Fancy buses and travel trailers have their place, but in certain contexts simplicity can be a huge asset. This little toy hauler lets you easily get your ATVs, motorbikes, and other implements of outdoor fun to the places where you can play with them, and then it gives you a comfortable way to eat and sleep once you’re there. And it does these things without breaking the bank. For the right person with the right objectives, this could be a game-changer. (Note that this unit was not a press loan; it was borrowed from a friend, and so it wasn’t gussied up to perfection as is usually the case for reviews.)
First Impression: 8/10
From the 15-inch nitrogen-filled all-terrain tires to the campfire logo and bold green lettering, this little trailer looks the part. It’s the smallest in a broader line of No Boundaries trailers that goes all the way up to 24 ft, but this one is specifically designed to be light enough that even tow-rated vehicles with four-cylinder engines can pull it. The ramp door fully drops to make loading in and out a breeze. A lot of the people who commented on it called it “cute,, for those who value such things. A full point has come off here for some build quality concerns in this unit: The frame covers over the doors are worked loose, the knobs drop off the heating unit and, more concerningly, one of the interior tie-down hooks is detaching. But again, units that come to us for testing are usually vetted extensively by the manufacturer, and this privately owned trailer is showing more of the bumps and bruises that come with real-life use than we usually get to see.
For the amount of usability this trailer provides, its proportions and ease of towing are excellent. Seeing around it in the 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn was no problem at all with no extra equipment throughout our road trip to the Mingan Archipelago in Quebec, and its low weight, independent suspension, and on-board brake controller all combined to make it feel like the NoBo was hardly even there.
This is one area where having a big truck along came in handy. With one large netted storage space that’s hard to fully reach and one small cabinet with a removable floor that tends to allow objects to drop through – that’s so that you can access the interior space for the slide-out kitchen in case things get stuck, however it would be nice if the cabinet panel could at least latch into place – a lot of our stuff ended up travelling in the truck’s cargo bed. Granted, there’s only so much that can be done with a trailer of this size, but some simple shelving might make the open space more efficient, and a couple of net pockets on the walls to drop wallets and cell phones into at night would be a welcome addition.
I wasn’t sure how well this was going to go, to be honest, but the NoBo is genuinely quite pleasant for sleeping two people. The included upholstery folds up into a cushy place to sit in front of the folding tables during the day but lays flat to become mattress material at night, and it’s much more comfortable than it looks. Between the sliding screened windows on the side doors and a pair of vents, a cross-breeze is easy to come by. The curtains are proper blackout material and keep out nearly all of the light. And if you have power where you’re camped you can use the 30-amp hookup to power an onboard heating and air conditioning unit as well. (If you’re not plugged in then the carbon monoxide detector tends to go off in the middle of the night as the battery gets low, so running a generator is a good idea.) You do need to watch your head, and climbing in is a bit of work and goes best with a step stool. Still, if you’re going to be sleeping outdoors anyway, this sure beats a tent.
The kitchen setup on this little guy is very clever: A slide-out carries a plug-in cooler, which means as long as you’re either driving or plugged in you’ve got a way to keep food fresh, and a propane stove and separate gas-powered grill are also along for the ride – both of which hook up to the on-board propane tank via quick-connect hoses. There’s a power outlet under there as well, which means you can boil water for coffee while your eggs are frying.
If it’s sunny out you’re in great shape: You can cook just about anything your heart desires and eat it at a picnic table or on a camping chair. If it’s raining, it’s a different story. Technically, you’re not supposed to cook under an awning for safety reasons, and you wouldn’t want to expose the electronics to rainwater, so bad weather might send you inside to eat cold beans and pepperoni sticks on those little folding tables. But hey, at least you’re out enjoying nature.
Cleaning Up: 7/10
For the most part, this category doesn’t apply here: The only plumbing this trailer has is a 113 L fresh water tank, which feeds an outdoor tap that can fill a sink that drops into the outdoor pantry or can be used as an outdoor shower. We arranged to be at campgrounds with hot water for showering and washing up, so we never needed to use this feature. If you frequently go deep into the woods, though, it might be handy.
The awning equipped on this unit is a Rhino Rack batwing-style setup that swings out to cover 270 degrees of space around the trailer. I have to confess that I’ve never been much of an awning person, but the trailer’s owner says he enjoys this one, so I pulled it out at one of the campgrounds to try it. I found it fiddly to deal with and packed it away again almost immediately, and it’s so cumbersome to wrap up that I nearly didn’t get it back in on my own. It might be easier for two or more people to set up. But since you can’t cover the cooking space with it anyway, unless you need a place to keep your dirt bike dry and don’t want to load it into the trailer, I don’t particularly see the point.
Overall Appeal and Value: 8.5/10
For what this toy hauler is intended to do, its execution is brilliant. The whole cycle of loading up your gear, unloading, sleeping, feeding your crew, and packing up to head back home works just as seamlessly as it should for the buyers who would benefit from this style of trailer. Provided you can live without going the extra step toward having on-board shower and washroom facilities, which significantly jacks up the budget, this is an affordable way to get yourself and your fun-makers into the great outdoors and have a fabulous time doing it.
Pricing: 2019 Forest River No Boundaries 10.6
$20,161.15 (with $646.15 in accessories and $1,520 in freight and PDI)
13 feet 9 inches/7 feet 4 inches
Max Loaded Weight (GVWR)