Jeep people love to Jeep. Whether the famous wave or buying a set of 33-inch tires, the Jeep community is as long-running as it is strong. For the Jeepers who want a bit more on-brand space when overlanding, Jeep has teamed up with a company called ADDAX Overland to make a Jeep-branded trailer.
The ADDAX Overland Jeep trailer features independent suspension, a bit like BMW’s crazy multi-trailer, but relying on torsion axles rather than coil springs. It may seem a bit funny that a trailer cosigned by Jeep has independent suspension when Wranglers have solid axles, but it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Most trailers use a solid axle with semi-eliptical leaf springs just like many pickup trucks. While low-cost and generally fine, this setup does present some challenges when off-road due to how low all of the components hang. In contrast, ADDAX Overland’s trailer packs 17 inches of ground clearance, impressive stuff considering tongue height looks fairly well-matched to stock Wranglers.
In addition to the novel suspension, there’s some clever design going on with this trailer. At the back, you’ll find a two-inch receiver for bike racks and the like, while the folding tongue sounds genuinely great for storing the trailer at home. Maximum payload clocks in at 1,200 pounds, while four 8,000 pound corner jacks seem just a little bit excessive as a way to level the trailer on uneven terrain.
So why a tiny trailer rather than a roof tent? Well, if you want to remove and re-install your Wrangler’s roof, it’s best to not have anything to move up top. In addition, packing four people into a two-door Wrangler is already pretty tight, so a little five-foot by six-foot trailer offers a useful 35 cubic feet of storage space for alligator jerky, oversized hats, and all sorts of outdoorsy stuff.
Should you really want to go hard speccing your trailer, ADDAX Overland offers such options as a slide-out fridge and a slide-out kitchen, perfect for lemonade and massive diner-style breakfasts respectively when out on the trail. Mind you, adding such luxuries as a fridge and a kitchen don’t come cheap. The Jeep-branded trailer itself without any options starts at $14,995, and you could buy a lot of YJs for that sort of money. To get the fridge and the kitchen, you’ll need to step up to the Summit model which costs $30,995 with the Jeep branding.
[Mercedes’ Note: ADDAX Overland is only one of a number of companies building what are essentially trailers with roof tents. Taxa Outdoors will sell you a Wooly Bear for $12,498 for the basic version or $18,500 for one better equipped for off-roading. And for a similar price, you can get a Tribe Basecamp, which is similar to both the Taxa and the ADDAX.
While the idea of a roof tent on a trailer seems silly, I see why they exist. Like Thomas said, these are for the folks who don’t want to deal with a roof tent on their vehicle, or otherwise can’t install one. They’re also smaller than the typical off-road camper, while still being able to carry stuff like a camp kitchen. Oh, and you can get one for well less than $50,000.]
That’s a lot of cash for a fully-loaded trailer, but it also comes with a lot of toys. In addition to a fridge, a kitchen, and a table, it comes with a four-person tent, an annex, an awning, a water system, a lithium battery, bigger wheels and tires, and all sorts of little enhancements like tie-downs and lighting. While still an expensive proposition, it’s likely somewhat palatable to the person spending more than $50,000 on an optioned-up Rubicon and then dropping thousands more dollars on modifications.
Curiously, this trailer from ADDAX Overland is far from the first trailer designed to work well with Jeeps. Back when Willys MBs and Ford GPWs were fighting on the frontlines, troops needed quarter-ton trailers to pull behind Jeeps. Cue the American Bantam T-3 and Willys-Overland MBT trailers, simple utilitarian units designed to tow whatever cargo a Jeep needed to tow. After the war, American Bantam kept cranking out Jeep trailers for civilian use, and these civilian Bantam trailers still pop up for sale occasionally. The ultimate accessory for your CJ-2A? You decide.
As for the ADDAX Overland Jeep-branded trailer, it’s expected to start rolling out of the factory in early 2023. While it’s definitely a niche product, I could see the Jeep branding granting it collectable status in the future. Plus, overlanding is more popular than ever and definitely isn’t a trend that’s threatening to disappear. Then again, Jeep perfume and Jeep bicycles aren’t exactly collectible, so there’s every chance these trailers will be obscure Craigslist finds in 20 years or so.
Lead photo credit: Jeep