Review: Carry Me Camper Walk In
We test and rate the Carry Me Camper Walk In, a contender (slide-on campers category) in Camper Trailer Australia's 2014 Camper Trailer of the Year awards.
CARRY ME CAMPERS WALK-IN SLIDE-ON REVIEW
Candy Canvas has been making slide-on campers for a long time, in Australian terms. Since 1996 it has turned out nearly 900 of its immensely practical and usable tray-backs, earning a deserved reputation for quality and functionality.
The Candys, Phil, Sandy and their son, Rick, diversified from a farming background into a canvas business that now employs 12 people in the tiny South Australian town of Tintinara, producing both canvas products and campers with what they regards as "country values".
The single/extra cab camper on review, dubbed their Walk-In, is fashioned from an all-steel body that is essentially a monocoque construction, saving 100kg of frame weight from the first versions. The finished empty weight of 390kg is very good, and the weight is mostly forward of the rear axle.
Sleeping takes place on the roof top in a fold-up tent that extends out over the passenger side with just two poles and a spreader bar to shelter the kitchen. The set-up to that stage took just three minutes and the rest is then under cover so if the weather is inclement you are protected. Walls, ground cover and/or draft skirt can then be added as needed.
Aussie Wax Converters canvas is used throughout as well as top-grade zippers, with Phil Candy advising that they would expect a very long life from the tent. There are a number of options for the tent to extend its size and function.
There are three large screened windows, an insect screen at the foot of the double (but 6ft 5in long) innerspring mattress. The bed has a full velcroed-on mattress cover. Beneath the bed are two large plastic clothes drawers.
The kitchen is basic but functional. There is a huge pull-out pantry with cooking on a stainless steel-topped drawer, beneath which travels the two-burner camping stove. The included fridge hangs on a tilt-down frame that makes the contents accessible without the weight of a full drop-down slide.
WATER AND POWER
The water tank holds 80L and the contents are accessed via gravity: "Pumps use a lot of power and waste water," says Phil, and by holding up the clear hose you can quickly see how much water remains. The Candys also feel that hot water services are unnecessary.
There is a single 105Ah AGM battery, Narva fused loom and a 40W solar panel on the driver’s side of the camper, which handles the battery’s needs as long as you keep it in mind and park appropriately.
Inside the driver’s side is a huge open space for carrying whatever luggage you require, with a smaller storage locker behind to carry the wind-down jacks and smaller objects above.
THE CAMPER TRAILER AUSTRALIA VERDICT
The basic engineering in the Carry Me Walk-In is not fancy, but its simplicity is its attraction. This could be fixed on the roadside — if anything ever went wrong — by anyone with a basic tool kit and a little commonsense. It is the KISS principle applied to the slide-on camper.
At $27,540 as reviewed, it was the cheapest in the competition and by golly it had an awful lot to recommend it.
To discover the Carry Me Campers Walk-In’s final score be sure to check out Camper Trailer Australia magazine #72. Why not subscribe today!
CARRY ME CAMPERS WALK-IN RATING
STUART JONES: Aimed at the no-fuss expedition tourer dependent on no-fuss reliability — this delivers handsomely. I liked that the walls for the awning were always attached and easily rolled down. And there’s plenty of space for the individual’s design.
It’s a very solid unit, well put together and light at 390kg. There is a good use of space and no wasted weight. We judges love our gadgets and luxury items, but we really enjoyed the comfortable simplicity of the Carry Me, such as the gravity-fed water and a solid drawer system. Good use of ute set up; two slide-out benches at rear are perfect for those times when you need extra kitchen space.
It’s the cheapest on test and value for money comes in its proven reliability and usefulness. The boy in all of the judges just loved the simplicity of the offer (Emma excused of course, although she loved it, too).
PHIL LORD: This is a very simple, proven slide-on. The Candy Canvas products are a bit like the Toyota of slide-ons: nothing breaks or falls off them in the harshest of conditions.
This is a remote area camper, and within that context it is very self-sufficient. The slide-on is a bit basic, and while that is just right for many buyers, the fact is that the Carry Me Camper lacks some features it could benefit from, such as a water pump.
You sometimes wish that products like the Carry Me Camper could have a special exemption from judging categories like "specifications" — while it is a good product for remote bush camping it does lack the innovation and bling required to score well here.
MIKE PAVEY: A no-frills expedition vehicle with a relatively small footprint. It’s got simplicity of design: drop-down fridge slide and storage boxes; small storage pouches on the back of the gull wing doors; slide-out shallow shelf with storage shelf. Generally good quality finishes with quality components and construction.
Self-sufficiency’s good with 105Ah AGM battery, 240V charger, 80L water, 40W solar panel and regulator. There’s also plenty of internal storage, LED lighting, ORS pantry and work bench; under-bed storage at foot of bed, annex, 47L ARB fridge.
A small canvas footprint means bows can easily be slipped over and back by hand. Resale should be good. This is a low entry price for a no-frills package.
Call to enquire: 08 7007 6832
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