Double Island Point, south of the sublimely-named Rainbow Beach, is one of Queensland’s gems on the northern Sunshine Coast and a favourite haunt for anglers, divers, and campers alike. Therefore, we thought it was a fitting place to find out whether or not RhinoMax Scorpion has the right stuff to take on some of the more remote and beautiful spots Australia has to offer.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
Good looks are one thing but they don’t count for much if a sturdy chassis, drawbar and suspension are not part of the equation.
Typically, camper trailers ride on chassis rails that are smaller than the drawbar rails. That’s not the case with the Scorpion. The Scorpion’s 150x50mm hot-dipped galvanised drawbar construction is continuous with chassis rails of the same size.
Fibreglass composite body panelling around the walls and roof, together with resin flooring provided a modern body shell that houses a great array of features designed to make a camping holiday enjoyable.
First up, sitting under the wind-out Fiamma awning is a stainless kitchen that provides adequate bench space to scramble eggs and three burners on which to cook them, sizzle bacon and fry French toast. Simply put, the three-burner cooker with electronic ignition is sure to put a smile on the dial of any travelling gourmet with a hankering for a little culinary creativity. A stainless sink plumbed to hot and cold water, utility drawers, a slide-out custom fridge, and pull-out pantry complete the kitchen area. All up, this was a well thought out and easy to use kitchen.
The kitchen stove is plumbed to a gas bottle in the front storage box on the drawbar. That box is subdivided into three separate spaces including space for the plumbed gas cylinder, a spare gas cylinder or space for assorted bric-a-brac and a middle section for four jerry cans. The gas cylinder spaces are large enough to accommodate either 4.5L or 9L cylinders making it a versatile design.
Further around the camper, a large storage hatch provides useful access to twin 120Ah batteries, battery charger and a 600W inverter that two rooftop 150W solar panels support. A low voltage disconnect unit helps protect the batteries from discharging completely. All of this means there’s ample power for a weekend away at the beach to power the camper’s LED lights and to charge your laptop or other device in order to check the weather or tides.
Further around the outside, there’s access to porta-potti storage close to the external shower ensuite. On the rear, what appears as to be a decorative raised central wall panel is actually a flip-up shower roof with a drop-down privacy curtain for the external hot and cold shower. Just swing the hinged spare tyre cradle out of the way, lift the lid, drop the curtain and you’re ready to wash the sand off your bare bodkin – that’s handy.
When it comes to washing, in case the 110L water storage tank runs low on a longer bush camping stint, the review Scorpion can draw water from a creek through an on-board water pump. The creek water bypasses the water tank so as to avoid contaminating the stored water supply. If all of that still has you feeling a little parched, don’t worry. If the jerry cans in the holders are filled with fuel, the trailer has room for an additional optional 85L water tank.
Lift the roof and the inside of the camper has sufficient headspace for even a reasonably tall holidaymaker. Once on the inside, you discover large well-made drawers, convenient bench space, and a hatch providing internal access to the porta potti. Of course, the best feature is a comfortable camper-queen-sized innerspring bed. Lift the bed to the roof and you have well-upholstered dinette-style seating and under-bed storage, the top of which makes for a useful table. If that sort of casual tabletop space isn’t your style, don’t worry, a bracket connection provides an anchor point for a small table.
Although not large, the interior space is big enough as a bedroom or perhaps as a space in which to shelter when wet weather removes the opportunity for outdoor living.
THE WRAP UP
In the parade of hybrid campers available today, the RhinoMax Scorpion is an Australian-made offroad camper constructed largely from locally-sourced materials.
Although its Aussie-made credentials are worth celebrating, the Scorpion is a mid- to top-end camper that even the most adventurous camping couple would find difficult to ignore as a serious long-term touring contender, by virtue of the quality of its construction, the elegance of its design and the fine array of equipment.
Hits & Misses
- Plenty of interior headspace
- Three-burner exterior stove
- Convenient external shower
- Stylish modern look
- Diesel heater for cold weather might be worthwhile
- Would have liked external speakers from entertainment system
Check out the full feature in issue #104 July 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.