Camper trailers are an incredibly competitive market in Australia; we obviously love the capability of touring our vast, rugged continent without leaving all of home’s creature comforts behind. Not all are made equally, however. Some are plain rubbish, others are very, very good.
This camper is an Ultimate XPLOR, specced up with a few fancy options like alloy wheels. It’s Ultimate’s main camper trailer, now joined in the stable by the über-lux Nautlius. The Xplor is their bread and butter camper though, which has brought a distinctly different option to prospective camper trailer owners.
The Ultimate camper trailer is a unique setup, made by people with a different skillset and frame of mind in comparison to other camper trailers. Their history is as boatwrights, and rather than build a camper trailer according to the usual rulebook, they have applied their own.
There are many advantages to their idea of construction. Fibreglass is lightweight and strong, and their skills with the material more than apparent. Although the camper sits fairly high, the way it tows indicates that the centre of gravity is quite low. Above the steel chassis, it’s all fibreglass and canvas, keeping the 840kg tare weight low and central, translating to good dynamics on- and off-road.
Unloaded, the towball weight is a measly 45kg. You’ve got a bit of scope here to load the cavernous nose area with your goods and chattels, and doing so won’t adversely affect the way the camper tows.
Setting up the camper is, once again, a different experience, but quite easy and manageable for one. Latches along the passenger side of the camper are released, and the ladder at the back is also deployed. The lid flips over to the driver’s side, the canvas tent forming up by itself. There are four spreader bars that need to be installed in the roof to make structure, which takes only a few minutes. Assemble the cushions into a (very comfortable) bed, and you’re all done.
Because the side flips over to create the sleeping space, there is space to sit around at a table, cook inside and escape the weather if needs be. For things to be kept at an even keel, you will have to drop down two stabiliser legs on the starboard side. This adds a bit of time to the otherwise rapid setup, and a tow vehicle with a lower ride height can cause complications and will need to be unhitched to get things dead level.
If you want the full-fat setup, there is an extra awning that zips onto the main part of the tent, and does need some guy rope-wrangling to erect. It takes time, but makes for plenty of space. Interestingly, the part under the flipped section of the camper works well as an extra shelter, too. It would be great for the kids to roll out swags under.
Underneath, the suspension of the Ultimate is serious business. Koni shock absorbers dampen Lovells Coils springs, on a big, trailing A-arm. And the camper does tow very nicely, even with a reasonable load.
Storage on the Ultimate is handy and aplenty. Aside from the nosecone being able to imbibe plenty of your bulky wares, there are few extra places for stowage, both inside and outside. The kitchen has quality drawers and cupboards, which provide plenty of room for a week or two worth of tucker.
Two 110 AH AGM batteries give a terrific bank of power in the camper, which is rechargeable via a Redarc 1225 LV system, and peppers the camper with half-a-dozen 12V outlets. There’s a fancy sound system as well, along with a hot water system, gas heater and electric water.
Inside, the kitchen is as good as one out of a small caravan. You’ve got a two-burner stove, and a 110-litre Waeco upright fridge. You have the option of alfresco catering as well, with a stainless steel bench that slots onto the side of the camper. BYO barbecue for this one, but it works wonderfully.
I like that the latches fold down to a flat level, meaning they can be used as temporary bench space; one example of how well thought-out this camper is. It’s good quality, strong and comfortable – three big ticks that you want from a camper trailer. You will pay a premium for this camper, and we’re talking fifty large. But, such is life: the best products of their breed will more often than not empty your pocket more than other options, and maybe faster than you may like. But, that’s the cost.
Independent trailing arms, coil springs and shock absorbers.
110-litre underbody tank.
1x or 2x 3.8-litre LPG bottles.
Waeco 110 Litre Upright.
Price AS TESTED