Camper review: Stoney Creek Scout-14
This hybrid is equipped with everything you'll need in order to leave sealed roads behind
The Scout-14 from Stoney Creek Campers was just one of many top-of-the-line models put through its paces at REDARC's Camper Trailer of the Year (CTOTY) 2021 competition — how did it measure up?
With a tare of 2130kg, the Stoney Creek Campers Scout-14 is a reasonably heavy package, and that could reflect on its offroad capabilities in steep country or on soft ground — though the dual shock trailing arm suspension and solid hot dip galvanised chassis would at least provide assurance that if your tow vehicle was up to it, so was the camper. There were some exposed water lines underneath which might be prone to snagging, and the use of poly pipe to plumb around the tanks was questionable given the capacity of large stones to be able to smash shock absorbers into surrender.
I was also concerned about the spare mounted at the front, protruding well above the minimalist stone guard as it would potentially be a source for rebound stone problems on rough tracks. The use of mud flaps was good, but they also looked light weight.
The Scout's big selling point is comfort, with an internal ensuite that will appeal strongly to many. The swing-around stainless kitchen is another big plus, as is the air conditioner, though it would need bulk electrical storage or 240V access. The two Sirocco fans would help on those hot days or nights.
There was extensive storage, and the memory foam 115mm mattress felt comfy, though at king size it is hard up against the walls which would create difficulties when making the bed. The kitchen had reasonable bench space at either end, though the cooktop requires a wind guard. There is also an internal sink, Truma gas hot water system, 85L EvaKool fridge, and the Aussie Traveller awning does provide a forward extension beyond the van for reasonable shelter for the kitchen from the elements, something most of the rollout awnings don’t achieve.
The Scout was easy to use, with the pop-top roof easy to operate, though the rear roof latches can be a little challenging to reach for shorter people and the provided steps were awkwardly placed. Everything else, down to the electrical steps, worked just as planned.
The Stoney Creek Campers Scout-14 is being marketed as perfect for the mid-30s to 50s crowd who are still working, as well as those looking to upgrade from a camper trailer or downsize from a caravan. The model we judged was priced at just under $50k, a very attractive price similar to other imported hybrid campers, however, the quality is a little above most of those.
This compact hybrid has gone with a massive king-sized 115mm mattress and a combo-ensuite and offers reasonable comfort, quality and self-sufficiency. Everything we saw was included in the price, except for the Weber Baby Q (BYO) and the Aussie Traveller Coolabah awning ($1550 option), as are all on-road costs, meaning you can drive away with no more to pay, a refreshing change.
You’ll enjoy plenty of storage options inside and outside, a good-sized kitchen with plumbed hot water and plenty of bench space. Power is taken care of with 200Ah available and a 1300W inverter that will allow you to run a coffee machine or any other medium-sized electrical equipment, and there is plenty of water on hand with 200L available from selectable poly tanks. Heading off-grid and staying self-contained is something this camper will thrive on, especially if you upgrade with the 75L grey water tank.
The Scout-14 has been designed to take on the toughest tracks in Australia, but having driven many of those, I wouldn’t be towing a hybrid for the simple fact that the tracks are so closed in and bush pin-striping would be devastating. However, there are still some rugged adventures I can see this camper enjoying itself, such as Mitchell Plateau, the Gibb River Road, the Grand Central Road and the Plenty Highway just to name a few. While there isn’t a lot to crow about in regard to X-Factor, the conservative nature of the Scout-14 is its strong point.
You can spot a Stoney Creek hybrid from a mile away by its distinctive branding, powder-coated aluminium composite panelling and black checker plate trim. The 150 x 50 x 4mm hot dipped chassis and welded aluminium box section frame gives this camper strong foundations. The ply internal floor is treated with rubberised paint and has a vinyl core with galvanised sheeting underneath to increase durability. The seals around doors and storage spaces are sound to keep outback dust at bay. The independent suspension coil springs and dual shocks are generic imports and may benefit from a once-over by your favourite mechanic if you’re preparing for serious off-grid time.
The camper is supported by a Victron 70A inverter charger, a high-quality feature that feeds two 100Ah AGM reinforced by 300W of solar. This system would benefit from lithium batteries which would take better advantage of the quick charge available.
The Stoney Creek Scout-14 is well appointed for those looking to leave the city lights behind. Outside there’s everything you need to cook up a great meal, with a swing-out kitchen including 3 burner Dometic stove, sink, plumbed water and adequate food preparation spaces.
Supporting the kitchen, the 85L Evakool fridge and sensible pantry drawers will ensure your belly is well-catered for. With the solar, two 9kg gas bottle holders, two 100L water tanks to service the kitchen and internal ensuite/shower, no-one should languish hungry, parched or dirty. The Scout-14’s internal finish is fairly austere but there are quality inclusions such as a Thetford toilet and a 115mm memory foam mattress.
The Stony Creek team is clearly focussed on preparing the Scout-14 for extended time in the great outdoors. It does this competently and will appeal to a range of buyers who enjoy a star filled sky with the conveniences of home.
TIM VAN DUYL
We’ve been lucky enough to know Stoney Creek for some time now. They’ve entered CTOTY before and even brought two campers to this year's event, a traditional forward fold and this, one of their new Hybrids, the Scout-14. Jessie and Ryan made the trip to show us the ropes and as users of the brand, were the perfect people to not only point things out but to demonstrate why these details add value to buyers.
The Scout is a good looking camper, being a manageable size and refreshing in the colours used. The chamfered tail gives it good clearance and inside it has plenty of room for two plus kids. For a touring couple looking for ease-of-use, an internal shower and a good payload, the Scout-14 will appeal. Those buyers will also appreciate the volume of water and power capacity and the factory-supplied BMS. I rate being able to get to the bathroom with the roof down or being able to pop it in less than two minutes for a quick nap. Really the Scout is exceptionally well set up as a long-distance tourer.
Look deeper and things like the 1300W inverter, 300W of solar and well-placed ballcock valve between water tanks to allow one to be dedicated drinking and another for washing up and the grey-water tank, and the value piles on considering the take home price is a hamburger under $50k.
In terms of innovation, the design is not new, and the layout is pretty traditional with a north-south bed to the drawbar end but the space use is good. There is a small internal kitchenette that has a lot of bench space and the storage layout is clever. There are some smaller, neat ideas like the external kitchen coming out and swinging against the side of the camper which is fantastic. It gives way more weather protection than a traditional slide-out gets and makes the annoyingly hard to use awning a bit less important.
You can read up on plenty of other campers here.
Ball Weight 140kg
Chassis 150 x 50 x 4mm Hot-Dipped Galvanised
Body 3mm Aluminium frame with 3mm insulated cladding and full one-piece composite roof
Tyres MT 265/75 R16 on alloy rims
Brakes 12in heavy-duty electric
Suspension Independent with coils and twin shocks
Coupling DO35 hitch
Battery 2 x 100Ah AGM with Victron MultiPlus power management system with 1300W inverter
Fridge 85L EvaKool
Solar 300W roof-mounted
Hot Water Truma gas/240V
Ensuite Thetford cassette toilet and removable shower head, external shower
Stove Dometic 3 burner
Water 2 x 100L poly tanks
Awning wind-out awning
Aussie Traveller Coolabah awning
Greywater tank upgrade to 75L
Stoney Creek Campers
20 Brisbane Road, Bundamba, QLD
Ph: (07) 3282 0411