So you’ve made the call; you’re finished with canvas. Good for you! No doubt you’ve done the hard yards when it comes to ropes and poles and pegs, and now you’re ready to graduate to something easy with a capital “E”, not to mention comfortable.
Offroad-ability and Australian-made quality are both important to you and, of course, you still want to be able to cook and live outside. A hybrid camper trailer is clearly what you need. With that in mind, you’ve doubtless been eyeing off the market-leading Exodus range from Complete Campsite.
But perhaps you felt the price tag was out of reach, and have never considered the Exodus an option? Well, I have good news for you, and it comes in the form of the Exodus 9; Complete Campsite’s new hard-top camper, the affordable baby of the brand’s acclaimed hybrid range.
Coming in at $55,950 as standard, Complete Campsite has stripped the bells and whistles from the Exodus 9 in order to also strip away the price tag.
Design & construction
Don’t be fooled by the Exodus 9’s Junior Burger status, this thing is built as tough as its bigger brothers and has the same offroad spirit flowing through its veins. Like the bigger models, it comprises a fibreglass monocoque body made from a single mould for strength and longevity — there are no joins to fatigue over time so you know this thing will last. The fibreglass construction consists of five layers: gel coat, fibreglass, insulation, fibreglass, gel coat. That means a well insulated cabin and an excellent quality and long-lasting finish.
Finishing off the Exodus 9’s enviable offroad credentials is its diminutive size: just 4750mm long with the fridge slide option and 1830mm wide, with a Tare of 1350kg as displayed (or 1100kg standard). You won’t need the biggest fourbie you can find just to tow it, nor will you need to strap on extra side mirrors. It’s a very manageable size when it comes to manoeuvrability on tight offroad tracks, and the light weight means you won’t sink into every bit of soft stuff you come across nor use half a tank of diesel to haul it up a steep hill.
The ball weight is 120kg displayed, so manhandling the Junior Burger shouldn’t result in a trip to the chiropractor. Always a plus. There’s no doubt, while you may lose some internal cabin and storage space on the Exodus 9, the trade-off is an improved performance offroad.
The kitchen is kept basic: a quality stainless steel slide-out-and-swing-around number, which sits flush against the passenger’s side. It has a three-burner Smev stove and stainless steel sink with hot and cold mixer tap and bench “wings” folding out from either side. There’s a decent-sized pantry compartment to the right of the kitchen, plus two marine carpeted pantry shelves sitting above it, built into the side of the camper.
If there is one option that I would suggest is mandatory on the Exodus 9, it’s the addition of the fridge slide and (if needed) the 82L EvaKool to fit it. No, this doesn’t come standard, and to add it on, you must opt to extend the drawbar to allow space for it — a $3500 operation in total (including slide and fridge). Of course, if you already have a fridge you may be just as happy to travel with this in the car and plug it into one of the 12V outlets at the kitchen when set-up at camp. In designing this budget-conscious camper trailer, Complete Campsite has left this decision up to you.
Climbing into the cabin, you’ll see what I mean about this camper being perfect for the touring couple or anyone else for whom long set-up procedures are like pulling teeth. In literally a matter of seconds, you’ve got this camper to a usable position by simply popping the gas strut-assisted roof. As per the standard Exodus formula, only the rear of the roof pops up, revealing three big windows for ventilation, each of which have clears for cold or rainy weather. In addition, the body of the camper has three big, convex windows, which are glazed for sun protection and have both privacy screens and bug screens.
There are reading lamps on either side of the queen innerspring mattress, which is cleverly designed with a split at the bottom where it folds over itself to allow space for the dinette. It’s a cozy but functional arrangement, providing somewhere to eat dinner or play cards if the weather necessitates retreating indoors.
In addition to the aforementioned kitchen pantry shelves and drawer and front toolbox storage, the Exodus 9 has three drawers of internal storage, one large pole carrying compartment the width of the camper (situated in front of the kitchen) and an external storage compartment ideal for stowing a Porta Potti.
The wrap up
While I, quite honestly ,wanted to hitch the Exodus 9 up to my LandCruiser and disappear into the sunset, it’s fair to say there were quite a few non-standard goodies added to her — enough to up the price to $71,550 as tested. But that’s the beauty of this little camper: you can make it exactly what you and your hip pocket want it to be. A fully tricked-up yet easy to handle little camper for two? No worries. Or a basic but comfortable, extremely offroad-capable and affordable entry to the hybrid market? With the Exodus 9, the choice is yours.
Hits & Misses
- Little package, big attitude
- Absurdly easy set-up
- Very high build quality
I would’ve liked
- Fridge slide as standard
Check out the full feature in issue #89 June 2015 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine.