We take an 80-grand trailer off-road behind an 8-grand tow-rig, and find out if we’ve all been doing this camper trailer thing wrong all this time…


Camper trailers are getting pretty ritzy these days. It’s not uncommon for them to feature dinettes, hot water and a bunch of electric gadgetry such as televisions and sound systems. Inclusions you’d expect to find in a plush caravan rather than a canvas tent that can be towed. It points to the fact that more and more of us are looking to get a little more comfort in our off-road travels and leave their dome-tent-in-the-pouring-rain days behind (not that there’s anything wrong with soggy tents).


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So where does one go when one is looking to step things up in the luxury department from a camper trailer… but not quite willing to commit to the whole ‘wearing cardigans and appreciating chardonnay’ thing that comes with being a caravan owner?

Enter the hybrid camper. Part caravan, part camper trailer and arguably the best of both worlds. Plenty of comfort, heaps of inclusions, easy to tow and probably the quickest set-up time this side of a roll-out swag.

Now, most hybrids are on the upper end of the expense scale – but let’s stop and think about this a minute. While having a top-shelf tow-rig is always going to be desirable for most of us, is the expense really justified? After a lengthy scientific debate (a few of us had an argument around a campfire) the team here at Unsealed 4X4 reckon your money may be better put into your trailer.


Now bear with me here – while plenty of hours are spent behind the wheel on a trip, when you’ve arrived at your destination there’s nothing better than jumping into your top-shelf trailer and being able to prepare a gourmet meal, sit inside out of the rain, or simply hit the sack for a well-earned rest with a minimum of fuss. The tow-rig helps with none of that.

Sure, capability and reliability are still important; but there are plenty of vehicles on the second-hand market that will pull pretty much anything along behind them (hey! I heard that Land Rover reliability joke; keep it down!) and drive pretty much anything you point them at. So why not spend the difference between a new tow rig and a middling trailer and upgrade to a nicer camper – and spend your time in the bush living like royalty?


I had a chance to test this theory recently when I got my hands on a Complete Campsite Exodus 11 hybrid. And after a 1,500km trip camping (borderline glamping) out of it, I can say that the system works. Now I could bang on about the 8-grand tow Discovery, but chances are that’s not why you started reading this yarn… so I’ll leave it alone, aside from mentioning that even with the trailer weighing in at 1,600kg and with the aerodynamics of a house, the Exodus 11 actually towed incredibly well behind the asthmatic 2.5L turbo-diesel.

Now to what you want to know about: Can the ‘ten times more expensive than the tow-rig’ trailer be justified?

Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt.



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