Since introducing its first fold-out pickup camper two years ago, Indiana-based Skinny Guy Campers has rapidly followed through on its plans to fill out its lineup with models for myriad truck bed sizes. Now it’s working on pulling its expandable camper off the truck entirely, teaming with Schutt Industries to create the rugged Multicamp trailer with military bones and comfy expandable living. Like a rooftop tent, the camper will be able to jump from trailer to pickup truck, depending on which setup the day’s mission calls for.
Still in the prototype (engagement) stage, the Multicamp trailer appears like it will be a happy marriage of two already impressive products. Years before Skinny Guy hit the market, Wisconsin military trailer builder Schutt Industries launched the Xventure lineup of recreational trailers built on the same ready-for-battle framework as its military line. When we stopped by back at Overland Expo 2014, its fully loaded XV-2 trailer had a rooftop tent raised high on an above-cargo box lift and plenty of room for meal prep on a full-length side shelf.
With the Multicamp, Schutt and Skinny Guy present an alternative style of XV-2-based camper with loads more interior square footage. The mash-up uses Skinny Guy’s large 6.5 camper, which folds up into a compact aluminum cap during travel, then folds out into a spacious tent camper with 77 x 50-in (196 x 127-cm) double bed in the extension and a floor with 6.8 feet (2 m) of standing height atop the trailer.
Specific amenities vary by trim level, but Skinny Guy compacts everything you’d find in a larger camper down into its small floor area. The available kitchen block stands against the front wall; an L-shaped sofa with equipment stored below its seats is just in front of the bed; a portable or flushed toilet is hidden below one of the seat cushions; and a hot/cold shower hooks up right inside the doorway for outdoor use. The kitchen comes equipped with a single-burner stove/sink combo and a 34-L Dometic portable box fridge.
Other standard and available features include interior lighting; a Lagun table; an electrical system with Redarc management, 1,000-W inverter and solar charging; a rainwater collection system; and a 136-L fresh water tank.
As for the trailer, the XV-2 is Schutt’s large, military-born Xventure off-roader. The 12.7-ft-long (3.9-m) trailer is built up to “Severe Duty” standard with huck-bolted 6061-T6 aluminum construction, an independent rubber torsion axle and more than 17 inches (43 cm) of clearance to the axle. Schutt slaps on a 10-year chassis warranty to put buyers in a proper relaxed camping state of mind.
In Multicamp application, the XV-2 loses the adjustable upper rack system it usually has to make room for the Skinny Guy camper. It brings along a full-width pass-through front storage box and available slide-out kitchen, giving buyers the option of indoor cooking , outdoor cooking or both. Skinny Guy says it also plans to add a separate outdoor fridge slide option on the other side of the box.
The heart of the XV-2 is a cargo box quite similar to a pickup truck’s, complete with fold-down tailgate. The Skinny Guy 6.5 takes up most of that box, but it rests on the side rails not the floor, leaving a low, full-length/width storage area for things like camping chairs and furniture. Skinny Guy also equips the trailer with a number of exterior MOLLE panels for additional cargo carry.
After showing a Multicamp prototype at Overland Expo Pacific Northwest in Oregon and putting it through a summer of testing, Skinny Guy appears quite happy with the trailer’s development and performance. It intends to finalize the design, packaging and distribution details before getting the trailer to market. The estimated $36,000 base price is a pill more easily swallowed when you remember that you get two individual RV products that can be used independently or as one. The 6.5 camper can be easily removed for storage or use on a full-size pickup truck with 6.5-foot bed, leaving the trailer empty for hauling cargo.