30-45k - FINALIST
If you're looking for a camper to truly keep you going in the outback, then the Terra Trek TTE is a stand out. Designed by a team with plenty of solid camping experience, with a focus on self-sufficiency and rugged exploration, this is a camper that gives you the freedom to stay out there making new discoveries. However, you'll look good doing it too, thanks to its geometric lines and matte finish.
AN OUTBACK EXPERT
A focus on the outback and the desire to experience it in the most positive manner is evident throughout the Terra Trek’s design and construction. Significant in the design criteria was the capacity for a trailer that would tow and perform well on the dirt, with durability and ease of use. The trailer rests on a hot dip galvanised chassis that was 3D computer designed and incorporates a unique and innovative single beam front drawbar. At 125x125x3mm, this permits almost 90 degree jack-knifing which is light yet great in tight manoeuvring situations and it’s long enough to work with barn-door vehicles such as Prado and Pajero. The very front section is a U-shaped bracket which provides handles for hand manoeuvring of the camper, adds strength to the drawbar beam and provides a mounting point for the almost ubiquitous (at this price point) DO35 hitch.
The suspension is in many ways reminiscent of that in a T-Van or Vista, with dual swing arms crossing from each wheel to the opposite side of the trailer and dual trailing arms on each hub. While the design appears immensely strong, it has been designed smartly enough to use Land Cruiser springs, shocks and bushes which makes parts pretty easy to find anywhere in this country. It is toe-in and out adjustable and height adjustable courtesy of the air bags. The relatively light 980kg Tare weight, assisted by the aluminium bodywork, with impressive ramp-over and departure angles makes for a camper that you would be pretty happy to take just about anywhere you could drive your tow rig.
A PRACTICAL UNIT
When it comes to liveability on the road a quick set-up is key. If you’re heading off for a long weekend camp every six months, an hour or two set-up isn’t a big deal. However, spend a month or two on the road and you’ll soon start looking everywhere for time saving measures. With that in mind, there’s been a great deal of thought gone into the Terra Trek for how it’s actually used when set up, not just how it’s used offroad. The main tent is a beauty. Simply pop a couple of clasps and up she goes, quicker and easier than a traditional rooftop tent, while still allowing you to keep your bedding made. The extension out over the ladder is handy too, not only allowing a dry entry and exit but also providing shelter for accessing the rear storage compartments in torrential rain, smart eh? If you’re bringing kids along, the second room is a must have as well. It’s a simple three pole set-up that can be punched out in a matter of minutes and either provides a second bedroom, or an eating area safe from flies.
The kitchen is well laid out too, something unusual for this style of hard-core camper. While the cooker slide is a little rickety there’s plenty of bench space with everything falling to hand easily. Pantry storage is an unusual but effective tub arrangement along the flank of the camper, with a fox-wing style awning providing quick protection from the elements. If you’re after the Taj Mahal in the bush, the Terra Trek might not be what you’re looking for. But if you’re after a well laid out, practical set-up you can lug down any track you can find, the Terra Trek has a lot to offer.
IT'S AN EYE CATCHER
One of the most exciting things about judging at CTOTY is the anticipation of that one newcomer who brings something completely different to the table – it happens at least once every year. This year, we were lucky enough to have two such campers, and one of them was the Terra Trek TTE. This is a completely original concept designed from the ground up by a bloke with a long history of extended outback sojourns. The Terra Trek is a labour of love born of decades of real world experience in some of Australia’s toughest terrain. Its sleek geometric lines and matte finish had us all intrigued, and when the thing unfurled like a transformer revealing a totally unique layout unlike anything else on the market. Lightweight, robust and innovative, the Terra Trek gave we judges plenty to talk about. From a completely new suspension concept designed in house to a bespoke rooftop tent, from tip to toe the Terra Trek demanded our attention as a new and exciting product, and one to keep an eye on as it continues to evolve into the best version of itself over the coming years.
TRAVEL FOR LONGER
John ‘Bear’ Willis
The Terra Trek TT-E was designed by experienced campers to maintain the essential elements of power, food and water on a long and dusty track. It all starts with a large 90L stainless steel water tank fitted up high in the chassis behind the suspension. It has its own filtration and pumping system and it is one of the only camper trailers that boasts baffling the tank to avoid weight shifting in difficult environments. There is also an option for another 70L tank but it wasn’t fitted to our display model. The unit comes complete with a portable gas hot water system serviced by two 4.5kg gas bottles all securely mounted in suitable enclosures. The gas lines also service the kitchen with its twin burner Companion stove. At the bottom rear corners are individual lockers with mounting brackets for two jerry cans. This gives you extended range with the choice of fuel or more fresh water in each. Terra Trek has included a large boot storage right across the front of the TTE. It currently houses the HWS plus a Trailblaza 105L stainless steel fridge (optional). This is also where the electrical smarts are housed with the terrific Redarc Manager 30 battery management system controlling charging and discharge of the two 120Ah AGM batteries. You will find USB and 12V sockets in the same panel as well as an RV Electronics digital water indicator. Every compartment is fitted with high quality compression locks and automotive seals to keep the dust and rain out. Out back is cavernous storage that runs right up through the centre of the trailer and is large enough to carry an inflatable boat, outboard engine and generator.
SuspensionCustom long travel independent suspension. Old Man Emu coil springs and nitrocharger shocks (exchangeable with Toyota 200)
Brakes 10in electric offroad
Coupling Treg coupling offroad hitch (optional D035)
Chassis Ladder-style, steel, hot-dipped galvanised
Wheel/tyre size LT285/75/R16 with BFG KM2Mud Tyres
Tent Custom designed hard shell roof top tent
Body length 2900mm
Total length (hitch to spare wheel) 4250mm
Gas cylinders 980Kg
Water Custom long travel independent suspension
Cooktop Two-burner gas stove
Kitchen Stainless steel slide-out
Batteries 2 x 120Ah AGM batteries REDARC 1230 BMS
$43,990 (Fridge, hot water unit, mag wheels and kids annex optional extras).