Pop-top functionality, freedom from the horrors of canvas complication and joyful glee in the knowledge you’re loaded to the gunnels with features designed to keep you, your friends and your family in clover while out enjoying a fine outback adventure beyond the far horizon. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Only joking, they’re not really, they’re some of the more well-known attributes of a hybrid camper. But funnily enough, a hybrid camper actually shares some similarities with an intergalactic spaceship. Both are typically large, designed to accommodate a big crew and both can take you to places seen by few other humans. But in a hybrid these virtues often come at a cost; typically burdensome weight, a tall profile height and awkwardness over rough tracks. In a spaceship, before embarking on a long voyage you simply program a computer for the jump to light-speed. With a hybrid, unless you’ve got a seriously jacked tow tug, you drive.
Balancing virtues with drawbacks is, in my opinion, the crux when it comes to considering a hybrid. In comparison to a traditional forward fold, dual fold or box-style camper, a hybrid is often bulkier and heavier. But a hybrid usually blows these other styles out of the water when it comes to comfortable extras, with things like internal ensuites, ceiling mounted air-con units, vanity basins and pop-top set-up efficiency and ease, all commonplace.
As you begin to ponder the virtue versus drawbacks question it typically goes like this: at first, a sense of excitement rises while scoping out a dazzling array of features listed on a lengthy spec sheet. This is then immediately quashed by nagging doubt about whether there may be a problem or two towing the thing to the destination of your dreams. As well, with a hybrid, there’s often a need to quell mental murmurings about whether you’ll actually get to visit all of the more radical destinations you have in mind. Do I really want to hump this thing along the Canning Stock Route? But then, wow, while at my campsite, in the middle of the Great Sandy Desert, I’ll have all the power to pump out deep bass bangers while enjoying ice-y cold beers and ample air-con, willy-nilly.
With a hybrid, once you’ve overcome the difficulty of a lumpy, gear-shredding journey, campsite splendour can commence. You could even begin to fantasise about hosting a small festival using your camper as a base. Certainly for me, the thought of music blasting while out in the middle of nowhere, cold beverages on tap, with a cool and comfortable internal chill-out zone in which to retire, really cuts the mustard. Also, again for me, access to the comforts of power-hungry technology while out in places as ancient as the sand and rock that surrounds you provokes a special kind of self-aware gratefulness. Often when we use technology surrounded by yet more technology on top of further technology, like we do in cities, its brilliance becomes dulled. In the desert or a similarly remote location, technological brilliance becomes super-significant. Anyway, I digress.
A HYBRID, BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT
The Swag X10 Trekka changes the traditional perception of what defines a hybrid camper by taking away many of the more commonly encountered drawbacks, such as many of the ones I’ve listed in the preceding introduction. At a featherweight (for a hybrid) 1600kg Tare and 2400kg ATM, it removes much of the hesitation you may have about committing to a hybrid in terms of its ability to tolerate offroad abuse. Many similar hybrids clock in above the two tonne dry weight mark. As well, the X10 Trekka is clearly made with the rough stuff in mind, with dual Monroe shocks, a heavy duty independent suspension system, coil springs and 12” heavy-duty electric brakes. Up front, the X10 is fixed to tow tug via an ARK offroad 3-tonne hitch. It may not be as nimble as a 800kg box-style camper, but it’ll be a damn-sight roomier and more comfortable after set-up.
The X10 Trekka is intended for two people, and perhaps at a squeeze, one or two very small children. It’s not designed to host a whole family, unless the family are happy enough in swags or a separate tent. If kids wanted to come along on a trip to the Simpson, perhaps you could bung them in the X10 Trekka and secure a rooftop tent on top of the tow tug for yourself and the better half? Anyway, there’s always options. The chief point is that the X10 Trekka is a hybrid for two, not four or even six. As such its size and mass is less burdensome than other hybrids we’ve seen recently. If you had to choose a hybrid and nothiung else for the remote offroad adventure trip of a lifetime, you could do much MUCH worse than an X10 Trekka.
Inside, the X10, like most hybrids, is super-luxe. Down the back is a glorious king size bed with innerspring mattress and masses of headroom above. Up front, there’s bulk interior storage and cupboard space. Of course, setting up a pop-top style hybrid is no hassle at all. Ease of set-up is perhaps the hybrid-style of camper’s major advantage over traditional folding canvas conglomerations. It’s a simple matter of parking, chocking wheels, deploying stabiliser legs, unfurling the auto-wind awning and popping the roof via two easy to use struts on each end. The aluminium composite body is cool, well-insulated and adorned with multiple ventilation points. Plus the extra headroom removes any dramatic sense of claustrophobia. Sure, canvas has its drawbacks — loads of poles and sleeves in which to insert them — but at least nicely screened canvas is light and unrestrictive. Often when I’m within the hard shell of a hybrid there’s a feeling of being boxed-in. The internal space in the X10 Trekka feels light and roomy. The bed is huge and welcoming. It feels more like a comfortable bedroom rather than a towable unit.
Trust is good, control is better. Even better than both trust and control, especially when in the middle of nowhere, is access to fist-clenching power. The X10 Trekka really steps up to the plate in this regard, with twin 100Ah batteries, a 200W solar panel on the roof and a Projecta six-stage charger with 240V power outlets. Pass me a coldie and crank up the tunes, cobber. There’s a bluetooth stereo with built-in external speakers and a premium BMS with digital water level gauges, rocker switches and battery with an easy-to-use control panel positioned handily near the doorway. There’s multiple internal and external USB ports and 12V sockets positioned throughout for plug-in convenience. The X10’s 200L of water is distributed where it's needed by an individual SEAFLO pump.
When you’re done dancing, there’s an external shower and ensuite to wash away sweaty efforts, a potable slide-out toilet and, on the other side under the awning, there’s a large fridge slide, a full-bung stainless steel slide-out kitchen with four-burner stove and ample food prep area.
SHOULD I BUY A HYBRID?
When all’s said and done, it all comes back to the crux. Comforts versus nimbleness on tow. The X10 puts many of the offroad capability concerns to bed. It’s Tare weight is comparable to many leading forward or dual folding campers in the marketplace. As well, it’s fully equipped with some serious underbody robustness. Coupled with this, the X10 Trekka offers greater self-sufficiency and comfort attributes than most comparably priced units.
So, yeah. If you're in for the long haul, enjoy all the mod-cons, like to dance and sing in the desert like no-one's watching, get yourself a Swag X10 Trekka.
Suspension Heavy-duty independent offroad with dual Monroe shocks and coil springs
Brakes 12” electric
Coupling ARK offroad
Jockey wheel ARK XO 750
Chassis Full box welded construction high-grade Q345 steel with rock sliders
Tyres LT 265/75R16 Goodride Radial M/T
Style Hybrid pop-top
Length (hitch to tail lights) 5400mm
Height 2300mm (closed)
ACCESSORIES ON SPECCED UP MODEL
Gas cylinders 2 x 4kg holders
Water 200L & Seaflo pump
Kitchen Stainless steel construction with sink, wind deflectors, fold out bench, utility cabinets, pantry and two drawers all on slides
Battery 2 x 100Ah, with Projecta six-stage charger
Solar 200W mounted panel
Hot water system Truma gas
Bed King size innerspring
PRICE AS STANDARD
- Light for a hybrid
- Decent self-sufficiency
- Good inside and outside living options
- Many comforts
- Good storage
- Super-quick no-fuss set up
- Not much space for extra occupants
- Height profile on tow
- Large awning could catch if navigating congested track
CAMPER STAR RATINGS
Fit for intended purpose — 8
Innovation — 6.5
Self-sufficiency — 7.5
Quality of finish — 6.5
Build quality — 6.5
Offroadability — 6.5
Comforts — 7.5
Ease of use — 7.5
Value for money — 7
X-Factor — 6.5
Swag Camper Trailers
Address 7 Collinsvale St, Rocklea QLD 4106
Phone 1800 792 422