Blue Tongue Offroad Trekker: Review
The Offroad Trekka from Sydney’s Blue Tongue Campers is a well-equipped camper, which is popular with the ‘grey nomad’ market.
The Offroad Trekka is one of Blue Tongue’s best sellers: a soft-floor, off-road camper in the traditional format with a side-fold tent. According to Blue Tongue it has proven quite popular with "grey nomad" customers.
Blue Tongue Offroad Trekker specifications
The Trekka is built in the company’s Kirrawee, Sydney, workshops, on a solid chassis with strong, 2000mm long drawbar. The long drawbar provides room for a huge front storage box, front bicycle rack or other options, as well as the Al-Ko hitch, which allows you to tow with a standard 50mm ball.
The standard suspension is a seven-leaf Al-Ko package with rebound springs on a 45mm Al-Ko beam axle with Ford bearings, 10in. inertial (or electric) drum brakes and LandCruiser six-stud hubs. If you want shock absorbers they are optional, as is a complete Cruisemaster independent trailing-arm suspension system.
CONSTRUCTION AND OFF ROAD ABILITY
In fact, the Trekka is the basis for what can be a very well equipped camper trailer if you want to add all the options. Blue Tongue provides a well-balanced basic package that will get just about anyone started in comfort and you can set it up as your budget permits at the time, or later as your camping develops and further funds become available.
The wheels are high-load-rated alloy rims with all-terrain tyres. The spare, with supplied cover, travels on the tailgate.
There is no stone guard supplied as standard, and Blue Tongue gives the option of a rock tamer set-up for your tow car or the standard mesh-in-frame stone guard.
The body is two-pack paint over polyurethane sealant-coated zinc anneal steel. The huge front storage box lets you choose a fridge up to a 110L Waeco. On the passenger’s side is a large carpeted 125kg-rated slide drawer with room for the fridge and a generator, while the lip around the edge of the drawer walls forms a continuous attachment point for restraints.
Not everyone wants to carry a fridge in the trailer – many preferring to carry theirs in the back of the 4WD – so the door vent is not filtered as standard but foam filtration can be fitted. The only issue is that the fridge is outside the awning area and a short walk from the kitchen.
On the driver’s side of the box is a locker for the single 140Ah AGM battery, with a Ctek 5A mains charger and voltmeter, with additional equipment including a full 240V system as optional. Charging can take place from the tow vehicle or a solar panel via an Anderson plug. There are three 12V plugs and two Anderson plugs fitted standard, with more as options.
On top of the front box is a sturdy rack for carrying firewood or other items.
The kitchen slides out of the rear of the camper and is all stainless steel. The finish is neat, with no sharp edges, a problem with poorly-finished stainless. There is a fold-over 750x410mm work bench, five hooks on a slide bar at the end to hang your kitchen utensils, fire extinguisher, a two-burner (upratable to four burners) Spinflo stove and grill with a stainless sink and a manual pump as standard (electric optional).
Water comes from a 63L standard tank (127L optional) behind a sturdy stone shield. There are two gas bottle holders for 4.5kg cylinders. Gas and water must be connected on set-up. There is an external tap at the water filler.
The tent goes up with gas strut assistance, and comes in 9ft (2743mm) or 12ft (3658mm) extensions, Blue Tongue counselling most customers that unless they need the space – for, say, children – that they will be better off with the 9ft set-up, as it is lighter, plus quicker and easier to set-up and pack.
The tent is much lighter than some we have seen, despite having 14oz canvas roof and 11oz walls, because all the bows, spreader bars (three in the tent plus those under the awning) and poles are aluminium, though Blue Tongue has avoided the problems that can occur with twist lock poles by using T-nuts.
The inner side of the roof is sprayed with a UV-resistant (aluminium impregnated polyurethane) material which assists the fly (see sidebar) in keeping the tent cool in summer and warm in winter. The tent has a single door, three windows around the bed (all with inner and outer zip-up covers) and two in the tent plus a large rear roll-up door. All apertures are midgy screened.
There is a zip-out panel in the vinyl drop wall below the bed which allows access to the two jerry cans stored behind and the fold-down door in the camper side which reveals a full camper width 1600x420mm drawer, which is a great place to carry clothing.
INTERIOR AND COMFORTS
The bed is a mid-queen/king 100mm foam mattress, with two wall pockets for small items and a zip-up privacy screen. Bed access is via a set of bright orange steps. Blue Tongue explains that many of its trailer users, when on overnight camps, don’t bother with the main awning. Instead they open the full wall-width door at the tent end, put the cover out as an awning and retain privacy with the privacy wall.
Smartly, the wall above the kitchen has a gusset which permits the end wall there to be vertical. The awning is 2400x4500mm on the 9ft tent, and comes with all walls and screens, but the nylon mesh ground cover as shown in the photos is an optional extra.
The main awning provides 25 sq m of coverage, but there is also an option for a second awning on the other side of the tent to increase the under-cover area to 40 sq m. Either or both awnings can remain attached in pack-up.
The Blue Tongue Off Road Trekka is a very good starting point for a family which wants to make the most of limited opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Aside from the tent it is all-Australian made, it is basically well equipped and has a number of options that allow you to tailor it to your budget or your needs. At 850kg Tare, and with a carrying capacity of up to 750kg, you can shift all those items that are absolute must-haves for the kids while providing the room for them all to stay under cover when needed, or if it’s just you and your partner it will do the job nicely as well. Given the purchase price of $14,810 as reviewed it’s great value.
- The good value for money
- The lightweight set-up
- The roomy fridge box
- The tent fly
I WOULD HAVE LIKED
- A bigger charger on the battery
The full version of this review appeared in CamperTrailer Australia #76, May 2014. Why not subscribe today for the latest camper trailer reviews and travel features.