Review: Campomatic Ranger XTC camper trailer
The Campomatic Ranger XTC camper trailer has a classic design that retains its appeal.
I'VE ALWAYS LIKED the Campomatic design, having seen it demonstrated years before. My recent road test strengthened my affection, even if a few finishing touches let it down. The Campomatic's been around for over 40 years, evolving from a pull-along tent to the clever, affordable Ranger XTC we see today.
The Ranger XTC is built on a solid 120x60x5mm chassis, with drawbar members continuing to the trailer's rear. The framework reduces flex keeping dust seals in tact, and provides enough support to store 350kg of gear on top of the camper, which is a lot of firewood.
The long, Treg-equipped drawbar makes this trailer a delight to reverse. The suspension is independent trailing arm of Campomatic's own design, with coils and HD gas shocks. This and the drawbar give excellent clearance, departure angle, and ramp over angle of 16º. Braking comes via 10in electric drums with mechanical over-ride, new Sunraysia-style (or your choice of other) rims and all-terrain tyres. Colorbond steel sides, fibreglass top and back comprise the body's exterior, and the
interior is moulded fibreglass.
Storage is, for a hard floor camper, generous with the Campomatic. Lockers over the wheel arches are handy albeit difficult to access, there's a small locker at the foot of the bed, and additional space underneath. The bedbase supports a 1960x1470x100mm innerspring mattress, and lifts revealing a 500x125x1200mm carpet-lined drawer and 302mm wide storage bay. Both areas offer limited access via the rear fold-down door when the camper's closed. Although well thought out, I thought the finish could have been better, with tapes that didn't go all the way into corners, an average paint finish around mouldings, and daggy bits of glue hanging off under the floor.
Externally, Campomatic's aluminium 'Wedge Box' storage rides on the drawbar and doubles as a stone guard. The Wedge Box's offside has a large door concealing two smaller storage areas and the upright Waeco CR65 fridge. I prefer top loading fridges, which are better at retaining cool air when you open the door. A single 9kg gas cylinder swings out behind the outboard storage, underneath another small store area.
The nearside conceal a slide-out with removeable crossmember suitable for a boat motor, and behind that is a large storage area. Campomatic suggests carrying your generator here, but I'm reluctant to store fuel here given its proximity to the fridge.
The lockable pole box built into the rear crossmember holds six poles for the awning, but if you need to carry more you'll have to make additional arrangements.
The Campomatic tent is dead easy to erect, simply unlatch and then swing away the rear wheel carrier, and undo a few more latches, and you're ready to fold over the camper with gas struts. The camper floor drops to about 300mm above ground level on a frame. Push the floor down and latch it to the frame and adjust the two rear legs.
The canvas is all 12oz Wax Converters, with four windows and two doors in the typical hard floor pattern. The windows have inner and outer covers, and all windows and doors have midge-proof screens. The tent has a huge 6.54m awning that extends past the nose of the drawbar and angles out to its widest at 2.4m over the kitchen. Options include a tropical roof, canvas and mesh walls and draught skirt to enclose the awning.
The awning can remain attached once the canvas has seasoned, though we had trouble with the zip on the awning. Campomatic uses a fine toothed zip on this edge to get more teeth per centimetre in the curved areas, per industry advice.
Campomatic said this wasn't an area of complaint and that it could've been a faulty zip, which we accept.
The kitchen, like so much else (top frame, stabilisers, fuel rack, gas cylinder holder and on and on) is stainless steel. It pulls out of the offside and is braced on two automatically dropping legs. It holds a four-burner plus grill Spinflo stove plus sink and electric tap. The kitchen has ample storage, with two large tubs, cutlery drawer, pull-out teatowel rail and two cupboards along the bottom. There is also a removable, fold-up three-sided windbreak for the stove and a large fold-out work area.
Water (also to the external hand pump) comes from a 120L stainless steel tank with water level gauge at the very rear of the trailer, sealed into a steel box and surrounded by insulating foam. There's no hot water system.
The trailer comes with two 80Ah AGM batteries, stored behind side panels under the bed. One requires the removal of several screws to access, the other the removal of the pull-out drawer. There is a 6 to 30A (user adjustable) smart charger, plus voltmeter. Externally there's 15A input and outlet plugs, plus two RCD-protected 240V outlets internally and 12V outlets internally and on both sides externally. The batteries charge via 8mm cable and 50A Anderson plug from your car, via an optional generator or optional solar panel through an input in the Wedge Box. There is also a system main switch to shut down everything if necessary.
Aside from the fridge, the batteries feed small LED lights over the kitchen and in the camper sides at the foot of the bed, and two goose-neck halogen reading lights at the head of the bed.
Our review trailer had a boat loader, which is removable.
The Campomatic Ranger XTC is a classic trailer with the base purchase price of $31,850 proving good value for an offroad hard floor.
The long, one-piece underbody and good suspension make it a comfortable tow, and the internal and external storage will appeal to the organised traveller. Internally, the Campomatic could've had a better finish, but it's still a worthy proposition.
Source: Camper Trailer Australia #33