Camper Trailer of the Year 2017: Wild Boar Razorback LE

By: John 'Bear' Willis, Photography by: Ellen Dewar, Matt Fehlberg, Nathan Jacobs


It’s more than a paint job that sets the Wild Boar Razorback LE apart.

When it comes time to putting your nose in the trough for a value-packed camper trailer, you can’t go past a Wild Boar Razorback Limited Edition (LE) – you will never get ‘boared’ by your decision. Seriously, this is one tough camper with all of the rugged necessity for offroad travel but, unlike the rough exterior of its feral namesake, this dude is a real dandy with pride in its panache, providing weary travellers with cosy convenience.

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For me personally, testing the Razorback LE was a pleasant surprise. The Australian camper trailer market is full of forward-folding offerings, and most of them emanate from China. So too does much of the Razorback LE tub and box yet Paul Burton from Wild Boar spent years working with a smaller, more refined and individual manufacturer that builds to his stringent standards. When it arrives in Australia, the innovative occas at their Brendale engineering facility combine the best of both worlds by polishing the base components with some good ol’ Aussie tough smarts, know-how and an exceptionally high standard of finish.

SIMPLY SMART

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This is a forward-fold camper that I could own. It is jam-packed full of ideas, fittings and accessories but combined with a little bit of the good old KISS principle. The first look at the unit told the story of the entire camper. These are proud tradesmen with a real eye for detail and the ability to produce a high quality finish. There is obvious engineering and spray painting experience in the company, and I put two and two together when company principal Paul explained his own background, which includes not only automotive and industrial boat finishing, but also a long relationship with one of Australia’s best custom aluminium boat brands. The aesthetic values of this camper can’t be overlooked with a glorious orange and silver two-pack baked enamel finish highlighted by polished stainless steel trims, including the external panel for the slide-out kitchen that you could use for a mirror!

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It is really easy to get lost in specification and accessories and miss the bottom line quality. From the ground up, Wild Boar has paid attention to every detail and has been working on the unit for many years, making sure it was right before exposing it to strong critic from the Camper Trailer of the Year competition; in fact, this is now the Series 3 evolution. It is quite a long trailer at 5.5m overall and has a considerable 1460kg Tare with 2000kg ATM and 147kg ball weight with an empty water tank. That tank alone carries 120L of water up high behind the axle so it will increase the load and lighten the ball weight when full. Incidentally, the water tank has a strong bung at the lowest point for flushing as well as a handy rear water tap.

I was particularly pleased to find that Wild Boar demonstrated real offroad credibility by not only shrouding the water tank in the Razorback LE with a stainless steel bash plate, but hard plumbing the service lines to avoid the damage from a typical bush track. This was the only camper in this class to receive this kind of detailing at CTOTY 2017.

UNDERPINNINGS

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The Razorback LE has some real intestinal strength. It rides on a strong galvanised box section chassis starting with a 100x50x4mm A-frame drawbar with a fully welded and integrated RHS frame that supports all quadrants. Even the inner and outer body panels, including the tub, are galvanised before their shiny two-pack paint job and enhanced by striking, and a bit amusing Wild Boar decals. Wild Boar will even colour match to your towing vehicle on the Limited Edition model, as displayed.

There’s a tonne of turning angle available from the A-frame drawbar, which also includes a 10in hard tyre jockey wheel, handbrake for the 12in electric brakes, twin 4kg gas cylinders (plumbed to Class 2 standards), twin jerry cans, a sensible stoneguard with replaceable mesh, poly-block offroad coupling, a manual handle and the winch post for easy set up all included in the attractive kit price of $23,900. The price includes all of the items inspected including on-road costs (Qld) and the folding boat rack, but not the actual 110kg EvaKool fridge, shown. Out back is a 50mm receiver for a rear hitch, twin recovery points as well as a swing away tailgate for the two spare wheels (265/75 R16 Nissan/LandCruiser six stud pattern) that also acts as a bumper and contains the LED lighting. You can opt for one spare wheel and a toolbox in the rear bracket or just ask for any other options and upgrades – these blokes are there to help with any reasonable request.

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The Wild Boar-designed independent trailing arm suspension has dual gas shocks either side and utilises slightly higher than normal 350mm coil springs, giving excellent ground clearance. The advantages of the extra height outweigh the added tub height with a well-designed stairwell providing easy access. The cross member mounting for the pivot arms seemed particularly strong and secure. The unit rides on 16in offroad alloy wheels with brand new 265/75 R16 Cooper tyres or option for mud tyres with 2200kg bearings.

LIVING ARRANGEMENTS

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The Razorback sets up quickly and easily whether you want to use the full length annexe or just stop for an overnighter without. The 5x2.7m wide annexe features a close weave 14oz canvas throughout, including the tropical roof, midge mesh flyscreens, inner and outer awnings on the main tent, and the full set of annexe enclosures, skirts and PVC floor. Yet, if you want to pull up for a quick overnighter there’s a 2m quick travel setup awning (no walls) that comes with the LE package.

It all packs easily into the camper body for travelling without having to unzip the annexe roof and I have to add that it is much easier to set up and pack down than many, particularly those with extenders.

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Inside this limited edition Razorback we found the neatest presentation of all of the forward folds at CTOTY. It has practical surfaces with a hard-wearing vinyl floor, neat carpet trim, painted steel seat containers with nicely upholstered cushions. There’s even an additional long, narrow enclosure behind the cushion on the back wall. The table drops down into the U-shaped lounge to form a second double-size bed combining with the queen innerspring 110mm mattress up front with privacy screen. It is all very easy, very practical and most accommodating. There’s a fully integrated sound system, plenty of 12V and USB outlets, inner step light, LED lighting and this edition even had a TV/DVD combination (on a bit of a dicky mounting bracket) – but I’d personally be leaving that annoyance at home! (I hate TV!)

Outside under the annexe, the kitchen and living space is terrific. Up front is a smooth and strong slide-out tray for large fridge/freezers complete with power and auto lighting.

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Every compartment is beautifully trimmed and fitted with quality latches, gas struts, hinges and dust-proof seals. Beside the fridge is a terrific pull-out multi-level pantry and a full-width pole rack on top. The slide-out stainless steel kitchen at the rear is a rip snorter! It is fitted with quality roller bearings featuring a self-supporting 225kg load rating. There’s a three-burner Smev stove with wind deflectors, pressurised sink, large fold-out bench, snap-in gas bayonet fittings, LED work lighting, cutlery and utensils drawers.

Around on the driver’s side is a large storage compartment up front with twin sliding drawers in all models, accompanied by a further storage locker with slide behind and the second access to the pole racks. There’s a small compartment in the front of the main tub which houses the 21A Projector six-stage battery charger with a 240V lead for charging twin 100Ah gel sealed batteries in a powered site or generator, and the LE model includes a third 100Ah battery.

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There are 240V outlets and an inlet fitted in easy access locations. At the rear of the driver’s side is the lockable compartment containing a marine waterproof switch panel complete with a good quality isolation switch. There’s also a five gang switch panel with individual circuit breakers, water tank indicator, battery charge indicator and 60A circuit breaker. You can also charge the batteries through the 50A Anderson plug and connect to a solar panel (not supplied) for stationary charge.

Whilst it’s nice to have an ensuite connected to the awning eliminating those late night or early morning nudie runs, I actually quite liked the idea of supplying a separate easily erected shower tent with a Porta Potti and Coleman cartridge-type gas hot water system complete with feeder hose from the water pump. I find it a low cost but completely acceptable option to custom built ensuites, and allows you that little extra space just far enough away from the rest of the party for a little extra privacy.

THE WRAP UP

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To be honest, I gave the Wild Boar Razorback LE top marks for its overall packaging, engineering and presentation. Sure, there may be packages that may give more accessories for your money, but I found the Razorback a terrific selection of quality fittings with a wise selection of accessories all compiled in a delightful, easy to use, premium and cost-effective display built by experience!

HITS AND MISSES

Pros…

  • A sensible combination of features, fittings and accessories
  • Finish quality a cut above the rest
  • Easy assembly
  • Kitchen
  • Separate ensuite/shower tent
  • Storage and sliding trays

Cons…

  • No solar as standard
  • A bit heavy
  • Will be the brunt of plenty of pig jokes!

Check out the full feature in issue #110 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.