Ace of base
The 2012 Trackabout Kakadu proves prestige needn’t cane the bank account.
Brisbane-based camper trailer manufacturer Trackabout has one serious range of genuine Aussie-made, quality offroad camper trailers. Based more around the lines of mid-to-high-range campers, Trackabouts generally carry a price tag from $25,000 upwards and are worth every cent.
Now that’s all fair and well if you can afford it but what if you wanted something that wouldn’t cane the bank account and was sturdy enough to upgrade over time?
Well Trackabout’s 2012 entry level baby, the Kakadu, offered just that. It boasted the exact same design and chassis components as the top-of-therange models, minus the wad of accessories you can add later down the line.
ON THE ROAD
We set off for Bribie Island at an ungodly hour to catch a golden sunrise on the beach. If only it was that easy, considering alarm clocks might fail and the beach just may be closed due to recent erosion. It’s funny how NPSR (Qld’s Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing) gladly takes your money for the permit, but conveniently forgets to inform you that the beaches are closed to driving. The lesson? Check first.
The barrier blocking the beach entrance left us a bit stumped and disappointed. What now? It then dawned on me as the coffee kicked in that we were meant to be testing a camper trailer and we happened to have one attached to the back of a brute of a Toyota Landcruiser.
Besides having the fuel consumption of a jumbo jet, you have to just love the Landcruiser’s pulling power. There was hardly a hint of a trailer behind us.
The 2012 trailer, fitted with seven-leaf Outback suspension and a heavy-duty 75x50x3mm galvanised chassis, was quiet on the road and tracked superbly in the sand due to the 31x10.5 R15 tyres and the axle, which was matched to the width of the ’Cruiser.
The AL-KO offroad electric brakes made a
huge difference compared to standard cables, responding smoothly with little impact on the vehicle.
At least part of the test was successful and from there on it was up to Plan B for the new location. Hang on a minute, what Plan B? An hour later, after fighting the rough Queensland terrain, our exploratory mission through the bush led us to a secret and tranquil estuary that could well have been up in the Top End.
It was then time to pull out the stopwatch for the set-up process. I just love being the photographer as well as the reviewer, as we are under strict instructions not to help – well, that’s my interpretation, anyway.
If I had to gauge the set-up procedure according to national campsite time you would probably be looking at about one beer (sculled) for the main tent, and another slow one (depending on your thirst) for the balance of kitchen, main annexe and awnings.
Realistically, it would take a seasonal holidaymaker about 30 minutes at a very casual pace to be fully set up, and if you’re a master you could easily halve that time. The way everything simply unfolds and virtually falls into place is painless, thanks to the main tent’s pre-mounted frame systems.
Although designed as Trackabout’s entry-level camper, the 2012 Kakadu still has enough of the necessities to keep you comfortable while on holiday.
To start, the pull-out kitchen is covered by a full awning, which is sturdy and a good size. Accessories include a twin-burner portable gas cooker, a small pull-out sink below with a hand pump connected to an 85L water tank, a bit of storage space and a decent food preparation area. It didn’t come with a fridge/freezer, which is as you’d expect in an entrylevel camper, but there’s plenty of internal space in the trailer for large eskis or portable fridge/freezers you may already have.
Moving indoors, the tent has a single door entrance with five large, fully meshed windows. The tent was handmade in-house from Australian Wax Converters Dynaproofed canvas – 12oz for the walls and 15oz for the roof.
The internal area is spacious and airy, allowing for added bunks, or alternatively you could use it as an indoor lounge or storage area.
The throne is accessed by a small ladder, with a comfortable queen size innerspring mattress on top for resting the bones.
As a base model, the 2012 Kakadu still comes with a sizeable toolbox up front with a stoneguard protector, dual PVC pole carriers, and a gas and jerry-can holder down the side plus a second water outlet.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Although relatively simple in design, the 2012 Trackabout Kakadu is a really nicely finished camper trailer, spacious enough for couples or a young family.
Trackabout Off Road Safari RV 2006 • $9000 • QLD • 0427 004 004 Trackabout Off Road Delux Tourer 2012 • $14,500 • QLD • 0413 747 968 Trackabout Off Road Safari RV 2010 • $16,500 • QLD • 0414 799 952