Taipan Centaur: Review
Offroad made easy in the Taipan Centaur rear-fold hardfloor.
Back in the days when Camper Trailer Australia first hit the news stands there were, with a few exceptions, two types of camper trailers. Side-fold softfloors and rear-fold hardfloors. The former were usually less expensive and geared towards families or for those who like to camp in the one spot for a week at a time, while the latter were tailored to couples and those who stayed in the one spot for a night or two.
Some travellers – particularly those who camped in a softfloor – actually took pleasure in taking a day or two in setting up their site. Although I am sure some of us can still appreciate the meditative appeal of such a ritual, I suspect that in the time-poor world we live in, that has changed. Which brings me to the subject of this review – the Taipan Centaur rear-fold hardfloor trailer.
Back then, it was uncommon to encounter a Chinese-built camper trailer but times have changed. Some distributors and dealers import everything lock, stock and barrel but others take a different approach, like Taipan which imports the body, chassis and drawbar but conducts much of the assembly work here in order to keep a close eye on quality control.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
When I first saw the Centaur, what caught my attention was its bright red colour – the baked enamel finish looks very impressive. It’s applied to the trailer body and the front drawbar box, except for up top and at the front of the toolbox, where you’ll find the luggage rack and checkerplate protection. Even with the spare wheel at the rear, the jerry cans and gas ring holders behind the mesh stoneguard and the winch for winding over the floor, the Centaur has a streamlined look.
Being a rear-fold camper, the overnight setup is quite simple – undo the trailer top clips and lift the floor over, dragging the canvas with it to create a neat little camper in a matter of minutes. Three screened and blind-fitted windows surround the bed area and the tent area is similarly equipped with two doors and a large end wall window.
There’s no shortage of general storage in the Centaur, in particular, the front box has a fridge slide-out and a large drawer on the nearside plus a second drawer and more storage space on the offside. In addition, opening the offside bin door gives access to the well-appointed 12V switch panel.
The trailer itself also comes with several more small compartments as well as the slide-out kitchen bench. That is built from stainless steel and comes with a three-burner cooktop plus a stainless steel sink and drainer. A 12V LED light and a 12V charger socket are located on the trailer wall adjoining the kitchen bench. All the bin doors, including the rear tailgate, have pinch weld seals.
Apart from the 1640x214x80mm foam mattress, the bed looks a little bare but it does have small pouches and LED strip lights fitted to the extender bows on both sides that provide effective but unobtrusive illumination. The switches for both, along with two 12V charger sockets, are fitted at the lower left-hand side of the bed base. Under the bed is a storage bay which can be easily accessed by lifting the bed base.
THE WRAP UP
Rear-fold camper trailers have traditionally been well appointed and that has not changed with the Taipan Centaur. It comes with a host of tried and true, well-loved standard features but with all the contemporary appointments such as shock absorbers, LED lighting, electric braking and a stunning paint job.
In short, it’s a well fitted out offroad camper trailer which should serve you well.
HITS & MISSES
- Red paint finish
- Well set up kitchen
- Generous storage capacity
- 12V switching panel and battery metering
- Needs an alternative battery charging method
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Check out the full feature in issue #100 May 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.