In general, pop-top campers with beds that pull out of the ends are not considered by many as hard-nosed offroaders, but the Thunder set out to dispel that opinion. It is large, but it conducted itself over the offroad course with ease and at the end of the journey showed only the mildest signs of dust incursion, something which no camper avoided.
Design & Construction
With a 1512kg Tare, the Thunder is certainly no lightweight. And with an ATM of 2000kg when fully loaded, it would be a solid item to be moving about, but certainly not one that would daunt any modern 4WD.
These figures give a load capacity of 488kg, and with dual 60L water tanks, two jerry cans, two 9kg gas cylinders and a 14L hot water system, that leaves around 300kg spare for your “stuff”. You won’t have any trouble fitting that in as there’s an awful lot of spare storage capacity in this big trailer.
The Thunder, with its “offroad pack”, is well-built, with a solid chassis and Cruisemaster trailing arm suspension with 12in electric brakes. The hitch was the excellent Hyland and the rims were classy black alloys. However, there was no stoneguard in that offroad pack.
The external kitchen — something all camper trailers should have — features a stainless-steel sink and Smev cooker, and a Sovereign barbecue on a slide extension.
Inside is an extensive bench area and also a pull-out queen bed plus a double at the other end (the front bed can be used without disconnecting) and the ability to convert a bench into a single bed creates room for five. The roomy 110L 12/240V fridge/freezer is well away from the door, making access difficult for roadside stops.
There are lots of comfort fittings: a Truma 14L gas hot water system, air-conditioning on the roof (you need a 2kVA generator or mains power to run it, but by golly it was nice in the Broken Hill heat), stereo with internal and external speakers, a large Fiamma awning (walls are optional) and shower fittings on the passenger side exterior.
THE JUDGES’ Wrap up
For a family of four interested in light offroad touring, the Thunder is a great, versatile proposition. The external kitchen is great and frees up bench space while also allowing for proper internal sealing when travelling. There is good gas, water and solar capacity, but it would score better for self-sufficiency if it had a second battery.
A very nice fit and finish in the Goldstream — everything is put together neatly and this is generally a very well-built camper. It has some great features for the price.
Check out the full review in issue #84 January 2014 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.