CAMPING - CAMPER TRAILERS
The Cub Scout is one of the lightest forward-fold camper trailers on the market and as close to 100-percent Australian-made as you can get, Cub claims.
The Cub Scout forward-fold section is pulled over the drawbar area, drawing the Australian-canvas tent and roof bows with it.
Walking inside reveals a U-shaped dinette to the rear and, with the additional of an optional swivel table, it can be converted into a bed for another couple, or a pair of kids.
Outside is a roll-out kitchen and sink module with a pressure-water mixer tap.
While the Scout may be perceived as a budget-priced version of the Frontier forward-fold camper trailer it’s very well equipped and the choice of a simple beam axle on leaf springs isn’t necessarily a downgrade.
We’ve towed previous-model leaf-sprung Cub campers into very remote areas, without trouble. After all, nearly all 4WD utes have leaf-sprung rear axles.
So, what do you get for your starting price of 30 grand? The kit includes: galvanised chassis; Aussie-made canvas tent; awning and poles; midge-proof window and door screens; 4kg gas bottle; AL-KO square tube axle, eight-leaf, shackle leaf springs, 250mm electric brakes, stabiliser legs, jockey wheel and swivelling off-road ball receiver; three 15-inch steel wheels with M/T tyres;
1400mm slide-out pantry and fridge slide (95-litre fridge capacity); 100-litre water tank; galvanised steel stone guard; jerry can holder; 1960mm x 1500mm foam mattress; dinette seat and
back cushions; slide-out S/S kitchen, with sink and three-burner Smev cooktop; 100Ah AGM battery; Projecta battery charger;
isolation switch; 12V and 240V inlets and outlets; 12V water pump; LED lighting, including auto storage bin lights; Anderson plugs for solar input and fridge power; locking water tank filler and level gauge.
The Scout on test
Forward-fold campers offer a small footprint and a combination of made-up queen-sized bed and six-seat, or more, dinette, but there’s a catch. Putting the entry door between the bed and the dinette means the axle must sit behind the door, which is further aft than ideal, for optimum weight distribution.
Also, the location of the dinette means that it’s not possible to have heavy-equipment drawers or bins in the mid-body of the camper: they go up front, where a high proportion of their weight goes onto the ball, not onto the axle.
Cub Campers reckons the Scout can be towed by small-medium SUVs, because of its claimed empty-trailer ball weight of approximately 105kg.
However, great care would need to be taken with positioning the payload – around 380kg – so that loaded ball weight wouldn’t be excessive. For example, putting all your heavy gear in the front bins could send ball weight well over 200kg.
If we were setting up a tow vehicle to pull the Scout, we’d spread the fridge weight over two fridges: one in the back of the tow vehicle and small fridge on the Scout fridge slide. Tools and other heavy kit would go in the back of the tow vehicle. We’d also reserve the Scout’s front bin volume for bulky, but light, items.
We didn’t put any heavy stuff in the forward bins, so with balanced loading and properly adjusted tyre pressures the Scout was pleasant to tow on sealed and unsealed roads, and was easy to manoeuvre. On our off-road test track it went everywhere our LandCruiser 75 Series towed it.
Setting up camp was a doddle, thanks to Cub’s ‘silent winch’ and gas-strut assistance for the folding ‘lid’ and the aft tent bow. We set up the Scout, without awning, in three minutes.
Packing it away was just as easy and both operations were quiet, in contrast to the operation in earlier Cubs that had ratcheting winches.
The main issue we had with the Scout layout was that ‘cook’ wasn’t mad keen on the pantry being at the front of the trailer and the kitchen at the back.