For 16 years, Bluewater Campers has been in the business of importing campers and preparing them to meet the rigours of Australian conditions and Australians’ expectations. And it shows. Far from simply importing and reselling campers, Bluewater prides itself in fundamentally improving them with the inclusion of high-spec Australian componentry and the exercise of rigorous quality control. And this fact was clearly evident when we spent time with the XTraveller at this year’s Camper Trailer of the Year event.
CTOTY 2023 JUDGE - KATH HEIMAN
The Bluewater XTraveller Hybrid has its sights set on a couple or a young family who love spending time outdoors. That’s why most of the storage compartments are configured for outside access. But that’s not to say that the camper is deficient inside. Far from it. There are useful drawers and compartments for personal effects. The cabinetry and upholstery are pleasing to look at and robust to the touch.
Meanwhile, the under-bed storage area is massive enough to accommodate around 45 jerry cans - and that’s without taking into account the 100-litre capacity dedicated to the fridge! Then, there’s an additional 2000L (100 jerry cans) available throughout the rest of the camper. Readily accessible inside and out, this camper is versatile enough to pack whatever you like to travel with, regardless of whether it’s odd-shaped, bulky or downright dirty.
The Bluewater XTraveller Hybrid caters for humans who like getting away from other humans because there are plenty of amenities to enable self-sufficient travel. This includes either twin 8.5 or 4kg gas bottles, 200L water capacity in dual tanks, and space for a 110L fridge on the 150kg rated fridge slide. Supporting your power needs are 2 x 135Ah BSL lithium batteries, 2 x 175W Victron solar panels and a Redarc 2000W inverter, all of which hum along to the rhythm of the Redarc BMS with Redvision display. It’s fair to say that the list of quality Australian componentry on offer here is far longer than you’d have any right to expect at this price point.
This style of hybrid camper is not unique to Bluewater Campers, but the finished product certainly is. In the XTraveller Hybrid, Bluewater has taken a solid imported product and added magic by partnering with trusted Aussie brands and applying Bluewater’s keen eye and engineering nous to maximise its usability and reliability. The XTraveller Hybrid punches well above its weight in features, fittings and feel. So much so that I reckon if I was in the market for a hybrid of this type, I’d look at its $41,990 price tag and start whistling a happy tune.
CAMPER AUSTRALIA EDITOR AT LARGE - GLENN MARSHALL
The Bluewater XTraveller comes with an electronic roof lift which means you can be set up with the touch of a button. The Bambini queen-sized innerspring bed is always ready to go and converting the lounge into bunk beds is also a simple action.
The kitchen slides out easily while the snake track handles the water lines, gas line and power cables meaning there is nothing to connect. The Redarc RedVision screen added to the Manager 30 keeps your 12V management simple. Adding privacy for a shower or the porta potty is the externally mounted shower tent that uses gas struts to prevent it from folding up in windy weather and there are plenty of pockets to store your shampoo, soap and toilet paper. Winding out the awning is the task that takes the longest.
Coming in at $41,990 this is great value when comparing it against other campers in the same price bracket. With the REDARC Manager 30 looking after the 12V system, two 175Ah lithium batteries, a Truma three-burner stove with electronic gas cut-off, a positive pressure system to keep out the dust, loads of storage and comfort. With an A1 quality finish and build you’d be lucky to find too many other hybrids with these specs. It does lack an air conditioner and heater, but that is something you can option if required. The XTraveller is so close to being gasless and I hope that Bluewater looks into this shortly.
Bluewater has been able to turn this imported hybrid into a well-built, easy-to-use camper finished with high quality and packed full of REDARC gear while keeping the price low, which is impressive. The XTraveller is so close to being gasless, with 270Ah of lithium power 350W of Victron solar panels on the roof and a 2000W inverter, these inclusions could handle an induction cooktop, just. With a few tweaks, one more solar panel a 3000W inverter and a diesel heater/hot water combo and the Thetford three-burner stove, Truma Ultra Rapid and LPG gas bottles would be gone. I hope that Bluewater looks into this soon as it would be much better for our environment.
CAMPER AUSTRALIA CREATIVE DIRECTOR - TIM VAN DUYL
The standout for me is the balance of great appliances, fitout and price. Having top-name appliances and decent suspension upgrades in the XTraveller really impresses.
The XTraveller uses industry leader REDARC and its excellent TVMS for battery charging and management. Up top is some decent solar (350W) and with the combined 270Ah of lithium, you should see a few days to a week’s power which matches nicely with the 200L of fresh water.
I appreciate the ease of use with the XTraveller. The electric roof lift takes the strain away which opens it up to a broader buyer group. The use of the snake track is sensational. No fiddling with a gas bayonet or messy water lines, just pull out the kitchen and get into it.
It’s a small detail and not a costly extra but the addition of a 12V travel oven is a detail I’d enjoy immensely. Like most campers, I like to crack a cold one on arrival but I’m also often late to camp so having a travel oven that can heat a few pies or a nice curry is a touch I really can get behind.
Towing the XTraveller is something you do need to plan for. It is not a compact camper and fully loaded, she’ll come in at 2400kg. I’d suggest a modern ute or full-size SUV as the tugger for the XTraveller. You could get away with a slightly older Prado, but it will be at the limits of what I’d say is safe and capable.
It tows brilliantly though and is well warranted for going the distance with a Cruisemaster DO35 hitch on the front of the 75 x 50 x 4mm chassis. Holding it off the ground is a set of independent coil sprung, trailing arms with two Ride Pro shocks per side. All in all, it felt great on our tow loop. It handled the bigger bumps with ease and tracked true behind Bluewater’s Y62 Patrol. Under hard brake testing, it felt safe and secure thanks to a set of 12in drums that bit hard with the brake controller set aggressively but also progressively if more subtle with the controller.
All in all, I came away from the XTraveller impressed you could get that much camper for a schooner under $42k. As campers (and all things) have been increasing in price for the past couple of years, it's great to see Bluewater hang onto one of its strengths.
Winner - Best Value for Money Camper
BLUEWATER XTRAVELLER HYBRID SPECS
Weights and Measures
|Chassis||75 x 50 x 4mm and 120 x 50 x 4mm drawbar|
|Body||Fully welded aluminium|
|Suspension||Independent trailing arm with Ride Pro shocks|
Accessories and Inclusions
|Battery||Battery 2 x 135Ah lithium batteries|
|Solar||350W Victron solar panels on roof and remote solar connection|
|Hot Water||14L hot water system|
|Stove||Truma three burner stove|
|Fridge||Space for a 110L fridge|
|Water||80L and 120L freshwater|
|AC||Air conditioner optional|
BLUEWATER XTRAVELLER HYBRID PRICE $47,490 (as tested)
Supplied by Bluewater Campers