Zion Off-Road’s modular micro-camper: a game-changer for adventurers

Zion Off-Road Modular Micro Camper
In its base configuration, the Zion trailer boasts a lightweight 1,380 lb, but swiftly gains weight as various accessories are incorporated. Images © Zion Off-Road

Are you tired of expensive, all-inclusive camping trailers that don’t quite fit your needs? Enter Zion Off-Road’s modular micro-camper, which offers adventure enthusiasts a customizable, affordable, and practical solution for hitting the open road.

Designed in the heart of American road trip country, Zion Off-Road’s unique camping trailer can be ordered as a basic towable sleeping pod, and then gradually transformed into a fully-equipped, off-grid backcountry retreat. The best part? Buyers can accessorize the camper at their own pace, adding features and comforts as needed.

A flashback to affordable road vacations

In the past, it was common to find entry-level off-road camping trailers priced between $10,000 and $15,000. However, these affordable options have become increasingly scarce. Zion Off-Road, based in St. George, Utah, aims to change that with its eponymous trailer, starting at a reasonable $12,500.

Though this base price only includes the essentials, Zion Off-Road has created a solid foundation that minimizes weight while providing ample opportunities for future upgrades. The 12.9-foot (3.9-meter) trailer features an aluminum-skinned birch plywood body mounted on a laser-cut steel frame. The floor, roof, and front wall are insulated with 1.5-inch (3.8-centimeter) foam, while the trailer’s 3,500-pound (1,587-kilogram) axle is suspended by leaf springs and 27-inch tires on six-lug wheels, boasting 12 inches (30 cm) of ground clearance. A 2-inch hitch receiver in the back is ready for gear racks.

Zion Off-Road Modular Micro Camper Transformation
Zion’s modular concept allows customers to construct anything from a fundamental sleeper trailer to a versatile expedition hub, with the flexibility to do so during the initial acquisition or gradually over an extended period.

What’s included in the base model?

Zion’s base model comes with features not typically found on entry-level trailers. These include dual entry doors, LED ceiling lights, exterior side and rear lights, electrical sockets, solar and inverter hookups, a shore power inlet, a ceiling fan, and rear driving indicator lights. However, it does not include a battery, so power comes from either a campground hookup or the tow vehicle battery.

Zion Off-Road Modular Micro Camper Dual Entry Doors
Priced at $12,500, the Zion base trailer comes with dual side doors, while the mattress needs to be purchased separately.

Customizable options for a personalized adventure experience

Taking advantage of its integrated T-track and pre-cut frame bolt holes, Zion offers a range of plug-and-play accessories that can be added during the initial build or later on. Options include an electrical box with a 1,000-watt inverter, dual-battery solar charger, extra switches and outlets, fuses, and space for one or two Group 31 batteries.

On the trailer’s exterior, Zion emphasizes mounting hardware, allowing owners to carry additional accessories, gear, and cargo. The Front Accessory System offers a versatile storage platform, with four planes of cargo carry, pre-cut holes, and two mounting plates. The system is designed to accommodate a spare tire, recovery boards, propane tanks, jacks, and a weatherproof cargo box.

Additional carrying options include up to four rooftop crossbars, a Side Accessory System, and gear-specific mounts for items like jacks, Maxtrax boards, and Rotopax containers. Off-road step-on fenders can accommodate larger, more rugged tires up to 33 inches and support up to 200 pounds (91 kg) on their own, or up to 350 pounds (159 kg) when paired with lower frame-mounted front and rear steps. The axle and leaf springs can also be swapped for a Timbren independent suspension.

Zion Off-Road Modular Micro Camper Tri-fold Mattress
The tri-fold mattress can be conveniently stowed to make room for equipment transport.

Zion offers four upgrade packages, with the highest-tier package including the electrical box, four crossbars, both front and side storage systems, Timbren suspension, off-road fenders with front and rear steps, 31.5-inch BFG KO2 off-road tires, a mounted spare tire, a tailgate slide sized for a 45-liter cooler, a side ladder for easier roof access, and a tri-fold memory foam mattress. The fully-equipped trailer costs $20,942—a price Zion calculates as over $1,000 less than purchasing all the components separately.

Zion Off-Road Modular Micro Camper Tailgate
The tailgate section of the Zion camper resembles a storage compartment rather than a typical kitchen. Nonetheless, it provides space for a cooler and a wide shelf suitable for meal preparation and cooking activities.

Room for improvement: Kitchen offerings

One area where Zion could improve is its kitchen options. For a $21,000 trailer, buyers might expect features such as a hard-plumbed water tank and sink with an electric pump, or at least a simple, modular solution like the Dometic HYD. A stove, even just a portable camping stove for use on the counter, would also be a welcome addition.

However, the modular design of Zion’s camper allows for the easy introduction of new features, so it’s possible that a water tank, sink, and stove could be added to the options lineup in the future. Until then, owners can pack their own water and cooking gear using the trailer’s various storage options.

In summary

Zion Off-Road Modular Micro Camper Inside Bed
The cozy interior of the Zion Off-Road camper.

Zion Off-Road’s modular micro-camper is an innovative and flexible solution for those who crave adventure without breaking the bank. Starting at a base price of $12,500, it offers buyers the freedom to upgrade and customize their camper at their own pace. Though there’s room for improvement in the kitchen department, the wide array of available accessories and mounting options make it an attractive choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Whether you’re a seasoned explorer or a weekend warrior, Zion Off-Road’s modular camper allows you to build the perfect off-grid retreat, tailored to your needs and budget. With its sturdy construction, customizable features, and affordable price, the Zion trailer is set to revolutionize the way adventurers hit the open road.

Zion Off-Road Full Camp
Although Zion Off-Road has not yet promoted rooftop tent or awning alternatives, the inclusion of crossbars in their design enables owners to attach their own, facilitating the creation of a comprehensive base camp.

Source: Zion Off-Road