Pioneer Mitchell: Review
Manufacturing quality meets offroad ability in the Mitchell Pioneer, a camper that is sure to gain many admirers.
Pioneer produces a great range of rear-folding hardfloors, but the offerings have now been extended with the aptly named ‘hard roof’ Mitchell, which almost fits into the hybrid class. The Mitchell has plenty going for it and rates as one of the most attractive campers I have tested to date.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
With a Tare weight of 1330kg, towball weight of 145kg and an ATM of 2000kg, you have plenty of loading capacity for water, food and accessories. Pioneer manufactures its own Grafta independent suspension and it tows a treat.
But you really must inspect under the trailer to fully appreciate its immense strength and easy-to-service design. All the plumbing and wiring are tucked securely out of harm’s way and the standard 120L stainless steel water tank (a further 60L is optional) is mounted high in the strong relief angle at the rear.
The Grafta suspension also features long-life Kevlar bushes, dual Ridepro twin tube gas shockers and fully-rated coil springs. I was also pleased to see reach straps to stop the suspension over extending in extreme situations. She rides on six-stud black Sunraysia rims with 17in GT Savero AT tyres with Al-Ko 12in electric brakes, and the spare wheel is underslung just in front of the trailing arm suspension but still allows excellent ground clearance.
The lucky intended owner of our review unit had opted for 2.2kW 240V reverse-cycle air-conditioner for an escape to creature comforts when the mercury rises. It even has an opening sunroof with screens. The exposed faces of the bed base have the water indicators, 240 and 12V plugs, thermostat and vents for the air-conditioner.
The internal composite floor area is surprisingly large at 1700x2000mm and features easily maintained woodgrain vinyl finish. The canvas and poles are high quality with doorway and windows either side and a full panel awning and zippered fly screen at the rear. It feels very inviting with a place for everything and no sharp or hard edges.
Out front, we find a very strong drawbar of 150x50x3mm galvanised steel. The Mitchell comes complete with a Hitchmaster DO35 offroad coupling, handbrake and a very solid wind down swing away and removable jockey wheel. The forward compartments are lined with black Rhino coating eliminating the need for a separate stoneguard. There’s a large storage locker with a mesh base that is entirely suited to carting wet items, but is also capable of securing three jerry cans. Behind this is an open compartment for rubbish or firewood and either side of the unit is a swing away face protecting dual 9kg gas cylinders. There’s even a manual pump tap for easy water access while on the road and a large set of Pioneer branded mudflaps to reduce stone impact under the trailer. Over the top is a huge 340L storage box that carries all of your tools and recovery equipment with a tonne of room to spare.
The driver’s side of the Mitchell has more storage including a pole rack and a 35L container on each side. There’s a small ventilation hatch which you’ll need to when using the Truma 14L gas hot water service that feeds both the kitchen and the pull out shower, also on the driver’s side.
The kitchen is on the kerb side where it should be. In front is a very solid slide for a large optional fridge with vent and both 12 and 240V outlets. This cavity runs right through the width of the trailer leaving plenty of added storage on the driver’s side. Behind this is the large sliding pantry and with the side access for the 70L sliding drawer. The comes a well designed pull out stainless steel kitchen complete with its own lighting, pressurised sink with hot and cold water, a large pull out drawer suitable for cups, plates and so on, and with a folding stainless steel top that allows added bench space. The digital screen and controls for the Redarc 1230, 30A Battery Management System are also mounted conveniently on this passenger side. There’s an added cutlery and utensils drawer and a swing away twin-burner stove. It is all most convenient and shows the compact advantages of CAD/CAD design.
THE WRAP UP
I have no qualms in placing the Pioneer Mitchell high on my personal list of desirable campers. The hard roof and floor provides the ease of assembly and security.
HITS AND MISSES
- Ease of use
- Great selection of features
- Raised, secure living area
- Top quality local manufacturing
- Relatively lightweight
- 1650mm track and 30° departure angle
- Only one battery as standard
PIONEER MITCHELL STATS
- Tare 1330kg
- ATM 2000kg
- Suspension Grafta independent with long life Kevlar bushes, dual Ridepro twin tube gas shockers and fully rated coil springs
- Brakes 12in Al-Ko electric drum
- Coupling Hitchmaster DO35
- Chassis Fully welded and galvanised
- Drawbar 150x50x3mm
- Body Powder-coated zincanneal, marine-grade aluminium, insulated fibreglass/aluminium walls and fibreglass pop-top roof and floor.
- Wheel/tyre Six-stud black Sunraysia rims with 17in GT Savero AT tyres
- Style Hard-roof rear-fold hardfloor
- Box size 2900x1950mm
- Length (hitch to tail lights) 5300mm
- Tent size 1600x1850mm
- Gas cylinders 2x9kg
- Water 120L
- Cooktop Two-burner Smev
- Kitchen Stainless steel with sink and bench extension and a 60L Engel fridge/freezer
- Battery 110Ah deep-cycle battery
Price as shown
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Check out the full feature in issue #101 June 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.