Travelander DC1 Premium camper trailer review
The new Travelander DC1 Premium camper trailer allows you to pack the kids in and still travel in style.
With around 60,000 new utes on the road in 2010 alone, the majority of those in a dual cab setup, it's no surprise that camper manufacturers like Travelander are coming up with products to suit this massively growing market.
The new Travelander DC1 is a perfect amalgamation of everything that makes the company's existing SC2 product perfect for touring, with a smaller package that will fit on dual cab trays.
Essentially the same product at first glance, it has been modified slightly to fit in a shallower Engel upright fridge instead of a slide-out chest design, and the two-way drawer is a bit narrower now. Otherwise, you still get the same push-button functionality, super quick set-up and roadside access that Travelander has always offered, only now it's on your dual cab setup.
What the DC1 really means is that trayback campers need not be the domain of empty-nesters any longer. Now you can pack the kids in the back seat of your dual cab and still carry a camper on the back with everything you need to make your next adventure a bit less of an adventure when it comes to cooking and sleeping.
Mind you, there isn't a lot of room in the Travelander for kids, even if you count the few square metres of hard floor that folds down. You can fit them in here, but to be honest, unless they're still in nappies, I'd just as soon have mine far enough away in a couple of swags that we can talk about them, and they us, without anyone hurting anyone's feelings. If they are in nappies, you could fit two travel cots in here no problem…and you'd have time to set them up after only spending 30 seconds setting up the tent.
For those that aren't familiar with Travelander's system, it's a push-button set up hard floor camper. An electric motor drives a worm gear which puts the tent up and down in about 30 seconds. And for those luddites out there, you can still do it manually with a hand crank, just in case. There's also a backup hand pump for water in case the kids run out your batteries and the 12V pump isn't working.
The kitchen up the back is still dead easy to get to whether you're set up or on the side of the road. You just pop open a door and everything is at your fingertips. The flip-down, swing-around stainless steel stovetop/ sink means you can use the kitchen in roadside mode in an L-shape or whip it around and turn everything into a galley-style kitchen for more elbow room. There's a cutting board and a neat pantry where you can see everything laid out, which means less digging through plastic tubs to find that secret ingredient or those elusive teabags.
Inside the camper, the only discernable change in scale is that there is less room next to the bed, but the bed is the same size you get with the full-length version. The full pull-through drawer which most people use for clothes, and which you can fill up outside and get to inside, is a little narrower in this model, but everything else, including the fold-down table, tent operation and the rest are all very familiar. There's a full 12V kit onboard driving the 32L Engel fridge, LED lights mounted along the tent bars inside, several lights outside and 12V tap on the kitchen sink.
There is even a shower on the offside with hot and cold water, which is pretty handy.
With an 8ft annex roof, complete with walls and a draft skirt, you can extend the living space on the DC1 considerably. A rear awning over the kitchen is handy for quick stops where you want some shade without setting everything up.
The DC1 is a fuel-efficient way to travel in comfort. It's also the perfect solution for fishing nuts, because you can still take your boat along behind you without deciding if it's going to be the boat or the camper for this trip.
With its dual cab design, you also don't have to decide if it's going to be the kids or camping, you can take everyone along. That way you don't feel so guilty spending all day out in the boat - you can call it quality time too!
At $34,900, it isn't much cheaper than the full length SC1, but it opens up so many possibilities when it comes to travelling that it looks worth every dollar.