TESTED: CUSTOMLINE ADVENTURE WALK UP
Malcolm Street introduces you to the Customline Adventure Walk Up camper.
When the camper trailer industry was booming late last century, most manufacturers confided they entered the business because no trailer was "tough enough" for their offroad ambitions.
Furthermore, few sidefold softfloor trailers came with any ladder or step to access the bed, which I thought was weird. One manufacturer explained it had to do with occupational health and safety, an odd response given the inescapable, accident-prone straddle onto the trailer-top bed.
I’m not sure if we’ve got softer or smarter, but things have definitely changed. Many camper trailers are more than capable of handling a variety of tracks on and offroad and good ladders — sometimes even steps — are almost always provided.
Customline’s Adventure Walk Up is a case in point. This little beastie comes with an effective ‘walk up’ feature that offers easy access to the bed and provides a generous storage area when travelling to boot.
Walk-up models are very popular, but what makes Customline’s proposition so special is its price: the Aussie-made Adventure Walk Up retails for under $13,000.
THE LOW-DOWN UNDER
So what do you get for your money? Like many good trailers, the underpinnings are built from 50x50mm RHS steel with a 75x50mm drawbar. A look under the chassis reveals the drawbar has a third leg welded to the front of the chassis.
Although drawbars rarely win design accolades, Customline’s efforts are noteworthy. All the pieces are lasercut (check out Customline’s logo) and the steel stiffener welded to the drawbar rails is punched with holes, reducing the trailer’s weight without impacting its strength. The drawbar rails start at the back of the suspension mounts and the stiffeners are 300mm further forward for maximum strength. The recessed coupling mount ensures your camper will sit level behind your vehicle.
The drawbar comes with a 10in swing-up jockey wheel and a large alloy checkerplate storage box sealed against water and dust. The toolbox has two gas struts on the lid for easy access to the considerable amount of camping gear that fits within.
The seven leaf eye-to-eye suspension has greasable shackles and rebound springs and is attached to a 45mm-square solid axle with heavy-duty hubs and parallel bearings. A Toyota LandCruiser stud pattern is used for the 15in wheels, not that you’d need such a brute to tow this trailer — the Adventure Walk Up has an ATM of 1600kg and weighs 800kg, offering great load capacity. If you are looking for low-cost rig capable of towing this trailer, check out Phil Lord’s top five on page 82.
Our review trailer came with a standard 50mm ball hitch, but the interchangeable hitch plate is easy to use if you want to fit an offroad coupling and set this baby free.
Above the chassis the zinc anneal steel body comes with lasercut, double-folded mudguards and checkerplate infills for a jerry can holder, and access to the water tank and a 4.5kg gas bottle at the rear.
The spare rear infill on the passenger side provides room for a battery box or a second optional gas bottle, and the front passenger-side infill is suitable for a second jerry can holder. In my opinion, the infills are great for storing your gas and fuel supplies, as they provide excellent protection against a front or rear shunt.
The Adventure Walk Up tent is made from Wax Converters Dynaproofed canvas, with 15oz used for the roof and 12oz for the walls. Screened windows and doors are fitted all round and the end windows come with awnings. The time it takes to erect the tent depends on whether you’re setting up for a family cookout or simply want to leap into bed. I reckon it’s a 10-minute operation for a quick overnight stop but certainly longer if you plan to stay several days. The tent’s plenty high, but I’d recommend the optional tropical roof if you’re intent on an extended summer holiday up north.
With the tent erected, the simple but effective walk-up area comes into view. It’s a mammoth 550mm wide and the step is erected by unclipping and opening the attached bin door.
A good feature of this arrangement is there are no external steps below the chassis when you’re travelling. Wire stays keep the step in position when open.
If you’re feeling peckish, the simple yet effective Drifta tailgate kitchen is standard on the Adventure Walk Up and features space for your own portable two-burner gas cooker, a good-sized bench, two fold-out shelves, and three reasonable-sized drawers. As the kitchen is mounted to the tailgate it’s very quick and easy to swing
THE BOTTOM LINE
I reckon you get plenty of bang for your buck with Customline’s Adventure Walk Up camper. It’s a well-kitted-out trailer as far as all the basics go, allowing you to get back to nature without having to ‘rough it’.
Indeed, features like the walk up allow campers of all ages to appreciate its virtues, whether it’s for a brief weekend stay or for the long haul.
- Walk Up step design
- Pinch-weld dust sealing
- All the basics are supplied
- Inside floor is sealed against bugs
I WOULD HAVE LIKED
- Tropical roof as standard
Originally published in Camper Trailer Australia #64, April/May 2013