CTA expects its test crew to rate various attributes of a camper with scores out of 10. I’m usually reluctant to give a top score, as it suggests I couldn’t imagine it getting any better. Well, I have to say that, despite my instincts, I had no choice but to award the Mountain Trail EDX Touring Edition 10 out 10 in several categories.
Before we go any further, you must understand that the Mountain Trail EDX Touring Edition is a premium camper. If you want quality, reliability and a camper that is super easy to use, and you have the budget to match, then this is it.
I own a rear-fold hardfloor camper so I am familiar with the design parameters we’re dealing with here, yet I couldn’t help but be impressed with the way Mountain Trail repackaged or subtly modified various aspects of the popular format for the better. Prior to its launch in 2013, the EDX’s engineering fees exceeded $200,000 with Mountain Trail investing a further $200,000 on CNC machinery just to build it.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
Probably the most notable feature of the setup and pack up processes is the auto opening and closing function. Press a button and the camper steadily opens, pulling out the canvas as it moves; a process which takes about 45 seconds. You can stop it at any point in pack up mode to tuck in canvas but there’s generally time to do what’s needed without interrupting the process.
The electric actuators inside the camper near the foot of the bed are synchronised by a factory-programmed parallel controller. Fourteen parameters control and monitor soft start and close, amperage overload limits, pack up and setup speed and so on. You can disable the system and close the camper manually in a similar fashion to a typical rearfold hardfloor.
The actuators are pre-programmed for 1000kg of push/pull on either side and are rated for 10,000 strokes before requiring a service.
The tent bows are square for strength and fixed at their usable length except for one at the back of the tent, which swings up and is braced by two upright poles. This arrangement extends the tent further than it would otherwise be possible and allows for a straight rear wall and a door that’s close to the bed, leaving plenty of room for bunks or a table across the back.
The flip-over floor is made from a German honeycomb composite material with fibreglass laminates on either side. It weighs just 20kg and is finished with a quality marine grade carpet.
There is an in-built step for the queen-size bed across the back, making entry and exit a dream. The innerspring mattress has a full cover to protect against damp canvas if the weather has been unpleasant. There are reading lights and bedhead storage compartments with dual USB ports to charge a phone or iPad overnight.
Under the bed is a deep sturdy drawer with internal baffles that is accessible from outside when the camper is closed. At the foot of the bed are the internal double pole stereo, 240V outlets, 12V auxiliary socket, dual USB outlets and the upgraded 1000W pure sine wave inverter. The cabin heater duct is next to the other side of the drawer.
Even the stitch welded sections are laser cut and keyed together to ensure the EDX is built with the same structural integrity throughout.
All storage bays are fitted with friction hinges that rest at the angle they’re opened to, preventing the locker doors from swinging shut or opening – just another feature that improves the camper’s functionality as a whole.
All doors have a double return folded edge with the return inner lip radius in the corners to match the pinchweld seals. This method of construction ensures the camper remains dust free as it proved to be on this test.
Above the pantry and fridge is a stainless steel Rhino-Rack channel bar system that allows you to fit Rhino-Rack accessories for carrying bikes, boats or whatever else you might want to transport. The braced top of the camper is also strong enough to carry trail bikes making it a versatile choice for those who enjoy getting active in the outdoors.
The stainless steel kitchen is well designed, sliding out and the top flipping over to provide a huge food preparation area. The whole structure is self-supporting, and automatically locks into place. The sink is large and the auto ignition three-burner cooktop will handle all your cooking needs. There are two large drawers and an enclosed storage compartment under the sink. Above the kitchen is a large LED touchlight built into the bulkhead. The end handle doubles as a towel rail.
There are two 240V powerpoints, a 12V auxiliary socket and two USB ports at the kitchen, and above the fridge is the full electrical heart of the trailer, with the Redarc battery monitor panel, the six circuit switches and the water level gauge.
Water is carried in the 130L stainless steel tank with internal baffles underneath. The camper includes a three-way water valve for access to external water sources and connection of mains water if it is available.
Immediately adjacent are two roomy pantry drawers on soft-close slides, one 300mm deep to cater for wine bottles and similar and one shallower for spices and condiments. Next to that is a fridge slide with an 80L Waeco fridge/freezer that is firmly locked into place by the custom-built fridge slide that doesn’t require tie-down straps.
All up, it’s a very practical and well equipped kitchen which, being situated right at the front, leaves a large area towards the rear for other undercover activities.
The Mountain Trail EDX Touring Edition is one classy camper. There is no other way to put it. We could look at it and pick maybe a handful of minor areas where we thought that we might have preferred a different approach, but they are so trivial that they don’t warrant a mention. Rest assured, if you have the money, the Mountain Trail EDX Touring Edition is a camper that will leave you well and truly satisfied.
HITS & MISSES
- Quality engineering and finish
- All-Australian build
- Quick setup
- Auto open and close function
- Superb kitchen
- Can’t think of a thing
Check out the full feature in issue #98 March 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine.