YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHERE MDC HAS TAKEN ITS ALL-NEW XT12-HR LUXURY OFFROADER.
Okay, so you’ve been around the camper trailer scene for a few years now.
Your back’s not quite what it used to be, which makes setting up a bit of a mission. Your trips are getting a bit lengthier and you find yourself longing for a little extra comfort. But you don’t want to tow a 22ft-long caravan around like all the other grey nomads out there. Sound like you? If it does, MDC just might have the solution. Introducing the all new XT12-HR! Now I know what you’re thinking; that’s not a camper trailer, that’s a caravan! And you know what? You’re right. But let’s be honest – as much as we all love roughing it, the whole reason we buy a camper trailer in the first place is because we still want to get well off the beaten track and maintain that little bit more comfort than tent camping offers, right? So let’s look at the MDC XT12-HR as the next evolutionary step. The idea of this all-new design is pretty simple; to provide unrivalled luxury in a nimble, goanywhere package. But how does it fair? Well, let’s take it for a test drive shall we?
When it comes to the testing a camper trailer, or caravan in this instance, not many manufacturers can brag they dragged them from one side of the country to the other just for the heck of it. But that’s exactly what the MDC crew were smack-bang in the middle of doing before I interrupted their chartered stop at Birdsville, Qld, and crashed the party. They were adventure-bound on a mammoth trip right across the top of the country, tackling pretty much our toughest touring routes and trying to break their new range of caravans. So when it comes to research and development, it’s pretty safe to say they’ve got things covered. In fact, we were lucky enough to watch LowRange co-presenter Kenno drag the XT12-HR up and down the largest dune in the desert – Big Red! Yep, that bloke’s as mad as a cut snake! But the caravan did the job no worries at all; then it tackled another few thousand tough kays over to Broome, WA – baptism by fire, eh?
As you can see, the van is quite high which, let’s be honest, is a little off-putting at first.
But it’s actually quite well behaved both on
and offroad, considering its height. Sure, off camber angles can give you the jitters, but after watching it tackle Big Red, I’m fairly certain it’ll do anything you ask of it!
It’s always refreshing to see a company that genuinely warrants their product for the toughest touring you can throw at it in Australia, and actually gets out there and does it themselves! If anything, this expedition of theirs has shown that these vans mean business, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
IS IT BUSH READY?
While offroad use is bred into the XT12-HRs DNA, it’s still not what you would call the toughest of the tough, and it’s not absolutely bulletproof. It is, however, a great little package for those who want to tackle those tough iconic destinations comfortably. The chassis and drawbar are constructed using 120x50x3mm hot-dip galvanised RHS, and the body is constructed of an aluminium frame with external composite panels too. So the backbone is both adequate and proven over time.
The whole van weighs about 1860kg Tare, which is getting up for a camper trailer but is quite low for a caravan. It’s certainly not heavy to the point where it hinders your touring ability too much. Independent trailer arm suspension takes care of the bumps in the road, and 12in electric offroad brakes plus a 3500kg-rated McHitch Uniglide coupling come as standard.
CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Borgy encountered the MDC crew mid-way through the XT12-HR’s long-haul test; MDC’s camper trailer kitchen pegs the XT12-HR as an outdoor entertainer; Twin dampers and chains per wheel tame the coil springs in undulating terrain; Bash plates protect the twin underslung tanks; The stoneguard with heavy duty canvas hugs the auxiliary fuel; LowRange showman Kenno takes on Big Red with the MDC XT12-HR on tow. Not recommended but impressive nonetheless.