The Desert Ops Patriot X1-N :: Overland News

Desert Ops Patriot Camper with Land Cruiser

When the best* Australian trailer gets better. . . and more affordable.

Australian backcountry roads are brutal, and they manage to rip apart nearly any trailer sent down their corrugations. Because of that, Aussie designs and engineering focuses on durability- serious durability. And that was when I first encountered a Patriot Camper, watching one survive the wilds of Frasier Island and a prolonged trek across the Simpson Desert. Heavy duty is not an option, it must come as standard equipment in AU.

When Justin Montesalvo first designed the Patriot X1 in 2014, he wanted a simple, robust, and family friendly hauler to endure his “spirited” driving style and allow for enough sleeping accommodation and storage for his growing family. This original design was highly successful and launched his brand into the spotlight. Since then, Justin and his team has expanded into more integrated trailer designs with large, attached sleeping systems, or even room to haul a side-by-side. With his newest model, the X1-N, Justin gets back to his roots and makes his lightest weight, most versatile trailer yet.

It is all about the rack

From the launch of the X1, Patriot has always supplied the tent solution, but now a buyer can choose from a bare rack, or a James Baroud Evasion, an iKamper X-Cover, or the iKamper SkyCamp 4. With the X-Rack only, the X1-N utilizes a fully integrated and lightweight platform for mounting nearly any tent, or even crossbars for a canoe, kayak, standup paddleboard, or bikes.  Thoughtfully, the trailer is delivered with a 270 degree awning attached to Patriots strut lift assist brackets, which will provide shade over the kitchen, or for taking that mid-afternoon nap.

Overlanding in Style

With the buyer’s option to mount nearly any style of tent, they can match the sleeping area to the size of their family, or keep the selection lighter and more compact to allow for carrying additional adventure toys like a mountain bike. The roll out kitchen forms an L and comes equipped with a stainless steel and scratch resistant working surface for cooking and staging snacks and drinks. There is also room for a large portable fridge, a utensil drawer, a spice rack, and even a plumbed kitchen. The X1-N can be fitted with 155 liters (40 gallons) of water.

In addition, the trailer comes with generous battery capacity (270 amp hours), LED lighting, and the capability for multiple inputs to the REDARC Manager 30 system, including solar, shore power, and 7-pin charging. All of these inputs and the current state of charge/discharge can be monitored from the REDARC remote command center display.

Construction Quality

If there is anything Patriot is famous for, it is the quality of their construction (and maybe their Youtube channel). In our experience testing the trailers, they have never faltered despite the terrain, including remote, technical trails and prolonged vibration and dust. The foundation for this is their suspension, which is one of the best in the industry, featuring an independent long-travel trailing arm construction, available self-leveling airbags, and dual shocks to help limit fading. It just works, and also manages to help control trailer sway despite the amount of travel. With the 35 inch tires, there is over 500 millimeters (20 inches) of ground clearance.  The entire chassis is hot dip galvanised and extremely robust, which allows for over a 1,300 pound payload.

Desert Ops Limited Edition

In honor of their original X1, Patriot is releasing this limited edition retro Desert Ops option, which comes with 35-inch tires, 12-inch electric drum brakes, a unique “Toyota Stripe” inspired paint scheme, and a set of tan MAXTRAX.

Overall, this newest Patriot Camper is a great solution for the remote traveler, particularly those that want simplicity and configurability for the backcountry. And I know what all of you are thinking! “How do we buy that Land Cruiser?”
For more information, visit  | $31,900 (for the Special Ops)

*Editor’s Note: We do not toss around words like “best” lightly. The Patriot Camper was the overall winner of our Overland Journal comprehensive trailer test in 2018

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Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and include three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar travels include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. He lives in Prescott, Arizona IG: @scott.a.brady Twitter: @scott_brady