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A Closer Look at the Mantis Camper Lineup

Have you heard of Cricket, Mantis, TigerMoth, or Woolly Bear? These aren’t critters in an insectarium. These are trailer names for habitats by Taxa Outdoors. The Mantis trailer is the largest of the models, and even though it might sound strange to camp in a “Mantis,” there are many upsides to this unique trailer. We’ve personally admired these innovatively designed campers for years.

So, let’s take a closer look at the Mantis campers by Taxa Outdoors!

Go All Out with TAXA Outdoors

Who Makes the Mantis Trailer?

Taxa Outdoors makes the Mantis trailer in “Space City,” Houston, Texas. Taxa Outdoors is a company that manufactures unique habitats for people who want to get off-road and off-grid. Their founder and CEO Garrett Finney used to work at NASA and is the mind behind the unique designs and precision of the Taxa trailers. The overlanding community knows Taxa for its quality builds and innovative designs for getting off-road.

Get the inside scoop about Who Makes Taxa Trailers before you buy.

What Types of Trailers Does Taxa Outdoors Manufacture?

With the nickname habitats, these trailers are there to get off the beaten path. Whether looking for beach camping or canyon sunsets, these campers can take you practically anywhere. The largest units are the Mantis 5.2 and Mantis 4.1 campers. Both have 105 square feet of living space.

The Cricket is compact at 63 square feet, and the TigerMoth is the tiniest at 40 square feet. The Woolly Bear differs from the other habitats because it requires a rooftop tent for overnight accommodations. This unique trailer features a full-size outdoor kitchen, storage systems, a pull-out cooler drawer, and an elevated platform for a tent.

There are also Overland editions of each habitat and a Tailgate edition of the Woolly Bear. These trailers have a more rugged exterior with upgrades like a Timbren axle-less suspension and increased ground clearance.

Pro Tip: Hit the road in style in the TAXA Woolly Bear Trailer for Camping with Small Cars.

Mantis trailer
Mantis trailers are produced by Taxa Outdoors.
Source: TAXA Outdoors

What Makes Taxa Different From Other Manufacturers?

If you’ve seen a Taxa Outdoors camper, you know how unique they are. With their founder from NASA, it makes sense that these trailers are built with a different level of precision and intention than other manufacturers. They look unlike many products on the market with their flat top and boxy shape. However, it’s not just the overall aesthetic that makes Taxa different.

You can park these campers in a garage because of their low profile for convenient storage. Each model has a rooftop that expands upward when deployed at the campsite. The exterior height of a Mantis trailer when that rooftop is closed is 6’9″ meaning it will fit in any standard garage.

Additionally, they’re lightweight even though they’re tough, so they’re easily towable even by new owners. Because of their size and weight, the Taxa campers are fuel-efficient, creating a smaller environmental footprint.

Mantis 4.1 interior
A Mantis trailer is perfect for exploring off the beaten path.
Source: TAXA Outdoors

The Mantis Trailer Habitats

The Mantis trailer habitats are the largest of the Taxa Outdoors units, weighing between 2,972 lbs and 3,486 lbs dry. These models can accommodate families who want to get out and explore off the beaten path. They can accommodate friends who wish to hike the Appalachian Trail or paddle the Colorado River one weekend. Let’s take a closer look at the Mantis lineup: the Mantis 5.2, the Mantis 5.2 Overland, and the Mantis 4.1.

ModelLengthTongue Weight*Dry Weight*GVWR*Interior HeightTanksLayout Notes
Mantis 5.219 feet435 lbs3,115 lbs4,200 lbs7’10” / 4’7″20 F / 22 GSleeps 4; fold-away shower, portable toilet option; versatile workspace
Mantis 5.2 Overland19 feet510
lbs
3,486 lbs5,000 lbs7’10” / 4’7″20 F / 22 GSame as 5.2; Increased ground clearance and suspension
Mantis 4.119 feet435 lbs2,972 lbs4,200 lbs7’10” / 4’7″20 F / 22 GWet bath with cassette and shower.
*Learn about RV weights and GVWR and their importance when selecting the right camper trailer.

Mantis 5.2

The Mantis 5.2 trailer is 19 feet long and has a 4,200-pound GVWR. When you open it up, the interior height increases to 7 feet, 10 inches, for plenty of indoor space for even the tallest campers. There’s a 20-gallon fresh tank and a 22-gallon gray tank to provide off-grid convenience for a weekend camping trip.

Inside, there’s space to sleep at least four adults, and the pop-up roof makes it easy to move around. Even the fold-away shower accommodates someone up to 6 feet, 6 inches. There’s also a versatile workspace with a sitting/standing desk for owners who need to answer emails or have video chats while on the road. In the rear is a large U-shaped dinette. In the center is a full kitchen with a 2-burner stove, cooler platform, and sink, and in the front is a folding couch or bunk bed system. The Mantis 5.2 also comes with a portable toilet with a moveable box.

The 15-inch alloy wheels with all-terrain tires come standard. So does an 8,000 BTU air conditioner, a Truma Combi Eco furnace, and a water heater system. They install a roof track for rack options, so whatever you bring along, you can do with the Mantis 5.2.

Mantis 5.2 Overland

The Overland edition of the Mantis 5.2 adds aspects like an articulating Lock ‘N’ Roll hitch and a Timbren 5,200-pound axle-less suspension with an increased ground clearance of 14 inches. The Mantis 5.2 Overland trailer has the durability to go anywhere.

The GVWR is 5,000 pounds, and the tongue weight also increases from 435 pounds in the 5.2 to 510 pounds in the Overland edition. You’ll have 16-inch alloy wheels with all-terrain tires and a 23Zero 180-degree Peregrine “Batwing” awning on the Mantis 5.2 Overland.

The interior is the same in this model as the Mantis 5.2. The rear has the dinette, the center has the kitchen, and the front has the sleeping space. At least four adults can sleep in the Mantis 5.2 Overland, with the option for more if you add a rooftop tent.

2022 Taxa Mantis Overland Technician Tour

Mantis 4.1

The Mantis 4.1 model is also 19 feet long with a 4,200-pound GVWR like the Mantis 5.2. It has the same 105 square feet of interior space and an open height of 7 feet, 10 inches. There’s a 20-gallon fresh tank and a 22-gallon gray tank on board.

Also, like the Mantis 5.2, the Mantis 4.1 has a tongue weight of 435 pounds and space to sleep at least four adults with the option to add more with a roof tent. Standard features include 15-inch alloy wheels with all-terrain tires, a roof track for rack options, THULE ProBar Evo 175 adjustable load bars, an 8,000 BTU air conditioner, and a Truma Combi Eco furnace and water heater system.

So what’s the difference between the 4.1 and 5.2 models? There’s no flexible workspace in Mantis 4.1 like in Mantis 5.2. However, there is a full wet bath in Mantis 4.1 that isn’t in Mantis 5.2. In Mantis 4.1, there’s a cassette toilet and shower, whereas the Dometic toilet and fold-away shower are in Mantis 5.2. This also means there’s more flexible storage in the Mantis 5.2 because there is no wet bath.

The rest of the interior is the same, with the rear dinette and storage space, the center full kitchen, and the front sleeping area.

[UNAVAILABLE] Used 2020 Mantis 4.1 in Atlanta, Georgia

How Much Is a Mantis Trailer?

The MSRP for a Mantis 5.2 trailer is around $59,000. On RV Trader, you can find a 2023 Mantis 5.1 for approximately $50,751 in Texas. A 2023 Mantis 5.1 Overland at the same dealership is listed for roughly $57,672. The MSRP for an Overland edition is about $63,000.

Pro Tip: These 5 Best Off-Road RV Trailers are perfect for epic off-road adventures.

Mantis overlanding
If you plan to traverse over rugged terrain, a Mantis trailer comes well-equipped for your adventures.
Source: TAXA Outdoors

Who Are Mantis Trailers Good for?

If you want to explore more rugged terrain and enjoy a weekend of camping away from campgrounds and other people, a Mantis trailer might be a good fit. Even families can enjoy a weekend camping trip with the option of a rooftop tent and flexible interior space. You’ll have everything from a fully functioning kitchen to rooftop cargo storage.

However, if you want all the bells and whistles like granite countertops, an electric fireplace, or reclining theater seats, you won’t find what you’re looking for in a Mantis habitat. These units are for people who want to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

Mantis camper trailer
Enjoy the great outdoors in a Mantis camper trailer.
Source: TAXA Outdoors

Is Taxa Outdoors a Good Manufacturer?

Taxa Outdoors doesn’t make campers for the general public. A specialized demographic will purchase, use, and enjoy these habitats. But most of those owners are very happy with their product.

One reviewer wrote, “We ordered our 2020 Mantis right before COVID hit. Because of all the back-ordered suppliers, we waited for 5 months before we received it, and man, was it worth the wait!! This is exactly what our family was looking for. Huge upgrade from tent camping. Fits me, my husband, and our two large (6 foot) teen sons comfortably. Plus it still fits in our standard garage. Well made and smart design. Thanks, Taxa!!”

So is a Mantis trailer right for you? If you’re looking for a well-built trailer with everything for a comfortable camping trip, you might have found a great match!

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About Tom and Caitlin Morton

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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