We are currently traveling in our 2007 Dodge 3500 and 2016 XLR 27hfs Toy Hauler trailer. Below you can find all of the details of both the truck and camper we use to get us out into the world to explore.
As a little backstory, our previous adventure rig was an ATC Toy Hauler (you can read all about the ATC here). Measuring in at just over 41 feet, we realized that the size of our camper inhibited our travel plans. We traveled less because hauling a huge 18,000 pound trailer in the winter was plain and simply, not enjoyable. Four years ago, we had a Lance truck bed slide in camper which we took on a 4 week long ski trip to Alaska. We’ve tried many different rigs… but they all seem to have their time and place in life.
We’re not sure there’s a perfect adventure rig out there, but we’ll keep trying until we are 100% content with our rig. Is that even possible? Probably not, but we’ll keep enjoying the adventures with the rig that we have.
The 2007 Dodge 3500 is a hauling machine with upgrades over the last few years to make it that way. With the Bradford Built Flatbed and the Longbed Conversion, we are able to haul snowmobiles and or motorcycles on the bed while towing the XLR.
If you’re planning on driving through remote areas, where wildlife is abundant, we highly recommend finding an aftermarket bumper! A lot of people add an aftermarket bumper for looks, however we know that if we were to hit an elk or moose in the remote areas of Canada, we would be shut down for days. The Baja Bumper by Buckstop Bumpers is a heavy duty aluminum bumper that does not add too much additional weight to the front of your pickup, is full of some great features, and is not too terribly hard to install. The bumper (aluminum) weighs in at 100 pounds over the stock bumper. The protection that the bumper provides is the key feature but the bumper also has an enclosed winch compartment, space for lights (customized to your preference), tow hooks, and a front hitch receiver. Definitely check out Buckstop Bumpers because they have many different bumpers for different needs.
Another vital resource to have on your truck if you are traveling through remote areas are some extremely bright lights. It is important to be able to see at night, especially if you are towing a heavy load and know you won’t be able to stop in time if something darts out in front of you. We have Rigid Industries E series lights mounted in the bumper. The E 4″ work well for our purpose and light up the road ahead.
As far as the internals of the truck, among other things, an EDGE CTS Tuner, ATS Diesel Aurora 5000 Compound Turbo, and a South Bend dual disc clutch have been installed to help with the towing/driving performance.
To maximize performance we’ve installed an EDGE CTS Tuner along with a 5” turbo back exhaust. This has an added benefit of fuel milage, power gains, and longevity of the engine. The DPF was removed along with the EGR cooler enhancing engine performance and lowering operating temps.
Our 2016 XLR Hyper Lite 27HFS is the perfect combination of garage and living space. In our last trailer, we realized we only really needed a small living space and bigger garage. While our Hyper Lite is more living than garage, it is not an unnecessary amount of living space and includes a decent sized garage. Overall, the length of our trailer is 30 feet. Nine feet of the trailer is the garage. We have the Extreme Weather Package, because we know we’ll be using our Hyper Lite throughout the winter. That being said, it should be a beneficial upgrade.
We are happy to have a slide in the living area, which is a u-shaped dinette and adds quite a bit of floor space. We love that the trailer is still usable and livable even with the slide in. For us, we are not always in areas or environments where we can have the slide extended and so that ruled out a lot of bumper-pull toy haulers when we were initially looking.
One change we made to the garage was removing the electric bed (a full size bed that essentially slides up and down in the rear of the garage-when not needed it rests above the ceiling). Using the same mounting points and the electric and raisable mounts, we built a large shelf. The frame of the shelf is angle iron and we bolted a sheet of plywood to the angle iron to make a platform. We can now store gear on the shelf, and it essentially makes the garage a bi-level space. We also mounted two mountain bike racks on the shelf so we can have our dirt bikes on the floor level and mountain bikes (and gear) on the second level. This is a conversion that we absolutely love and don’t know what we would do without it.
We are in the process of installing a diesel-fired heater made by Planar Heaters. We are installing the 44D-12. In our ATC we had a Planar Heater installed and it was something that we were very happy to have throughout the winters. We are excited to share another install process!
Another recent upgrade we made to the garage of the trailer was an install of a tool box. This model of Hyper Lite does not come with any sort of a tool box in the garage and we felt, for what we were doing, it was a necessity. While there are two cabinets for storage, we needed a place to organize tools for the motorcycles in particular (KTMs so… yeah…). We bought a cheap tool box from Harbor Freight and built a metal base for it which was bolted into the floor. We will update this with an install video when it comes available.
One of our favorite traveling with motorcycles investments we’ve made is our Pit Bull Motorcycle Trailer Restraint Systems. These restraint systems make traveling and/or hauling motorcycles so easy! Our packing time has been immensely cut down because of these. We have plates mounted in the trailer and on the flatbed so no matter where we are going or which motorcycles we are bringing, it’s a breeze of a process.
We’re excited for the upcoming adventures in this current setup. We can’t wait to share more upgrades, travel reports, and changes with you in the future. The time we’ve spent in the Hyper Lite we’ve been so pleased. Of course there are things we love and things we don’t and we’ll be sure to share all of those along the way as well. What’s your favorite adventure rig? We’d love to see it.
Throughout the outdoor, RV, travel and diesel industries, we are lucky enough to partner with companies who produce amazing products. These products enable us to do what we love and we are lucky to have them along for the adventures we head out on. Be sure to check out our reviews page to view a detailed write up, video, and photos of a lot of the gear we use our adventures.