Meet the Best Camper Trailers judges
DAVID “COOKIE” COOK
Cookie has been a keen camper with his Aussie Swag for seven years, undertaking a number of outback trips as well as more frequent local journeys from his home in Sydney each year. He has combined a life-long career of magazine journalism and photography, originally in motoring and motorsports, to become a regular contributor to CTA. David knows everything there is to know about camper trailers and had a ball at Robe, but reckons he hasn’t slept well since the Friday night “Robe Party” and still wakes suddenly in the night with cold sweats.
Mike penned his first yarn for CTA back in 2008, following a trip into the Red Centre. Traversing deserts and high ranges to get there, that adventure started an itch, the itch was scratched, and soon he found himself spending more time thinking about travelling than working. A resignation soon followed. When he’s not travelling, writing reviews or seeking product for our monthly mega tests, Mike likes to support recreational fishermen. Not born with a rod in his hand, fishing trips don’t usually end well, but at least the fish are well fed. Now residing in SA where the only requirement is to keep the bait in the water, Mike is adamant his fishing tally is about to change.
Emma is the editor of this ’ere Camper Trailer Australia magazine, a role she assumed a little over a year ago after working on CTA’s sister mag, TrailerBoat. In that role she had to do really tough stuff like catch squid during photo shoots and scuba dive on tropical islands. She’s got it pretty tough now, though, spending a decent chunk of her time hauling an array of camper trailers to every corner of the country. Once a month she returns to Melbourne to subdue the ever-present publishing beast known as “deadline”, but she’s happiest when there’s nothing but blue sky and open space surrounding her.
Phil is CTA’s resident “techspert”, replying to readers’ questions via his column, Ask Dr Phil, and contributing technical features and camper reviews as well. He started his career as an automotive writer 21 years ago, with his first published article in the Canberra Times on the RV and motorhome boom in the USA. Since then he has spent much of his career getting muddy, dusty or soaking wet in the pursuit of RV journalism. The first test of his marriage 10 years ago was to go on a three-week honeymoon to Darwin via The Flinders, The Centre and Kakadu with a camper trailer, what was to be the first of many family camping holidays.
JOHN 'BEAR' WILLIS
Regular readers will have been made plenty aware of the presence of Bear on the pages of CTA. Indeed, everywhere he goes Bear’s booming laugh and larger-than-life personality fills any space. With a background in trailer manufacturing and boat building, the Bear knows a thing or two about quality engineering and isn’t afraid to call it as he sees it when writing camper trailer reviews for CTA. He’s also fond of his creature comforts, and has little patience for poor design and intricate assembly procedures. Bear is happiest while dangling a line in a mountain stream, Coopers Pale in hand, before retiring to the campfire for the evening.
STUART “STUPOT” JONES
Stupot is a CTOTY institution, with this year’s event representing his fifth appearance as a judge. Stu lives and breathes 4WDing and camper trailering, but his day job is as circulation manager for Bauer Trader Media. Nobody understands what our readers want better than Stu; he is a dab hand at market research and knows what works and what doesn’t. Stu gets away as much as possible with his wife and their two young children, and loves nothing more than a long weekend camping with family friends. He’s not supposed to say so, but of all the mags in the Bauer stable, we know CTA is Stu’s favourite.
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