A bit of competition is healthy for business. And when it comes to the camper trailer scene, well, let’s just say there’s no shortage of it around these days. And manufacturers are working hard figuring out how they can offer more value for money in their products.
Next thing you know, one thing has led to another, and the all-new Cruizer Slide from MDC has landed! The Cruizer Slide is part of MDC’s new Expedition range of campers and, geez, talk about having the whole kit and caboodle. This thing offers more value for money than a free hunk of gold.
But to find out just how well Cruizer Slide would fare on the tracks and back at camp, I figured a few days exploring the Stone and Turon national parks in New South Wales was in order. So let’s check out how it went with some real world testing.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
I’m not usually one to let fancy paintwork fool me into loving a camper before my fine-tooth comb gets a workout, but the Cruizer Slide certainly looks pretty suave. It’s about as stylish as they come, but there’s just something about it that lets you know it’s not just for show. The automotive two-pack glossy paint finish ensures it’s easy on the eye, but with a truck load of features and gadgets hanging off it, you just know it means business, too.
Ground clearance isn’t an issue here, thanks to a more than sufficient ride height and everything being tucked up neatly out of harm’s way. The camper’s body, along with the front storage box, is a good 100mm taller than normal, which allows this model to come standard with an innerspring mattress, and a front storage box which can accommodate a massive 95L Waeco fridge.
The kitchen on the Cruizer Slide should be up for a most-improved award, I reckon. The whole unit is 30 per cent larger than on previous models, and offers a quoted 50 per cent more bench space. Plus, they’ve fitted soft-close drawers, toughened safety glass lids on the stove and sink, and there’s a whopping six storage compartments, including three condiment cabinets.
A three-burner stove permanently plumbed to the gas supply takes care of the meals and what I like about the whole setup is how it’s very user-friendly. Everything is accessible at all times and it’s all easy to use. The kitchen is further from the fridge than in some campers but I think I prefer it this way now. It means you can have everything completely open and not have to squeeze your way around the camper when you’re trying to cook up a feast for the family.
Geez, talk about a surprise package! From the outside, the Cruizer Slide looks like it’s just your average camper. But take a step inside and you’ll notice there’s heaps more internal space than you would expect. That’s all thanks to the special slide-out drawer, hence the name Cruizer Slide! It gives you an extra few feet of internal living space, which allows for a second full-size bed inside. What I really love about this camper is how the layout and overall style/design really complement each other. Being off the ground means you can set this bad boy up on rough surfaces.
Plus the internal layout is up there with some of the most comfortable in the market. You get a full queen-sized bed which you can enter from the base instead of the side, so you’re not jumping over your partner at 3.30am. Plus, there’s a full lounge and dining area with a metric tonne of storage available under the lounges. The tent’s high, giving it a really spacious feel inside, and there is a truck-load of ventilation, too.
For young families, a real benefit is being able to open up the camper’s side wall so the annexe becomes part of the camper’s tent.
The Cruizer Slide is everything you would expect from a two times Camper Trailer of the Year budget category award winner. These guys obviously know how build a great value camper trailer. For the adventurous family who wants plenty of comfort and a good all-round camper trailer, this thing ticks a heck of a lot of boxes.
It could be a bit heavy for smaller 4WD or gnarly bush tracks, but for 99 per cent of us, it’ll do the job with flying colours!
HITS & MISSES
- Two large internal beds
- Heaps of ground clearance
- Great value for money
- Heavy for offroad use, especially at the front
- Setup can be fiddly
- High centre of gravity makes camper feel unsteady on off-camber angles
Check out the full feature in issue #100 May 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.