Outback Campers Australia Tanami: Review

By: Peter Quilty, Photography by: Nathan Jacobs


Meet the Outback Tanami – a good-value, rear-fold softfloor offroader.

During this year’s Easter break, my wife Meredyth and I had the opportunity to take the Tanami offroader – the largest and most outfitted member of Outback Campers Australia’s (OCA) camper fleet – for an extended test. We travelled to Shepparton, Vic, and spent a leisurely week exploring the surrounding area.

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So I was pleased to get reacquainted with the Tanami when we towed it to the Mornington Peninsula, Vic, to shoot the photos for this review.

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I’m not one for a fiddly set up, and the fully Australian-made Tanami gets my vote with a gas strut-assisted tent frame for quick erection. The operation is made all the easier when the gas strut assisted tailgate drops down to form steps up to the bed.

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

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I towed the Tanami with a new press vehicle – a Toyota HiLux 2.8 D4D – and it travelled like a dream. The camper’s 1100kg Tare had the SR5 4X4 double-cab pick-up, with its 2.8L turbodiesel auto engine, not even raising a sweat. And I doubt it would have been troubled even if we had the total 500kg payload on board.

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OCA has options available for the Tanami including side walls; annexe walls; flywire walls; clear PVC camper windows; clear PVC annexe window; rear bedroom; shadecloth tent mat; shadecloth awning mat; 12V LED hook and loop strip lights; Joolca hot water shower; second gas bayonet for barbecue/shower; swing-over boat rack; registration (Vic only).

INTERNAL

Based in Carrum Downs, Vic, OCA’s Ben Coulson said the unique feature of the Tanami is that it is a rear-fold walk-in camper. "The tailgate folds down on struts to provide an area that you can comfortably stand in. A further set of steps, which also doubles as two storage drawers (1100x500x250mm) makes getting on to the bed a dream".

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And I can vouch for that, and will hasten to add that the elevated sleeping quarters is like snoozing among the stars. The camper-queen-size bed, with a 4in innerspring mattress, also has a gas strut-assisted storage hatch, and there are three large flywire windows with one external blind.

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I was also impressed with the internal floor area (1850x3000mm) – while tent space in a hardfloor camper can be too cosy, this one accommodated our 16-year-old son Patrick while we were in Shepparton. Obviously, I got a clearer picture of its dimensions sans his clutter and muddle!

THE WRAP UP

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The Tanami really tickled my fancy – at Shepparton and at Shoreham. It serves up an ace in functionality, style and sturdiness that is apparent at camp and on tow.

HITS AND MISSES

Pros…

  • Staircase to the sleeping quarters
  • Massive floor area
  • Abundant internal storage
  • Fast and effortless set up

Cons…

  • Limited kitchen storage

Check out the full feature in issue #103 August 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.