Wild Boar Tuff Grunt Series Limited Edition: Review

By: John 'Bear' Willis, Photography by: Alison Kuiter


Bear takes Wild Boar's latest creation for a spin in the south-east Queensland hinterland.

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The competition to be Boss Hog in the offroad camper 'feeding trough' gets tougher every day. Just like in the animal kingdom, only the strong will survive. One little piggy that has risen to king of the sty is Brisbane’s Wild Boar. They don’t come much tougher than their Tuff Grunt Series, and with the addition of the new Limited Edition Forward Fold, you’ll really be makin' bacon over this impressive razorback!

I first got my grimy little trotters into a Wild Boar at the Camper Trailer of the Year Competition a couple of years ago and was very impressed by the presentation, the packaging, the quality and the price of these very complete and great looking offerings. Wild Boar’s owner Paul Burton comes from an engineering and painting background and takes particular pride in their quality of finish and attention to detail. His care and attention is reflected admirably with Wild Boar campers, standing proudly as a leader of the pack, taking the blue ribbon as the best dressed pig in its class.

Yet I must admit, I wasn’t really prepared for the sight that was revealed to me with the camouflage wrap on the latest camper — it looks terrific! If this is anything to go by, camo is the new black for 2018. The external appeal really whet my jowls in anticipation of the underlying secrets that awaited in assembly. And I wasn’t disappointed.

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From its trotters upwards, this is a really satisfying package that has already met with terrific market acceptance. I have seen Paul’s current order book — believe me they are popular.

You’ll be happy to slop through the mud and slush with this rugged undercarriage, as well as being quite at home in a rocky desert or challenging sandy terrain, as it will be, if covering untold kilometres on black top or juttering corrugations. We have already proven their undercarriage DNA many times; previously testing the stability of their own independent trailing arm suspension complete with greaseable joints, fully welded stub axles and premium 2.6 tonne coil springs with locally sourced Dobinson’s shock absorbers.

Its backbone is the 100 x 50 x 4mm fully-galvanised box section chassis that melds to a 120 x 50mm x 4mm RHS A-Frame drawbar. Wild Boar is so confident on their strength and durability that they provide a 3 year warranty on the suspension and 5 years on the chassis.

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Razorbacks are highly adaptable to rugged terrain with 16in 10 ply all-terrain tyres on alloy mags (6 stud Nissan pattern) and 12in electric brakes steadfastly traversing craggy escarpments. It has high ground clearance with neatly enclosed plumbing and electrical circuits that won’t get ripped out by the first dead branch that unexpectedly jumps up to bite.

The rear mounted 100 litre stainless steel water tank sits high in the chassis allowing a good recovery angle. It is well-shrouded with alloy checkerplate and fastened securely to the frame. I was pleased to see that there were no protruding lightweight plastic water lines or fittings that have been a pet hate of mine on many competitors. The water capacity is further enhanced for the LE Series with an additional 50 litre tank with the same structure and shrouding as up front. The Tuff Grunt comes with a 12 volt electric water pump with pressure shut off, rear tap and lockable filler as standard.

Out in front, the ARK removable jockey wheel has really become a thankful industry standard, and rightfully so. ARK obviously looked at the problems associated with detachable and swing down jockey wheels and eliminated them. This little piggy’s snout also features the ARK 50mm offroad ball coupling, a hand brake,  twin 4kg gas bottles and a pair of 20 litre jerry cans in lockable retainers; Anderson Plug, a stone shield with replaceable mesh and mud flaps sporting the comical Wild Boar branding, supporting the underbelly.

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The Tuff Grunt has plenty of capacity for a touring family, but that also means it’s quite large. The length overall is 5.4 metres with a Tare weight of 1640kg and a standard ATM of 2000kg that can be upgraded to 2300kg for greater load capacity, if required. I reckon I’d be upgrading; particularly if carrying the two spare wheels, full gas, water and jerry cans plus some gear on the roof loader, sports and camping equipment; plus the essential pantry full of food and a fridge full of essentials. Our demo unit was opted with the two spare wheels mounted to the rear in a gas strut assisted swing down cradle, however, you can opt for an additional tool box and single spare at the same price. The fold over boat rack is included in the Limited Edition pricing and there are four stabiliser legs and engineered recovery points, just in case.

The tub has the strength of an armadillo and the tenacity of a warthog! It’s a big, deep galvanised tub that has been reworked for the new model allowing better use of overall space with a slightly longer bed and storage components. Wild Boar make no apology for the fact that the base of the Wild Boar range are imported from China, however, the manufacturing quality seems terrific. Paul takes considerable care in ensuring that the imported shell is premium quality, and then goes to work fitting and assembling in Australia before stringent testing and pre-delivery inspections. A look at the forums will have you searching in vain for any ill words on their quality and performance.

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The large front box has a fridge slide on the kerb (living) side with an internal dimension that will fit up to 110 litre Evacool fridges, plus cavernous storage with twin sliding trays on the opposite side. I must mention that every door, every compartment and every slide is supported by solid construction with quality compression locks, thick dust and waterproof automotive seals, and premium hinges and slides. All componentry tracks move easily with very little effort, and there is little opportunity for finger entrapment or similar. There are simply no sharp edges and the stainless trim features add to the overall appeal.

We took far longer selecting our perfect campsite than we did to open her up for an overnighter. The forward fold is assisted by well selected gas struts so you can pivot it manually quite easily, or alternatively connect to the winch for total ease. Rear slides have become extremely popular and this one extends really easily after you swing down the rear spare carrier. The long 5.6 metre tent seemed to simply pop to attention and the whole assembly required very little adjustment and only a few spreader bars. Overhead, a tropical roof pops up automatically so there’ll be no roast pork with the added insulation.

The canvas is a generous 14oz cotton canvas with SSP no 10 zips, midge mesh screens and both internal and external awnings all-round. It feels very cosy and secure, yet when you open all of the awnings and the "café style" side screen, you have open and airy accommodation. Its floor height is nice and high off the ground, away from unwanted visitors. The canvas is reinforced on wear points and features plastic internal support/seals for all of the double French stitching.

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We took the time to put up the 2.7 metre-wide, full length annexe, and as usual it took longer to do this than assembly of the rest of the unit. It has a full set of enclosures and a PVC floor for a longer stay, in an ideal destination. There’s also a 2 metre awning as part of the package for a quick overnight set up. Wild Boar supply strong steel poles and bars for the main tent but alloy "Fast Lock" poles on the outside annexe. Whilst I’ve heard criticism of the lighter poles, I find them convenient, easy to use and lightweight and have never personally experienced any issues. I say carry a spare or two if you’re really concerned!

It’s easy living with the Wild Boar. The added space in the front of the unit has allowed a full-width pole and fishing rod compartment plus a very large pantry with unique sliding storage dividers immediately forward of the removable doorway. To the rear is a stainless steel kitchen on roller bearing slides complete with an AGA Rated Smev 3 burner stove, sink with hot/cold mixer, gas regulator, Quick Connect fittings, adjustable LED light, utility drawers, stabiliser leg and folding wind deflectors. There’s a full-length stainless benchtop that folds to the rear plus a further extension table out in front making a versatile kitchen fit for a galloping gourmet.

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We were lucky to have Andrew, the proud new owner of this unit along for the day and he had fitted his Weber Q barbeque to another large slide-out drawer on the driver’s side. In addition, there’s the other entry for the pole carrier, lockable water tank inlets and the electrical control board in its own hatch at the rear, plus Andrew had opted for 240 volt power to the unit as well, with the inlet also on the driver’s side.

You won’t be short on power with inclusions such as 2 x 100 AMP AGM Batteries, Narva Battery Switch (Off-On), 12 volt Twin CIG Outlet, Volt Gauge, USB Outlets, 2amp to 21amp 6 Stage Projector Battery Charger and 50amp Anderson Plug, 160 watt Solar Panel and 50amp Circuit Breaker. There are digital water and power monitoring gauges and a new set of touch screen panels inside, allowing full control of all accessories. For entertainment, the Tuff Grunt LE has an FM/CD Player with 2 x Speakers (USB Inlet) with Remote Control plus the inevitable TV/DVD that would end up in the water trough if it were my camper. Still, I guess it’s good to watch the footy, or for those spoilt little piglets that can’t do without bloody TV. There are plenty of LED lighting and 12 volt power outlets plus USB charging throughout the Limited Edition Boar.

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It’s an easy couple of steps up into the belly of the boar, but there are no gizzards here. Instead, its beautifully appointed accommodation is complete with a Queen size 110mm thick "Memory Foam" mattress up front, with its own privacy screen and fly mesh enclosure that’s almost bug proof. It features the traditional dinette with drop-down table that can form yet another double bed, additional to the one in the slide-out extension. That makes comfortable sleeping accommodation for up to six adults, yet you’d need your ear plugs if there were any snorers in the group. All of the textures and finishes are practical and easy to clean but well-presented and trimmed with smooth surfaces, marine carpets, hard wearing flooring and marine vinyl cushions.

Many competitors offer zip-in ensuites from the main body or annexe, yet Wild Boar simply supply a separate 30 second pop-up nylon large shower ensuite/toilet room with a choice of a Smarttek or a Coleman portable gas hot water system, including shower rose plus a 20 litre porta pottie. I personally find this a much more suitable alternative, allowing you to move your ablutions and waste water well away from the living space.  

THE WRAP UP

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Sensible swine’s and sows will all agree that the Wild Boar Tuff Grunt Limited Edition Forward Fold with rear slide is one of the most inclusive, feature-packed, high quality off-road campers on the market. Our CTOTY judges all agree giving Wild Boar very high scores with all of their presentations in the last couple of years of competition, has proven that they have the stamina for the long haul and the sure-footedness for the rough stuff. Above all, the package price and attention to detail puts this blue ribbon contender high in the competition for your hard earned dollar. But you’d best get your trotters on if you want to pig out on this Limited Edition fodder.

TUFF GRUNT LIMITED EDITION INCLUSIONS

  • Solar Panel
  • Rear Opening
  • Rear Deck
  • Tent
  • Quick Setup Awning
  • DC-DC and Charger Options
  • Lithium Batteries
  • Lift Up Deck
  • External Water Source
  • Magnetic Curtains
  • Fusion Stereo
  • Interior Lighting
  • Bedside USB
  • Internal Storage
  • Awning Lights
  • Styling

HITS AND MISSES

Pros…

  • Overall quality
  • Price – value for money
  • List of inclusions and accessories
  • Separate shower/toilet tent
  • Stainless steel trims
  • Camouflage wrap

Cons…

  • Separate water tanks and fillers

SPECS

TRAILER

Tare 1640kg

ATM 2000kg (standard) 2300kg upgrade optional

Suspension independent trailing arm suspension complete with greaseable joints, fully welded stub axles

Brakes 6 stud 12in electric

Coupling ARK offroad 50mm ball

Chassis 100x50x4mm fully welded and

galvanised RHS

Drawbar 120x50mmx4mm RHS A Frame

Body Galvanised and two pack enamel zinc anneal

Wheel/tyre 16in 10 ply all-terrain tyres

Style alloy mags (6 stud Nissan pattern)

DIMENSIONS

Box size 1750mmx690mmx1340mm

Length 5400mm (hitch to tail lights)

Tent size 5500mmx2100mm PLUS 5600mmx2700mm awning

ACCESSORIES

Gas cylinders 2x4kg

Water 1x100L rear, 1x50L front, 2x20L jerry cans

Cooktop 3-burner gas stove

Kitchen L-shaped stainless steel external kitchen generous pantry areas + Evakool 75L fridge freezer Battery 2x100Amp AGM batteries

PRICE

$25,900

Check out the full review in issue #125 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration

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