Pioneer Gascoyne: Review
Pioneer Gascoyne employs premium engineering standards and contemporary materials and techniques to produce its pleasing CAD/CAM designs. The large-scale operation with a 40-year heritage was given a breath of fresh air when the current proprietors, who purchased the WA-founded brand in October 2011, released a new generation of campers in January 2013.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
The Gascoyne is tough from the ground up. Pioneer manufactures its own Grafta independent trailing arm suspension complete with shock absorbers and coil springs supplying an ATM of 2000kg with plenty of load capacity on top of the Tare weight of 1050kg. It also features 2t removable stub axles with tapered bearings. While other plans are afoot, Pioneer currently only produces hardfloor campers and the Gascoyne is its top-of-the-range unit with a retail value of around $49K (base price).
The backbone is a 150x50x3mm galvanised drawbar and full box chassis that tracked beautifully both on the long roads of our Western Districts broad-acre territory, and performed without a hitch in the soft sand and corrugations of the arid Little Desert National Park, Vic.
The good relief angle at the rear of the 2.9m unit keeps it from dragging, even in extreme angles, with the spare almost acting as a bumper stopper on the rare occasions it connects. Out front, the reversing angle is tighter but more than acceptable.
She rides on 265/75 R16 GT Adventuro All Terrain tyres with black alloy rims and 12in Al-Ko electric brakes with a manual handbrake on the drawbar. She’s coupled with a Hitchmaster DO35 offroad coupling and comes with a fold-up and detachable jockey wheel combination.
Around the back, the great looks continue with a swing-down rear boot door painted in Precious Copper and framed by the stylish black outline. You have access to the huge internal storage through this rear door and the LED tail lights are well-recessed into the relief angle to avoid damage. You’ll need to take care when reversing in thick bush as there’s no real bumper bar, a trait common in hardfloor campers that hinge at the rear. If you get bogged, there’s an engineered 50mm tow hitch receptacle that doubles as a holder for a detachable bike, outboard or extra spare wheel.
- Strong, Aussie-made construction
- Great kitchen
- Ease of use
- Relief angle
- Reversing angle a little tight
- The 2.4m annexe requires detaching for transport – I would stick to the 2m option
- Tare 1050kg
- ATM 2000kg
- Suspension Grafta independent trailing arm complete with shock absorbers and coil springs
- Brakes 12in electric Al-Ko
- Coupling Hitchmaster DO35
- Chassis Full box-section galvanised
- Drawbar Full box-section 150x50x3mm galvanised
- Body Powder-coated 1.2mm Zincanneal and 2mm marine-grade aluminium panels with checkerplate alloy and Rhino Linings Duraspray coated accents
- Wheel/tyre 265/75 R16 GT Adventuro AT tyres, black alloy rims
- Style Hardfloor
- Box size 2900x1850mm
- Length (hitch to tail lights) 4950mm
- Tent size 5300x1700mm plus annexe
- Gas cylinders 2x9kg
- Water 1x120L
- Cooktop Smev two-burner
- Kitchen Full stainless steel slide-out, hot/cold mixer, detachable cutting boards, big sink/storage, galley drawers, pull-out cutting board, cutlery drawer with tong storage compartments, two-stage wired touch light, fire extinguisher, 60L Engel fridge/freezer (optional)
- Battery 2x110Ah AGM deep-cycle
Check out the full feature in issue #93 October 2015 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.