Ultra Cheap XT140 Camper Trailer Is South Africa's Answer to Off-Grid Living and Adventure

What if I told you you don't need a bottomless bank account to hit the off-grid lifestyle? All you need is a machine like the Leefek XT140, a cargo trailer that can do more than haul your stuff; it can be a near-full campsite.
XT140 10 photos
Photo: Leefek / Edited by autoevolution
Folks, the name Leefek may not sound familiar to you, but this off-grid and off-road living brand has been a staple of the South African glamping scene for years. I won't lie; I recently discovered them too, and boy, am I glad I did. Why? well, because of the XT140, that's why. Ok, so I was a bit vague, so to help you understand what Leefek is up to with the 140, let's run through an average day in the life.

Now, the 140 is a bit different from other travel trailers you may have seen in that it's mainly designed to haul cargo, much like all the other trailers with the Leefek touch. But, the 140 differs from Leefek machines, too, in that it can accommodate a rooftop tent, transforming an off-road worthy unit into so much more.

I want you to picture yourself standing next to your favorite off-road vehicle. Add a 140 to the hitch, load it up with all the gear, tools, food, and knick-knacks you need, and then hop in your truck and drive off. As you do, a rubber torsion swing-arm suspension will be working its magic to ensure you stay in control of your vehicle and make it to your destination the way you left home. Overall, you'll be dragging along a unit with a dry weight of 620 kg (1,367 lbs), but that can be loaded up to 1,400 kg (3,086 lbs). Yup, that should do it for a pair of love birds, even a small family, especially if your vehicle also has a rooftop tent on it and not just the 140.

Photo: Leefek
Overall, Leefek makes little mention regarding how they build each 140, but by the looks of things, a steel chassis and an aluminum shell are the basis for a nearly indestructible unit. If you go as far as to throw a powder coat on top of this thing, the elements should stand little to no chance of ever breaking into this cargo carrier.

However, once you've made it to your destination, it's time to unfurl all the magic of this lineup. Starting at the front, we can see a nosecone storage bin, perfect for things like gas canisters and possibly a battery or two. This brings me to my next point, a standard unit doesn't include any systems; optional features can be added. This consists of an electrical system with portable solar panels, a galley setup, and a slide-out tray setup, the latter of which is accessible from the rear of the 140.

As for the main storage bay of the 140, it's accessible via two points, a little hatch in the side, where a fridge tray is situated, and by lifting the roof with the help of gas springs. If you're wondering what's to be done with the tent, all I have to say is that you should empty the 140 before unraveling the tent or adding any annex. At the very rear of this unit, you can find the optional tray system I mentioned and a spare tire mount. And that's really all there is to it. Nothing complicated; just everything you need to survive off-grid.

I mentioned that the 140 is rather bare in terms of units and even a sleeping area, so the rooftop tent you want is going to have to be bought by you, and if you need an electrical setup, Leefek can help with that or take things into your own hands and get creative. Things can even be taken a step further by throwing in features like an outdoor shower and a tent annex.

Photo: Leefek
Now all this means something, and the first is that this unit isn't meant for the sort of explorer that doesn't want to get their hands dirty. Instead, this is the sort of cargo trailer/camper designed for those among us who don't mind getting as close to mother nature as possible. In short, if you don't like dirty hands, shoes, clothes, dirty anything, this one isn't for you.

Ultimately, this brings us to the last piece of information we need to consider, an XT140's price. Well, this is why I brought this thing to your attention: what if I tell you that a new 140 can be found at around $4,500? What would you do? Do you travel to South Africa, Leefek's country of origin, or do you use this unit as the perfect inspiration for your next off-grid habitat?

Whether you buy an XT140, figure out a way to build your own, or are just browsing, it's definitely the sort of low-budget glamping and off-grid solution most of us are looking for. Sure, you'll need to invest a tad more to transform it into a fully-functioning habitat, but you'll still fall well within the $10,000 range, and that's just smart glamping.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
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A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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