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Rugged Xventure "severe-duty" trailer sleeps you in the attic, hauls gear below


June 10, 2014

Sleeping high above the cold, icy ground

Sleeping high above the cold, icy ground

Image Gallery (20 images)

Built from military technology and optimized for off-road adventure, the Xventure XV-2 trailer from Schutt Industries is a versatile gear-hauler and people-sleeper. Instead of cramping trailer space with its tent hardware, the rugged, off-road tow-along has an adjustable upper deck for sleeping and a lower cargo bed for hauling tools and toys. The trailer can be customized with everything you need to survive and thrive in the backwoods.

What separates the Xventure design from all the other fold-out/pop-tent trailer designs we saw at last month's Overland Expo is its optional Elevating Rack System. The elevation hardware allows you to raise the height of the upper rack, where the fold-out or pop-up tent is mounted. This gets you higher off the ground when sleeping and opens up access to the cargo bed below with the help of the multi-panel, folding Truxedo tonneau cover. It also increases hauling versatility, adding enough height to carry an ATV, bikes and other tall gear items in the cargo bed.

The elevating rack has six manually adjustable positions, and Schutt Industries told us that the max height allows the trailer to accommodate most overlanding motorcycles while still driving down road and trail at full speed. Schutt is also working on an automatic elevation system, which it plans to have ready within the next month.

Other tent trailers place the tent inside or directly above the cargo bed, which either drastically limits the available cargo space or makes accessing the cargo more difficult, especially when the tent is fully pitched. The VMI X-Tender Ox trailer below demonstrates how some trailers require that you swing the full tent out of the way to gain full access into the cargo bed. We have seen some custom-built trailers with high, elevated racks, and Vohringer applied a similar idea to a hard-topped camping trailer concept, but we haven't come across any other production tent trailers with the feature.

While it's the upper deck of the Xventure that catches the eye, Schutt Industries explains that it's what's down below that really separates its trailer from the pack. The Xventure's chassis is constructed from aluminum tubing secured together with more than 300 Alcoa HuckBolts, each of which provides 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) of bonding strength. The chassis is then finished with a scratch- and chip-resistant polyurea protective coating.

Schutt claims its bolted construction adds strength and durability over welded trailer chassis constructions, particularly when it comes to vibration and flex fatigue. The chassis was originally designed for Schutt's military line and tested and approved at the US Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground. Schutt backs it with a 10-year warranty.

Building up from that militarized chassis, the Xventure features an 89 x 59.5 x 18-in (226 x 151 x 45.8-cm) bed with 49 inches (124.5 cm) between the wheel wells. The bed's tailgate removes to double as a work surface. The tonneau bed cover protects cargo, provides easier, 360-degree access inside the bed and removes completely when needed. Up front, a locking utility cabinet offers a protected storage option for more sensitive cargo. The box includes two jerry can slots and dedicated space for power systems like the GoalZero Yeti. It can also be outfitted with a 50-liter refrigerator.

The Xventure comes standard with electric drum brakes, dual manual parking brakes, LED reverse lights that can be switched on and used as area lighting at camp, and torsion-axle suspension. It offers 18 in (45.8 cm) of ground clearance.

The XV-2 is electrically pre-wired, with wiring routed through the aluminum frame tubing to provide secure, weatherproof performance. The electrical system includes a 50-Ah deep cycle battery; inverter; 110-volt, 12-volt and USB outlets; and six fused, switchable supply ports that allow for adding accessories such as additional lighting, compressors and pumps.

The Xventure XV-2 starts at US$11,995. The Elevated Rack System option usually adds $1,500, but Schutt is offering it as a no-charge standard for a limited time. Likewise, the roof tent is sold separately, and Schutt offers options between $995 and $3,500. There are many other options to fully equip the XV-2, including an armor-plated 22-gal (83 L) water tank with pump, a propane system, a water heater, an enclosed latrine and a full kitchen area. A trailer fully equipped with sleeping, food prep and water supply amenities will quickly approach the high teens and low 20s.

Schutt also offers the more basic XV-1 for $6,995. The XV-1 is a simple tow trailer configuration with the same bed and (non-coated) chassis as the XV-2. The XV-1 is a modular design built to accept the same plug-and-play options as the XV-2, so it can be built up into a full camping trailer, piece by piece.

One final aspect of the Xventure that Schutt emphasizes as setting it apart from its competitors is that the trailers are built, in stock and ready to ship within three to 10 days. All the customer has to do is supply a color, hub pattern and desired accessories. Other brands build their trailers upon order and take far longer to ready them.

Source: Schutt Industries

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

That first picture seems like it would be really cold.

Tent camping in cold weather is miserable enough without losing heat out the floor.

Jon A.

I think that is really nice. It looks very rugged and ready for an off road adventure.

It seems more rugged than a Sylvan Sport. The Sylvan Sport is very similar in arrangment but instead of having the tent above it, the tent is in the cover and opens downward into the cargo space. http://www.sylvansport.com/

I have seen similar arrangements at the Compact Camping Concepts site. They don't seem as rugged as the one in the article. http://www.compactcampingconcepts.com/


Fast forward 20 years: There's a Jeep "electric drive", with a 500 mile battery smaller, lighter and cheaper than the Tesla's, and this trailer has a direct injected diesel genset/range extender that can run on canola oil, and the trailer wheels have small electric motors with 5kW each, helping you not to get stuck in the mud.

You set up camp, your sun shade canvas is of the high-tech solar kind that charges your batteries with 100 watts per square meter, just sitting there. You hardly ever use your backup generator.

Oil barons in jail, tar sands shut down, oil wars a thing of the past.


If you are concerned about minimal heat losses in subzero weather, you don't want all 6 sides up high with the air sucking heat out of all sides in a stronger air stream.

Inuit knew a long time ago that to get liveable low temp survival, you put your abode partially below ground with snow around it and left minimal area for heat loss (semi-spherical) which yields a temperature of the floor at ground temperature which is higher than air temperature.

If you are concerned about safety, you better not have any flammables in the trailer below the "tent."

Burrell Clawson
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