The Xtreme Terrain XT-10 offroad caravan is the latest model in Market Direct Campers’ extensive product arsenal. It’s part of MDC’s new Expedition series of offroad vans, and is claimed to have been “field tested in the most extreme terrains Australia has to offer.”
Design & Construction
The XT-10 has checkerplate protection all over the lower parts of the trailer, shielding it from stone strikes, plus excellent scrub bars front and rear. These would certainly be of use in an off-track situation, protecting the bodywork when traversing dry creek beds or any sharp lips or shelves you might encounter.
A full-sized canvas stoneguard and stone-tamer mudflaps keep the front of the van safe from harm, while the two jerry can holders behind the stoneguard are easily accessed.
Independent trailing arm suspension with dual shock absorbers and coil springs hold the rig up at an acceptable height, and the whole thing rolls on 16in alloy rims clad in 265/75 R16 rubber. A 12in 4WD electric brake system pulls up your steed, along with a mechanical handbrake.
The drawbar and chassis are made from 150x50x3mm SuperGal steel. A tare weight of 1500kg and an ATM of 2250kg are quite acceptable, considering all the inclusions in the package. A 3500kg-rated McHitch system holds the trailer in place behind your tow vehicle, and ball weight is stated as 160kg.
A batwing-style wraparound awning can be deployed for longer stays, and it comes with walls for added privacy. It nearly doubles the size of your accommodation. The awning was well constructed and easy to set up.
If you are just in camp for the night or just want a little shade to ward off the midday sun, there’s a great electrically operated awning. Just press a button and it automatically winds itself out.
The size of the sleeping quarters is generous, but a drawback is that in order to fit all of this in the camper, the queen-sized innerspring mattress comes in two pieces, cut along the width rather than the length, so your hips tend to fall into the crack during the night.
One of the things that sets a hybrid or crossover apart from a true caravan is the fact that it comes with an external kitchen, and the XT-10 is no exception.
The stainless-steel kitchen is well appointed, with a hot-and-cold-fed sink next to a stainless-steel Thetford Mk3 Argent four-burner deluxe cooker. It was one of the best features on the camper. Being a foodie, I liked that the BTU output was good, making frying or searing meat a breeze.
The hob is supplied by two 4kg gas cylinders, and the quick-couple bayonet fitting is right where you need it. However, overall the finish of the kitchen cabinet left room for improvement.
Three deep-cycle 100Ah AGM batteries provide plenty of spark, while a 40A charger ensures you’ll get all the charge you need in one overnight stay on a powered site. A 1000W inverter will run all of your 240V appliances, and the power outlets for these are conveniently placed where you need them, as are the 12V cigarette lighter and USB outlets.
But while the camper is well served electrically, the placement of the powerboard and isolator switches — the heart of the system — left me staggered. They live in a box at the front of the camper, and you nearly have to climb into the box to reach any of the switches. You certainly have to lean on the stoneguard to accomplish this.
THE WRAP UP
While MDC claims the XT-10 Expedition series is the latest and greatest thing to hit the market, I believe the company has some improvements to make before it really comes close. While the finish generally was adequate, attention to detail was lacking in many critical areas.
It certainly has potential, however, and with some revision from the manufacturer might eventually live up to the name “Expedition”.
Hits & Misses
- Internal and external shower
- Fold-down spare wheel carrier
I would’ve liked…
- Better build quality
- More attention to detail
- Better dust proofing
Check out the full review in issue #83 December 2014 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.