Taxa TigerMoth – An Off-Road Camper Trailer

The 2018 Taxa TigerMoth Off-Road Camper Trailer

I started taking my daughter camping when she was three years old, around 2011.  It was the typical camping with small stove, tent, pads, and sleeping bags.  Food was in a cheap ice chest and the ice turned to slush within a day or two.  I was also a nervous wreck because I didn’t know what to do with a 3 year old little girl.

But to get straight to the point, which is the Taxa Tigermoth, we have to fast-forward a few years.  As age crept in the sleeping pads and ground tent no longer passed muster so I upgraded my old 2005 Jeep to a 2010 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon.  I outfitted it with a FrontRunner roof rack and CVT roof top tent.  Thanks to a fine Father’s Day gift I added an Oztent Foxwing awning, water cells, kitchen kit, heavy duty ice chest, and other amenities.  My daughter and I scoured Arizona with multi-day trips onto remote backroads and camped in places accessed via roads that most would not drive.  The roof top tent with a thick sleeping “mattress” was much more comfortable and easier to set up; but that too began to take its toll.  To deploy and pack up was quite the task and in the winter, your hands were wrecked trying to do it all.

Our 2010 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon

After 7 years it was once again time for an upgrade and I knew I was done with a tent in any form.  The Jeep was also my daily driver and I was tired of driving around looking like a wild man ready for the apocalypse.  Insert the Taxa TigerMoth.

I did a lot of research and knew what I wanted.  I looked at the teardrop models but none piqued my interest.  You were essentially getting a mattress and kitchen and perhaps roof top rack.  Models had a small door to climb into for your bed and a kitchen unpacked out of the rear.  That’s fine, but I wanted an area, however small, where I could sit, not just crawl into and lay down.  This 2019 TigerMoth fit the bill.  I purchased the upgraded model with external armor, small front deck, tool box, load bars, and a platform up top, towards the front.  Not cheap at $15,000 but when it’s a passion, and your wife lets you splurge, you go for it.

Packing up with both doors open

There are two access doors which seemed a bit much but turned out are incredible.  They are large and truly open up the interior.  The passenger side door opens up in a “gull wing” fashion while the rear door is a typical side-hinged door.  Both doors have windows with retractable shades and screens and a third window is forward on the driver’s side with the same features.  The entire rig was designed by former NASA guys who know how to create usable space.  Nothing is wasted.  The interior skeleton is exposed with lots of railings with clean holes and attachment points to hang gear via a carabiner or other device.  It’s easy to hang netting from these to store gear as well.

The bed pulls out from a very small sitting area with more storage under two front areas with lids that lift up and can be latched in the up position.  The mattress/cushion is a topic of many Taxa threads because it’s so damn uncomfortable to sleep on.  I store a thick pad that covers the bed area which helps a little.

There is a very usable headboard where the electrical panel is located to support and monitor the 12-volt deep cycle battery and the battery disconnect switch.  The digital gauge monitors battery power.  Additionally, two usable 110-volt plugs work well when tied into shore power, and three power points to include a “cigarette lighter” power point and two USB ports.  There is also open storage in the headboard.

The authors daughter and Gumbo stand Fire Watch on a winter outing.  
The headboard is in the background and exhaust fan is above in the ceiling.

Mine came with an ARB awning off the rear of the trailer and when deployed the two retractable legs with guy lines hold it firmly in place while you cook in the pullout kitchen.  The kitchen, for me, is incredible!  It pulls out from the rear riding on heavy weight slides.  Once locked open the two removable tops expose the really cool storage capabilities.  The left removable top is fabricated from birch as is the kitchen and camper interior.  When removed it secures to the top of the kitchen giving you a platform for your stove or other gear.  The second removable top doubles as a heavy polyethylene cutting board.  Directly above the pull out kitchen is a cradled 5-gallon fresh water cell with a valve.

A few different angles of the TM kitchen and the deployed awning

On the tongue, the heavy duty steel platform holds my ARB fridge plugged into a convenient external power port on the front bulkhead.  In front of the fridge is a lockable tool box.  I keep wheel chocks, wood chocks for the leveling jacks to rest on, tools, and a myriad of other gear.

There is also a trailer hitch jack stand with removable wheel.  I wish this was a retractable design.  Even with the stand fully retracted I’ve hit the bottom and bent the steel shaft where the wheel fits slides over.  After grinding this a bit I was able to get the wheel back on so I can push the trailer into the garage; but it’s impacted the ground and rocks to the point that 2” at the end needs to be cut off.

The electrical seems well-designed.  There is one 12-volt battery and the 110-volt, 30amp shore power cord.  When plugged in the battery charges if the battery disconnect is not engaged.  The lighting is all LED with two sets of white LED strips inside and one red LED strip.  I’m not a fan of the red unless I was hauling this thing back into a combat theatre.  The rear LED light just above the 5-gallon water cell is also red making for crappy lighting when cooking at night.  I purchased a pack of six kolpop solar lights from Amazon that work fantastic.  They charge during the day and have three settings:  High, Low, and Motion.  They are adhesive backed so you can stick them anywhere.  I placed them on each side of the TM with two on the back to focus on the outdoor kitchen.

Up top and forward is the steel load rack rated for 300 pounds.   I have a 12-gallon fresh water cell and two Frontrunner Wolf Pack storage bins.  One is dedicated to tire repair and inflation and the other is a mix of gear, ponchos, emergency gear, etc.  On the load bars I mounted a bike carrier and hi-lift jack.

The TM set up at Lost Dutchman State Park and a dispersed site near Globe, AZ.

I ditched the Toyota Tacoma in earlier photos and now pull the TM with a 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon JLU with the EcoDiesel.  It’s a dream to drive, pulls flawlessly, and it’s easy to forget the TM is back there.  My only complaint is the TM suspension.  It is brutal and unforgiving.  The torsion axles have minimal give and bounce the TM all over the backroads.  I even had one observer note, “Nice set up…and it catches great air!”  The recommended tire pressure is around 40psi.  I kept that amount for the first year; now I’m down to 22psi just to minimize the bounce.

Overall, the Taxa Tigermoth is a very user-friendly option.  Keep in mind it’s still tight quarters.  Early on my daughter and I could easily fit and sleep comfortably.  Then, as she got older she began bringing a friend, and a second and I was kicked out of my beloved camper.  As fortune would have it I was slowly relegated back to…a tent.  A tent cot, but oh how things have come full circle!


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