As a reviewer for Camper, I find myself in the enviable position of getting to check out a lot of campers and hybrids just after they hit the market. I’m not too sure if I’ve ever had the opportunity to review one this fresh though, with the OffTrax Camper launching just the week prior.
When doing reviews over several years, you also tend to get a fair idea of what sort of trailer would best suit your personal needs when the time comes to hand over your hard-earned cash.
Deep down (well not that deep really) I’m a pretty simple guy, and so I abide by the K.I.S.S. principle. My type of holiday also generally revolves around a lot of outback kilometres, day after day after day. With that, when I get to camp, I want to be able to set up quick, get the fire going and dinner cooking.
To that end, if you want a camper that will handle the rough stuff as well as the endless corrugations of outback travel, as well as being a piece of cake to set up and pack down, then read on.
When I first arrived at OffTrax Campers HQ, Steve already had the OffTrax hitched up behind his charcoal Ranger dual cab. It definitely looked the part.
It’s short. It’s squat. It has plenty of ground clearance, and it looks tough. The matte charcoal finish with stainless steel fittings and green accents wasn’t too bad on the eye, either.
Looks can be deceiving, however, so it was time to hit the tracks to see if this camper had substance to back up its style.
PUTTING PEN TO PAPER
Steve has been in the camper trailer game for a few years now, so he knows a thing or two about them. When the time came for him to design a new camper for the Australian market, he had a fairly good idea of what works and what doesn’t.
He knew it needed to be lightweight, but still have a decent amount of payload. He knew it had to be able to survive the rigours of outback travel. And he knew the components he used had to uphold his own high standards.
TACKLING THE TOUGH STUFF
Paramount to any offroad trailer being able to soak up countless corrugations as well as be able to handle the more technical tracks, is having the right suspension underneath. Get this bit wrong, and you’ll be chasing your tail right from the get-go.
The OffTrax has gone with the tried, tested and proven XT independent trailing arm suspension with coils and twin shocks from Cruisemaster. A nice touch of using bright green trailing arms ties in well with the overall aesthetic and the green accents used elsewhere on the camper.
Providing the stopping power, the OffTrax has Cruisemaster 12in electric drum brakes fitted as standard from the factory. Not only does this provide better braking than its 10in baby brother, but it also increases the stub axle and bearing capacity to 2.5T for extra peace of mind when you’re far from home and help.
While the suspension setup is no doubt number one when it comes to offroad ability, having the trailer dutifully follow behind the tow vehicle has to be pretty high on the list as well. Keeping the OffTrax in check is another from the Cruisemaster stable, the DO35 hitch. Offering maximum articulation in all directions, the DO35 has become the standard in hitches that others aspire to.
Completing the running gear is 17in black alloy rims that have been shod with 265/70R17 mud terrain tyres for plenty of off-road grip. Thanks to plenty of clearance underneath the wheel arches, 33in tyres can easily be fitted to suit your tow vehicle.
When it comes to shortcomings with the OffTrax, I had to look pretty hard to find one. For such a tough looking camper, that is no doubt going to have its fair share of serious offroad excursions, I would’ve loved to have seen a couple of permanent rear recovery points integrated into the rear bar/chassis.
BUILT TO LAST
With the suspension and running gear sorted, attention turned to the chassis and body of the OffTrax. A 100 x 100mm central galvanised beam that comes from the drawbar provides the backbone to the build. Additional 100 x 50mm galvanised members provide strength and support to the chassis. This design has allowed for maximum strength, while remaining lightweight, which, in part, helps to contribute to the remarkably low tare of only 930kg (without the tent).
On top, the frameless mono-body has been constructed from 3mm aluminium, to keep weight down without sacrificing strength or durability. A durable powder-coated finish will help to reduce those pesky bush scratches, while the front nose cone has been sprayed with Raptor coating for extra protection.
Apart from running out of water, the bane of any outback traveller would have to be our old mate, dust. After several hours traversing dusty tracks in the Gold Coast Hinterland, you’ll be happy to know that worrying about dust coating everything in your camper is a thing of the past. Automotive door rubber seals have been used on the deep panel doors, and the stainless-steel locking arm applies even pressure along the entire seal.
ADAPTABILITY BUILT IN
Apart from being tough and looking good, there’s another aspect of the OffTrax design I really liked. Depending on how you like to camp or what you like to do when you get away from the rat race, the OffTrax can adapt to how you want to use it.
“How does it do that?” I hear you ask. Good question, a very good question indeed.
It all comes down to the top of the camper. Being totally flat as standard, it opens up a plethora of options for what can be stored or strapped down.
Our test unit has been fitted with a clam-shell type rooftop tent made by local manufacturer Camp King (in keeping with the 100 per cent Aussie made ethos of the build). This is the standard tent offered by OffTrax, but the beauty of the design is that if you already have your own rooftop tent, or prefer a different type more suited to families, the OffTrax can make one for you to your own specifications. Or you can fit one yourself down the track.
As far as a quick set up goes, you can’t beat these types of tents. After pulling into camp, level the trailer and you’re pretty much good to go. Unclip the latches and push the top of the tent open, slot the awning poles into position and “Hey presto!” you’re done.
Perhaps you’re a swag type of person. Use the supplied eye bolts to strap that swag down and be on your way bush. Don’t forget to strap down a kayak or even a couple of mountain bikes up there too, as there is a heap of space to do so.
For our test, we had the Camp King tent as well as a 3x3 gazebo strapped down to the roof.
SO MUCH STORAGE
When it comes to storage space in the OffTrax, your biggest problem is going to be potentially overloading it. There is over 2500 litres of available storage space spread over nine compartments.
At the rear, after easily opening the rear mounted swing arm that holds your spare tyre, you are presented with a fold down hatch that is home to a pair of massive drawers. Each drawer has adjustable inserts so you can adapt it to suit your needs.
On the off-side at the rear, there’s another large storage area, perfect for camp chairs or other bulky items. Also on the driver’s side is a dedicated vented gas bottle locker, which houses a pair of four kilo gas bottles.
The dual external bayonet connections make light work of attaching the gas fitting for the stove and hot water system, which is found in the storage compartment alongside. If a portable toilet is part of your camping kit, it fits perfectly in behind the Joolca Hot Water System.
At the very front, and hidden behind the angled nose cone, is another storage hatch which provides the perfect spot for the 200W folding solar blanket.
For a trailer that is primarily designed as a ‘two up’ touring unit, you really can’t fault the off-grid capabilities of the OffTrax.
Even when we do manage to get off-grid, our lives are still so dependent on electricity. Central to the 12V system on the OffTrax is the Redarc RedVision TVMS (Total Vehicle Management System), as well as the Manager30 BMS (Battery Management System).
Together, they control everything electrical on the camper, as well as maintaining charge and peak performance from the two 110Ah Lithium batteries, via the DC/DC charger, 240V input or from the 200W portable solar panel.
Making life even easier is the simple to use control panel located at the kitchen, or download the app and control the dimmable, bi-colour LED lighting from the palm of your hand.
Multiple 12V and USB charging points are dotted around the trailer and inside the tent, ensuring that your devices are always charged and ready to go.
With 130L of potable water split across two tanks, making use of the hot shower on board will seem like a convenience, not a luxury. The two tanks have been cleverly fitted beneath the rear drawer unit, helping to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible. All plumbing is also run internally, totally eliminating the chance of accidental damage off-road.
THE BOTTOM LINE
There you have it, the brand-new camper trailer from OffTrax. It’s light, tough, rugged and built well. For those that love to tour with minimal days just parked up, then this is a trailer perfectly suited to that style of travel. But that doesn’t mean you can’t set up camp on Fraser for a week either.
When the time comes, I might just get one to tow behind my ute. Then again, I wonder if Steve will let me borrow this one?
KITCHEN & OUTDOOR LIVING
When I asked Steve about what he loved most about his new trailer, after a moment of careful consideration, he said, “The kitchen. I put a lot of thought into the design and it just works. There’s a heap of bench space that isn’t obstructed by the pantry drawers, and everything is where you need it. The Weber shelf goes alright too.”
And you know what? Even if he’s a bit biased, he has got a point.
The side door folds down to create a large bench/prep space. A hard-wearing Rimex benchtop makes sure any spills or messes are easily cleaned. Above the bench, two large pantry drawers provide plenty of storage that can be accessed without impeding the bench space.
At the front, a Bromic two-burner gas cooktop and stainless steel sink with plumbed hot and cold water pulls out. An additional pull-out Rimex bench slides out from beneath the cooktop for more prep/servery as well as providing the ideal location for your Baby Q.
That’s right, located above the pull-out kitchen is another slide, that provides the perfect place for your Baby Q to call home. Around the front, another door opens to reveal the 60L National Luna Fridge/Freezer.
While we didn’t get to test out the awning on this review, I’ve seen the pics and it is massive! It totally covers the passenger side of the camper and then some. When used in conjunction with the Camp King tent, it provides plenty of headroom, keeping the heat away. Steve told me that on the OffTrax’s first camping trip, it rained for several hours non-stop, but they didn’t have a care in the world thanks to the large awning.
Tare 930kg ex-tent (1030kg w/ Camp King tent)
Payload 670kg (as tested 570kg)
Ball weight 90kg
Suspension Cruisemaster XT Independent suspension with coils and twin shocks
Brakes Cruisemaster 12in electric drum
Chassis 100 x 100mm Central Beam Drawbar / 100 x 50mm Chassis
Body 3mm 5005 Aluminium (Body & Doors)
Wheels PDW Black Alloy 17 x 8.5 – 139.7 PCD
Tyres Monsta Mud Warrior 265/70R17
Style Compact offroad tourer
Body size 2500 (L) x 1870 (W) x 1480mm (H) excl tent
Towed length 3900mm
Awning size 6000 x 240mm
Gas cylinders 2 x 4kg
Water 130L fresh water (2 x 65L)
Hot water service Joolca Instant gas hot water system
Cooktop Bromic 2-burner w/ grill
Kitchen Slide-out, with SS drop in wash sink with hot & cold water, Rimex Bench Top, Pantry Drawers, Slide out Weber Bench
Battery 2 x 110Ah Power Lithium
Solar 200W folding mat
Options fitted 60L fridge/freezer, Camp King roof top tent, Instant shower awning
PRICE AS TESTED
Address Pimpama, QLD
Phone 1300 301 511