Ace of base

The 2012 Track­about Kakadu proves pres­tige needn’t cane the bank ac­count.

Motorhome & Caravan Trader - - 2012 Trackabout Kakadu - Words and pics Kevin Smith

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.

PLAN B?

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.

CAMP­ING COM­FORT­ABLE

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

Clock­wise from top left: Set up is sim­ple and took about 30 min­utes, al­though sea­soned campers could do it faster; sup­plies are se­cure yet handy; the can­vas artistry is ev­i­dent; one set of tracks with the ‘Cruiser – per­fect; the sturdy drop down jacks, pr

Top: The 2012 Kakadu would be suit­able for a cou­ple or small fam­ily. Right: A queen­size in­ner­spring mat­tress of­fers max­i­mum camp­ing com­fort.

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