Review: Travelander Geo Convert 2
We test and rate the Travelander Geo Convert 2, a contender ($45K and over category) in Camper Trailer Australia's 2014 Camper Trailer of the Year awards.
TRAVELANDER GEO CONVERT 2 REVIEW
Okay, so we’re lazy. We admit it. To be able to drive to our campsite or pull off to the side of the road, flip a few levers, push a remote button and watch our home-away-from-home unravel itself automatically is damned appealing.
It’s even more pleasant if you have been driving with the whole family for many hours and you pull up hot, tired and hungry. Let’s face it, who needs the hassles of tedious set-ups, a million poles and guyropes. That is one big reason why we love the Travelander Geo Convert 2.
The Travelander was a welcome retreat from a soggy and inclement Barrington Tops National Park in NSW at last year’s CTOTY and it returned with even more improvements to this year’s competition at Robe. We are constantly reminded that our Camper Trailer Australia reader survey revealed 64 per cent of you would prefer a hardfloor camper, and a whopping 95 per cent demanded "ease of use" as non-negotiable. So it seems that Travelander has hit its design criteria exactly.
Not only is it easy to use, but it provides some wonderful comforts, storage and accessories, all packaged on a terrific offroad trailer. It features 150x50x3mm RHS full-length chassis rails with high ground clearance and great departure angles, and the superstructure is hot-dip galvanised after manufacture for longevity.
The running gear includes 12in electric brakes, vehicle Components Cruisemaster independent suspension with dual shockers each side, a DO35 offroad flexible coupling and manual handbrake. Stud and wheel matching is also available.
Our demonstration unit was optioned with air-bag suspension, including a compressor, 14-gallon storage tank at 100psi and an auto-inflate kit. It provides a soft, fully-adjustable ride for varying road conditions, and the ability to level the trailer by adjusting the pressures.
STORAGE AND INTERIOR
The Travelander is the Jimmy Durante of camper trailers with its gigantic nose. The storage area is so big that judge Stuart Jones was able to crawl inside the compartments with ease.
Not only is it entirely suitable for carrying all of our camping paraphernalia, but as the Travelander is a modular, slide-on style unit, you can remove the accommodation when you get home and use the strong trailer as a tradie unit complete with lockable tool storage.
There is 110L of water storage up under the front of the trailer and a further 120L inside the camper module. When it’s time for a break from the road, simply open the back door and fold out the user-friendly kitchen with its three-burner stove and sink with hot and cold water.
The pantry and utensil storage is right in your face, and so is the slide-out evaKool 40L fridge (with freezer as an option). There is yet another fridge/freezer on a slide around the corner. Having direct access to the pantry and cooling makes it extremely easy to pack for travelling.
For power, Travelander fits twin 120Ah batteries and a multi-stage charger for 12/240v. It has a full battery management system so you can monitor your state of charge and usage. All circuits are independently fused and there is an Anderson plug direct to batteries for DC charge.
SLEEPING AND BATHING
There are six 12v outlets, but two are used for the fridges. There are also two sets of twin 240v outlets; one in the kitchen and one on the side. LeD and twin bedside reading lights are also standard. Solar is optional.
Travelander set up a pair of bunks in the tent, on the hardfloor surface, to demonstrate just how easily the unit caters for a family. There is plenty of room in the 8ft-wide hardfloor, and you still have the base module with a queen size innerspring mattress as standard.
The main tent needs no adjustment other than a minor levelling of the floor on uneven ground, and includes a fully enclosed 8ft annex with zips, midge mesh and two-way awnings. It’s all premium Wax Converters canvas, and has a tropical roof permanently attached as well as two big doorways.
We loved the huge multi-slide drawer that can be opened from inside or from a hatch on the outside, and plenty of other storage compartments — even a wine rack — contained in the main fibreglass shell.
A separate shower unit fits simply to the side, fed by a Truma gas hot water service, and you can keep warm in the tent with the Truma diesel cabin heating. Travelander says: "Leave the bitumen road behind with a Geo Convert 2 home away from home." We would love to in this unique, user-friendly camper trailer masterpiece from the extreme offroad specialists — Travelander.
To discover the Travelander Geo Convert 2's final score, be sure to check out Camper Trailer Australia magazine #73. Why not subscribe today!
TRAVELANDER GEO CONVERT 2 RATING
MIKE PAVEY:You can’t beat the convenience and ease of set-up of Travelander campers, thanks to the automatic function. I’ve long held them in great esteem since travelling in a small convoy with two Travelanders on the way south from Cape York. They are capable and comfortable, regardless of the terrain. I particularly like the rear kitchen, where everything falls to hand.
Better still, there is plenty of capacity to stay put for weeks at a time with 230L of water, dual batteries, two gas bottles and up to five jerry cans of fuel. Another great touring camper!
JOHN "BEAR" WILLIS:Travelander has made some welcome changes since last year. There’s a big annex footprint, upgraded finishes, air bag suspension, heater. It seems to be evolving more than innovating. With plenty of water, good power, heating, cooling, freezing and shower, it’s all good! And there’s been a conscious effort to upgrade finishes and it is noticeable — still a few silicone edges, though.
It’s a big, high and long trailer, but has terrific offroadability with high ground clearance, good departure angles and a great suspension, especially with the air bag option. I like the simplicity of the kitchen, the electrics are fine, and the hardfloor is terrific — remote assembly, now that’s comfort at the end of a long day on the road!
STU JONES: This is a well-aimed package intended for ease of use and easy set-up. I reckon it’s a winning design, with a few little things added to round out the package — the laundry bag as standard, boot locker and the privacy screen across the bed. There’s no DC-DC or solar, but with good gas, water and two batteries, the self-suffciency isn’t bad. It marks well with specs and comfort —there are two fridges!
Big ticks for quality of finish; it’s much improved. And there’s no problem with construction. This thing’s got monstrous ground clearance. It’s getting up in price, but there’s plenty of fruit. I’m not sure of the resale compared with that of other well-known brands.
As for the X Factor, that press-button set-up will always "wow"!
PHIL LORD: The Geo Convert 2 ticks all the boxes for remote travel for a family, with so much storage and the comforts of home. Access to one of the fridges near the bed is a great idea. And it’s got ample fridge capacity, water storage and power (and power recharge facility) to last a decent amount of time in the bush.
There is plenty of gear in the Geo Convert 2, plus the bonus of great storage and the fact you can remote the slide-on and use the trailer for work.
While it appears to have a balanced chassis fore-aft, the Travelander can feel a bit top-heavy on tow — although increasing tyre pressure will help. Overall, this is a simple-to-use camper, and it’d be an excellent option for families.
Call to enquire: 1300 287 283
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