch mud-terrain tires. Having a smaller and lighter roof top tent, less accessories, smaller battery box, and minus the water tanks and plumbing, definitely made a difference. However, each chilly night we were camping at over 7,000 ft. elevation on the 5-day Ghost Divide Expedition, I desperately wanted to take a hot shower. I was wishing then I had that 22 gallon water tank along with the water heater, pump, and shower plumbing. I was also wishing I had a second fridge sitting in the trailer because the ARB fridge in my 4Runner was overloaded. When we arrived at Overland Expo and the strong winds were knocking over tables, I was wishing I had the heavy-duty galley. If neither model are exactly what someone needs, XVenture has a lengthy list of options and can customize configurations to handle any adventure.

Overall, I am happy with my trailer. It served me well on the 5-day expedition plus Expo trip. That was a 9-day trip, and having all of that cargo space in the trailer meant my 4Runner roof rack could be empty, and the rear SUV cargo space didn’t have to be packed to the roof, allowing me to see out my rearview mirror. The trailer is well-built and definitely meets the demands of off-road adventuring. When at home, it has a utilitarian advantage:  I can use it like a pickup truck for hauling mulch, boards, giant flat screen TVs, and moving my kid off to college. 

 

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