Expedition trailers have really started to gain traction as a popular choice for overland enthusiasts here in North America. If you’re not already familiar with them, expedition trailers are very compact when in transit (about the size of a small teardrop a teardrop), yet transform into a full blown off-grid base camp.
Patriot Campers is a manufacturer of high-end expedition trailers, and originate in the land where overlanding was coined, Australia. Here in North America, Patriot Campers are available through Exploration Outfitters – they are the rep here and also serve South America as well. At the NWOR, I had a chance to finally see and take a tour of a Patriot X1H expedition trailer in person with Matt from Exploration Outfitters as my guide.
Roof Top Tent with Remote Control Open/Close
One of the most visually apparent features that seems to be a grade above the competition is the Patriot X1H modular roof top tent. This is traditionally one of the differences between an expedition trailer and a teardrop. In the teardrop, you have a fully enclosed, hard wall & ceiling interior space dedicated to your living quarters. With the expedition trailer, as standard your living quarters expand out from the top in the form of a roof top tent, and the trailer itself serves as storage for overland gear and off-grid systems.
What sets the roof top tent apart on the Patriot X1H is a large & unique composite clamshell lid (called the Hexacore lid) that opens up under solar power via remote control, expediting it’s initial setup to 60 seconds. Designed right into the Hexacore composite lid is a solar panel and a swing-open window to allow for a cross breeze in the tent.
The Hexacore lid closes down very low profile and was clearly designed specifically for the X1H vs. the bagged roof top tent you see added merely as an attachment on competitor expedition trailers.
A changing room annex attaches to the tent, as well as an a-frame room for an additional sleeping area making for very large interior quarters. The tent was very comfortable inside – you feel much more protected from the elements than your standard roof top tent due to the large clamshell acting as one of the walls of the dwelling. High quality canvas with screens make up the tent and an insulated hex-pattern lining is on the walls. It also includes tons of storage on the interior, LED strip lighting and a very sturdy ladder with hand rail to get in/out of the comfy gel top, pocket spring mattress bed.
Patriot X1H Solar Systems
A 130 Watt solar panel is integrated into the Hexacore tent lid. The trailer includes two 135 Amp-hour gel batteries (optional lithium) and a 1,000 Watt inverter. The trailer can be charged via solar, charged from the tow vehicle or charged via shore power.
Patriot X1H Exterior Walkaround
Since the living quarters are based on top of the trailer, this clears up over 2000 liters of storage throughout the trailer itself, with all sorts of compartments and features that tuck away.
In the front over the trailer tongue resides a Webasto diesel heater that supplies heat for the interior of the tent, as well as hot water. Also, the front compartment contains a swing out Weber BBQ that is conveniently placed, and as Matt comments, “We find that we use this BBQ alot more than the stove”. There’s of course additional storage in this front compartment, and propane tank mounts on both sides.
Heading up the rear of the X1H is deep compartment storage with slide-out drawers. There’s also two ventilated wet boxes where you can put items like wet shoes, etc that you don’t want to put inside the camper.
X1H Expedition Trailer Kitchen & Management Systems
On the left hand side of the X1H trailer is the main outdoor living space which includes the kitchen area, covered by a batwing awning that extends around 3 sides of the trailer.
The kitchen itself is on a heavy-duty slide out with an ARB fridge, hot & cold stainless steel sink, storage and a silverware drawer. “What a lot of people love about the layout of the X1H, is the fact that somebody can be grilling, somebody else can be over on the other side and everybody has access to the fridge and to the sink, so you’re not stepping over each other to get to the food or wash your hands”, states Matt.
Also located in the kitchen area is a large storage compartment/pantry which contains a slide out 2-burner stove and the electronics management panel to monitor solar charging, battery levels and water levels via a Redarc Manager30 interface. Other management systems here control trailer leveling via air suspension and control the diesel heater.
X1H Off Road Features – Air Ride Suspension
One of the most awesome features of this trailer is its X-cruise fully independent air ride suspension, which doubles as the air leveling capabilities when base camp is set. Other off road features include a 360 degree articulating hitch, rear recovery points and a rear hitch receiver. By the way, all compartments are sealed to prevent dust & dirt from entering.
The trailer weighs roughly 2,600 lbs and has a 300 lb tongue weight, dependent on configuration. And finally, on board are two 20 gallon fresh water tanks.
Thank you Matt & Exploration Outfitters for doing the awesome walkaround of your Patriot Camper X1H on display.