The camping trailer as opposed to the camper trailer is becoming an interesting space. What’s the difference you may ask? A camper trailer focuses on the tent side of things whereas a camping trailer focuses on the trailer first, then the kit that goes with it. Subtle difference? Yes. But what we get out of this is trailers designed to go places they didn’t used to come back from.
Kelly Campers has been in the hybrid camper business for a few years now, building a couple of robust and innovative campers in the Glenrowan and the Greta. Dave, who I don’t believe is related to Ned, prides himself on putting out a quality product. He comes from a metal fabrication background so you know his products are going to last the distance.
The latest trailer to come out of the Kelly stable is the XC-1. In its base state, it is simple and understated… except perhaps for the bright orange of Build #1. Dave will supply it in any colour you like, so don’t worry if orange clashes with your eyes. The simplicity of the XC-1 is one of its great assets, as you can start with the base trailer and put your own stamp of individuality on it.
Understated simplicity with a lot of toughness built in
Out of the box, it has some very nice features. The custom-made chassis sits on Vehicle Components Cruisemaster XT independent suspension. This means that you have a top class suspension tested in the harshest of conditions and supported Australia-wide. Because Kelly makes the chassis and fits the suspension, the company can build your unit with the same wheel track as your tow vehicle, and use the same wheel stud pattern and offset as well. Very handy when it comes to the number of spare tyres you need.
A built-in 80L water tank sits directly over the axles, providing enough water for a family for a few days. The stainless steel kitchen is built in-house by the Kelly gang and is especially good. A water pump/tap and removable sink are built in. A stove is not included; however a very neat fold-down stove platform is provided which is perfectly suited for a Weber Baby Q or a standard gas stove. A stove can be optioned and built into the kitchen. The fridge slide at 980mm by 525mm is huge, and able to carry the fridge of your choice.
The ability to use gear that you already own is a big plus as many of us have plenty of camping gear cluttering the garage or shed. The XC-1 is built to accommodate all the different brands and styles of camping we enjoy. It’s a trailer that has been designed to suit most people without locking them into a particular way of using it.
A kitchen to cook in and enjoy
Back to the kitchen. It’s built in a ‘U’ shape with fridge on one side, 270L pantry with drop-down bench in the middle and sink and stove area on the other side. To set the kitchen up takes around 30 seconds. Sweet! Dinner and drinks sooner.
The first option that I would add to the XC-1 is the Supa-peg 270-degree awning that also sets up quickly with a square edge over the kitchen area. Walls can be added to protect from the worst of the weather, and popular tents such as the OzTent range will suit the awning fabulously. The OzTent RV 5/4 will zip straight on.
With the kitchen on the passenger side, the driver’s side of the trailer provides a huge amount of storage that can be accessed through two large lockable doors. The internal storage will accommodate items up to 2,400mm long. This means you can easily store your OzTent in the trailer. Under part of the floor is an extra space for storage of items you may not use often, or those you want to keep out of sight. A perfect place for Easter eggs or Christmas presents if you have the kids with you.
The 105Ah deep-cycle AGM battery is located out of the way, under the storage area. The controls for lights and water pump, 12V charge points, Redarc charger and water level indicator are all found on the wall of the pantry – so they are easily accessed at all times. Lights are built into the storage areas so you are never in the dark when looking for something. There are three charging inputs via Anderson plugs that charge the battery via the Redarc BCDC.
Big on load carrying
On the top of the trailer is a checkerplate aluminium roof with heavy-duty channel roof racks that have the capacity to carry a 330kg spread load. With the suspension able to handle it, and the roof being able to carry that sort of load, there’s a lot of different toys… I mean sporting equipment… that you could locate there.
When carrying this kind of load, it’s ideal to keep the weight as low as possible. This is where the Kelly XC-1 comes into its own as other camping trailers may have higher profiles that could see them become top heavy. The XC-1 is relatively low and a little longer, so it will likely be more stable (depending on the load you are carrying).
There are multiple sleeping options that will suit the XC-1. Carry your own tents or swags, or add an Alu-Cab expedition tent which bolts straight on (as was fitted to the review trailer). If a canvas-style rooftop tent is more your thing, there are lots of different options out there to choose from.
All in all, the Kelly Campers XC-1 is a trailer that will be more than comfortable in the harshest of environments while suiting a multitude of different types of campers. Each XC-1 is built from the ground up in Bundaberg – so yours can be customised to suit your individual needs.
Customise in the factory or later
Aussie-built quality will cost more
Orange – but that can be changed