Moun­tain High

With more style and lux­ury than a Hil­ton Ho­tel, has the 2015 Moun­tain Trail EDX got what it takes to im­press Mr Fussy?

Motorhome & Caravan Trader - - 2015 Mountain Trail Campers Edx Hard Floor - Clock­wise from top left: Words Michael Borg Pics Tony Rab­bitte

For many of us camper trailer own­ers, camp­ing isn’t just about see­ing Aus­tralia, it’s about feel­ing it. If you’re like me, a full-bod­ied car­a­van or ho­tel room just doesn’t cut it. It’s the lit­tle things, like the sound of birds chirp­ing and the sun’s rays warm­ing the can­vas in the morn­ing, that in­spire me to stick with the good old-fash­ioned can­vas style of camper. The prob­lem is, rough­ing it old-school style doesn’t al­ways guar­an­tee a plea­sur­able ex­pe­ri­ence. That’s where the team at Moun­tain Trail Campers comes in. With over half-a-mil­lion dol­lars in­vested in re­search and de­vel­op­ment be­fore re­leas­ing the 2015 EDX to the pub­lic, plus more fea­tures than the Ti­tanic it­self, this camper is pur­posely aimed to im­press Mr Fussy!

To put the EDX hard­floor camper to the test, I went for a sneaky run down to Black­smiths Beach on the New South Wales cen­tral coast and, yep, you guessed it, I even called it work.

How good is that?

AT FIRST GLANCE

In truth, I’m not re­ally a fan of big fancy camp­ing set­ups. I’m more a rough but tough sort of fella. So, when I first laid eyes on the EDX and im­me­di­ately liked it, I couldn’t help but think I was get­ting a bit soft. Its smart, so­phis­ti­cated style could eas­ily fool you into think­ing it’s noth­ing more than a tarhog­ging city dweller when, in re­al­ity, noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth.

One fea­ture that gives its of­froad in­ten­tions away is the op­tional, sleek EROK rock slid­ers. I’d usu­ally say a stylish-look­ing slider is only for show ponies but, in this case, these things mean busi­ness! Maybe I am get­ting a bit soft, eh?

From the RHS tent frame to the top-notch fin­ish, this camper just oozes qual­ity. The su­pe­rior fin­ish can be put down to the fact that all the pan­els are pro­fes­sion­ally laser cut, which of­fers con­sis­tent pre­ci­sion, day in and day out. The man­u­fac­tur­ing method is sim­i­lar to that of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle, with

SHE’S ELEC­TRIC

Imagine be­ing able to watch your camper ba­si­cally set it­self up and pack down at the flick of a switch. Well, that’s ex­actly what the 2015 EDX does. It uses an ad­vanced, yet ro­bust, elec­tric ac­tu­a­tor sys­tem that’s had count­less hours of R&D to en­sure the re­sult is finely tuned and ab­so­lutely ef­fort­less. The re­sults are im­pres­sive, to say the least. You can lit­er­ally crawl into bed for a quick overnight stay within min­utes.

I’m al­ways pretty scep­ti­cal when it comes to re­ly­ing on elec­tron­ics out in the bush; there’s just more things to go wrong, in my opin­ion. How­ever, it’s easy to see that this de­sign has been wellengi­neered and thought out. The sys­tem can run off its own twin 105Ah bat­ter­ies, can be plugged di­rectly into your ve­hi­cle’s bat­tery setup or, if all else fails, be oper­ated man­u­ally. So there’s very lit­tle chance of an elec­tri­cal fail­ure leav­ing you high and dry. I’d be ly­ing if I said I didn’t se­cretly ad­mire how easy this set up is. I mean, it’s al­most as quick as rolling out the swag, but with bucket loads more com­fort!

OF­FROAD ABIL­ITY

The 2015 EDX is def­i­nitely built for the ad­ven­tur­ous at heart. The man­u­fac­turer has tested this camper in Vic­to­ria’s High Coun­try and Cape York, Qld. It’s got all the usual bits and bobs you’d ex­pect of a full of­froad camper: Hitch­mas­ter DO35 of­froad hitch, 12in elec­tric of­froad brakes, and built-in re­cov­ery points, to name just a few.

But the strength of the EDX is owed to its heavy duty, hot-dipped gal­vanised chas­sis and a very strong draw­bar, mean­ing the plat­form is as ro­bust as they come. Its curves are pur­posely de­signed to keep any vul­ner­a­ble com­po­nents out of harm’s way and of­fers re­spectable ground clear­ance in the process. Plus, it’s pretty well stream­lined with

noth­ing to get snagged on at the rear. Apart from a few lock­ing tabs and the pow­erpoint on the side of the camper, there’s not much to get snagged any­where, but you’re cut­ting it pretty damn fine if that be­comes a prob­lem.

The in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion was cus­tomde­signed by the en­gi­neers at Moun­tain Trail Campers and, let me tell you, it works an ab­so­lute treat. As we crested dunes and dropped into ruts, it was as if the camper was on rails. The only down­fall, es­pe­cially if you’re tow­ing on su­per soft sand like us silly bug­gers, is the Tare weight of 1300kg. But, at the end of the day, a bit of ex­tra weight is the trade-off for be­ing dead-set jam­packed with fea­tures. Plus, it’s got a re­spectable ball weight of 130kg so the camper is well bal­anced over­all.

PRAC­TI­CAL THINK­ING

You can tell the mas­ter­minds be­hind Moun­tain Trail Campers are camp­ing en­thu­si­asts. How do I know? Well, I could write an en­tire mag­a­zine on how prac­ti­cal it is to ac­tu­ally use. It’s the lit­tle things, like be­ing able to turn around and grab some­thing out of the fridge while you’re cook­ing, or hav­ing full ac­cess to the back of your 4WD and the front stor­age boxes while the camper is still hooked up. Or my per­sonal favourite, the abil­ity to swap out a stub axle in about 10 min­utes on the side of the road, thanks to Moun­tain Trail Campers’ in­no­va­tive sus­pen­sion setup.

And when it comes to stor­age, there’s loads of it! They’ve utilised ev­ery bit of space avail­able in­clud­ing a mas­sive stor­age drawer un­der the bed, a well thought out stor­age box on the draw­bar, and a su­per prac­ti­cal and ef­fi­cient kitchen stor­age and pantry setup.

FIVE-STAR FEA­TURES

By now you’ve prob­a­bly re­alised that the guys at Moun­tain Trail Campers don’t skimp on lux­ury. The camper is pow­ered by twin 105Ah deep­cy­cle bat­ter­ies and an ad­vanced Redarc bat­tery man­age­ment sys­tem that al­lows you to re­ally mon­i­tor what’s go­ing on. This sys­tem can power the whole setup for a min­i­mum of five days. Plus, it’s also got AC, DC and so­lar charg­ing abil­ity as stan­dard, and a third bat­tery up­grade and so­lar pan­els are also avail­able ex­tras.

Lit­tle things like LED lights over the cloth­ing draw­ers, two touch dim­mer lights, USB and 12V sock­ets and a 600W pure sine wave in­verter make this camper a real treat to camp in. There’s plenty of room for an ex­tra bed on the 2.4x1.8m hard­floor. Plus, if you want to get fancy, there’s even the op­tion of adding an en­suite as well as a We­basto diesel hot wa­ter ser­vice with shower and ducted heat­ing. Who needs a ho­tel?

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