Review: Patriot X1
We test and rate the Patriot X1, a contender ($15,000 - $30,000 category) in Camper Trailer Australia's 2014 Camper Trailer of the Year awards.
PATRIOT X1 CAMPER REVIEW
Patriot Campers has a winner on its hands with the go-anywhere X1. Sporting short overhangs, benchmark clearances and one of the tightest turning circles around, the X1 is the ultimate trailer for the most challenging terrain.
STRENGTH AND CONSTRUCTION
The trailer’s foundation is a laser-cut, interlocked, hot-dipped galvanised chassis for strength and longevity, structurally riveted to a marine-grade aluminium monocoque body using 2.5mm aluminium sheeting. The running gear includes Vehicle Components independent coil trailing arm suspension with twin shock absorbers per wheel, 10in electric drum brakes and 16in all terrain LT tyres on steel wheels. Up front, a DO35 offroad coupling allows full articulation. Other drawbar features include a handbrake, bolt-on jockey wheel and a large gullwing box protected by Rhinocoat. The box offers a low entry height and can secure up to six jerry cans or a generator, fuel and other equipment. An optional interchangeable drawbar adds some length for those longer rear doors and eases the pain when reversing.
The camper’s body is designed around a gear trailer using a quality Hannibal Safari roof top tent for accommodation. The standard tent (1.4m wide) accommodates two people using a 75mm high density mattress. Our test trailer featured options including the family tent measuring 2.4x1.8m, a changing room beneath the bed area and awning walls with screened windows and doors around the kitchen. An additional room is a further option.
The trailer is well designed, using high quality materials. The side compartment doors swing down 90 degrees to form bench tops, all dressed in a scratch-resistant stainless steel, making it suitable for hot liquids. A fridge slide incorporating a slide-out stainless kitchen bench, internal storage, sink and 12V water provides a modest area for cleaning up, but works fluidly with the other bench areas. Pantry storage is limited on the kitchen side, although there is additional storage on the opposing side or within the trailer tub. The fridge slide will accommodate a 60L ARB, or similar sized fridge.
At the rear, the tailgate folds down fully or just to dining table height and is also dressed in scratch-resistant stainless steel; simply pull up a chair. That leaves plenty of room in the tub for solar panels, chairs and other equipment, in addition to the optional twin rear roller drawers as fitted to our trailer. Although not offered at this stage, a full-width slide-out drawer with tie-down rails will be available in 2014. A Foxwing-style awning covers the side and rear of the trailer.
In fitting with the other quality componentry, a Redarc Battery Management System incorporates 15amp DC-DC and 240V chargers, a MPPT solar regulator, a vehicle battery isolator and an LCD monitor that acts as a fuel gauge, to show how many days are left at the current discharge rate. A 120Ah Fullriver AGM battery stores the charge and LED lighting is offered throughout the camper.
VALUE FOR MONEY
It’s hard not to be drawn into what the Patriot X1 model offers its owners. Beyond its tough demeanour and purposeful design, it still manages to integrate ease-of-use features such as the quick deploy awning, fold-down bench tops and easy-access storage from all angles. The integrated kitchen, hot water service and dedicated Porta Potti storage only serve to strengthen the appeal to the fairer sex or wider family needs. Priced from $24,990, that’s a lot of adventure for a limited outlay.
To discover the Patriot X1’s final score be sure to check out Camper Trailer Australia magazine #72. Why not subscribe today!
PATRIOT X1 RATING
STUART JONES: This camper is a hard-core offroader’s wet dream. It’s got everything you could need for offroad and will get there and back behind just about any truck.
In terms of self-sufficiency, it’s not as great as some top-of-the-range campers, but more than adequate. Only one 120Ah battery, however there’s a DC-DC charger to make the most of it. A solar panel or second battery would really nail it.
The quality of finish on this unit is excellent — very professional. It’s an exceptional package, but I would like to see the battery secured by something more than heavy duty cable ties.
Offroadability is better than any other camper at this year’s competition. It’s lightweight with great suspension, excellent clearance, good departure angles and rear recovery points, plus lots of tie-down points for your cargo. This is the offroader’s camper trailer.
There are enough comforts, too — hot water, a stereo and a well-equipped kitchen.
It’s very easy to use, with the pop-up rooftop tent easy to erect for a quick overnighter. The kids’ room will take a few minutes longer.
I loved it, it’s an absolute cracker. I want one!
EMMA RYAN: This camper nails the brief: a manageable unit suitable for either one bloke out hunting with his mates or a family camping adventure far from civilisation.
It’s an American-inspired design with a rooftop tent and swing-around awning, unique from anything else at the awards. Employs an innovative construction process with 3D modelling for a precise build, and every detail is superbly finished. This labour of love exudes class and quality.
The 70L water storage is backed up by six jerries across the front storage box, while the single 120Ah battery is a high-end Fullriver that will power the fridge down to 0%, according to Justin from Patriot.
This is a tough boy’s toy built like the proverbial brick outhouse. The trailer’s small size and weight together with its carefully considered angles means it will go anywhere your fourbie will. With a king-sized bed, hot water, loads of storage and an awesome kitchen — that spells offroad comfort to me! Can I keep it?
DAVID COOK: As a go-anywhere trailer that can take a couple or small family deep into the bush, this is very good for the price.
The single 120Ah battery might struggle with the fridge in a tropical area, but otherwise the only drawback is the smallish water tank. For a trailer that has such tough offroad capability I’d like to see a bigger tank.
The engineering is first class — as good as I’ve seen on any trailer. The hot-dipped chassis and laser-cut and CNC-bent panels are excellent. The extendable (in construction) drawbar would be great for those owning a barn-door type of vehicle.
If you can’t take this trailer somewhere, then no trailer can go there. The trailing arm suspension is well done, and would be even better with the optional air bags. I didn’t like the absence of the spare wheel.
The pantry near the kitchen is a bit small, forcing the use of a drawer or containers at the rear. I thought it could do with an inverter or 240V system.
The roof topper tent with the ladder will be limiting for some people, and you would really need the under-bed room for dressing. I also wasn’t mad on needing to have to carry the gas bottle around to the back to hook up to the stove.
Overall this trailer offers a lot for its money, and would make an impact in the bush or a campground.
Call to enquire: 07 3171 1796
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