Drifta Dot 5 Army Green: Review

By: Michael Borg, Photography by: Matt Fehlberg


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Borgy takes a closer look at what makes the Dot 5 from Drifta Camping & 4WD really tick.

I’m going to kick this yarn off by saying I just love the Dot 5 Army Green from Drifta! Yep, it’s my kind of camper trailer. You know, one that encourages real camping instead of glamping. To be honest, I knew it was a cracker before I even laid a finger on it. Why? Well, it’s tough as guts, lightweight and has everything you need to keep you and the little troops comfortable. Plus, it’s just got that never-let-you-down military character to it. It’s the kind of camper trailer that could quite happily spend its days crossing the country without a problem. You only need one look at the Dot 5 Army Green to know it means business. But let’s take a closer look at exactly what makes the Dot 5 so special.

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

When it comes to the running gear, the Dot 5 Army uses quality-made Al-Ko gear, which includes a 45mm solid square axle, five-leaf rebound springs with the military wrap, greaseable shackles and full offroad spring hangers. The springs are located in the spring-over-axle configuration, so there’s maximum clearance. In fact, it’s got more clearance than most 4WDs and the same goes for the approach and departure angles, thanks to its shorter, nimble design. Seriously, would you look at the departure angle on this thing? You could tow it straight up a cliff and it still wouldn’t drag its bottom! It also comes with full mud-terrain tyres, with thicker tread and a nice strong sidewall for maximum durability.

Electrical gizmos are basic but you can tell Drifta has focused on the reliability side of things. The system includes a 120Ah AGM battery, 12V USB sockets, strategically placed LED lighting, digital water level gauge, fuel block and kill switch and a Projecta 10A 240V battery charger.

EXTERIOR

When it comes to the tent, the Dot 5 runs a customised Drifta-spec version of the Hannibal roof topper. The more you look at this thing, the more you’ll be impressed, with little things like the custom boot storage shelf being a nice touch. The set up is all fairly simple and easy to get sorted for a quick overnighter but, like many campers, there are a few little fiddly bits and a bit of a procedure you’ll have to get the hang of over time, especially for longer stays. There’s adequate shelter when everything is set up if it rains, and one clever feature is the gutter that runs between the tent and awning that stops water dripping on your head and allows you to funnel it into a bucket. When it comes to the quality of the tent, awning and annexe, rest assured it will impress even the fussiest of campers.

KITCHEN

What do you get when you put one of the country’s best offroad kitchen and drawer systems into a quality, well-built, track-ready trailer? You guessed it – one hell of a practical camper trailer! You can tell almost right away that the Dot 5 has been designed and built by true 4WD and camping enthusiasts, and it’s the little things that give it away. The slide-out kitchen is the result of building literally thousands of custom units over the years, so you can bet your bottom dollar it’s something really special.

Plus, there are five electric linear actuators each capable of lifting 75kg and holding 400kg each. They are what raise and lower the height of the tent, which makes setting it up pretty easy compared to other roof toppers, and helps keep the centre of gravity down nice and low on the tracks too.

THE WRAP UP

So what do I think of the Dot 5? Well, to put it simply, I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a hardier camping trailer on the market. It’s designed and built by blokes that absolutely live and breathe the camping and 4WDing lifestyle, and it incorporates nothing but best proven accessories and materials available in the country.

HITS AND MISSES

Pros…

  • Quality components
  • Heaps of storage
  • Practical and convenient innovative features
  • Exceptional offroad ability
  • Adjustable tent height to help with setting up

Cons…

  • Limited internal living space

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Check out the full feature in issue #102 July 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.