Camper Trailer of the Year 2016 Finalist Cub Kamparoo Brumby
The Cub Kamparoo Brumby is an outstanding performer in the great outdoors.
It’s amazing to think that Cub has been building campers way back since the year when a fresh-faced plumber from the Melbourne ’burbs first sang about a cleaning lady, the Beatles released the White Album, and an ex-fighter pilot named John Gorton was Prime Minister, yep...1968. And as we headed to the Italian Flat campground on the Dargo River, Vic, on day four of this trip, we saw three older Cubs in action, testifying to its reputation as a reliable offroader.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
Setting up is easy. It’s just a matter of unclipping the hardfloor and then unwinding the winch to flip and lower the hardfloor on to the ground. Then simply level using the jockey wheel, drop the support legs and you are open. Work your way around the trailer clipping the elastic tie down to ensure all is weatherproof.
While it’s not huge internally, the Brumby is comfortable for two and, if you have kids, they can sleep on stretchers or double bunks. If you want even more room, an optional kids’ room zips straight on.
Your slumber is on a double innerspring bed. It sits on a raw plywood base that lifts up on gas struts. The bed base looked a bit flimsy for my liking, it curved as we lifted it up to look at the storage underneath – I think it could do with a base upgrade or extra support. And a paint job or marine carpet would improve on the overall finish. Under the bed is a heap of storage. It’s here you’ll store your clothes bags and larger items. You’ll also access your 100Ah battery from here and there’s room for a second. The left-hand side of this storage area is easy to get to from door, just lean in and grab what you need to avoid dragging dirt through trailer. This area can’t be accessed when closed, however; you’ll need to open up the camper.
It’s reasonably comfortable by the bed. The clear storm windows have homely curtains for privacy and a view on those rainy mornings. However, I would like to see some canvas pockets by the bed for storing glasses, phones or books so they don’t get lost or damaged during the night.
The stainless steel kitchen is well-appointed and useful and there’s no confusion when it’s time to open it up thanks to a big red and green stop-go lock on the end. Turn and pull and it all comes out nicely on its easy-glide runners with a support leg to hold it safely in place. The slide-out has plenty of drawers and benchtop space and the cooking is done on a neat two-burner Smev. The fold-out wind guard will help you get that roadside cuppa happening on a windy day, and this year’s Brumby has a handy side shelf food prep bench that clips on to the trailer and folds away and stores under the stove and sink.
The sink itself is stainless steel and comes with a cold water tap that’s plumbed to an electric pump (hot water is optional). The fridge has its own food preparation area but you’ll need to walk around the bench in order to reach it from the cooktop. Setting up the gas is quick and easy with the quick-fit connection and there’s provision for a second, if you’re carrying a barbecue such as a Weber Baby Q.
With Cub reputed as reliable quality brand, its finish, in parts, raised an eyebrow or two among the judges. Several tek screws and long bolts exposed underneath looked out of place while, inside, the eye bolt for the hand winch is exposed some 50-75mm. This stuff could easily be tidied up and should be for a well-built Aussie-made trailer of this class.
Cub continues to take a tried-and-true approach with the Kamparoo Brumby to deliver a solid functional trailer that performs strongly out on the tracks. But, compared with others in this category, it did look a little dated and under-finished.
The kitchen layout and easy-to-erect awning are real winners, though, and while the Brumby isn’t overloaded with goodies, it has the right stuff to keep you out of harm’s way out in the bush for a week or so.
The Cub Brumby is built upon years of experience: one for fans of tight hilly tracks or those who are towing with a smaller truck.
HITS & MISSES
- Well-proven package
- Offroad- and bush-ability
- All-Australian build
- Easy to set up awning
- Greater refinement in some areas. There are lots of exposed tek screws underneath
- I’d like to see more bells and whistles standard for the $30K asking price
Check out the full feature in issue #98 March 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.