WEDGETAIL SLIDE-ON REVIEW
Unlike his opposition, David Hazlewood has only been producing his Wedgetail slide-ons for five years, but his meticulous approach and desire to provide a comprehensive list of both basics and luxuries has made his the most expensive and the heaviest at 650kg Tare. This necessitates a GVM/suspension upgrade, especially with newer utes (the 79 series V8 Cruiser included) and their softer standard suspensions. But boy, do you get a lot of camper for that.
The marine grade aluminium body is well insulated and features a gas strut-assisted flip-over tent that if it isn’t exactly automatic isn’t far off, with a cordless drill on the winch. It only requires the insertion of a handful of poles inside to complete the basic set-up.
COMFORTS INSIDE AND OUT
Inside there is a surprising amount of room and — the beauty of this camper — you get both indoor and outdoor living options.
Internally there’s a two-burner stove, sink with mixer tap and access to the 80L Waeco fridge, pantry and all kitchen appliances. For those days when nature drives you indoors you can hunker down comfortably to dine at the (admittedly cramped) eating nook, turn on the space heater and then curl up on the queen innerspring mattress with a good book.
Access to the interior is via a nifty set of fold-down steps complete with handrail to comply with all OH&S requirements.
At the back of the camper, on the useful fold-down “wedge tail” feature, there is a good sized shower with the Porta Potti pulling through from an adjacent locker.
Outside there is a separate kitchen with either a two-burner stove or a Sizzler barbecue that will not only cook your steak, heat your vegetables and boil your water, but can be used as an oven to cook a joint of meat or a cake. As with all slide-ons, external bench space is at a minimum — though you do get plenty of bench space internally — but there are several options in storage configurations. Access to the tap is, however, cramped and over the cooker.
The fridge is accessed via a swing-out arm and the filtered cooling air around the fridge is used to pressurise the rest of the unit to keep out any dust.
POWER AND WATER
Down the driver’s side there are several lockers, allowing access to clothing, the shower or the Porta Potti externally, and the two 4.5kg gas bottles.
There is 90L of water at the front, one 105Ah AGM battery with 25A DC-DC charger, 40A mains charger and battery monitor.
THE CAMPER TRAILER AUSTRALIA VERDICT
The canvas work is good, with awnings over some windows, a permanently affixed tropical roof and an extension entry roof/wall over the steps. There is a 2.5 metre awning to extend out from the side over the kitchen for quick stops. This can be added to the outer end of the flipped-over roof to extend the cover 2.5m out from there, or be folded down at half width to create a shorter enclosed room. There are a total of seven windows for good light and air flow options. The unit, complete with padded vinyl front stoneguard, attaches via bolts and nyloc nuts that are very secure but would be more fiddly than some alternatives.
This isn’t a cheap camper, at $56,700 as reviewed, but it ticks all the boxes with only a few minor issues in layout.
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WEDGETAIL SLIDE-ON RATING
DAVID COOK: For the touring couple this is very cool — all the comforts of home while on the road and all very handy and easy to use.
It’s very well thought out, spacious and adaptable. The swing-out/in fridge and its pressurised compartment, which then pressurises the rest of the camper for dust exclusion, was a good feature.
The door-side remote light switch to illuminate the interior while setting up poles or packing up was neat. The power and water are limited in comparison to a camper trailer but are constrained by the carrying capacity of a slide-on. The fitting of a second battery requires a loss of some other feature, which might limit some people.
There are no shortcuts evident anywhere. The canvas appears to be excellent and the cross-flow ventilation through all the windows kept the interior cool in almost any warm wind. The external kitchen was small but cramped. I think the basic two-burner camp stove does undersell a camper of this quality and the Sizzler barbecue is better, but it still has its limitations. The thinned innerspring mattress and bed bag were good features.
The fold-down “wedge” at the tail is unique and easy to drop and pack away and provides plenty of extra floor space. The internal cooking and washing set-up, with its internal access to the pantry and fridge, is excellent for days when nature drives you indoors. The nifty fold-down steps and handrail are good.
In any campground this trailer would be sure to attract some lustful onlookers. The huge interior space, with good shower would make this a very comfortable camper to live with for
an extended stay.
STU JONES: Seems to have everything to make touring comfortable for two people. Internal ensuite will appeal to many. I did use it and was a cracker.
Well thought out use of space and usability. Excellent, excellent workmanship. Heaviest on test by some distance, would need to max out suspension upgrade.
Love the luxury offering of kitchen inside and out — ensuite is just a knock out, nice dinette inside. Watched it packed up ready to roll by one person in six minutes. There is a lot of camper but well thought out. Use of drill to wind up makes it easy. Easily most expensive but you get a lot of camper. Would need to factor in suspension upgrade. But there’s plenty of “wow” in this one. Luxury unit that couples will love! Did I mention the ensuite? The ladies will love it.
PHIL LORD: This is a very well thought out slide-on, with lots of attention to detail. Building its own tray for improved strength and lower platform for improved handling, Wedgetail has set a new benchmark for slide-ons. More power would be a good thing but otherwise the Wedgetail is well set-up for a bit of time in the bush.
Well-built and has a lot of structural integrity. For example, each stand is able to withstand a 1500kg load imposed on it — far more than required and this gives confidence in the product. With its heavy items loaded forward and low, it appears well-balanced; added to that the fact the slide is set on a lower-than-usual tray, and the dynamics are even more promising.
With so much storage, large bed and ensuite, the Wedgetail is a very comfortable camper and it has plenty of gear, too. While the step-up arrangement of all slide-ons doesn’t suit everyone, this is one of the most logical in its placement and easy to use.
While a relatively new entrant to the slide-on camper industry, the Wedgetail offers a high standard of equipment, engineering and finish. It promises to keep value.
Call to enquire: 0458 493 917
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