Last year’s Camper Trailer of the Year winner, the Patriot X1, returned this year to defend its crown, and did so very successfully. Last year it was the new kid on the block, but after a hugely successful 12 months it returned with a string of updates and a bold, confident attitude.
Design & Construction
There have been a few running changes since we saw the X1 last year. Large mudflaps are now fitted ahead of the wheels to stop debris from peppering the underside, the awning is better-sealed against the body and the kitchen features a better arrangement with the cooker slide-out coming out further and now fitted with a lock-off.
There are new fishing rod holders in the storage area and laser-cut, cut-out branding for the drawers. There’s also a new shelf fitted to the front toolbox to fit a chainsaw and a new position in the offside front locker for the hot water service. Patriot has also changed its tent — from Hannibal to Howling Moon.
The beauty of this camper is its lightweight, compact, tough and thoroughly engineered design — all put together with aircraft-grade quality components. The chassis is an interlocking design that is hot-dip galvanised, and rides on a Vehicle Components independent coil-spring, twin-shock suspension. Everything is really well-protected from damage on the underside and, if you get stuck, there’s a solid recovery point at the rear. Tyres are Couragia mud terrains encasing 16in steel rims.
The camper body is really the housing for the various storage lockers, electrical management and kitchen, and also supports the roof-mounted tent. It is made of 2.5mm-thick marine-grade aluminium, all laser-cut and joined with surgical precision. The philosophy here is to enjoy outdoor living so, rather than bring everything indoors like some campers, the X1 brings its facilities to the outdoors.
The living area is covered on two sides by the batwing-style awning and the third side by the second bedroom/rooftop tent. The kitchen is on the camper’s nearside, with its fold-down doors serving as bench space and revealing the cooker and kitchen pantry storage. Alongside is the sink/fridge slide, which adds a bit more food prep space and storage for plates and cutlery.
The rooftop tent folds out to a floor space of 1.8x2.4m and features a 75mm high-density foam mattress — and, with the optional Family Package as tested, a 1.8x2.4m changing room/bedroom underneath.
For such a small unit, there is so much storage. For starters, the toolbox up front has room for a generator and now also a chainsaw. The tailgate at the rear of the body folds down to horizontal and serves as a dining table and, like the kitchen benches, is lined in food-grade stainless steel. Housed in the tub are two slide-out storage lockers and a large open storage area on the remaining half of the tub.
On the offside are two storage lockers, one of which houses the Country Comfort instant gas hot water service. Of course, the X1’s signature open storage lockers for wet recovery gear and rubbish bags on the rear corners remain.
THE JUDGES’ Wrap Up
For the adventurous, it’s hard to imagine this true offroad camper being beaten. When we turned up to review this camper we were told “there are a few changes from last year”. We were then given a two-page list. We thought this camper was “the duck’s guts” in 2014, but Patriot shows that you can always make something better.
It’s all there for long-term stays in the bush — plenty of water, electricity and durability of design that will see you through. Detail is excellent throughout, as it was last year.
This is a fresh, inspiring camper trailer and also represents very good value for money.
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.