Photokina 2014 highlights

ADAK camping trailer keeps you cozy off the grid

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August 22, 2014

The ADAK Trailer has an aluminum chassis and bonded construction

The ADAK Trailer has an aluminum chassis and bonded construction

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The search for the perfect mobile, off-grid living solution continues. Over the past year, we've already seen many such designs, from within the crisp halls of the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, to their natural habitat at Overland Expo, to the occasional EcoTrek or Fieldsleeper International debut. Another fairly new design, the ADAK Trailer is what happens when a group of lifelong sportsmen huddled around the campfire get to talking about what's wrong with camper design. It combines ride-anywhere grit and comfy, spacious living.

"We are hunters, fisherman [sic], campers, and enjoy all things outdoors, especially when we can get off the beaten path and go where there are no crowds," ADAK describes itself. "So one night setting around the campfire commiserating about the things we forgot to bring with us, along with the fact we had to camp three miles from our hunting area because the road in was too rough to take our camping trailer, we decide(d) there had to be a better way."

The "better way" the group of friends and outdoor lovers was looking for was a comfortable, affordable and low-hassle mobile wilderness shelter that could brave the type of rough routes that would leave other campers hobbled and shredded. After trying tents, pickup campers, trailers and motorhomes, they found themselves chatting around the campfire, writing up a list of the improvements they'd like to see, and making the decision to actually pursue those improvements … even after sobering up the next morning. Those pursuits led to Florida-based ADAK Industries LLC, and then the ADAK Trailer.

In designing a trailer, ADAK sought to create a blend of rugged on the outside, comfy on the inside. It all starts with an aluminum I-beam frame connected to its two all-terrain tire-shod wheels by a custom torsion-bar suspension. An FRP honeycomb floor is bolted and bonded to the aluminum chassis, creating what the company calls a "torque box effect for unsurpassed rigidness."

ADAK at Overland Expo 2014 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

The bonded walls and roof are composed of a fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) laminated honeycomb, selected for its combination of strength, rigidity and dead air-trapping insulation capabilities. The components and cabinetry are bonded to the main frame, with ADAK explaining that the bonding makes for a more rugged trailer structure that acts as a single piece, preventing the wear and leaking that can hamper bolted campers.

A key aspect of the trailer that ADAK was careful to point out when we looked at the model at Overland Expo 2014 was the snag-free underside. All the plumbing and wiring is routed through the structure of the trailer, and the use of a torsion axle in place of a wheel-to-wheel shaft eliminates any hanging components that could get caught on rough road or obstacles.

While the burly body of the ADAK Trailer has a military look, especially when painted in available olive drab, the interior has an entirely different feel. From the outside, the trailer looks like it will have little more than a convertible bed/living area inside, but ADAK was careful to optimize use of the 116-sq ft (10.8 sq m) of interior space (headroom: 6 ft 8 in/2 m), a fact that shines through in the offset sofas on either side. Each sofa pulls outward slightly to create a single-person bed.

Inside the ADAK Trailer

At the front end next to the entryway, there is a step-up dining area with bench seating and central table that transform into a third bed. At the opposite end of the interior, one finds storage space and a small bathroom with cassette toilet and shower. ADAK buyers can choose from the available interior and tailgate-style outdoor galleys, both with a sink and two-burner cooktop. The model pictured on ADAK's website comes to life with wood flooring and cabinetry.

The ADAK trailer comes standard with a 45-gal (170-L) fresh water tank, 12-volt pressurized water system, and tankless, on-demand hot water. ADAK describes the water system as a four-season design tested down to below-zero conditions. The standard electrical system has a 1,000-watt inverter, dual six-volt deep-cycle flooded batteries, and one exterior and four interior 120-volt outlets. A generator is available optionally.

ADAK launched its trailer last year after about two years in development. The trailer starts at US$49,000. In addition to the aforementioned standard equipment, the base trailer includes electric brakes, LED interior/exterior lighting, poly-urea coated exterior corners and flooring, and onboard storage. Available options like the galleys, entertainment package, furnace, air conditioner and interior refrigerator can add close to $24,000 in total. The model we photographed at the Overland Expo earlier this year was a fully optioned trailer priced around $72,000.

Source: ADAK Trailers

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
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3 Comments

Thought we would see solar panels on the roof, camping in one spot for a while, they could help supplement the generator.

At least with the rugged suspension and solid construction, the resale value should be higher after a few seasons wear and tear.

The Skud
25th August, 2014 @ 03:22 am PDT

for that kind of money,why not buy property and build a cabin?

redjeff53
25th August, 2014 @ 01:24 pm PDT

Looks like an amazing design, with an equally amazing price. I was excited until I saw the $72,000 price. I can buy a 30ft Class A motor home for that. The space inside and the amenities of the fully loaded ADAK pretty well match the Casita 17 made in Dallas Texas. I owned one for a few years. (Now my adventure vehicle is an H2 Hummer with a fiberglass roof top tent). The Casita price is about 18K with everything including air conditioning, hot water, fridge, private toilet and shower, etc. The shell is two rounded fiberglass moldings ... kinda like a boat. So it is very sturdy and never leaks.... only one horizontal seam around the whole thing. Can't get any stronger or simpler than that. The Casita under side is not as wilderness worthy, but they do have a high rise axle option. So it puzzles me why the ADAK would cost 4 times as much for basically the same collection of parts and pieces.

Bruce Warren
25th August, 2014 @ 02:40 pm PDT
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