I have spent some time tossing up between panniers and the Bob trailer and have decided to combine both , I have previously toured just using panniers but I prefer the trailer as it takes weight off the back wheel , less chance of braking spokes !
There are some pros and cons to both panniers and trailers.
Easily carried one-by-one into your tent or over obstacles like fences and creeks , I remember being stuck at the bottom of a steep decline. in a forestry plantation near the Gog range down in Tasmania a few years ago , unable to ride out I had to spend a couple of exhausting hours unpacking my trailer and dragging the contents up a slippery slope in the rain !
Panniers are easily accessible , waterproof and if you pack them correctly they help balance the bike under load .
Ideal for carrying bulky, heavy items such as lots of water when I’m traveling in the more remote places in between services. My Bob is covered in reflective tape as well , I fly a flag so cars tend to see me and leave more room when passing.
An issue with the trailer under load is parking and getting off without jack knifing manoeuvring can be tricky if you need to back up, park or navigate through narrow gaps, I have addressed this problem by attaching a kick stand to the trailer , I also carry a click stick ,http://www.click-stand.com/My_Click-Stand.html my bike is able to stand fully loaded without the need to lean against anything , ideal when you need a nature break or want to stretch the legs in the middle of nowhere.
Thanks for your comment , I week to go and I hit the road for 6 months !
I have only traveled with panniers as well. 3 self-supported tours totaling about 13,000 miles in the United States. I picked up a BOB trailer about a year, unfortunately haven’t done any long distance touring with it yet, but it has been great for getting groceries and such. Nice to get another perspective on the trailer.