ULTIMATE NEXUS

The per­fect part­ner for the pri­mal princess?

Camper Trailer Australia - - CONTENTS - Words JOHN WIL­LIS PICS ALISON KUITER

Just last month our ed­i­tors asked me to choose a se­lec­tion of my favourite campers. It isn’t an easy task with such an enor­mous field of con­tenders and a huge vari­ance of types, styles, prices and pur­pose. There were quite a few that jumped im­me­di­ately to mind and one of them was the Ultimate XPLOR that left a last­ing im­pres­sion from the Camper Trailer of the Year com­pe­ti­tion go­ing back to 2013 held in Robe, SA. It seems I wasn’t alone in my thoughts! I was struck by the over­all pre­sen­ta­tion, and par­tic­u­larly im­pressed by the ap­peal­ing prac­ti­cal­ity, the build qual­ity, the low tow­ing weight, the easy setup and the beau­ti­fully pre­sented in­ter­nal fit-out that sim­ply felt like home. In ad­di­tion, Ultimate Campers are pro­duced by proud Aus­tralian man­u­fac­tur­ers with a strong ground­ing on the beau­ti­ful south coast of NSW – Moruya to be ex­act. Like me, own­ers Michael and Wendy Hack­ett have a strong his­tory in boat­build­ing, a trade that cov­ers a mul­ti­tude of man­u­fac­tur­ing ma­te­ri­als in­clud­ing steel, al­loys, fi­bre­glass, can­vas and acrylics but also in­cor­po­rates elec­tron­ics, pump­ing equip­ment and trailers. Like campers, boats have to per­form in ex­cep­tion­ally hard im­pact en­vi­ron­ments

TAK­ING IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL

The Nexus takes the suc­cess­ful Ultimate con­cept to its high­est level of achieve­ment. This is the burger with the lot that has evolved since the brand’s in­cep­tion way back in 1994. The Nexus is the pin­na­cle of well over 20 years’ de­vel­op­ment with the mas­sive list of func­tional equip­ment as­sem­bled for this pre­mium pack­age. Ultimate X-Series campers are avail­able from around $45K; how­ever, the list of ad­di­tions to the Nexus brings the pack­age up con­sid­er­ably higher. Out­wardly, the Ultimate Nexus is a great look­ing camper. It ac­tu­ally does have sim­i­lar­i­ties to an up­side down boat with its fi­bre­glass body, flat tran­som and cur­va­ceous, pointed bow with the huge 1340L nose cone that al­lows an in­cred­i­ble amount of stor­age. The nose cone also houses the Truma gas heater and hot wa­ter sys­tem Redarc Man­ager30 30A bat­tery man­age­ment sys­tem and 1500W pure sine wave in­verter. It pro­vides read­ily ac­ces­si­ble stor­age that is to­tally se­cure from the harsh el­e­ments, but also an aero­dy­namic de­sign to re­duce run­ning costs with fuel ef­fi­ciency. The cur­va­ture will also re­duce the pos­si­bil­ity of re­bound stones slam­ming into the back win­dow of your tow­ing ve­hi­cle on rocky tracks.

FROM THE GROUND UP

The fact that Ultimate has used the same weld­ing jig for their chas­sis for more than 20 years is tes­ta­ment to their strength and longevity. It runs fully in­de­pen­dent trail­ing arm sus­pen­sion with shock ab­sorbed coil springs, 10in elec­tric brakes, large di­am­e­ter Ex­ile 20in black mag wheels and pre­mium Cooper ST Maxx 285/55/20 tyres. There’s a tonne of ground clear­ance and a ter­rific de­par­ture an­gle for when the go­ing gets tough with the ever re­li­able DO35 of­froad cou­pling out front. The plumb­ing and wiring are well pro­tected and chan­nelled and the 110L poly wa­ter tank sits se­curely in the chas­sis frame­work well out of harm’s way. I sim­ply love the main fi­bre­glass tub and its con­struc­tion. The en­tire body is moulded in one piece improving the strength, flexibility and in­su­la­tion while at the same time pro­vid­ing a beau­ti­ful po­lar white gel­coat outer fin­ish. The roof is also fi­bre­glass with multi bias rov­ings, core mat and an alu­minium frame all as­sist­ing the strength and al­low­ing up to 100kg of load, this one with Rhino Racks.

IT’S SET-UP TIME!

Those who know me will tes­tify to my ha­tred of fid­dly, time-wast­ing as­sem­blies. Hence, you will un­der­stand my love for the Ultimate Nexus. It took us longer to choose our ideal camp­site than it did to fully as­sem­ble the camper! Sim­ply fold down two out­rig­ger legs fol­lowed by the rear­moulded stairs, un­clip the roof locks and open the gas strut-as­sisted roof sec­tion and you’re

“THE EN­TIRE BODY IS MOULDED IN ONE PIECE IMPROVING STRENGTH, THE AND FLEXIBILITY IN­SU­LA­TION”

al­most done. The strong Wax Con­vert­ers tent al­most falls into place and only needs mi­nor ad­just­ment and the edges clipped down for se­cu­rity. The stair­well folds off the rear lead­ing to one of the most invit­ing in­ter­nal fit-outs in the in­dus­try. The tub sec­tion has an L-sec­tioned gal­ley with a fit-out qual­ity ri­valling any up­mar­ket apart­ment. There’s a tonne of ver­sa­tile bench space fin­ished in at­trac­tive and hard wear­ing car­bon fi­bre lam­i­nate. The thing that isn’t im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous is the strength of the plas­tic-welded Celuka cab­i­netry that forms part of the in­te­gral frame also adding to the over­all core strength. Neatly cen­tred in the bench­top is a Smev twoburner gas cook­top and sink with hot/cold mixer, both with fold­ing glass lids. Un­der­neath is plenty of drawer, uten­sil and pantry space plus a 110L Waeco com­pres­sor fridge/freezer, Fu­sion stereo sys­tem, wa­ter level in­di­ca­tor, BMS read­outs and fused switch gear plus 12 and 240V out­lets all in sen­si­ble and easy-to-read po­si­tions. In­ci­den­tally,

I re­ally liked the cop­per dash panel un­der the bench that takes the trim to the next level of pre­sen­ta­tion. One of the com­part­ments is large enough should you wish to in­clude an in­ter­nal porta-potti op­tion and Ultimate has in­tro­duced a full-width gal­ley shelf for all your knick-knacks.

THE ULTIMATE RE­LAX

The Nexus pro­vides a leather U-shaped lounge that runs full width across the trailer for us lounge lizards who just love to sit back and re­lax on a com­fort­able seat at the end of a hard day on the road. Ours was trimmed in soft bone leather with thick pad­ding for bony bums. There’s even a plug-in ta­ble for en­joy­ing brekkie, an evening meal or per­haps a game of cards on a rainy day. This is vi­tal for those of us who need to work on the road or even for down­load­ing the day’s pho­tog­ra­phy from won­der­ful des­ti­na­tions. How­ever, the real pièce de ré­sis­tance is the large king-size bed that comes com­plete with fit­ted sheets and an EMP bed un­der­lay. There’s a tonne of head room in the tent above with plenty of win­dows with in­ner and outer awnings, fine mesh fly­screens, in­di­vid­ual bed­side LED read­ing lamps and cen­tre bow light kit. It is a re­ally invit­ing bed­ding area for a cou­ple, and I

guess a small child could sleep on the lounge. How­ever, Ultimate of­fers an op­tional spare room kit that can be set up un­der the lid for more ac­com­mo­da­tion if needed. The can­vas is all 8-ounce su­perfine Aus­tralian Wax Con­vert­ers that has been fully man­u­fac­tured in-house to pre­mium stan­dards. There’s a trop­i­cal (sa­fari) roof up top for greater in­su­la­tion and the Nexus comes with two ful­l­length front and rear easy awnings as stan­dard. There is also a larger 2.5m op­tion for longer stays. Ex­ter­nally, the Nexus fea­tures a num­ber of lock­able com­part­ments hous­ing twin 3.8kg gas bot­tles and the twin Revo­lu­tion Lithium 100Ah bat­ter­ies.

ON AND OFF-ROAD?

The Nexus is in­deed the ‘ultimate’ trav­el­ling com­pan­ion. Its Tare weight is only 850kg, so fully loaded with wa­ter tanks, gas bot­tles, jerry cans filled and a good load of gear and sup­plies you may be fully equipped on the road at around 1200kg. The ATM is 1300kg al­low­ing plenty of pay­load should you wish to add kayaks, ca­noes or tin­nies on the roof racks, plus your moun­tain bikes on the rear mount. It is a very tough con­struc­tion that sim­ply won’t let you down when the go­ing gets tough and its low ball weight and com­pact over­all dimensions guar­an­tee easy tow­ing for both long hauls and rugged of­froad adventures. The high over­all ground clear­ance and wicked 32° de­par­ture an­gle com­bine with 4250x2000mm dimensions for nim­ble per­for­mance in tight coun­try. The Rap­tor coat­ing and fi­bre­glass sur­faces will sur­vive plenty of sand and stone blast­ing and keep the aes­thet­ics look­ing great for the long term. We had a heap of fun climb­ing some quite steep coastal tracks and then eas­ing down high

an­gle de­clines with to­tal con­trol thanks to the Nexus’ low weight, high ground clear­ance and ef­fi­cient brake com­bi­na­tion. Then the fun be­gan with us play­ing in the mud like school kids in gum­boots – and yep, I got soaked try­ing to catch the Ultimate photo. I was very pleased to find the Nexus had a pull out ex­ter­nal shower. There’s not a huge foot­print for un­der­cover liv­ing, but it does sup­ply a very high level of com­fort, ac­ces­sories and qual­ity fea­tures. I’d be happy to carry a por­ta­ble bar­be­cue for cooking out­side, yet Ultimate can fit per­son­alised ex­ter­nal cooking fa­cil­i­ties as op­tions.

FI­NAL THOUGHTS

The Nexus has a ter­rific blend of com­po­nen­try to please se­ri­ous long term trav­ellers with more than a hint of style and pur­pose. All things con­sid­ered, the Nexus still re­mains very high in my list of favourite camper trailers. I loved every minute of my ex­pe­ri­ence with the Ultimate Nexus. I hope yours is for a much longer pe­riod than my play­time ex­cur­sion.

Thank heav­ens for the out­door shower, eh Bear?

Cooper ST Maxx tyres de­liver of­froad

Cus­tomers get a full tour of the Ultimate fac­tory

Ultimate has used the same weld­ing jig for its chas­sis for more than 20 years, prov­ing its strength and longevity

The gas strut-as­sisted roof sec­tion opens up eas­ily once you un­clip the roof locks

The Wax Con­vert­ers tent al­most falls into place by it­self

It will take you longer to find a camp­site than set-up the Nexus

There’s no short­age of stor­age space

Fold down the out­rig­ger legs for sta­bil­ity

The kitchen is packed with fea­tures in­clud­ing a SMEV twoburner cook­top, Waeco fridge and oo­dles of bench space, and the cop­per dash panel adds a touch of style

The camper’s won­der­ful in­ter­nal lay­out is one of the best in the in­dus­try

Need more stor­age? The Nexus de­liv­ers

The Nexus is de­signed to be eye candy for buy­ers in the top end of the mar­ket

High ground clear­ance means rough tracks will be a breeze

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