Many RV manufacturers develop similar products for other markets. For instance, I know of a lot of caravan and fifth wheeler manufacturers, both here and in New Zealand, that are also into horse floats in a big way. Although this crossover is less common in the camper trailer market, I was not surprised to learn, when I arrived to pick up the Davcar Challenger offroader, that Davcar is into horse floats and other trailers as well.
It’s worth mentioning all that because when a ‘new’ name appears in the camper trailer market, it may already have plenty of experience in trailer building, which is the case with Davcar and the Challenger.
Older readers might remember cars fitted with Smiths aftermarket gauges – oil pressure, water pressure, temperatures, and so on – yep, I’m showing my age I know – well, the Challenger has a couple of lookalike gauges for the water tanks and battery voltage.
The Challenger travelled very nicely behind our Prado tow vehicle, handling all the undulations of our test drive without a problem.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
For a quick stop, setting up the Challenger is quite easy, being a hardfloor rear-fold camper. It’s a matter of undoing the top clips and lifting first the rack over and then the floor. Naturally, the canvas tent follows quite easily. Large screened windows are fitted all round and there are good-sized doors on either side. All the apertures, except for the large end window, have internal and external flaps.
Although it’s not shown in the photos, there’s an awning that covers the front drawbar and kitchen area. Annexe walls for the entire front and side areas are included for extended camp stays. Just in case that is not enough living space, you can also fit the included awning and annexe on the opposite side of the trailer that’s suitable for a bedroom and bathroom area which comes with a PVC floor and shower curtain.
In the catering department, the Challenger is well set up. Built into the front end of the trailer is a slide-out stainless steel kitchen. In addition to three built-in drawers, it comes with benchtop space and a stainless steel sink complete with smoked glass lid.
The rest of the kitchen facilities are found in the front drawbar boxes, with a large gull wing-style door revealing a fridge slide-out, as well as a couple of good sized pantry boxes. A Weber Baby Q barbecue and a wok burner pull out from the front bin on a two-way slide. It’s quite a clever design that leaves you with a handy area for food preparation. Those used to a more conventional two- or three-burner cooktop might find it a little awkward at first but I know from personal use that the Baby Q is very versatile and will even produce a roast.
The fridge box gull wing-style door is fitted with an LED strip light under the lip to light the kitchen. It’s subtly positioned – there when it’s needed but out of the way when not.
On the opposite side of the trailer, the fridge box also offers extra storage for items like awnings, walls, pegs and other essentials for camping.
My initial impressions of the Davcar Challenger are well founded. It looks to be a well setup camper which was confirmed out the tracks and afterwards, when we sat back to enjoy views of the river.
It’s suitable for both quick overnight stops and extended stays. In addition to that, the camper has a kitchen arrangement that is slightly different to the usual but still very practical: a word which neatly sums up this camper.
HITS AND MISSES
- Spacious tent area
- Nice kitchen setup
- 12V lighting
- Battery capacity
- Multi-directional slide for Weber Baby Q
- Good departure angle and clearance
- Spare wheel a bit awkward to get at
- No two- or three-burner cooktop
- Potential for heavy ball weight
Check out the full feature in issue #96 January 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.