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4-Season, Off-Road, Off-Grid Camper Trailer: 2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195 Review

Icehouse manufacturer uses cold-weather expertise to build the rugged Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195 four-season overland camper trailer.

2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195(Photo/Bruce Smith)
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Overlanding in the dead of winter, surrounded by snow and rarely seeing the thermometer climb into double digits, probably seems counterintuitive to the majority of RVers who tend to seek out much warmer climes. But, if you’re one of those adventuresome types who enjoys everything Mother Nature has to offer and embraces four-season off-grid outings, winter camping is both exciting and invigorating — if you have the right RV.

That’s where an Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195 travel trailer comes into play. This 26-foot RV is one of the best couples’ overlanding-type trailers built for off-grid use and extreme weather conditions, winter and summer. 

In short: The 2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195 has a hefty price tag and requires a big vehicle to tow it. It’s also a premium all-weather camper trailer that offers up impressive comfort. It excels at extended off-road and off-grid travel because of its state-of-the-art suspension and robust solar and battery systems.

2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195


  • Length  26’1”
  • Weight (Empty)  5,500 lbs.
  • GVWR (Loaded)  9,920 lbs.
  • Suspension  Independent w/air
  • Fresh water  60 gals.
  • Gray water  60 gals.
  • Sleeps  3
  • MSRP  $143,000


  • Highest R-values in RVs (R18.75 walls/roof, R15 floor)
  • 21” of ground clearance to skid plates
  • Air-adjustable independent suspension (±5”)
  • Heated enclosed underbelly
  • Dry flush toilet
  • Heavy-duty chassis w/articulating hitch
  • Composite side, roof, and floor
  • 60-gallon fresh/gray water tanks


  • Big price tag puts it in the Premium category
  • GVWR requires full-size pickup/SUV for towing

2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195 Review

The tandem-axle X195 is the product of Imperial Outdoors, owned by Nelson Industries. This Wisconsin-based company has built up a stellar reputation over decades of building custom ice-fishing houses. That expertise transferred nicely into the design and manufacturing of this rugged camp trailer — and its smaller single-axle, 21-foot twin, the XploreRV X145.

See my review of the XploreRV X145.

2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195
(Photo/Bruce Smith)

XploreRV X195: Extreme Temps Rated

The X195 trailer’s body utilizes a one-piece composite roof, sides, and a floor that are nearly 3 inches thick, and that encase block foam built to withstand the rigors of extreme weather (120 to -40 degrees F). The walls and roof have an R18.75 value, while the floor is rated at R15. This design is the best insulation and heating system I’ve ever seen in a camp trailer of this size, a testament to its icehouse DNA. 

“We spent a lot of time designing this camper from what we learned in building high-end fish houses,” says Steve Geary, Marketing Manager for Imperial Outdoors/Nelson Industries. “The block-insulated walls of our coach are almost three inches thick, so they really add to the ability to retain heat in the winter and cool in the summer.

My wife and I were amazed at how well this design kept the subfreezing temps at bay during one of our midwinter outings where the outside temps never got above 20 degrees.

The 14,300-BTU Truma Combi Eco Plus, which is both a furnace and tankless water heater, never struggled to keep the interior a cozy 72 degrees. It also made the shower water instantly hot, even when the outdoor temps hovered in the lower teens. It’s an amazing piece of equipment, and so quiet you forget it’s even turned on.

Windows Matter

2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195
(Photo/Bruce Smith)

“The one-piece composite floor and roof construction with lightweight acrylic thermopane windows (with nitrogen gas charge and built-in shades) also contribute to insulating against extreme weather conditions by reducing the opportunity for both heat and cold transfer,” says Geary.

The thick window shades on the living area windows act as another level of insulation from the heat/cold of the outside, and the separate window screens let fresh air flow during warm weather without letting in pesky bugs. 

Another nice touch are the window locks in the living area that can be opened in varying degrees to cut down on the heater and A/C use. Each window has four locking latches that can be set to just crack the window open for a breath of air seeping by the seals to prevent condensation you’d get in the winter. Or, the latches can be rotated to allow the windows to open from one-third to full.

2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195
(Photo/Imperial Outdoors)

Bigger Is Better, in This Case

The 26-foot X195 is roomy and a much more comfortable setup for a couple or a family with one or two youngsters than its single-axle near-twin. The interior measures just over 19 feet long; it’s 6.5 feet wide with a ceiling height of 6 feet, 3 inches. The interior is built of composite materials and the upper cabinets have high-end latches, hinges, and support struts for the lid.

2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195
(Photo/Imperial Outdoors)

That extra 5 feet more of interior floor length than the X145 allows the use of a larger dinette/sofa to sleep a third person, and placing the full-size RV bed in front in a north-to-south orientation makes for easier access.

Across from the dinette is the galley. While the smaller X145 had a little fridge and single-burner cooktop, the X195 is much better equipped for multiday stays with a stacked 6.9-cubic-foot freezer/fridge and a dual-burner cooktop. It also has a slightly larger counter for improved prep space. 

Camper Trailer Bathroom Done Right

2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195
(Photo/Bruce Smith)

The bathroom in the XploreRV X195 is identical to that found in the smaller X145. It’s bright and roomy for a trailer of this size. The shower easily accommodates 6-footers and has a sliding glass door to separate it from the rest of the bathroom. The sink is deep and the vanity is spacious.

When you check the specs, there’s no black-water tank. That’s because the XploreRV campers use the Laveo Dry Flush waterless toilet system, which is popular in the marine industry. It’s a really sweet setup. We spent nearly 5 days camping off-grid and came to love the Laveo toilet for its simplicity and efficiency.

After a half-dozen or so uses of the toilet, sprinkling a little gelling agent after each deposit, the “flush” button is hit. The inside of the toilet spins around, sucks, and seals the waste that’s been deposited in the shiny mylar bag, and then pulls the sealed waste downward leaving another clean, new silver bag from the replaceable cartridge in its place ready for use. Check out the process in this video.

Simple. No muss. No smell. And, no need for a black tank or an RV dump station. It’s a really neat and sanitary setup for off-grid camping that negates the need for a black water tank.

2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195
(Photo/Bruce Smith)

Xplore X195 Trailer Offers Abundant Storage

One aspect that makes one expedition/overlanding trailer a step or two better than another is storage space — or lack thereof. The XploreRV X195 has a lot of storage in upper storage cabinets, big drawers beneath the counter, and a pull-out storage area for cookware beneath the induction cooktop. 

More interior storage is located underneath the seats at the dinette. They are large enough to keep extra bedding, backpacks, clothing, or other bulky items out of sight but within easy access. 

Outside there’s an abundance of cargo brackets, grid panels, utility boxes, and accessories to bring along everything from a Hi-Lift jack and Jerry cans to mountain bikes and kayaks.

2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195
(Photo/Imperial Outdoors)

Abundant Off-Grid Electrical Power

One of the many features of the XploreRV X195 that I liked was the camper’s healthy 12V GoPower solar and Expion360 LifeP04 lithium-ion battery system.

The demo model reviewed was outfitted with the optional Stage 3 three-battery (1,080aH) package and Stage 3 (1,240W) solar roof panel kit. It also had the 2,000W inverter with a monitoring panel. Upgrading the XploreRV’s standard solar panel/lithium batteries to higher levels is recommended for anyone planning extended off-grid camping trips and who doesn’t want to power up a gas-powered generator. 

My wife and I spent 5 days camping off-the-grid relying only on the solar battery system under several days of overcast skies. We used the cooktop multiple times each day, kept the interior and exterior LED lights on late into the night, ran the furnace and water pump, and were still left with more than 40% power when we headed back into civilization.

Independent-Axle With Air Suspension

2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195
(Photo/Bruce Smith)

When it comes to towing, the XploreRV X195 (and little brother X145) sits atop a powder-coated, heavy-duty boxed-steel frame.

The trailer is also fitted with a Cruisemaster ATX Off-Road Independent Air Suspension imported from Australia. The adjustable air suspension allows up to ±5 inches of adjustment per side. At full lift, it provides 21 inches of clearance between the ground and the steel skid plates.

The skids protect the 60-gallon fresh water and gray water tanks mounted in the enclosed and heated underbelly. The plumbing and wiring of the X195 is routed well above the frame, as well. This gives those critical parts excellent protection from damage that can be caused by encounters with rocks and other large obstructions.

Also of interest to those camping way off the grid, the X195 rides on 33-inch mud-terrain tires with heavy-duty disc brakes.

XploreRV X195: A Smooth Tow

2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195
(Photo/Bruce Smith)

In addition to everything else under the X195 body, the frame is fitted with a Cruisemaster DO45 Plus articulating hitch that allows the trailer to swivel, pivot, and rotate separately from the tow vehicle. Most newcomers to off-road/expedition-style camping rarely consider the importance of the hitch. A standard ball-mount receiver hitch transmits a lot of jerking motion into the cab. 

The DO45 Plus hitch design greatly reduces trailer movement into the tow vehicle because it swivels and rotates with the trailer’s movement, softening the tow. A DO45 Plus hitch also provides a stronger, more secure hitching system than the traditional ball-mount. 

We towed the 5,500-pound (unloaded weight) X195 behind a 2022 Ford F-250 Super Duty 4×4 over more than 50 miles of rutted, single-track, sometimes rocky snow-covered backroads in Oregon’s high desert. Never once did the trailer have an adverse affect on our ride quality or comfort.

2024 Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195
(Photo/Bruce Smith)

Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195 Review: Final Thoughts

Imperial Outdoors XploreRV X195 is a stoutly built, top-tier towable. It should hold up well through decades of challenging, overlanding/expedition-style four-season use, delivering a comfortable camping experience regardless of the season or location. 

The downside for the average outdoor enthusiast is the XploreRV X195 is also in the rarified air in cost of top-tier expedition-style towables, with a starting price of $143,000. Its price is surpassed only by the line of Australian-made tandem-axle Bruder expedition trailers. But even those don’t compare when it comes to keeping the occupants comfy when temps go to the extremes of summer and winter.

Find your local Imperial Outdoors dealer and dive into the specs of the XploreRV X195 camper trailer even further.

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