Mars Campers Ranger: Review
The Ranger softfloor simply runs rings around many competitors and offers an incredible amount of space, accessories, standard inclusions and quality construction for a module in this price range.
Greetings Earthlings. Sit Uranus down and have a little read of our latest excursion to Mars – Mars Campers, that is. This intergalactic mission began in the Mars Ground Zero base at mission control in Springvale, Victoria, where we met to inspect an impressive range of campers.
Make no mistake, Mars Campers isn’t the size of NASA but it’s a quick growing and successful young company turning out a surprisingly high volume of value-packed trailers. Mars’ Celso and Lion were to be our expedition leaders and they took us on a tour of products, including the Ranger softfloor and its companion the Vanguard hardfloor, which were set to be our command modules for the next few days.
We loaded up my mate Major Tom and dog Pluto, and set off to our destination, the Vic/NSW border town of Echuca.
Design & construction
The aptly-named Mars Ranger softfloor spacecraft was coupled to my own Tardis, an old Land Rover Discovery, via an Australian Standards-stamped polyblock offroad coupling. The unit weighs in at a respectable 750kg, making it a breeze to tow even behind the little four cylinder diesel. The Ranger sat beautifully behind the well loaded Disco with the Doubleking AT tyres on Sunraysia-style white powder-coated steel mags spreading the load evenly. The 10in electric brakes pulled us up evenly, even after we got them soaking wet and mud-caked.
We struck some atmospheric resistance when we misjudged just how much rainfall had soaked the riverside tracks, giving the campers a taste of some rough and tumble. I must say the Ranger module took every obstacle in its stride with confidence and mobility, and its seals all seemed watertight. Whilst it’s not marketed as a top-of-the-range offroader, it has surprisingly good abilities.
Underneath the trailer we find a 50mm solid round axle with seven-leaf eye-to-eye springs and a pair of shock absorbers as ride dampeners. It’s all standard supply so parts are available all around the universe, and spares are easy to carry. Behind the axle is a 70L stainless steel water tank recessed well up above the axle clearance level.
Out back, the hinged rear door has more checkerplate aluminium panelling inside the steel frame. The door is lightweight, strong and attractive with decent over centre locks and large hinges. The waterproof LED lights are well protected by the structure and there is a pair of stabilisers for that soft lunar surface.
Hits & Misses
- Good tent size
- Practical stainless kitchen
- Strong construction
- Honest value for money
I would’ve liked…
- Change the lock on toolbox
Mars Campers Ranger Specs
- Tare 750kg
- ATM 1500kg
- Suspension Outback seven-leaf eye-to-eye with shock absorbers
- Brakes10in electric with hand brake
- Coupling Polyblock to AS 4177-2
- Chassis Fully welded, galvanised and painted box section
- Drawbar 100x50x3mm galvanised
- Body 2mm galvanised, hammertone painted, checkerplate stone protection, tread plates and tail gate section
- Wheel/tyre 235/75/R15 AT tyres; Sunraysia-style steel wheels
- Box size 1750x800x2200mm
- Length 3700mm (hitch to tail lights)
- Tent size 2300x5350mm plus 2400x5350mm annexe, 2400x5350mm awning (extra rooms with walls and floors included)
- Gas cylinders Not included
- Water 70L stainless steel
- Cooktop Fold-out style kitchen, sink, storage drawer and extra shelf
- Battery Not included
Check out the full review in issue #81 October 2014 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.