The camper on test is the personal steed of Follow Me Campers’ owners George and Teresa Minaides and their two kids, so they’ve got it well set up for family camping.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
The chassis and drawbar are galvanised RHS, and the 1.6mm Zincanneal steel body is powder primed and powder-coated for protection.
It rides on 16in wheels as standard — matched to the offset of your car — providing a ground clearance of almost 600mm, with 12in electric brakes pulling it all up with ease.
At the front end you’ve got a swing-away Manutec jockey wheel, an OzHitch offroad coupling and the toolbox sitting in front of recesses for four jerry cans, which sit over a dedicated pole storage locker. There’s a mesh stoneguard to protect it all from rogue rocks.
The 10ft tent offers an impressive amount of undercover space for kids’ bunks, stretchers and even a table for those times you need maximum weather protection.
Under the 2.4m awning is the best place for your dining room, and with a kitchen windbreak wall and kitchen skirt as standard, it provides an excellent, well-protected outdoor living area. Add the optional remaining walls and your total enclosed area will be bigger than some people’s apartments.
I mentioned Follow Me makes its campers for a predominantly Western Australian clientele, which is why the tent’s walls and roof are made of 15oz Australian Bradmill canvas. As George explained, this extra weight helps the camper sit firm in the often-blustery conditions of the west coast.
The Fitzroy is equipped with a 550mm-wide walk-up passageway for easy access to the comfy queen innerspring bed, and the new addition to this model is a pair of large storage drawers sliding out from the side of the bed. These each run the width of the bed and provide a huge amount of storage, accessible also while the camper is packed away. When you’re packing for four or more, this feature will inevitably impress.
There is an additional storage compartment over the wheel arch, with four more on the external driver’s side of the camper.
The updated Fitzroy is rated to carry a total of 2000kg, 500kg more than its predecessor. At 1050kg tare, this gives you a whopping payload of 950kg.
Powerpoints consist of six 12V outlets spread between the kitchen, the interior of the rear and the walkway but, unfortunately, not at the bedside — although you can run a cable through a corner fold in the canvas from one of the rear external outlets.
There’s an LED bedside-style light positioned at the end of the bed. There’s also a main LED room light and one bedside lamp, as well as an LED over the kitchen. They’re powered by a 120Ah battery with CTEK 15A charger, Redarc BCDC1225LV (12V charger and solar regulator) and voltmeter housed in the rear internal side storage compartment.
If you do plan on spending a week or more off the grid at somewhere like Ningaloo, you’d be wise to add the solar panel option to capitalise on that seemingly unending WA sun.
The Fitzroy’s storage-conscious sentiment carries through to the kitchen, where there is ample space for groceries, crockery and cooking paraphernalia. There’s an excellent, long pantry drawer opening above the main kitchen slide, which houses a functional four-burner Thetford stove and grill and a plumbed stainless steel sink, which has a decent storage space below. Feeding it are two 70L water tanks, tucked nice and high beneath the trailer and fitted with independent pumps.
A bench extension folds over during set-up for loads of bench space, while twin 4kg gas bottles are plumbed through to the rear from their housing at the front side storage locker.
A sturdy fridge slide keeps the cold stuff where you need it alongside the kitchen slide, suitable for a 60L Engel or 80L Waeco, and there’s space for storage tubs behind it.
A camper such as the Fitzroy would be perfect for an extended family camping trip; plenty of living space for the kids, massive payload and storage space for weeks’ worth of gear, decent water capacity and a home for the tinnie on the boat loader. Sounds like the recipe for a damn good time to me.
- Spacious tent with wide walk-through
- Big internal storage drawers accessed from a standing position
- Massive 950kg payload
I would’ve liked…
- USB outlets
- A tidier electronics cupboard with wiring protected
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Check out the full review in issue #82 November 2014 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.