Snatch Wagons is a company that was founded in June 2017 with the idea of bringing an affordable, purpose-built trailer to the hard-core off-road community. They recognized that there were a lot of camping trailers already out there in production, but few were a realistic option for those that needed something light enough to be towed by a small off-road vehicle and capable of handling the abuse of the trail.
I’ll begin this review by saying that Snatch Wagons are very much designed with the minimalist in mind. If you want to bring all the luxuries of home with you to the trail, this is not the trailer for you. For this article we took a look at a standard production “Stealth” model trailer that lives up to its name because it is so basic that it really does fly under the radar. In fact, upon initial inspection the trailer is almost disappointingly simple and feature-less. Being simple though is exactly what makes this trailer perfect for what it was intended to do and that’s to not break and be able to go anywhere. So if you are someone looking for a trailer you can pull through the trail and you know that you’re going to treat it roughly, neglectfully, or even abusively, then this may just be the perfect trailer for you.
This is an all steel trailer whose base frame is constructed of 3/16th thick 2 1/2 inch box tubing with the frame of the main tub constructed of 1 1/2 inch box tubing and lined with 18 gauge sheet metal. If this seems like overkill to you, then that’s the same conclusion I came to after climbing under, over, and inside this trailer. When asked why they didn’t use aluminum or composite materials in their design the answer was that this was that steel allowed them to construct a strong trailer that will last forever while keeping the cost down.
If you’re starting to wonder if your Jeep, SUV, or light truck can handle this steel tank of a trailer, it’s dry weight with a roof top tent (RTT) comes in at around 900lbs and fully loaded with gear approximately 1,100pounds. Sorry Samurai crowd, still not light enough for you, but just about any other SUV or light truck can handle this trailer fully loaded.
The chassis can be equipped with multiple tire, rim, and axle options, but comes standard with a 33 inch tire attached to a 3500 pound axle on leaf springs. With 33 inch tires there is 12 1/2 inches of ground clearance at the lowest point of the suspension and 15 1/2 inches at the axle. For perspective a stock Jeep JL has just shy of 11 inches of ground clearance at the axle. For hitch options they can come with either a traditional 2 inch ball or a Lock -N-Roll hitch to give you a greater range of movement off-road. They can also be equipped with a rear receiver or tow point.
For RTT options you will find Snatch Wagons offer any model Tepui Tent you’d like which generally range in price from approximately $1,000-$2,500 and sleep up to four people. The base that the tent is mounted to is a clam shell design that can be lifted by either the rear or side depending on how you order it and is supported by pistons that keep it open to access to the storage area from above. Snatch Wagons wanted us to note that for those that prefer the base to pivot on the front of the trailer and open from the rear that it makes opening the trailer with the tent set-up much more difficult as you will have to lift the entire tent and ladder system, while if the base lifts from the side it works with the folding pivot point of the tent and can be opened much easier because the ladder and part of the tent will remain level.
What you see is what you get with the Stealth model trailer. There is nothing fancy or sophisticated about the design of this trailer. There are no side doors, no pull out kitchens, and no fancy latches. If you want to keep your valuables secure then simply place a pad lock or cable lock on the tail gate and call it good. When asked about latches and locking handles it was all back to the idea of keeping things as simple and maintenance free as possible. One of the things I noticed was a lack of a spare tire for the trailer and when I inquired about spare tire options they said that one could be added but because most vehicles carry a spare tire they generally match the trailer tire to the tire on the vehicle towing it. A great idea to save weight, the biggest down side is that because their axles come standard with a 5×5 inch lug pattern this would require an adapter for any vehicle that has a different lug pattern. From a personal perspective I also don’t want the tires that are on my off-road vehicle to be the same tire as on my trailer due to a number of factors such as wear, weight, and cost, but for a spare as long as the tire is the same size I can see the advantage of matching the tires. The trailer is also designed with a standard hand wound trailer jack on the front of the trailer and two adjustable stabilizer legs on the rear of the trailer. When in their folded positions these features are pretty well out of harms way but Snatch Wagons took it a step further by making sure everything had quick disconnects so you can gain a few extra inches of clearance and don’t have to worry about damaging your electrical system, your jack, or your stabilizers.
Snatch Wagons was very clear that they had a skilled team of fabricators and could add or change just about anything you could possibly want. If you’re not sold on the look of the durable bed-liner type material that the Stealth model is coated in then you can always opt for the original model that has paint and graphic options. For the base model Stealth though you’re looking at a cost of $5,000 plus the cost of the RTT, and any additional features increase the price from there. Below you will find a list of trailer dimensions and specifications based on the standard line Stealth model with 33 inch tires. Common additional options available will also be added, however we decided to omit the prices as they varied depending the make, model, and size options of these features.
|Ground Clearance To Suspension||12.5″|
|Ground Clearance To Axle||15.5″|
|Ground Clearance To Frame||21″|
|Storage Capacity/ Cu Ft.||50|
|Lockable Hinged Top||Yes|
|LED Marker & Signal Lights||Yes|
|Dry Weight/ lbs.||900|
|Removable Folding Jack||Yes|
|Tires||33 X 12.5-17R|
|Wheels||17 X 9|
|Hitch||2” Ball or Lock ‘N’ Roll|
|Electrical Connector||Quick Disconnect|
|Tepui Tent||Sleeps 2+
|Drop Down Tables/Shelving||Optional|
|Propane Tank Holders||Optional|
|Liquid Fuel/Water Holders||Optional|
|Custom Paint/Vinyl Wrap||Optional|
|Trailer Parking Brake||Optional|
Snatch Wagons said it best when they said that this trailer was built to “Keep It Simple Stupid”. This trailer is a durable and well built trailer that I think is a good option if you intend to actually bring it on the trail with you. I am also of the opinion that this is a good option for a trailer that sees little use or is stored for long periods of time because its design requires little to no maintenance. Check to make sure the tires are safe to drive on the road, test the lights, maybe grease the hubs and that’s about all this trailer should ever require. Another positive aspect of the Stealth trailer is how quick and easy it is to set up and tear down. From disconnecting from the vehicle to the trailer being level and the tent completely set up it takes less than five minutes, and approximately the same time to pack it all back up. It’s seriously taken me more time to set up a two man pole tent than it takes to set up and tear down this trailer.
Now while this is easily one of the toughest camping trailers I’ve ever seen, it may not be for everyone. If you always camp in a staging area or a camp ground that doesn’t require your trailer to see some action in order to get there then there may be better options out there, just keep in mind that added creature comforts often add weight to the trailer and the price tag.
If you’re looking for something more advanced or with more added features than the Stealth trailer keep an eye out as we will be going back to take a look at some of their other trailer builds.
Image Source: Snatch Wagons
Want to know more about Snatch Wagons or how to order one? Visit their website here. Standard wait times are 4-6 weeks from time of order to delivery.