What we learned on our first outing with our overland trailer

Updated: May 15

Over Thanksgiving break, we took our Vorsheer XER out for a test run before putting it away for the winter. We didn't sleep in it (our wall tent with a wood-burning stove was a much more appealing option in the freezing temps), but we still used the storage compartments, stove, sink, and refrigerator for the first time and we learned some things.

Backing up will take some practice

My husband has spent a lot of time pulling large horse and utility trailers, but what makes this trailer tricky is how short it is. I haven't tried to back it up yet because that will likely be a very long ordeal. So strictly taking Jared's word, be prepared for the trailer to respond quickly to even the slightest adjustment to your steering wheel (and for it to take a few tries).

There is a lot of storage

The front storage compartment (45" deep x 31" high x 28" wide) alone fit our wall tent, a 10-quart storage bin, clothing bags, sleeping bags (one a large canvas bedroll), and a few misc other things. Additionally, most of the time, we won't be traveling with the wall tent — leaving us ample room for other stuff. We just want to make sure we find a good stackable storage solution and are very selective about what goes into the trailer to avoid getting overwhelmed with things we don't need.

The batteries life is pretty good

It is hard to assess how much of the batteries we will use during a single typical 2-day camping trip in the summer when the biggest battery drain—the fridge—doesn't even turn on because the high is in the 20s. But, before this trip, we assumed a solar panel would be an investment that we would have to make pretty quickly. Post-trip, however, we are not so sure that will be necessary with the amount of battery that remains. I will write a post when we have been able to test them properly. For now, though, we are optimistic about how long they will last.

I am going to need a step ladder

I'm not a big person. I stand about 5'3" on a good day, so I can reach the tent and awning zippers but can't get enough leverage to unzip them with my arms straight over my head. We suspected when we purchased it but this weekend confirmed (in a test tent setup) that I will be needing a small step ladder if I'm going to be of any use setting up camp. The Vorsheer XER does come with many places to step on the side, which is really nice. But, there are still areas where my short stature comes at a disadvantage.

The trailer is a game-changer, even without using the tent

We have a Tacoma without a camper shell. So camping trips past always included solving the Tetris puzzle that is the truck's bed with our camping gear. However, with the trailer, we threw the poles in the top storage slot and the tent in the front storage compartment and were off. It saved us so much time. It makes me very excited to use the rooftop tent next Spring and see what kind of record-breaking camp breakdowns we have.

All in all, we were impressed with how the trailer handled on the dirt roads and found it fun to try out its features for the first time. There will be many firsts and lessons learned with this trailer, and it felt good to get a few out of the way.

Until next time, wishing you safe travels to anyplace wild.

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