Light weight and ready to rumble!

24 Oct 2017

Top of Down Under's presenter Penny Wells has been towing an Ultimate off-road camper trailer for three years barely realising it was tucked in right behind her Fourby.

In December 2016 I was asked to be one of the judges for the Four Wheel Drive of the year award for 4x4 Australia magazine.  I was amongst icons in the industry such as Ron Moon.  This would have also been my second encounter with John "Roothy" Rooth but unfortunately he broke a leg a few days before the testing began.  The finalist were put through a week of tough evaluation.  The one thought I was constantly pondering…..how would these vehicles perform once you hook on a camper trailer?

Sometimes when purchasing a Fourby we gloss over the towing capacity until down the track we decide that we want to upgrade the dome tent to a camper trailer.  Now that towing capacity becomes critical.  Unfortunately I have personally seen scenarios where friends have loaded up their four-wheel drive and camper trailer for a week away in the great outdoors and by the time they physically sit in the driver’s and passenger’s seat they are legally beyond what they can safely tow.

The good news is that Ultimate off-road camper trailers manufacture adventure machines that have a tare weight of 850Kg compared to another well-known brand at just under 1100kg tare.  Starting off with a lower tare weight is a bonus as it's surprising how much gear we then load our off road camper trailers up with.  But where the Ultimate distinguishes itself from other makes is maintaining a down ball weight of only 45kg.  This is the result of a camper design crafted from a resin/fibre matrix to capture every light weight option possible.  What does this equate to for the family towing it?  Primarily it means safety for the whole family.  If the tow ball mass is too heavy it will lift the front end of the vehicle and will critically affect the vehicle's braking capacity.  Secondly driving a vehicle in this state is extremely stressful as you are constantly fighting the steering to keep it on the road.  I have personally experienced this and it is very unnerving.  Battling with light front end steering is tiring and when you are touring, you want the most stress free and comfortable ride you can get your hands on.  It is also important to check your tow bar rating to make sure it is up to the job.

Gaining the best possible fuel consumption is also extremely relevant to successfully roaming of our diverse continent.  We were travelling with friends in July 2016 who were towing a trailer with a roof top tent on top.  Half way home the roof top tent gave up the will to live and forcing us to find a refuse tip and laid it to rest.  Having that on the roof was like having a sail up there!  Which leads me to my next point - that an aerodynamic camper design can do wonderful things for your fuel economy.  With the Ultimate Camper combining its sleek aerodynamic shape and its light weight construction is a recipe for touring bliss!  When you feel you wallet convulsing in your back pocket as you pull into a remote fuel station that is charging like a wounded bull at $3.50 per litre, all of the above will come into play and keep fuel costs down.

Four years ago we found ourselves in the Northern Territory in a situation where we had no choice but to buy 300 litres of fuel at $3.50.  At that price it felt like liquid gold that they were pumping into my vehicle!

Combatting the Australian Outback with an Ultimate of-road camper trailer as my constant shadow for the past three years has certainly evolved my towing skills.  Pretty much where ever your four wheel drive can go your Ultimate off-road camper will pursue you with world class on and off-road manners, without breaking the fuel budget or your tow vehicle.  

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