Camp like roy­alty with the Moun­tain Trail EDX camper.

Some­times it’s bet­ter to ditch the swag and camp in lux­ury. En­ter the Moun­tain Trail EDX Tour­ing Edi­tion.

4 x 4 Australia - - Contents - WORDS DAVID COOK PHO­TOS MATT FEHLBERG AND NATHAN JA­COBS

THE Moun­tain Trail EDX Tour­ing Edi­tion is a premium camper. If you want qual­ity, re­li­a­bil­ity and a camper that is su­per-easy to use – and you have the bud­get to match – then this is it.

Prior to its launch in 2013, the EDX’S engi­neer­ing fees ex­ceeded $200,000, with Moun­tain Trail in­vest­ing a fur­ther $200,000 on CNC machin­ery just to build it. Let’s take a closer look.

GEARED FOR CON­VE­NIENCE

THE whole camper seems to have been de­signed for con­ve­nience. Set­ting up a rear­fold camper is sup­posed to be easy, but the EDX is the best we’ve seen. We watched as Moun­tain Trail’s Heidi Ed­wards set up the camper on her own, in­clud­ing the kitchen, fridge/pantry and the awning, in three min­utes and 40 sec­onds in steadily fall­ing rain. A to­tal set-up, with the en-suite, toi­let and mesh floor un­der the awning, takes less than 10 min­utes for one per­son.

But there’s more to this camper than func­tional con­ve­nience. The EDX is built sim­i­lar to a standard au­to­mo­bile with re­place­able pan­els and parts, an at­trac­tive fea­ture for an off-road camper. In all there are more than 300 sep­a­rate laser­cut com­po­nents. Ev­ery­thing is built to last, with metal com­po­nents made from alu­minium, stain­less steel, Zin­can­neal or gal­vanised steel.

The chas­sis is 150x50x3mm with a 125x75x3mm draw­bar, all hot-dip gal­vanised. The in­de­pen­dent trail­ing arm sus­pen­sion is Moun­tain Trail’s own de­sign, with re­place­able stub axles, ad­justable toe-in and -out cam­ber and 12in elec­tric brakes. Cus­tom King Springs and Mon­roe shocks were also de­signed for the EDX.

The 16x8in six-stud wheels are equipped with 265/75 R16 all-ter­rain tyres and the spare is tucked un­der the chas­sis, with a Toy­ota Land Cruiser 100 Se­ries spare wheel car­rier to raise and lower it.

The camper has a stylish look, with its raked body­work along the bot­tom giv­ing a 30-de­gree de­par­ture an­gle. That’s more than what’s of­fered on a Land Cruiser 200 Se­ries, so if your car can

The Moun­tain Trail EDX Tour­ing Edi­tion is one classy camper – there is no other way to put it

make the tran­si­tion, then you’d ex­pect the camper to as well. Moun­tain Trail’s Erok pro­tec­tion pack­age stiff­ens the rear body edge and min­imises dam­age to the body­work by shar­ing im­posed load with the ad­ja­cent chas­sis.

The body is made from 1.2mm Zin­can­neal steel bonded with Sikaflex and se­cured by con­cealed riv­ets for a stylish au­to­mo­tive outer fin­ish. The camper we tested was fin­ished in the standard white two-pack, but Moun­tain Trail will colour­match to your tow ve­hi­cle.

LUX­URY AND CON­VE­NIENCE

THE most no­table fea­ture of the set-up and pack-up process is the auto open­ing and clos­ing func­tion. Press a but­ton and the camper steadily opens, pulling out the can­vas as it moves, which takes about 45 sec­onds. You can stop it at any point in pack-up mode to tuck in can­vas, but there’s gen­er­ally time to do what’s needed with­out in­ter­rupt­ing the process.

The elec­tric ac­tu­a­tors in­side the camper near the foot of the bed are syn­chro­nised by a fac­tory-pro­grammed par­al­lel con­troller. Four­teen pa­ram­e­ters con­trol and mon­i­tor soft-start and close, am­per­age over­load lim­its, pack-up and set-up speed and so on. You can dis­able the sys­tem and close the camper man­u­ally in a sim­i­lar fash­ion to a typ­i­cal rear-fold hard­floor.

The ac­tu­a­tors are pre-pro­grammed for 1000kg of push/pull on ei­ther side and are rated for 10,000 strokes be­fore re­quir­ing a ser­vice.

The tent bows are square for strength and fixed at their us­able length, ex­cept for one at the back of the tent, which swings up and is braced by two up­right poles. This ar­range­ment ex­tends the tent fur­ther than would oth­er­wise be pos­si­ble and al­lows for a straight rear wall and a door that’s close to the bed, leav­ing plenty of room for bunks or a ta­ble across the back.

The flip-over floor is made from a Ger­man hon­ey­comb com­pos­ite ma­te­rial with fi­bre­glass lam­i­nates on ei­ther side. It weighs just 20kg and is fin­ished with a qual­ity marine-grade car­pet.

There is an in-built step for the queen­size bed across the back, mak­ing en­try and exit a dream. The in­ner­spring mat­tress has a full cover to pro­tect against damp can­vas if the weather has been un­pleas­ant. There are read­ing lights and bed­head stor­age com­part­ments with dual USB ports to charge a phone or tablet overnight.

Un­der the bed is a deep sturdy drawer with in­ter­nal baf­fles that is ac­ces­si­ble from out­side when the camper is closed. At the foot of the bed are the in­ter­nal dou­ble-pole stereo, 240V out­lets, 12V aux­il­iary socket, dual USB out­lets and the up­graded 1000W pure sine wave in­verter. The cabin heater duct is next to the other side of the drawer.

Even the stitch-welded sec­tions are laser-cut and keyed to­gether to en­sure the EDX is built with the same struc­tural in­tegrity through­out.

COOK­ING CLASS

THE stain­less-steel kitchen is well de­signed – it slides out and the top flips over to pro­vide a huge food prepa­ra­tion area. The whole struc­ture is self­sup­port­ing and au­to­mat­i­cally locks into place. The sink is large and the auto ig­ni­tion three-burner cook­top will han­dle all your cook­ing needs. There are two large draw­ers and an en­closed stor­age com­part­ment un­der the sink. Above the kitchen is a large LED touch-light built into the bulk­head. The end han­dle dou­bles as a towel rail.

There are two 240V pow­erpoints, a 12V aux­il­iary socket and two USB ports at the kitchen. Above the fridge is the full elec­tri­cal heart of the trailer, with a Redarc bat­tery mon­i­tor panel, six cir­cuit switches and a water level gauge.

Water is car­ried in the 130L stain­lesssteel tank with in­ter­nal baf­fles un­der­neath. The camper in­cludes a three­way water valve for ac­cess to ex­ter­nal water sources and con­nec­tion of mains water if it is avail­able.

Im­me­di­ately ad­ja­cent are two roomy pantry draw­ers on soft-close slides – one 300mm deep to cater for wine bot­tles or sim­i­lar, the other shal­lower for spices and condi­ments. Next to that is a fridge slide with an 80L Waeco fridge/freezer firmly locked into place by the cus­tom-built fridge slide, which doesn’t re­quire tiedown straps.

All up, it’s a very prac­ti­cal and welle­quipped kitchen, which, be­ing sit­u­ated at the front, leaves a large area to­wards the rear for other un­der­cover ac­tiv­i­ties.

All stor­age bays are fit­ted with fric­tion hinges that rest at the an­gle they’re opened to, pre­vent­ing the locker doors from swing­ing shut or open­ing – just an­other fea­ture that im­proves the camper’s func­tion­al­ity as a whole.

All doors have a dou­ble re­turn folded edge with the re­turn in­ner lip ra­dius in the cor­ners to match the pinch­weld seals. This method of con­struc­tion en­sures the camper re­mains dust-free, as it proved to be on this test.

Above the pantry and fridge is a stain­less-steel Rhino-rack chan­nel bar sys­tem that al­lows you to fit Rhino-rack ac­ces­sories for car­ry­ing bikes, boats or what­ever else you might want to trans­port. The braced top of the camper is also strong enough to carry trail­bikes, mak­ing it a ver­sa­tile choice for those who en­joy get­ting ac­tive in the out­doors.

The tour­ing awning is a gen­er­ous size for a fast-erect style.

King Springs and Mon­roe shocks are made to Moun­tain Trail’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions. The de­par­ture an­gle is greater than what you’d find on a Land Cruiser 200 Se­ries 4WD.

The laser-cut pan­els are re­place­able if things get hairy off-road. The kitchen sits for­ward, max­imis­ing space un­der the awning.

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