Most guys I know can only dream of leaving it all behind and spending their lives on the road. So those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to do it should live it up for the rest of them, right?
As long as we’re living on the road, we might as well spend some time sprucing up our mobile homes. In this article, we’ll talk about whether a tall enclosed trailer is a good choice for stealth camping. I’ll also explain the difference between a tall enclosed trailer and a regular camping trailer, and talk about the cost comparison between them. Finally, I’ll wrap up with some pros and cons of camping with a tall enclosed trailer.
But first, let’s talk a little bit about tall enclosed trailers themselves and the concept of stealth camping.
Stealth camping is a relatively new, but still kind of familiar concept to a lot of us. More or less, it’s going off on your own and living out of your truck, van, or converted camping trailer, finding new places to park at and spend the night every day. It’s “stealth” because oftentimes the places we end up staying at are unconventional. I mean, everything outside of camping parks is technically unconventional. So how does a tall enclosed trailer factor in?
Well, a tall enclosed trailer is essentially the most basic trailer you can get. They’re often about 7 or 8-feet tall, and they either have tiny windows, or no windows at all — that’s where the “enclosed” part of the name comes from. Since these types of trailers are basically empty shells, they make for ideal starting points for people looking to make their own mobile homes.
Tall enclosed trailers are usually made of aluminum or steel — the difference being that aluminum is much lighter, but also more expensive than steel. Campers are more likely to want lighter trailers, but lighter could also mean thinner walls, which aren’t ideal for camping in colder weather conditions. You can even add air conditioning to the trailer to keep cool in the summer. Still, even thin walls can be thickened with insulation when we convert the empty trailer into a living space.
Many manufacturers also make trailers with different axles, and V-nose or flat front walls (a question of aerodynamics and interior space). Trailers can also differ by their roofs, which can be flat or round, and back doors, which can come down like a drawbridge or a ramp, or open up like a barn door.
However, tall enclosed trailers are incredibly customizable, perhaps more so than any other camping trailers.
What’s the Difference?
As I have mentioned, a tall enclosed trailer is basically an empty slate. While most camping trailers come with some essentials, like a toilet, or a water tank for hygiene, you’d have to install those things into an enclosed trailer. Same goes for any additional windows or furniture you’d want in there.
Still, towing an enclosed trailer on stealth camping trips is pretty similar to tugging any old trailer, tall or not. In fact, there aren’t many noticeable differences between regular enclosed trailers, and a tall one. Even the obvious height difference isn’t necessarily a noticeable one. Many manufacturers have always allowed their customers the option of choosing an elevated roof. So, with tall enclosed trailers, no additional height modifications are necessary.
With any type of enclosed trailer, though, campers would have almost total control over interior placements, which is always a plus in my book. Let’s see if I can find any more pros to using a tall enclosed trailer for stealth camping before I list some of the cons.
Why You Should Buy a Tall Enclosed Trailer
At this point, I might as well admit that the prospect of modifying a completely empty trailer according to my own wishes is a big draw for me. An enclosed trailer allows me total control over everything, which is a hard thing to pass on. I can’t be the only one who gets a bizarre sense of satisfaction every time I manage to properly install insulation and the electrical components. And seeing the whole thing come together when I bring in the furniture is amazing.
However, you need to at least be a decent electrician if you want to set up your own grid. Many campground owners aren’t keen on letting in campers with weird-looking electricals into their camping sites. You should be fine as long as you do your research and use internal breakers.
Finally, getting a tall enclosed trailer can be a pretty cost-effective way to get out of the cold when you’re camping. Even with the modifications necessary. But I’ll discuss the differences in camping vehicle pricing a bit later on.
Also, a tall enclosed trailer can be converted into many different things. You could even make it into one of those tiny houses. Personally, I think there’s a lot of ways to personalize a big trailer. So if you’re looking for a new DIY camper project, I definitely recommend starting with a tall enclosed trailer.
Obviously, there are also a few serious cons to buying a tall enclosed trailer for camping. Let’s name a few.
A Few Drawbacks to Camping with a Tall Enclosed Trailer
The biggest drawback to camping with a tall enclosed trailer is that it might be a bit too huge to be subtle. After all, subtle is kind of the name of the game when it comes to stealth camping. I’d like to say that there are some things you could do to make your vehicle less noticeable. But really, I can’t think of any solutions that would deal with the sheer size of a tall enclosed trailer.
Another common problem that you may run into when stealth camping is sometimes it’s frowned upon in campgrounds. Some campgrounds don’t allow these type of DIY campers. With this kind of DIY camper projects taking off more and more campgrounds are allowing campers to bring in their custom campers whatever they may be.
In addition, many people have no need for subtlety when they go camping, anyway. I’m one of them. In my opinion, a spacious interior more than makes up for the bulky exterior of the trailer.
When it comes to mobile homes or camping trailers, things are always going to be expensive for some people. Still, there are some great deals on trailers out there, for those who know where to look.
Buying a trailer is certainly more cost-effective than buying a motorhome or an RV, which go for tens of thousands of dollars. There are plenty of unconventional vehicles you could convert into a motorhome. For example, there are places that sell old ambulances or school buses for only about 10 grand.
Small camping trailers can be even cheaper, going for just a few grand. And tall enclosed trailers are similar in price, if a bit more expensive. But they’re generally much bigger than a camping trailer.
A brand new tall enclosed trailer could cost upwards of $7,000 — plus a few more grand to set everything up. But even if you don’t want to DIY a gorgeous picturesque interior, you can just camp in the empty trailer. I mean, you can always just plop down a sleeping cot, pack in your camping gear, and get going.
Getting a tall enclosed trailer is a great choice for anyone who likes to be hands-on with their camping arrangements. It allows you a pretty big space to play around with, at fairly reasonable prices.
They may be a bit too big to take for urban stealth camping, but they should be just fine for parks. And if everything goes well, you’ll even be able to live in your trailer and go wherever your heart takes you!