“Now that’s a nice looking trailer!” shouted one of the blokes enjoying his afternoon frothy. We were setting up the 2012 Johnno’s Evolution, and this was just the first of its many admirers.
As soon as I arrived home with the Evolution, the kids were all over it. Before I could blink, four year old Lucas had the kitchen open and was crawling around inside the tray, while his sister demanded that Daddy put up the tent.
Packing the Johnno’s for the trip was a breeze. After having spent many holidays trying to cram everything into the Patrol the space afforded by the trailer was welcome.
The bed lifts on powerful gas struts, making it easy to get the storage boxes, sleeping bags, chairs and clothes neatly into the tub.
The front toolbox is cavernous and holds the annexe poles and the shower tent, with plenty of room left over for light and bulky items (keeping weight off the ball).
The lid also houses the spare tyre, so it lifts with the assistance of gas struts.
This is an incredibly easy soft floor to set up, as you only need to adjust two internal poles and bung in a few pegs for the main tent.
The annexe folds over the roof for overnighters, and it fits snugly so it won’t flap around.
But setting it up for a longer stay is also easy, simply flip it over and add the poles, working your way out from the centre. It is supplied with spreader bars and I am sure you could get away without using them all.
The trailer is kitted out with a hi-lift jack and
Maxtrax, and not just because they look good. Having, frustratingly, left my levellers at home I was scratching my head wondering what I could use as a replacement, until my wife asked, “What about those orange things on the front?” Brilliant! I had one wheel on the Maxtrax and the trailer level in a jiffy.
CREATING A HOME
Inside, the innerspring queen mattress was very comfortable and large midge proof insect screens allowed plenty of airflow and light.
The nine foot tent is not huge but it is more than adequate if you use your noggin. We put up the kids stretchers as bunks, halving the bed space. We also splashed out on a folding cupboard so we weren’t tripping over bags; there was plenty of space left over.
The two LED light strips attached with velcro, one inside the tent and the other in the kitchen. Power is supplied by 150Ah worth of AGM batteries, which sit snugly in a side cupboard along with the inverter. If this was my camper I would definitely be adding a battery monitor.
The 12V outlets are located inside the fridge slide, which opens from the side of the trailer into the tent area. Unfortunately, this slide also lets mozzies inside, so it would be nice to have one where this wasn’t an issue.
Finally, for a bit of a ‘glamping’ touch, inside the camper there was a small flatscreen TV, sitting in a custom-made holder that allows it to be placed on various velcro strips around the camper. All we needed then was a hard drive full of movies to keep the kids entertained when it was wet.
The thought that obviously went into the kitchen on this 2012 Evolution is impressive. A Sovereign barbecue and Bromic wok burner replaced the usual gas stove, something I was initially wary of but which I soon warmed up to (pun intended).
The Sovereign allows you to make everything from a roast to pancakes. One night we even cooked a spag bog on it, simply lifting off the hotplate and using the frying pan on the grill, while heating the water on the wok burner. A surprisingly versatile set up!
Johnno’s Camper Trailers Dreamtime Off-road 2012 • $8900 • ACT • 0438 754 045 Complete Campsite Uluru 13ft 2010 • $23,470 • QLD • 07 3171 1880 Camel Campers Nomad Elite 2014 • $11,000 • VIC • 03 8373 7275
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