Overland Explorer Composite Off Road Trailer

Jeep

Supporting Sponsor: Overland Explorer Expedition V
Hi Laurie,

I really appreciate your observations and comments, living in a country where this kind of product and a lot of ingenuity related to the application is and has been developed for years makes your insights complimentary. We have recognized a company out of Australia as having the best method of manufacturing XPS composite panels and assembly along with a pretty impeccable track record with the products they produce, and have an honourable agreement with them and share technology back and forth to advance this availability in North America. So there is a chunk of Australia in the foundation of our body.

I like to build stuff that is serviceable anywhere hence part of the decision to use the Timbren suspension, believe me we could have designed a pretty killer suspension system that would be extremely robust but I become the sole source for the replacement parts, which maybe great for me but what about my customer in a state or province far away? I have spent a lot of time in the drivers seat desert racing in sportsman, class 1, and trophy truck and have the knowledge to knock that out of the park but I have dealt with custom and one off my entire life and know how much of a pain it can be at times. It doesn't hurt that the Timbren suspension does perform very well and rides very smooth, in fact on rough roads at speed we are considering putting a lightly damped shock to reduce the rebound as we see that the only issue so far. We have also used Timbren products commercially for years and it has always been a great durable solution. So it's pretty good stuff, and it helps reduce the manufacturing costs so we can bring a composite body trailer to market for the same kind of money as the conventional wood bodied high end off road trailers.

The market here in North America will undoubtedly feel an effect from Chinese manufacturing, but only to a degree. We may lose to the builder buying parts as that stream is open here, but for the client looking for a turn key solution I don't think it will be as much as a threat as logistics on a bigger product offset the lower cost. We may see a large RV builder buy into the market and load up on Chinese raw materials but we are all too familiar with the way the large scale RV builder do things, and that's why this niche market exists, and will always exist. All of our sales to date have also been to a mostly professional clientele, engineers, nurses, doctors, law enforcement, educators, business people, etc. who do not have the time or desire to actually build a product but rather purchase it. And we do sell parts but we don't sell panels, extrusions, or empty shells so that keeps us a little more isolated from the China effect. As well here in North America (especially USA) we are going to be seeing seriously revised trade agreements and China is not really a good trade partner with Canada or the USA, and with economic downturns on natural resources we are seeing a large push to bring manufacturing back on shore, I expect to see some pretty hefty tariffs introduced one the next year or two which will be beneficial. All of our cores, skins, extrusions, frame materials, are made in Canada and USA and our business relations extend largely on both sides of the border. There are a couple pieces that filter in from China, but there are now products that are not built anywhere else in the world other than China, kinda scary to a degree.

And your right about bringing something new to market, we designed and built the trailer line largely out of response to our camper displayed at Expo west in Flagstaff last year. The inquiries were coming from people who were buying, and tired of a 7-18 month lead time, and not really satisfied that they were getting a wood body for the money. People were looking for a composite solution so we built one, and a few more have followed since, off to a slower start than anticipated, but nonetheless it's moving along. And it works well with the camper builds and Mercedes conversions that take a little longer to complete, a good fit for the production dept. So thanks for sharing the positive vibes, it's all good stuff! And the TDK isn't a tear drop, I'll let you figure out the acronym! My marketing slogan that I keep getting in trouble for is "No more wood, no more tears", and it goes hand in hand with the TDK! For most new developments and releases check out www.overlandex.com and our Facebook page, I have a couple really cool builds I will post on here in the near future too.

Cheers,
Mark.
 

TRD Burglar

New member
I'm really liking the composite construction of these trailers. I'll be in Moab in May and I'm looking into renting one from Twisted Jeep as a test run prior to purchase.
There is one area of your design that im concerned about. I'm curious if you guys have given any additional thought into improving the departure angle, or at tapering the side steps towards the rear and narrowing the rear bumper?
 

Jeep

Supporting Sponsor: Overland Explorer Expedition V
Hey TRD,
We have narrowed the back end up and built a set of round tube style fenders on paper. We just finished up another trailer and the customer wanted the wider fender and step so I haven't had the chance to build one with the new fender/step combo yet. I will post some pics when we get to build one that way. Thanks for the comments, the trailers at Twisted have been getting booked out quite often, maybe give them a shout to reserve it.
Thanks again,
Mark.
 

Utah200

Adventurer
Just pulled the trigger on a TDK, wired out the deposit just a little while ago. Beyond stoked on this little project.
 

Utah200

Adventurer
keep us posted, and share your pics :drool: when is your delivery date?
Soon...just waiting on a few back ordered 3rd party items. The guys at Overland Explorer have been great to work with. Super easy to brainstorm ideas and make small changes to solve potential problems. So far it's been a great experience.

Not my video but this guy interviewed Arnold at Expo West and got decent TDK tour.

 

Jeep

Supporting Sponsor: Overland Explorer Expedition V
Composite panels are fiberglass/XPS core/fiberglass. An aluminum rock guard plate is bonded to the front.
 

Grassland

Active member
Couple years ago in the start of this thread, somebody asked about interest in something built with similar technology and level of craftsmanship, but a larger, base camp version.
Any more thought go into designing something along those lines?
What my wife and I want doesn't exist. If we get close in layout/size, its made by Forest River or Thor and hence will fall apart in a few minutes. If we find something built well, its a tear drop or similar.
Thinking 6-6.5 wide 14 long body, 6' tall inside, with a tip out bunk, and a table inside that can be made a bed if needed. 10' awning on one side. Inside/outside stove. Spot for cassette toilet or at least the option to add one.

Something that can also be used in Provincial and National campgrounds, as well as on fire service roads etc. Half ton and properly equipped mid size tow able. So like 3500-4000# dry weight.
 
Queen size mattress with North South orientation. Makes it easier not to disturb the wife with late night trips to the bathroom. I don't mind camping in foul weather as long as I can cook and use a portable toilet out of the weather. Makes it easier to ride out foul weather.
 

Grassland

Active member
We are just in the process of evaluating such a build. 14' long, 7' wide, and height TBD. We have had a lot of interest in that size of unit.
Hot damn!

I look forward to what you might come up with. I can probably piece together our OSB and caulk job for another year or two. Have resulted to looking at cargo trailer conversions with singular tip out bunk, since can get those with aluminium framing at least, and no TPO or EPDM roofing material.

Im on your webpage now. Reading about the truck campers and small trailer.
The solid fender on the trailer is great for reaching roof item/possible awning, and looks like a great spot to sit a dual burner stove. We love cooking outside, but also like the option of bringing stove inside if weather is too foul and the awning isnt enough. A larger trailer gives this option. In a lot of mainstream stuff, they are fixing the stove and sink inside. We have never used our inside sink, and having two stoves, one fixed in place is a waste of space and wieght.
 
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