Black Series Campers & Caravans Phoenix: Review
Stylish and tough, the Black Series Phoenix is a dream to tow.
Straight up, the Phoenix looks classy. It’s styled well, and the enamel-backed paint finishes things off nicely. The front storage box looks sleek and modern, and you’ll find the overall design is appealing to the eye. As sleek as it looks, it’s also got a staunch presence with plenty of ground clearance giving you just a hint of its offroad intentions. Now, to be totally honest, I don’t usually go for the sleek, modern-looking camper trailers, I’m more of a rough and tough sort of fella. However, it’s no secret that a camper with good looks can only lead to one thing down the track — great resale value!
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
With tough touring in mind, GIC has built the Phoenix super strong. So strong, in fact, it’s offering a five-year structural warranty on all of its campers. The one-peice drawbar and chassis reduces stress points in the undercarriage and the Zincanneal fully-enclosed, fully-welded, bonded and sealed construction offers exceptional overall strength. The independent suspension utilises a quad shock absorber design and if you’re the type to check the quality out for yourself, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the chunky, sure-footed nature of the system.
One of the things I like about rear-fold hardfloor campers in general is the overall simplicity of them. There’s usually bugger-all manual labour involved in the setup and my personal favourite pro is they’re super simple to set up for a quick overnighter.
The Phoenix fits the bill on both counts and setting up for overnight is as simple as hooking the winch up, unclipping the over-centre tie down latches and manually lifting the top lid up until the struts grab and take the majority of the weight. Then it’s a matter of adjusting the internal poles to pull the tent taut and, hey presto, you’re done! The increased ride height of the camper means if you have to do things manually, it can get a bit awkward but, apart from that, it’s relatively straightforward.
For the larger families out there, you’ll find there’s plenty of room with a collective 18m² of living space. The Watagans were pretty messy on our visit but, when the conditions allow, you can peg out or roll up the side canvas awning to reveal a third entry that opens out from the timber hardfloor. The front awning is basically your typical hook and zip style, and the zip mounts are in a fairly easy position to access compared to most other campers.
HITS & MISSES
- Easy and light to tow
- Stylish looks and quality build
- Quick setup
I would have liked…
- No hot water system
- More articulation
BLACK SERIES CAMPERS & CARAVANS PHOENIX SPECS
- Tare 1180kg
- ATM 1900kg
- Suspension Independent suspension with dual shock absorbers per independent arm and coil springs
- Brakes 12in heavy duty electric brakes with mechanical handbrake
- Coupling Black Series poly-block coupling
- Chassis Hot-dipped galvanised RHS 100x50x4mm made in one continuous piece to rear
- Drawbar Hot-dipped galvanised RHS 100x50x4mm
- Body Zincanneal fully-enclosed, fully welded, bonded and sealed for maximum strength
- Wheel/tyre 16in Black Series alloy wheels (six-stud LandCruiser Pattern) with mud terrain tyres
- Style Rear-fold hardfloor
- Box size 1800x2200mm
- Length (hitch to tail lights) 5000mm
- Tent size 4300x1700mm plus 5900x2400mm annexe
- Gas cylinders 2x9kg galvanised holders
- Water 100L food-grade stainless tank with 3mm stainless protective cover and lockable filler plus 2x20L galvanised jerry can holders
- Cooktop Smev three-burner
- Kitchen Large sink, light, electric pump, tap and large fold-out bench top
- Battery 100Ah deep-cycle battery with 12V sockets and equipped with a 50A Anderson plug
Price as Shown
Check out the full review in issue #91 August 2015 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.