Drifta Dot 5 Army Green: Review

By: Michael Borg, Photography by: Matt Fehlberg


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Drifta Dot 5 Army Green Roof top touring with the dot Drifta Dot 5 Army Green Roof top touring with the dot

Tough, lightweight and durable, Drifta’s Dot 5 Army Green means business when it comes to camping.

When it comes to good, old-fashioned Australian-owned businesses in this industry, Drifta Camping & 4WD is up there with the best.

It all started when owner Luke Sutton built his first portable camp kitchen after using similar gear during his time working on a ranch over in America. And it didn’t take long for camping enthusiasts all over Australia to realise he was on to something good. So, after seeing the demand for high quality hand-made gear, Luke expanded his horizons to become a dominant name in the land of custom 4WD storage solutions, too.

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

After seeing how Luke does things at Drifta HQ, it’s no surprise the Dot 5 Army Green is a thing of beauty. It’s made tough from the ground up using nothing but the best Aussie-made materials and gear. I suppose that’s half the reason it’s got that professional yet hand-made feel to it, eh? It’s made with Australian-made SupaGal steel from Austube Mills in Newcastle, NSW, the under-body is coated in two-pack Raptor Lining for a durable stone chip resistant finish, and the tub is fully Sikaflex-sealed, including the tailgate which is cleverly secured with over-centre latches. So you know this thing is built to last! Plus, it’s finished off extremely well with most components like the storage boxes laser cut for precision. One of the many goodies that ensures the Dot 5 is 100 per cent track-ready is the 2.5t-rated OzHitch offroad coupling, which is more than up to task, considering the whole trailer only has a Tare of around 650kg and a massive 1500kg ATM.

Plus, there are five electric linear actuators each capable of lifting 75kg and holding 400kg each. They are what raise and lower the height of the tent, which makes setting it up pretty easy compared to other roof toppers, and helps keep the centre of gravity down nice and low on the tracks too.

EXTERIOR

Make no mistake: the Dot 5 is very much a camping trailer, not a camper trailer. What’s the difference? Well, this will go bush and make camping easier without taking away from that true authentic camping feeling. One way it stays true to the camping trailer design is by offering an exceptional amount of storage. Not only has it got it in spades, but having the storage boxes up above the tyres instead of the generic in-the-tub style makes it among the most practical to access on the market. Simply throw in all the gear you want and head bush! There are also all the usual storage brackets for gas bottles, jerry cans and a water tank complete with brass
fittings, too.

KITCHEN

The kitchen unit is made out of tough yet lightweight plywood, which is ridged in design and has proven itself time and time again. While it’s not your typical stainless steel slide-out kitchen, it will tick a lot of boxes for many people. There’s water plumbed to the tap, adjacent to the space for the portable stove of your choice, and washing up is done by a sliding out the plastic tub underneath, which frees up heaps of bench space. If that’s not enough, there’s a fold-out return that gives you twice the bench space, plus a shelf underneath to store other cooking accessories. The best part is, while you do have to manually set things up, it’ll take you no more than three minutes once you get the hang of it. And I’m talking from experience – I had the exact same kitchen in my old camper! Perhaps the only issue is getting the leg height sorted; it relies on adjusting conventional tent poles, which can be fiddly on soft or uneven ground. Plus, it can be a little heavier to slide out compared to other designs, but that’s because it offers so much more.

THE WRAP UP

Who would this camper trailer suit? Short answer – anyone who loves adventure! Whether it’s a quick overnighter or a lengthy expedition I’m sure Drifta Dot 5 Army will be absolutely perfect!

HITS AND MISSES

Pros…

  • Quality components
  • Heaps of storage
  • Practical and convenient innovative features
  • Exceptional offroad ability
  • Adjustable tent height to help with setting up

Cons…

  • Limited internal living space

DRIFTA DOT 5 ARMY GREEN SPECS

Trailer

  • Tare 650kg
  • ATM 1500kg
  • Suspension Al-Ko solid axle with five-leaf military style springs
  • Brakes 10in electric offroad
  • Coupling OzHitch
  • Chassis 40x40mm SupaGal steel
  • Drawbar 2100mm triple 
  • drawbar made from 100x50mm SupaGal steel
  • Body Etch-primed, Sikaflex sealed Aussie steel finished in army green
  • Wheel/tyre LandCruiser pattern 16x8in steel 245/75 R16 mud-terrain
  • Style Roof-top tent and trailer

Dimensions

  • Box size 1500x1200mm
  • Length (hitch to tail lights) 3550mm
  • Tent size 1600x2400m roof-top tent plus 1200mm annexe extension

Accessories

  • Gas cylinders 1x4.5kg holder
  • Water 80L roto-moulded
  • Cooktop No
  • Kitchen Drifta DPOR
  • Battery 1x120Ah

Price as shown

  • $21,950

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Check out the full feature in issue #102 July 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.