After a good few years of research and looking through caravans and campers, we thought a caravan was the solution. But we quickly figured out that a caravan would be a burden to us, and what we needed was a lightweight camper trailer instead. This week we ordered our new camper.
Stockman Rover Ultra
Stockman make a lightweight pod trailer called the Rover, which comes in three versions. We opted for the top-spec version with a few customizations. I actually have their tub slides in my ute, and it was when I was picking those up from their factory that I got to talking with the guy there about our research into caravans and campers. He informed me that they were just about to release this product, which we ended up buying.
We looked heavily at TVAN, Patriot X3, and Ultimate Campers Nexus. They were our three contenders based on what my wife wanted. However, TVAN was too heavy at its base weight for my liking, and it also lacked a lot of features for its price. The Patriot X3 was good, but I felt it was a bit steep on pricing, especially upgrades where you could clearly see a “Patriot tax” to fund their lavish Youtube lifestyle and Patriot Games. No thanks. And then there was Ultimate. This is what we were going to buy, but my wife was still a bit hesitant based on its price. So I mentioned the Rover back to her, but it didn’t have the inside seating. However, she accepted that the difference in pricing of $40,000 just for the inside seating and burner was not worth the money.
“Finally,” I thought to myself, “she has seen the light.”
Here is what I like the most about our decision:
- Cabin sleeping: enclosed, insulated cabin, not under canvas like the Patriot and Ultimate. The cabin can be fully darkened, and as such, it is sound deadened.
- Standard queen mattress: a full 150mm standard thickness queen. Nothing custom, all standard and interchangeable. No compromises for sleep quality.
- 400AH lithium: a super easy and affordable upgrade. Nobody else offered this in their camper. Power is everything for more time offroad.
- Reverse cycle: reverse cycle aircon (hot/cold) that runs from the inverter. No limitations on being comfortable whether North or South.
- Dome tent: an attachment for the awning, enclosed area with a built-in floor for table and chairs.
- Super lightweight: 1100kg, with 500kg for packing your stuff. It’s larger than the X3 and Nexus, and just lighter than each.
- Price: bang for buck, we’re getting much better value from Stockman than Patriot or Ultimate. The top-spec Rover is $70k, Ultimate $120k, and X3 about $85k.
This is an offroad camper with Cruise Master suspension, made for hitting the tracks and getting out and about. Additionally, it is optioned with an external water pull for the shower system, so we can pull up near a fresh water supply and have long hot showers. The estimated build time is 8 months, though that will likely be less. 8 months is the maximum, pretty much the worst-case scenario timeframe.
So Christmas holidays we will be taking the camper away.