If you’re thinking about upgrading to a tougher sort of camper trailer that’s capable of tackling the ‘Big Lap’, you’ll want something that’s reliable and durable enough to get the job done without question. After taking a closer look at the Rubicon from Tambo Campers, I’m happy to say that this really is one such camper. It’s a bit old-school in design, but it just oozes that no-bull, rugged charm that’s becoming a bit hard to find these days. If you ask me, it slightly resembles a Sherman tank! But don’t let its hardy exterior fool you; it has evolved into a very comfortable and well thought out bit of gear, making it ideal for those larger, family-based expeditions. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Tambo Rubicon.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
The tent on the Rubicon is really impressive. It’s made from 12.1oz Australian core-spun premium canvas, but straight away you can tell it’s all about quality and durability. The zippers are solid and sturdy, the flyscreens are midge-proof, and the way it’s all constructed, it just feels like something you’ll be passing on to your kids. The actual design of the tent and frame has been well thought-out as well. I’m particularly impressed with the amount of headroom you’ve got over the full-size queen bed, which is all thanks to the vertical pole design for the end wall over the bed. There’s also a clear PVC window on the end wall, and a generous PVC travel cover for the tent.
Ventilation is maximised by six separate windows and two doors, and you’ll find the tent’s size is a good compromise between ample living space without making it too big and bulky for the average couple to handle.
The Rubicon really packs a punch in terms of standard features. For example, it comes with a 40L Ironman 4x4 fridge on a solid 1200mm fridge slide. It sits next to the powder-coated slide-out kitchen along with the stainless steel bench extension, which really completes the entire kitchen package. Layout-wise, the kitchen works well. Although the fridge could get a little tricky to access when there are too many chefs in the kitchen. That brings us to the cooking side of things, which is left up to the Italian Lido junior two-burner stove, complete with a griller. Gas is supplied by way of two 4.5kg gas cylinders located safe and sound in their own storage locker, which is a more than adequate supply for the ‘Big Lap’, if you ask me.
Electrically speaking, the Rubicon sports an AGM deep-cycle battery complete with its own slide-out tray to make access for maintenance a cinch. It’s charged by a DC-DC charging unit and pumps power to two 12V outlets and three LED map lights.
The Rubicon doesn’t come with an electric water pump as standard, which I thought was a little odd. But water is easily accessed from the 85L poly water tank by a simple hand pump, which means the chance of an electric failure hindering access to your water is gone. The pump does require you to hook up the hose when you’re setting up, but it’s a simple, two-second job.
Rugged, reliable and enduring are the words that spring to mind to sum up the Tambo Rubicon. In a nutshell, it’s a good old-fashioned camper that’s been built to stand the test of time. Resale for these campers is right up there, which is testament to the longevity the brand produces, and if you like to carry plenty of gear on that big adventure, the Rubicon has plenty of payload capacity for that.
So, if you’re after a go-anywhere
camper that’ll probably outlast you, have a closer look at the Rubicon from Tambo. It’s sure to impress!
HITS & MISSES
- High quality tent
- Very solid construction
- Heaps of clearance
- Jockey wheel mount hangs low
- Water tank drain valve is vulnerable
Check out the full feature in issue #97 February 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.