The Bruder Difference
have you ever wondered what would Batman bring to go camping? Yes, all the small bits and tools are in that tool-belt of his, but what about the food and shelter? I mean, he doesn’t look like a tent and freeze-dried chili type. He would either go full survivor mode, or he would get his mitts on one of the Bruder camper trailers.
Just in case it was not super obvious from the way their products look, they have a background in military-spec off-road equipment development. Now, they brought it all together to create trailers that promise to handle any terrain and all weather conditions.
Okay, we are a long way away from the times when camper trailers were little more than a box with wheels. Manufacturers have stepped up their game, and one could easily be forgiven for not being able to pick the leader of the pack in a single go.
Well, as long as one is completely unaware of the existence of both the EXP-4 and EXP-6 because, HOLY CAMPFIRE BATMAN, these guys should be just concept images, right?
Nope, they are very much real and complete game-changers. Functionality is not compromised for the sake of mobility, durability is not compromised for the sake of aesthetics. They seem to be the best of what current human engineering and technology can offer.
And that, my friend, comes at a cost. The EXP-4 starts at $41,000, and the EXP-6 can easily go for three times as much after you consider all of the custom additions that are available.
So, are they worth it?
For some links, we may receive a commission if a purchase is made.
What’s so special about Bruder
The star of the show is the suspension. The Bruder brothers took no shortcuts when they were designing trailers that can handle any type of terrain. More on it a bit later.
The suspension goodness is followed up with a composite body with Epoxy bonds. This makes both the EXP-4 and the EXP-6 very light yet very durable and resistant.
That in itself makes it for a nifty little combo, but the cherry on the top is all other little creature comforts. Both Bruder trailers are jam-packed with features, yet there are still ways to customize and upgrade them. Anything from adding leather sofas and bunk beds, to installing awning and solar panels.
That got you salivating? On to the main course.
More affordable of the two, EXP-4 is in no way an inferior item. It can still accommodate a family, and it offers many features you will find on its big brother.
The vehicle is roughly 13 feet 2 inches long and 6 feet 4 inches wide. It’s able to support up to ten times its weight, though a bit of it did go to all of the features aboard.
The composite the shell is made out of is a quarter of an inch thick, and the manufacturer guarantees that it can withstand being dragged through the dirt. And this might happen since the body is completely aerodynamic and able to follow a car at any speed. And, I don’t know anyone who would not hit the pedal to the medal after hearing about this.
During the drive, the distance between the wheels is always consistent. Sharp turns are not too big of an issue as well since the trailer is capable of bending up to 90 degrees.
The roof is reinforced for heavy snowfall, as well as storage. However, even if you mount a tent or a boat on it, the slope for the solar panels remains free and open.
The entire setup has an insulation R-value of over 5.1, with windows and entrances that offer full protection from wind, dust, cold, heat, etc. There’s also a double air filtration system if you like breathing during a particularly dusty or sandy voyage.
This guy’s supposed to be self-sufficient with a built-in 12V battery, that charges either via solar panels or your car while the engine is running. The battery is capable of supporting all included electrical items, as well as charging your gadgets.
The standard version comes with 17 by 8-inch steel wheels with 33inch mud-terrain tires, but you have other options available.
And then there is the magic suspension. It’s composed out of 4 remote -canister mono-tube shock absorbers and it’s 5700 lbs-rated. This allows the whole vehicle to dip down up to 11 inches with no issues, as well as find the level for the whole trailer if you park on uneven terrain.
Since it’s a larger vehicle it will come with some extra storage space. But another little perk is the remote-controlled awnings that can provide shade on both sides within seconds.
Not only is this a camper trailer that can smooth over any bump in the road and keep you in maximum comfort, but it will do it without any fuss at all.
Inside, we have about 6 by 7 feet sleeping space. The mattress is made out of high-density foam and it can easily accommodate two and a three-quarter people and a baby cot. There’s also space for a bunk bed that can easily fit a single-digit-year-old.
There’s also a lot of storage space in the back, including even a section for hangers (for your tux?). On the walls, you’ll also find two USB outlets and LED lights. And let me not forget the full airconditioning with two fans.
The roof and the walls are lined with the marine-grade carpet. And there are two windows with added layers of bug mesh and protective blinds.
The kitchen is located in the back and is accessed from the outside, just like with most compact campers. It’s designed to be more home-style with details like stainless steel fixtures and sink, and soft-close drawers. you also get a 16-gallon fridge and a double burner gas stove. Not into gas? That’s one of the things you can easily change when purchasing the EXP-4.
There’s also a water pressure pump that is connected to a 26-gallon reservoir. The same reservoir is also connected to a shower that is set up outside. However, this is only a cold water shower – there is no heater on board.
On the outside, there’s extra lockable storage space, including a gas bottle holder that can hold up to 6 Gerry cans.
Upgrade it or customize it
One of the additions you’d need to look into straight away is the privacy screen for the external shower. Unless exhibitionism is your thing – you do you.
Beyond that, you’ll find items that can improve the vehicle’s performance like the custom wheels and tires, or small details like the fly screen or the or the reading lights.
How does it compare?
Manufacturers have been quite creative with this format of the camper trailer, and there have been some very cool innovations here and there. Take the Sealander that turns into a boat or all the other teardrop models that feel like they have some Tardis blood in their veins.
EXP-4’s direct competition still mostly comes from down under. There’s the BRS Offroad Sherpa 2 that has a built-in roof tent. CamperAct’s Rover is equipped with state of the art solar panels, while the Stockman Rover can fulfill most campers’ needs at a better price.
Still, the Bruder trailers win because of their suspension and their ability to glide effortlessly across any road. I guess military grade will always be that much above what is usually given to us mere mortals.
On the outside, it looks like it’s transporting the Juggernaut to his new prison, but the interior should be featured in the Architectural Digest. Behold, the new standard for excellence in this niche is born.
As mentioned, the entire body is made out of a very durable yet light composite that can support up to ten times its weight. This allows the EXP-6 to be up to 50% lighter than any other trailer of similar size. But, unlike in the case of its younger brother, the composite here is impressive one eight of an inch thick all around.
This model is about 16 feet 5 inches long and 6 feet 4 inches wide, and beyond its size majority of other features are the same to the ones we find on the EXP-4 – the 5.1 insulation rating, air filtration, protection from bugs, dust, etc. However, here is where the Bruder suspension shines.
The body is balanced on four 17″×8 Black alloy wheels with a five-stud pattern and 285/70/17 33” Mud Terrain tires in the middle of the body. Of course, said tires can be upgraded as well when ordering.
With those tires, there are four monotube shock absorbers, with added Manual Bruder suspension override. All four tires can dip up to 11 inches independently, maintaining level even when speeding through uneven terrain.
This little feature proves very useful in the case of a flat because you can achieve a lift without any extra tools and within moments. Not to mention, this guy is also capable of finding and maintaining level no matter where you park.
For some links, we may receive a commission if a purchase is made.
The interior is fully air-conditioned with two infernal fans. Along with the full-size Queen bed, there are other little luxuries like a TV with an external antenna, USB ports, and power outlets. And for those who wish to turn the space even more swanky, accommodating, and luxurious, there is an app for that.
For example, you can add bunk beds, as well as safety nets if you don’t like your kids falling out of them.
While the vehicle is not in motion, the roof extends for some extra headroom, as well as for some additional daylight that peeks through the little windows.
The kitchen is outside, on the side of the trailer, and you can access it from the inside as well through a small door. It’s also made in a home-style, and it comes with an induction cooktop, stainless kitchen sink with a filtered drinking water outlet, a drop-down table, and the 16-gallon fridge. An additional fridge is located inside the trailer as well.
If you had it up to here with stinging nettles and frozen streams, you’ll be interested in the fully functioning toilet, sink, and showers – one inside that is quite standard for campers of this size, and one outside that is the same as the one on the EXP-4. Both showers run both cold and hot water via the diesel-powered internal heater.
All water is coming from a 45-gallon water tank which is equipped with a water pump pressurized.
Upgrade it or customize it
Though for now, Aussies are the only ones who can chuck a satellite receiver on their trailers, there still ways to make this vehicle even more fly.
Some of the additions are a little bit more practical, like the 240V2KVA generator or the 4500lbs rear winch. Others are there to simply spoil you a bit more, like the microwave, sound system, or the Cel-fi Go 3G/4G broadband signal extender.
How does it compare?
There’s nothing currently on the market that quite matches everything we get with the EXP-6 (and the EXP-6 GT as well).
We have very light models (below 3000lbs) yet still equipped with beds, kitchen, and shower – like the Airstream RV Sport Travel Trailer or the Jayco Hummingbird. Yet, they are not very suitable for going off-road and should be left for visits to fully equipped camping grounds.
But if you need something with the ability to handle all terrains, you could rely on the Patriot Camper X2 or the Rugged N’ Ready High Country Trailer. I don’t know if my eyes are playing tricks on me, but I fail to see any showers or queen-sized beds there. Not in any way saying that those are bad trailers, it’s just that they are completely different beasts to the Bruger trailers.
And let’s not even go into the lux niche because, even though some outshine with the creature comforts, they would probably tip over the second you leave a semi-decent road.
Undoubtedly, the EXP-6 is in a category of its own for now.
Same story, different roof.
While the roof on the EXP-6 pops up, one on the EXP-6 GT is firmly fixed and you can’t give yourself extra height in the cabin. However, this means that the roof is now reinforced and as strong as on the EXP-4 – either it won’t cave in on you if you are caught in a blizzard or you could buy yourself some extra real estate with a roof tent.
Oh, and you get a fire extinguisher.
All other features and customizing options are the same.
I want one. Where do I get it?
Unfortunately, there is no official dealership in the US that carries Bruder camper trailer at this time. To get one, you’ll have to go straight to the source.
Yes, you will be ordering straight from the land of Oz, and it can be shipped to you for a mere $5000. And let’s not forget the import tax.
I bet you now wish you kept those ruby slippers, eh?