Hybrid review: RhinoMax Lost Track Hybrid Tourer
What do you get when you cross a caravan and a hybrid camper?
The term hybrid in the camper world means that the sleeping and living areas are inside but the main kitchen is outside. In a caravan, the main cooking area is inside with perhaps a bbq outside. In Australia, we have fallen in love with the hybrid camper as cooking and living outside is generally the preferred option with normally great weather. One of the nice inclusions with the Lost Track Hybrid Tourer is the provision of an induction cooktop and sink with mixer tap inside at the rear of the camper for those times that you don’t want to go outside.
The Lost Track Expedition Series are premium models designed and built by RhinoMax on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. All their models are 100 per cent built here from the ground up, using local tradesmen to create a camper that is built for Aussie conditions. The reputation of RhinoMax has grown as their campers are seen all over the country. They are a drawcard where-ever they are on display and their products hold their value extremely well. The 16ft Lost Track Hybrid Tourer is one of their latest and will be surely sought after.
A built to last camper/caravan will always start at the chassis. The Lost Track is built on a 100 per cent Australian steel chassis by their highly experienced tradesmen. I own a trailer built by one of these tradies and it is bombproof (thanks Rod). The 150mm x 50mm full length chassis with integrated sub-frame is then hot dipped galvanised before having the Cruisemaster XT suspension attached. Cruisemaster is well known and respected in the trailer world. The benefit to the customer is that in the unlikely event that you require support or spares, these are available Australia wide.
The stopping power of the 12in electric brakes transfers to the road through the 17in alloy wheels. If you know what your tow vehicle is, it is a simple matter of ordering the same wheel stud pattern prior to the build so they will be inter-changeable between camper and vehicle.
The body is one of the most important elements of the build. In the case of the Lost Track, the floor is a specialised 16mm thick one piece fibreglass with a honeycombed matrix centre giving the floor extra rigidity. The walls and roof are constructed from 30mm one-piece fibreglass composite with internal high density closed cell core foam which provides structural integrity while being light and providing excellent insulation. Each composite panel is custom made for each camper.
The cabinetry is also constructed of composite materials which are then screwed and bonded together — you won’t find any timber in this build. Soft close drawer runners complement the fine cabinetry which is precision cut in their own factory. Every step of the process is meticulously examined to ensure the quality of each Rhinomax camper manufactured.
Each camper is pressure tested to ensure each one is 100 per cent dust and waterproof so you can venture forth with confidence. Marine grade seals used in the innovative hatch design combined with one-piece bonded panels provide this high level of quality.
Three 12mm food grade poly tanks attached between the chassis rails keep the 220L of freshwater and 85L of grey water nice and low which helps create a low centre of gravity and better towing. Only premium John Guest fittings are used for water between tanks and outlets. The Anderson plug lead and the trailer plug wires are the only ones that run under the camper and run inside the chassis rail, so they are protected from rock strike.
The build comes together in a great-looking camper that is built strong, tough, and reliable. Ready for the tough world of touring across rough tracks and corrugated roads all across Australia.
ON THE OUTSIDE
Starting from the front of the camper we have the tried and true DO35 hitch from Cruisemaster. Behind that is something that I have not seen on any other camper I have reviewed — a side mounted winch. I have seen winches that pull over forward fold campers, but this had the winch rope going under the front of the camper. A clue that I hadn’t picked up on was that there was no spare wheel mounted to the back like most other campers. If you haven’t guessed already, the winch raises and lowers the spare wheel. Put a tarp under the wheel before you lower it, then slide the tarp out from under the camper with the wheel on it. Easy.
Locating the spare under the van is nothing new, neither is using a winch to help with lifting and lowering. But, combining the two in this way at the front is new. There are other methods that require an arm to wind it down, generally located under the rear of the van, but this simplifies the process and is an example of the evolutionary design.
The gas bottles are located in the protected hatch on the drawer bar and either side of that is a jerry can holder. If you need more jerry cans of either fuel or water, the wood box has dimensions that allows six more jerry cans to be carried side by side. Another simple but well-thought-out dual use part of the build. Under the wood box is a large storage box that is large enough for a generator and bbq on slides. The door at both ends of this have gas struts which help open each door but also holds it open to allow easy access. Between this storage box and the gas bottles is another storage box which is long and thin, perfect for extra poles or fishing rods and can be locked.
Along the corners where the roof meets the walls there is eco-skeletal reinforcing trim which both protects each corner but also adds some distinct styling. Along the driver’s side are two large storage hatches behind thick insulated hatches that keep dust and heat out. If required, the Truma gas hot water system can be accessed within one of these storage compartments. The gas and toilet venting can be also found on this side as well as the water and power inlets. On the lower edge of the camper in front of the rear wheel there is an external water draw facility which is perfect if you are camping next to a creek or waterhole. The water drawn through here goes straight into the hot water system and does not go into the freshwater tanks. This is done so there can be no possibility of contaminating those freshwater tanks used for drinking.
The rear of the camper is clean with no spare tyre which helps give a good departure angle when on steep tracks. There is a rear camera which is great for reversing but also very useful if your tow vehicle allows the camera feed to be viewed while driving. A light is attached to the very top of the back of the camper which can be operating from inside the camper and used as a security or reversing light.
The roof of the camper houses 600W of solar power along with two skylights. One is a large skylight above the bed and another smaller one vents the shower/toilet ensuite. An air-conditioner was installed in the roof the reviewed camper and can be run by the lithium power system in this camper. You will see many air-conditioner systems mounted on other campers, but some may only last 30 minutes on the campers batteries or need to be plugged into alternative 240V for them to run.
The kerbside of the camper has the main door, awning, and kitchen. The Thule awning is a wind out 2.5m x 4.5m roof that is easily done by one person giving plenty of shade and protection from rain. The external gourmet kitchen slides out with an expandable stainless bench to the right hand side. There is three burner gas stove with electronic ignition and stainless steel sink with hot/cold mixer tap. Under the stove is a large utensil drawer and under the sink, a storage compartment for washing up items. Above the stove and sink are two large pull-out drawers perfect for use as a pantry.
A dual zone 85L fridge freezer is supplied and slides out revealing a deep pan storage area. The size of the kitchen and preparation areas is good although one of the pantry drawers can’t be accessed if the stove is being used. It would be easy to open the kitchen for a roadside lunch stop without having to enter the camper. A table and chairs can easily be setup under the awning with the kitchen fully operational making the outdoor living space an enjoyable experience.
LIVING ON THE INSIDE
As you enter the camper, the touch screen for Digital Command Centre which runs the operation of many of the electrical items such as lights and the monitoring of batteries and water tanks. This is a system developed by RhinoMax specifically for their campers and provides redundancy of components and the ability to use your phone or a traditional button panel to operate most functions.
One of the really nice features is the main screen giving you three modes of operation. These being storage mode, towing mode and camping mode which each have automated functions. The towing mode for example, will turn most of the electrical system off (e.g. lights) but will still leave the fridge running. It’s easy to press the towing mode when heading off, then the camping mode when you have arrived at camp.
The screen is an Android tablet, which is easily replaceable, and the push buttons are on the opposite side of the entry should you choose to use them. Your phone will mirror the main system screen, so everything is easily access while in bed or sitting outside.
Once inside you have the five seater lounge with swivel table adjustable for different uses. Under each seat are the electronics/batteries. A 225Ah Lithium power plant incorporating 40amp DC2DC charger, 40A Solar controller and internal BMS with 40A AC charger. There is also a 2200W power inverter and the solar panels are pumping 600W of power when parked. It is this system that allows you to actually run the air-conditioner which makes the title of power plant appropriate.
The bed is a comfortable queen sized inner spring mattress with three storage areas on each side. USB charging is provided between the bed and cafe lounge on each side. At the foot of the bed are two good-sized drawers perfect for clothes. More storage is found above the lounge.
At the rear of the camper there are seven more drawers and four cupboards providing plenty of storage options. Above a corner bench space is a TV and both 12V and 240V outlets. Built into the bench space is an internal sink with mixer tap and a cover when the sink is not in use. In this camper was an optional two burner induction cooktop where the standard is a single burner induction cooktop. Perfect for that morning cuppa when it's cold outside. The diesel cabin heater will keep you toasty warm on those occasions.
The internal ensuite with power shower and waterless composting toilet are located at the rear of the trailer opposite the entry door. A powered exhaust fan sits above the ensuite which can also reverse and bring air into the cabin if needed. Two cupboards are located on the wall above the toilet for toiletries.
The inside is light and airy and very comfortable with the full height roof. The windows are double glazed providing good insulation while the large windows and large skylight above the bed provide plenty of cross ventilation.
With an ATM of 2800kg the Lost Trak 16ft Hybrid Tourer is easily towed by a Prado and most other vehicles of a similar size. Its tare is only 2060kg which gives you a good payload of 740kg before reaching its ATM. The width at 210mm is wider than a standard hybrid camper which will give it a stable towing nature even though it is 2775mm high.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Lost Trak 16ft Hybrid Tourer from RhinoMax will be a very popular model for those looking for a relatively lightweight hybrid camper with the full height of a caravan. I’m sure that it will attract those looking for a caravan but generally cook outdoors. There is a lot to like in this premium hybrid camper with a difference.
Find more RhinoMax vans here.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
Body length 4.9m (16ft 1in)
Overall length 6.8m (23ft 4in)
Width 2.1m (6ft 10in)
Height 2.78m (9ft 1in)
Payload 740kg (calculated)
Ball weight 175kg
Frame/Cladding Fibreglass composite
Chassis 150mm x 50mm full length galvanised Aussie steel
Suspension Cruisemaster XT all-terrain
Coupling DO35 by Cruisemaster
Brakes 12in electric
Wheels 17in alloy
Water 220L fresh, 83L grey water tank
Battery 225Ah Lithium
Gas 2 x 4kg
Cooking 1-burner induction cooktop (2-burner optional)
Sink Small deep sink with mixer tap and sink cover
Ensuite Shower, toilet
Hot water Truma gas
Heating Diesel cabin heater
Fridge Coolman 85L dual zone fridge/freezer
Sink Stainless steel sink with mixer tap
Stove 3-burner gas stove with electronic ignition
Prep area Fold over large preparation area
2 burner induction cooktop
PRICE AS TESTED
29 Kerryl St, Kunda Park, QLD 4556
Ph: (07) 5338 7240