Camper Trailer of the Year 2016 Finalist Pioneer Onyx

By: Michael Borg, Photography by: Matt Fehlberg and Nathan Jacobs

With its practical design and clever features, you’ll feel right at home in the Pioneer Onyx.

The Onyx perfectly straddles the line between comfort and seat up ease with its automated hardfloor design. Plus, it’s jam-packed with features and options, and has the legendary engineering and reputation of Pioneer Campers in its corner backing it the whole way. It’s been specifically built for those who want to tackle those big, iconic tracks, which are up there with the most demanding in the world. So let’s take a closer look at the Pioneer Onyx...


The Onyx is built to go bush, and stay there. Battery wise it’s powered by two 110Ah AGM deep-cycle batteries, which are charged via a Redarc battery management system. It basically monitors and manages charge from the engine, as well as from the solar panel. The Onyx is also 240V compatible, and has 240V, 12V and USB outlets conveniently mounted at the bed heads.

Storage is plentiful, especially for a hardfloor. You’ll find about 560L of good usable storage under the bed, plus a drop-in storage box adds another 130L. That’s not to mention the well designed front storage box, which has around 500L of storage and is home to two 9kg gas cylinders, three jerry cans and a 50L firewood box – like I said, not bad for a hardfloor camper!

Pioneer Campers actually runs a camper trailer hire business as well, and the campers repeatedly tackle some of the toughest touring tracks in Australia. Now this really does help with their camper trailer development, and you can bet your bottom dollar they’ve learnt a few things in terms of bush-proofing a camper trailer! In fact, in a lot of ways, you could say the Onyx is over-engineered with things like a solid 51mm stub axle, which is actually built by Pioneer themselves, and the use of 3t inner bearings and 2t outer bearings – not bad for a camper that only weighs 1050kg Tare! The full length hot-dip galvanised chassis measures in at 150x50x3mm, and you’ll find all the standard offroad extras are there in fine form as well. An engineered rear recovery point is included, along with fully submersible LED tail lights. The screen mesh for the windows is also one of the finest meshes we tested, so no midges are getting through when you’re up north!



  • Electric opening, with several manual back-up methods
  • Extremely well built and finished off
  • Provision for sleep apnoea machine


  • Simple electric opening, but still has several internal poles to adjust and set up
  • The awning needs to be detached before packing up, and is quite high to reach



  • Tare 1050kg
  • ATM 2000kg
  • Suspension Grafta independent trailing arm suspension 2000kg rated with long life Kevlar dry bushes
  • Brakes 12in Al-Ko electric drum
  • Coupling Hitchmaster DO35
  • Chassis Heavy-duty hot-dipped galvanised chassis
  • Drawbar 150x50x3mm
  • Body Combination of 1.2mm Zincanneal and 2mm marine grade powder coated aluminium
  • Wheel/tyre 265/75 R16 GT Adventuro AT tyres riding on six stud black Sunraysia steel rims
  • Style Rear-fold hardfloor


  • Box size 3400x1740mm
  • Length (hitch to tail lights) 4950mm
  • Tent 5300x1700mm


  • Gas cylinders 2x9kg
  • Water 120L stainless steel
  • Cooktop Swing away two-burner stove
  • Kitchen Stainless steel with Smev sink
  • Battery 2x110Ah AGM deep-cycle

Price as shown

  • $46,205

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Check out the full feature in issue #98 March 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.