Over one-and-a-half tons, two doors, and a suite of conveniences, Conqueror Off-Road trailers launched in the U.S. last summer and plans to open four more retailers this year.
As overlanding vehicles get more outlandish and capable, it follows that tow-behinds should tag along.
Lots of trailers and campers come with “off-road packages,” but that usually just means an upgraded suspension and burlier tires. Conqueror shoots for something a little more… nuanced. Not only is the suspension built for the worst terrain, but the brand’s flagship model, the 490 Extreme, is equipped for comfort and endurance on long off-grid expeditions.
Now, 30 years after it began making military trailers in South Africa, Conqueror plans to have five retailers in North America by the end of the year. You can already buy one from its first U.S. store.
Conqueror 490 Extreme
What makes this trailer special? It uses independent suspension, so rocks and potholes are no problem. The swooping backend leaves ample clearance going through ravines or ditches.
The 490 weighs a hefty 3,200 lbs. empty, and with the maximum load it’s over two tons. But this really isn’t meant to tow with a small vehicle. This is a big toy.
It deploys a side canopy over the outboard kitchen and dining area. Conceivably, you could arrange some deck chairs and a camping table for dinner and stay in the shade.
The kitchen setup includes a stainless steel sink, a two-plate steel stove and BBQ grill, and a pull-out refrigerator/freezer.
There are numerous cabinet storage compartments for groceries, dinnerware, and cutlery. And, if it’s cold, buggy, or just really spooky outside, every compartment has a removable canvas backing, so you can access everything from inside.
There’s also a foldout, outboard shower and up to 37 gallons of water storage. Unlike most campers that have one entry, there are doors on both side — but no rear hatch.
The 490 officially sleeps four, but you can get creative. There’s a full-size foldout and near-king size bed (79″ x 79″) with a fold-down dinette that can separate it into two singles.
There’s also fans that keep positive pressure inside the cabin, preventing outside dust from getting inside.
Conqueror Vs. Bruder
If any of the features look or sound familiar, it’s because there’s a spin-off brand. According to David Bates at Conqueror North America in Ohio (the only American retailer of Conqueror trailers), the Australian brand Bruder off-road trailers are based on Conqueror designs.
Toby and Dan Bosschieter, the brother duo who launched Bruder, began as the sole importers of Conqueror trailers in Australia. But they began the Bruder business and hope to begin exporting to the U.S., as we reported here.
There are similarities between the trailers like pressurized cabins, electronic chassis leveling, but there are also notable differences — Bruder’s large rear hatch and dual showers, for example.
Perhaps most notably, however, is the price. Bruder’s EXP-6 costs over $80,000, while the base-model Conqueror comes in about half that: $43,000.
And of course, it’s worth noting Conqueror already has one U.S. store and plans for four more by year’s end. Bruder currently has a nine-month waiting list for shipments to North America.