What to Look for in a Small Adventure Trailer

What to Look for in a Small Adventure Trailer

The small adventure trailer is quickly becoming the standard for modern recreational vehicles. At increasing rates, travelers seem to prefer the small trailer’s efficient use of space, thoughtful layout, and impressive durability. However, all models are not created equal. TAXA Habitats offer an impressive balance of livability essentials, size, design, and build quality. Here’s a checklist to consider if you’re in the midst of finding a mobile habitat that meets your needs.

Small Adventure Trailer Checklist – The Essentials


How many beds does the trailer offer? Is this number flexible at all? Will the storage capacity house all potential essentials along with supplementary gear?

  • Number of beds
  • Cargo Capacity
  • Accessory Rack

TAXA Outdoors Habitats can sleep anywhere from 2 to 4+ adults.


Most small adventure vehicles lack traditional bathrooms. However, some include makeshift options. If a trailer lacks bathrooms, think about any extra equipment/storage needed to provide a solution.

  • Shower, Toilet, Sink
  • Hot/Cold Water

Mantis features a cassette toilet, and Cricket offers a portable toilet option.


More and more, small trailers offer some kind of cooking space. These can vary significantly though. Some manufacturers include a small stove while others flaunt full galley kitchens.

  • Stove Top, Sink, Counter Space
  • Cold Storage Options

Mantis and Cricket both feature impressive baltic-birch plywood kitchens, while TigerMoth offers an efficient pull-out kitchen.


While most modern adventure vehicles include a temporary power solution of some kind, consider the length of your expedition and the amount of power you will need. Are built-in options sufficient, or will supplementary devices become necessary? Further, are power outlets conveniently located where needed?

  • Trailer Battery Capacity
  • Solar Power Input Included or Available
  • Power Outlet Type, Quantity, and Location

Every TAXA Habitat model is equipped with a range of power solutions to keep you extend adventuring safely.

Small Adventure Trailer - Power Requirements

Small Adventure Trailer Checklist – Size Requirements


Check the height, length, and width of the vehicle. Upon doing so, make sure you have a suitable place to store it when not being used.

Comparatively so, imagine some potential destinations that you might care to visit. Will the size of the vehicle help or hinder the expedition? Generally speaking, limiting size leads to to more options. For instance, smaller trailers typically have an easier time overlanding or meeting campground requirements.


Can your car safely tow the weight of the trailer with cargo included? To be safe, reference the trailer’s GVWR and measure against your car’s tow capacity. Here’s a tow rating database courtesy of Good Sam if you need to check the latter.

TAXA Habitats range in size from Woolly Bear, the go-anywhere basecamp that weighs only 1,270 lbs. to Mantis Overland, our most spacious model enhanced for overlanding, at 3,486 lbs.

Small Adventure Trailer - Minimal Size Requirements

Small Adventure Trailer Checklist – Thoughtful Design

Lighting and Ventilation

In any indoor space, lighting dramatically affects mood and usability. With that said, how well does the trailer incorporate natural light through windows? At nighttime, does the trailer include a lighting arrangement, or will you need to bring something extra?

Along with lighting, ventilation generally defines the comfort of a room. Once more, do the windows help in this process? Does the trailer offer climate control devices to supplement standard airflow?

Flow and Accessibility

A skillful layout can make all the difference in accomplishing flow. In order to evaluate this, study the floor plan or listen to others’ experiences. Does the trailer feature storage compartments or appliances in intuitive places? How well does the vehicle merge inside spaces with the outdoors?

For TAXA Outdoors habitats, working for the Habitability Design Center at NASA taught us to think about how we use and share physical space in very human terms.

Small Adventure Trailer - Thoughtful Design

Small Adventure Trailer Checklist – Build Quality

Rugged Specifications

While not vital to some, trailers designed for rugged environments typically stand the test of time better than most. As a result, take a look at the suspension design, hitch mobility, vehicle weight, and tire diameter. Generally speaking, trailers that minimize load tension while maximizing support are the ones to trust.

For example, the Cricket Overland flaunts a Timbren 3500lbs Axle-Less trailer suspension with a 4″ lift. This supplements already robust Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tires to provide excellent ground clearance and sturdy engineering suitable for a multitude of destinations.

Construction and Materials

Aside from build design, execution matters just as much if not more so. Research the materials on display and how the manufacturer constructed them. TAXA habitats boast handcrafted steel and aluminum frames. Learn more about our quality materials and build process here.

Evaluating a Small Adventure Trailer – Closing Thoughts

Hopefully, this article can be of service to those looking to get organized in their adventure trailer search. However, this checklist is by no means exhaustive. Rather, it should serve as a basic rundown of things to consider before making a decision. While some logistical realities and standards of quality do exist, these only become effective evaluative criteria through the lens of your needs. With all that said, think mostly on what matters to you and go from there!