Top Brands: Rhinomax Off Road Campers
Rhinomax Campers offer an easy, comfortable and practical way to explore the Australian great outdoors.
Many camper and caravan companies are founded by those who want to make a rig that suits their style of camping, and that is no different with Rhinomax Off Road Campers
How did Rhinomax get its start?
Andy Dean and I (Steve Punton) started the brand, founding the company 10 years ago. Initially, Rhinomax was making industrial products, providing industrial products to local governments, mines and power stations, providing engineering solutions to these organisations.
We originally were looking for a camper trailer and we couldn’t find any that were suitable for what we wanted, so we decided to make one. We made one and sold it, and then we made another and another…
We had seen a gap in the market for a high-end, quality camper trailer and we knew with Andy’s engineering background and my business background, that we could produce a high-end product. We started off making the hard floor camper trailers, but even from then at the start we always knew our goal would be to produce something that was a crossover between a camper trailer and a caravan, what we now call hybrids. At that time, there was nothing in the marketplace like what we produce.
Over the years since founding, what is Rhinomax now known for or what makes it different in the industry?
In short, the quality of finish, the engineering, and the innovation that we do in house.
Rhinomax campers are regarded as one of the lightest weight campers for what they are in the industry. We lead the way in innovation in the industry in some of the things that we’ve thought up, which have been taken up by a lot of the bigger brands since we introduced them.
We were probably the first hybrid manufacturer to manufacture using fibreglass composite walls and now a lot of the hybrid makers have followed our lead in that. Another example would be our new electric system we’ve introduced into our campers which will probably be leading everything else that’s out there, and will inevitably be taken up by the rest of the industry at some point. We are always at the forefront of innovation in this industry.
Other than this innovation, to what would you attribute the success of Rhinomax to?
We basically run the business under the Rolls Royce principles. My business partner and our other director/lead engineer, Andy, was trained at Rolls Royce and was one of their head engineers, which is where those principles come from. Those are high quality and good customer service. The engineering has to be good; the camper has to look good and everything else but, you know — it has to have the quality, it has to do what it says on the tin, and really the after sales service is so important. We treat customers as we would want to be treated ourselves, which unfortunately in this industry, is not normally the case.
With such regard for quality products, which brands of components does Rhinomax prefer to work with?
We only use high-end componentry — no substitute.
There’s not one particular component manufacturer that we work with but we use all high-end componentry from leading suppliers, both in Australia and around the globe. One stand out supplier would be Cruisemaster; all of the suspension systems and running gear on our hybrids is by Cruisemaster, which is considered the absolute best offroad suspension in Australia.
We’ve also designed our own our electronic system which has been designed in conjunction with a leading German Marine Engineering company, so there’s nothing else on the market quite like it.
Where are Rhinomax Campers made and how are they tested?
Rhinomax Campers are built from the ground up here in Queensland at our factory in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, by a dedicated team of engineers and craftsman. We use all the latest modern composite materials and newest technologies, but the campers are made by hand by engineers and craftsman right from the ground up. We do not run on a production line scenario; every single camper is built to order for what the customer wants. So, these are not run of the mill Campers.
Right from the initial design stage we use the latest design software to design the campers and then they go out on field tests and are tested in various situations, but the greatest tests of all come from the customers that you have out there. We now have 10 years’ worth of happy customers on the road, and we have been able to fine tune things through the feedback we get from them. Again, with us leading the industry innovation, one of our tests we have introduced that is now followed by a couple of other manufacturers in the industry, is our dust testing scenario.
To ensure 100 per cent dust proofing, we subject each hybrid camper to a smoke test as part of our Quality Assurance process. This test involves filling the camper section of the camper with party smoke and then pressurising the cabin with an airline to try to force the smoke out. A member of our team then looks over every inch of the camper to ensure no smoke is escaping. If no smoke can escape, then we can be confident we’ve achieved a 100 per cent dust proof hybrid camper. We would prefer prevent a problem rather then find a cure after the fact, and this testing negates the need for so called ‘anti-dust’ suppression systems.
Which Rhinomax camper is the best-selling among customers? Does staff have a favourite?
Our two best-selling campers are the Defender 15ft and Renegade 12ft hybrids. It’s very hard to split the difference on those two. The Renegade is a fantastic hybrid for campers and will get you to some incredibly remote spots, while the Defender, on the other hand, is ideal for outback touring and provides an internal ensuite, which is where we see most people decide between the two.
Check out a review of the Defender here
As for staff, I’d probably say the Renegade would be the favourite of most people, as it’s a bit different and looks quite striking. It’s easy to tow but also has many features of a full-sized van so it’s a pretty impressive bit of engineering.
Obviously the goal of a camper is to get out and explore the country, so do you have any top destinations you recommend everyone visit?
We’d suggest the Kimberley, Cape York and Rhinomax HQ — the most important journey you ever make might be to the factory to see the camper that you’re buying being built.
For first-time and experienced buyers alike, make sure you research the company you’re going to buy your camper off and if you have the opportunity actually visit the premises to see it being built, do it, so there is no smoke and mirrors — that would be my advice; read the reviews, research, talk to the company, visit if possible.
Along those lines, do you have any tips for customer to enjoy Rhinomax campers the most?
Plan out your trip; utilise the onboard smart power and water monitoring system that’s built into the campers to gain the knowledge to extend your stays off the grid.
If you are just starting off, go on some smaller trips and familiarise yourself and get a bit of confidence with the camper. Do not be frightened to take it right out there because they will go anywhere.
Most importantly, relax.
How can customers get their hands on Rhinomax campers?
We have no dealerships as we deal strictly factory direct now because we feel like it gives the customer a better experience then having to go through a dealer or an agent that is working for a commission. Instead, you’re dealing with the people who are making the product and know about the product inside and out.
What are you past and present models for customer to look into?
Ranger soft floor camper trailer,
Renegade soft floor camper trailer,
Renegade I soft floor camper trailer,
Camper Trailer of the Year 2015
Scorpion 10ft Micro hybrid Camper,
Renegade 12ft Micro Hybrid Camper,
Discovery 14ft MK I,
Discovery 14ft MK II,
Lost Trak 16ft Family Hybrid Tourer,
Lost Trak 16ft Couples Hybrid Tourer,
Lost Trak 18.5ft Family Hybrid Tourer,
Lost Trak 18.5ft Couples Hybrid Tourer
Rhinomax Global Expedition Vehicles.
Find new and used Rhinomax campers for sale here