The Conqueror UEV-490 Evolution is a crossover camper that starts life in South Africa, but gets a big makeover here in Australia before being deemed suitable and track-worthy for the Aussie outback. The transformation may not be immediately noticeable, but once you start to look at the detail, you’ll find many things changed and upgraded in this new model.
Design & Construction
Just by looking at the UEV-490, it should come as no surprise that Conqueror has a rich and long military tradition, having built trailers for the South African army for over 15 years. The hot-dipped galvanised chassis and coil sprung independent suspension comes direct from that experience and gives the UEV-490 some pretty good offroad cred right from the start. The axles are modified to suit the tow vehicle’s track, while hubs, wheels and tyres are also fitted to suit.
The body shell is made from electro gal steel, stainless steel and aluminium, and exudes toughness with a steeply swept-up rear for the best in departure angles, while a couple of jerry cans and the spare tyre add to the overall picture.
Kitchen & Storage
The slide-out kitchen has adequate bench space when set up, as well as a 90L National Luna fridge/freezer, which is one of the best (and dearest) 12V units on the market. And there’s good storage available for crockery and food close to the kitchen area.
But, while on the topic of storage, although there are dozens of storage spaces scattered around the camper, allowing you to store quite a lot, there isn’t any large storage area. Take that as you will — some may like it, others will not be so rapt!
For those wanting to stay off the grid for a lengthy amount of time, this unit comes with two 4.5kg gas bottles, 120L of water and 210Ah onboard battery power.
THE JUDGES’ Wrap Up
The UEV-490 is a comprehensively equipped, hard-shell camper with a good degree of toughness built in. There are some innovative features; for example, the interior pressurising blower is a very smart way of keeping the dust out, while the spare wheel, complete with hub and bearings, is a great idea.
This is a fine product for its engineering quality and it has been well put-together too. The attention to detail on the finish is very good. The Conqueror is well set up for extended bush camping and is also pretty good when it comes to taking it offroad — from its dust sealing to its robust chassis and suspension, and its high-lift jacking points.
Conqueror has not been around in the Aussie market long-term and this is not a cheap camper. You’d have to wonder about its resale value. However, in its favour, it’s extremely well-equipped. Like a big Meccano set, the Conqueror just seems to come together perfectly. It looks tough and has loads of gear to keep you camping in comfort.
Check out the full review in issue #85 February 2015 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.