Campers with long, tedious or strenuous set ups leave me cold and frustrated. I simply won’t do it, especially at the end of a long day on the road. I love my job travelling with all types of camper trailers, but when the bull dust hits the track I’m a pretty simple man. And while I love a bit of hard offroading, I’d mostly rather set up a base camp and tackle the really rough stuff free of any trailer. My ideal camper must be strong and uncomplicated. It must be capable of travelling long distances, often on corrugations and potholes; sometimes mud, river crossings and wash-outs or steep mountain country. I don’t like towing heavy weights into the bush, nor the sand and mud, and neither does my old Disco. Yet I need plenty of storage for my toys and equipment and a few creature comforts on arrival. Perhaps most of all I demand value for money. Oh, yes I do prefer Australian manufacture where possible and sensible. King Arthur can recall his knights; the Rubicon QT has ended my Quest for the Holy Grail of campers!
It seems fitting, then, that one of my favorite campsites is just downstream from the beautiful little Rubicon River, this camper’s namesake, in the Victorian Central Highlands. At the time of writing it's winter in Victoria, a period when you truly can experience four seasons in one day. My riverside campsite was sub-freezing at night, with foggy mornings breaking out into bright sunny days and clouding over looking to rain just before my departure.
The Quest RV Rubicon QT simply fits me like a glove. It’s like slipping on your favourite pair of jeans. It’s the right size, the right weight and is exceptionally comfortable. I even find tying shoelaces tedious — hence I fell in love with the Rubicon RV, it’s just so easy! To be honest this complete package features more accessories than I could use in just a couple of days away, yet I know I would be thankful for their inclusion if on an extended soiree.
The Quest Rubicon fits the “hybrid” classification yet some may wish to call it a small offroad pop-top. It is available in both dual single or queen bed configurations, the latter being the variant on test. Victorian dealer Alun Thomas tells me that he’s currently selling about three single bed units to every one double — and they’re going like hotcakes.
From the ground up this rugged unit is meant for business. She’s built on a tough chassis that will handle the stresses of long range and offroad touring. The standard chassis is Duragal with coated welds, however I’d personally opt up to the greater protection of the hot-dipped galvanised. It rides on the popular AL-KO Enduro fully-independent trailing arm suspension with heavy-duty shock absorbers, Australian-made 4WD coil springs, maintenance-free bushes, 12in electric brakes with attractive alloy mags and 15in all-terrain tyres. Out front is the 3.5 tonne AL-KO offroad coupling on the point of the 150x50mm A-frame drawbar. Underneath there’s checker-plated armour covering almost the entire underside including the twin 60L water-tanks to the front and rear. This steed has very good ground clearance combined with defined relief angle at the rear making it almost go-anywhere vehicle.
Out in front is a handbrake, Anderson plug, twin 9kg gas bottles and a strong stone screen/deflector with mudflaps. The stone screen is on quick-release mounts, just in case you get into a really tight angle in the bush, saving potential damage through jack knifing. Behind the gas bottles is a large tool box with an open container on one side, and its counterpart housing the twin 100Ah AGM batteries. The batteries slide out of a side-mounted door for really easy, and very safe, containment and travel.
There’s a full-width boot that’s large enough for the awning handles, recovery gear and other items you may need quickly on the road. Quest has fitted a Dometic wind-out awning which was more than adequate for a weekend away, or some easily accessed shade on the road. There are further annex options available if required, however I would only consider these for extended travelling with a family. Even then I’d probably just take an Oz Tent or similar.
Externally, the driver’s side features a large lockable cavity suited for a porta-potti. It also houses a pull-out shower fed by the Truma hot-water service, however if you’re bashful or in a public place take along a separate shower tent. There’s a 240V inlet, twin lockable water tank fillers and a pressurized water inlet for when you’re in a more domestic campsite as well as a tinted side window with internal pull-down blinds and some nice graphics. Out back is a strong bumper with the spare wheel mounted in the middle plus LED lights. Underneath we find a wind-down jack in each corner. The recovery angle is very good but I would like to see an engineered towing-point, just in case.
The passenger side is where it all happens. The large doorway (I didn’t hit my head once) is forward of the axle and features a lockable fly-screen security door. There’s a fold-down table and a pull-out hooded gas barbeque all covered by the Dometic awning. It’s not a huge outdoor living area but certainly large enough for a couple. There’s outdoor lighting, radio antennae, pull-out step, another tinted window, 240V and 12V outlets and a boarding handle to make life easy. Up top is a wind-out digital TV aerial, wind-up hatch with exhaust fan and a 160W solar panel as standard to keep those batteries charged when separated from the towing vehicle.
The comfort starts with the main body of the camper. I must admit that I feel quite enclosed in many hybrids, but certainly not in this very cozy escape machine. The roof pops open very easily on its cantilevered lifts, and closes even easier! There’s a tonne of ventilation with zippered screens and fine fly-mesh on every wall, as well as an array of LED down-lights to make life easy. As you step into the van, the kitchen is on the front wall complete with overhead cabinets, a really nice big bench top with stone-look laminate, a three burner gas stove, sink with hot/cold mixer, a Dometic compressor fridge, BM Pro BMS battery and water management displays, twin 240V dual outlets, recessed fire extinguisher, some lovely cabinetry including four drawers, a cabinet for pots and pans, and even a pull-out pantry in the corner.
At the rear is a most comfortable queen-sized bed that invited well-cozy hibernation from the icy cold nights. It has a thick inner-spring mattress, padded bedhead, individual lighting options, more overhead cabinetry and even a TV/DVD player and radio/Bluetooth sound-system. I liked the small dinette that sits between the kitchen and bed with its cantilevered table for simple efficiency. I probably wouldn’t eat there as much as use it as a computer desk on the road, but it would fill a void in inclement weather and add to the preparation space; or maybe a cozy spot for a morning cuppa in view of the TV — if that’s your thing.
A small wardrobe cupboard with LG microwave oven overhead completes the fittings, but it’s often the little things that make a house a home, such as the flat shelving for nick-knacks and clothes, plus the wardrobe and a long drawer under the bed. Also mounted under the bed is the reverse cycle air conditioner/heater outlet for complete climate control of your portable cocoon. Now, this is living!
I must make mention of the floor space and layout of the Rubicon. While it isn’t large, with a 3.7x2m shell, it feels quite inviting and spacious inside. I had no problems with the length of the east-west bed, and the overhead height is enormous. I’m around 6ft, or 183cm, and I found it plenty spacious. This is a really comfortable camper with a tonne of facilities enhanced by terrific ergonomics with a lovely finish combined with premium fittings and accessories.
With a Tare weight of only 1300kg, the Quest RV Rubicon QT is on par with most forward and rear-fold campers, and it isn’t any taller than most loaded 4WDs. The overall length is 5.5m, which isn’t too bad even for tough offroad environments.
My old, rather sluggish four cylinder diesel Disco towed it easily, so imagine what a late model mid-range or large 4WD would do. In fact, I'd previously towed it home from the dealership behind my Ford six-cylinder utility and it did it easily.
THE WRAP UP
I thoroughly enjoyed a carefree trip through the winding mountains with just my dog for company and the Quest RV Rubicon QT trailing behind. When it came to traversing corrugated roads and steep mounds, the Rubicon felt right at home. I would be very happy to hook her up for a lap of the country with total peace of mind, and should the worst happen, I know it’s backed up by Australian manufacture and locally purchased componentry.
In my mind the RV Rubicon QT is the ideal way to travel on your personal Quest. I’m sure your Queen Guinevere would agree.
HITS AND MISSES
- Easy to use
- Size and weight
- Feels like home
- Standard equipment
- Hot water, heater and air conditioner
- Overall layout
- Get rid of the TV – I hate em!
- Rear recovery hitch
- Tare 1300kg
- ATM 1800kg
- Ball weight 120kg
- Suspension AL-KO Enduro independent trailing arm with coil springs and shock absorbers
- Brakes 12in electric
- Coupling AL KO 3500kg off-road
- Chassis Box section Duragal (optional galvanised)
- Drawbar 150x50mm
- Body Insulated aluminium composite
- Wheel/tyre 15in all-terrain
- Style 15in Aluminium mag
PRICE AS SHOWN