Camper Trailer of the Year 2021: Stoney Creek SC-FF

Various — 22 April 2021
With so many campers, it can be hard to know where to start, but this offering is aimed at those starting out or wanting something simple.

GLENN MARSHALL

Score: 60

Stoney Creek Campers are proud of the fact their camper trailers are designed in Australia by campers, for campers, and while the units are manufactured in China, they are assembled here. This version of the SC-FF is the second generation, capping off significant design and structural enhancements that aim to make this camper one of the best forward fold campers on the market.



The SC-FF is firmly aimed at entry-level campers, young families and those over 50 who are still working, and the competitive pricing would certainly be attractive to many buyers within these demographics. The slide-out kitchen is functional with good food prep space and having a slide-out pantry next to the fridge offers great workflow. The internal storage has been improved with the addition of two drawers and two cupboards under the bed and the lounge easily converts into a double bed. There are some things lacking that should be standard on an offroad camper trailer — a DCDC charger, solar panels, an inverter and rear recovery points. 

This camper is similar to many other imported campers in that it lacks innovation and the fact that the tow ball weight begins at 210kg will put it out of reach of anyone whose vehicle is limited to 250kg as there is no margin for error when packing the camper. Having a Treg hitch these days is old school and one of the more difficult hitches to use, surely a DO35 or McHitch would be an affordable inclusion? 


KATH HEIMAN

Score: 65

The Stoney Creek’s offroad credentials are supported by several design features that generate a point of market differentiation among campers at its price-point. For example, while the dual shock independent trailing arm suspension is a generic import, the team told us that the shocks are compatible with those of an FJ40, so switching to a known brand would be easy. 

Continuing with this theme, the wheel track of the Stoney Creek is consistent with most bestselling Australian 4WDs and the 6 stud PCD is Toyota compatible.

These are all welcome features for buyers planning to spend some serious time in the great outdoors. The front stone guard comfortably clears the camper’s body, there are ample bash plates underneath, and the three rear recovery points offer welcome flexibility if things go pear-shaped. 

The Stoney Creek comes standard with a Treg-style hitch — the benefit of which is the 70-degree vertical oscillation. This reduces the risk of the trailer flipping the tow-tug on rougher-than-rough terrain. But it may be fiddly to use on uneven ground, particularly if the hitch-pin is under pressure. A D035 hitch is optional. 

The distance between the hitch and the wheel-well is noticeably long which runs the risk of the under-carriage dragging over ‘whoa-boys’. It also places a premium on proper distribution of weight during packing, closer to the towbar, and not disproportionately rearwards which could generate sway. 

On review day, the Stoney Creek took just under 20 mins for a one-person set-up without the awning, and with 10 mins more, the external awning was locked and loaded. We’ve seen some hybrids take longer. 

Once unfurled, the camper offers a queen bed with a 75mm memory foam mattress — sufficiently comfy but shallow enough to allow a blow moulded table, or similar, to be stored on the bed during transit. The dinette cushions and table convert to a double-style bed as required. The drawers under the main bed provide useful internal storage, a factor that’s always at a premium with this style of camper. Another nice feature is the lid of the pantry drawer that can be used as a food preparation surface. Handy.


DAVID COOK

Score: 53

Stoney Creek has built its brand into one of the more ubiquitous in the Australian camper trailer world. They have outlets in every state except the Northern Territory, making warranty, repair or service issues a relatively minor inconvenience no matter where you live or where you travel — however, with the five-year structural warranty on the company’s products, it means you can be sure the builders are confident you are unlikely to need their services too often.

At $22,990 the SC-FF is the cheapest in this year’s Camper Trailer of the Year, and so will appeal to those on a more limited budget. So is it worth that money? There’s a lot of camper here: television, sound system, instant gas hot water — plumbed to both the shower outlet and the sink — stainless steel kitchen, roomy and practical pantry drawer, privacy screens, full wall set and ground cover and more.

It is let down though by the use of a sometimes uncooperative Treg-style hitch, the domestic style cooker, protruding winch handle, poor coverage of the kitchen by the awning, complex plumbing of the hot water heater when being set up and so on, but this is a world where you get what you pay for and purchasers will be able to justify much of this if the price is their principle driving factor.

The take-away aspect here for the potential buyers of a forward fold camper is that for under $23K you can be out in a new camper of your choice, with comforts such as a TV and capabilities such as a trailing arm independent suspension, and when you’re set up on a beach or the top of a hill somewhere you have access to exactly the same view as the guy next door in the $80,000 rig, and isn’t that enough?


TIM VAN DUYL

Score: 63.5

The SC-FF Gen-III has a few build details that  make it stand out among the fiercely competitive market it sells in. Notably, there was a decent full-width stone guard, magnets in the fly-screen to help seal it, a midge divider at the bed and well seam-sealed 14oz canvas, but there were also little details, like the positioning of the HW system away from the drawbar (and bed) that came with a 4m hose to allow the ensuite to be positioned where you want, and some different takes on build that impressed me. 

In a move to make sure as little dust as possible makes it into the SC-FF, Stoney Creek has moved away from rivets in the main body. All panels are folded and welded which should also add a lot of rigidity. The chassis is also folded with the main beam full-length hot-dip galvanised steel at 150x50x4mm. Underneath is their own design suspension which looked decent, as did their job of the wiring to the brakes, and generally all plumbing got a pass for the price you pay. 

For getting off-grid, the SC-FF has a lot of juice. There is a DC-DC charger as well as an AC charger and a 240V system throughout and twin 100Ah AGM batteries. Solar was an option but connecting it via the drawbar Anderson plug means you can move your panel where you want it. A nice detail in between the 60 and 100L water tanks was a ball valve so you can dedicate one to drinking water-filled at home and the other to shower water. There is a decent pump on board which I was told could be used to lift water from a creek too. The swing-out BBQ you see in the pictures is an option, but the full-size stove is not — just remember to keep a tea towel underneath the cast pot stays when travelling or they’ll do some damage.

All this gear comes at a cost though, and it leans to the front. The ball-weight was high at 206kg and had me wondering about what it would get to with a full-fridge, both drawbar mounted 4.5kg gas bottles and jerry cans full and some gear in the front locker though. I suspect it will creep up a solid 30kg.


SPECS

Tare 1577kg

ATM 2100kg

Suspension Independent trailing arm with twin shocks and coils

Brakes 12in heavy duty electric

Coupling Polyblock rated to 3T

Chassis/drawbar 150 x 50mm hot-dipped galvanised

Body Welded zinc anneal steel

Wheels 16in alloy

Tyres Kenda Mud Terrain 265/75R16

Style Forward fold

DIMENSIONS

Body size 1950mm (W) x 3400mm (L)

Awning size 4300 x 2300mm

ACCESSORIES

Gas cylinders 2 x 4.5kg holders

Water 80L + 50L tanks

Cooktop 4-burner gas

Kitchen Stainless steel

Battery 2 x 100Ah AGM

Options fitted 62L EvaKool fridge/freezer, BBQ arm w/universal drawbar mount and tray

PRICE AS SEEN

$24,990

ENQUIRIES

Stoney Creek Campers

Phone (07) 3282 0411

Email hello@stoneycreekcampers.com.au

Web stoneycreekcampers.com.au

Tags

Camper Trailer of the Year 2021 Finalist Stoney Creek SC-FF Back to basics