Review: Ultimate Campers Xplor
We test and rate the Ultimate Campers Xplor, a contender (over $45,000 category) in Camper Trailer Australia's 2014 Camper Trailer of the Year awards.
ULTIMATE CAMPERS XPLOR REVIEW
Now here’s a classy product — the Ultimate Campers XPLOR. Hailing from a marine heritage in Moruya on the beautiful Eurobodalla Coast (NSW), Ultimate builds a truly unique camper that has been the flavour of the month for more than 20 years.
The XPLOR is a great looking, lightweight and compact camper with tremendous capabilities and facilities, backed up by an extremely high quality finish. It is an immensely strong camper with a fibreglass body shell reinforced with carbon fibre strips, fitted to a tough full-chassis trailer with galvanising and Raptor rust coatings for longevity.
CONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN
She weighs in at a low 840kg dry with a GVM of 1300kg and a realistic ball weight of around 110kg, so it is well-suited to smaller RVs and you barely know it’s there behind larger 4WDs.
But don’t let the low weight fool you — this is a very capable camper with plenty of comforts and features that will fit the bill either for an overnighter or for extended sojourns.
It tracks beautifully on its independent trailing arm suspension, complete with high-quality Koni shocks, coil springs, 16in brushed steel rims, all-terrain tyres, and a Treg 360-degree offroad coupling. The compact dimensions are just the ticket for tight bush tracks. Should you get a bit ambitious you will be thankful that the Ultimate is guaranteed dust and waterproof. It will, in fact, even float for a short period — must be that marine background again!
SETUP AND FEATURES
The XPLOR is an exceptionally easy-to-erect camper, and can be done even by the vertically challenged amongst us. The top folds over easily, creating a huge king-size bed area, and the tent springs up complete with tropical roof, awnings, flyscreens and detachable clears. It only takes three-to-four minutes to set up for an overnighter, and not much longer to complete the full package. Ultimate uses Wax Converters 10oz Dynaproofed canvas manufactured to a high standard.
Ultimate says: "You can sit, sleep, cook and eat in minutes!" There’s plenty of head height and you don’t have to be Houdini to get through the large doorway, nor take your life in your own hands on flimsy ladders — the fold-down fibreglass stairwell is a beauty.
The internal presentation is immaculate. We love the cabinetry finished in gloss white panels with a black "Galaxy" benchtop. There are tonnes of drawers, cutlery containers and even a pot drawer. On top is a twin-burner Smev cooktop for boiling the billy in the morning or to heat up a quick meal on the road. also inside there is a 117L Vitrifrigo upright fridge/freezer, an internal sink with hot/cold mixer tap fed by the Truma gas hot water system and a 110L water tank.
The beautiful internal presentation is completed with LED lighting, a Fusion sound system with an iPod dock and Bluetooth and a plush horseshoe-shaped dinette lounge with storage hatches beneath. A removable table locks into a receiver on the marine-carpeted floor. The upholstery, mattress covers and sheets are all produced in-house to the customer’s taste.
Speaking of storage, there’s a whopping 1340L lockable storage compartment in the nose, accessible via large dust-sealed doors on either side. Inside we also find two jerry can holders, twin battery mounts and a mount for annex poles. The XPLOR has a sensible power package including dual 110ah aGM deep-cycle batteries, a Redarc 25a DC-DC charger and a Ctek 15amp charger, serving six 12V outlets throughout the camper. There is also a solar regulator through the Redarc BMS.
SLEEPING AND EATING
Topping it all off is an awesome room created under the main bed. The walls simply attach with hook and fastener tabs around the sides and the fold-over bed becomes the roof. It is completely PVC-lined and features its own doorway, flyscreens and awnings to make a completely enclosed room.
It is big enough for the kids to sleep in bunks, or the adults to simply relax, and it all assembles quickly for those family overnighters on the road.
With the choice of outdoor or indoor living and cooking, a huge bed, deluxe appointments and cabinetry, plenty of power and lighting, hot/ cold water, rugged offroad capability, tonnes of comfort and accommodation and a really pleasing demeanour, the Ultimate XPLOR impressed all of our CTOTY judges, as well as the rest of the camp. Emma Ryan said: "I get to see a lot of campers as editor of CTA, and I’ll make no secret of the fact the XPLOR is almost certainly the one I’d choose to own."
To discover the Ultimate Campers XPLOR's final score, be sure to check out Camper Trailer Australia magazine #73. Why not subscribe today!
ULTIMATE CAMPERS EXPLOR RATING
EMMA RYAN: I made a big call in 2013 when I reviewed the XPLOR on the South Coast of NSW: I proclaimed it among my favourite campers and the one I’d personally choose to own. and I stand by that claim.
Firstly, it’s a very manageable weight and easy to tow, while maintaining full offroadability thanks to its rock-solid construction and high clearance. It’s very simple to erect, doable by a short editor without so much as breaking a sweat. The internal living area is bright, breezy and luxurious, with a massive bed, a well-equipped and beautifully finished kitchen and a comfy dinette plus heaps of storage.
Kids will love sleeping in their own little "cubby" room under the bed, and the annex rooms and awnings are erected quickly and without fuss. No doubt about it, this is my pick!
MIKE PAVEY: This is one of the few offroad camper trailers with a svelte waistline (840kg), which adds to its offroad prowess. It’s generally well-finished, with stone protection beneath the chassis and on the front-facing areas such as the nose cone.
Offroad, it’s got good clearances and minimal overhang. Self-suffciency is good with a full electrics package, though no solar panels. The foam mattress is massive. I liked the elevated view of the world, and the inside cooking. There is also inside access to the Porta Potti.
It’s got a relatively easy set-up. The nose cone storage isn’t segregated — making the best use of the available space is a little challenging. Good resale from an established and respected manufacturer. It’s more expensive than some of its rivals, yet without diesel heating and solar.
PHIL LORD: The Ultimate has plenty of features, such as a large storage space and ample room for four. While it is different to most trailers on the market, the Ultimate has been much the same for many years, although the new kids’ bedroom is a great idea.
There’s not a lot of gas provision as standard but there’s a huge fridge and enough water to sink a ship.
Offroadability is a bit of a double-edged sword — while it is light, has heaps of clearance and is nimble in stature, the body is tall and would be at risk of become unsettled on off-camber undulations.
Somehow the Ultimate feels as though it needs a bit of a refresh to stay relevant. There are some stunning features but they need to be melded with a fresh approach to the basic premise of the step-up to the main body of the camper.
STU JONES: This is an industry original, and well-loved by all that own them. It’s light and tough, with inside luxury. Good use of space for that kids’ room, which simply sticks with hook and fastener tabs. Simply put, the quality of finish is excellent, as is the construction.
It’s easily the best offroad in this category — it’s light, watertight and it’s got great clearance and suspension. The Fusion stereo is a nice touch, as is the big 117L stand-up fridge, but it’s only accessible when the camper is set up. Set-up of the main camper is easy, but it’s fiddly when you have to make up the bed each night as the bed comes in three pieces — that could get annoying on long trips.
The shape and build will "wow" many. I love its offroadability and the fit and the finish.
Call to enquire: (02) 4474 4410
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