CAMPING - CAMPER TRAILERS
The Discovery Hybrid is a 4.3-metre (14ft) pop-top camper that is designed to offer the benefits of a caravan with the agility of a camper trailer.
Rhinomax Campers’ 2016 Discovery Hybrid is available with an upgraded front box layout. The storage box is Rhino-coated for protection and has drop-down, side-loading doors. The box is large enough to house a BBQ or generator that can be installed on a pull-out slide.
Gas bottles and jerry cans are now stored in integrated, lockable compartments.
At around 1600kg tare weight it’s one of the lightest in this class, with a compact body length and a width of just under two metres, allowing it follow a tow vehicle on off-road tracks.
We checked out the Rhinomax factory in Queensland and were very impressed with the design and construction of all the Rhinomax products.
The basis is a full length, hot-dip galvanized, 150mm x 50mm x 3mm steel chassis, mounting independent coil-spring suspension with twin shocks each side. The rails run straight from drawbar coupling to rear end: there’s no separate drawbar add-on section.
The independent trailing arms are made from 50mm x75mm x 4mm Supagal steel and the stub axle is custom-made from 50mm-square steel bar that runs the full width of the arm in one piece.
The Discovery walls and roof are made from 30mm-thick fiberglass, high density, foam-cored, insulated composite panels. The corner joints are protected by aluminium framework.
FRP-composite panels are extremely strong and eliminate the need for internal steel or timber framework. The material is similar to that used in the frameless
bodies of refrigerated semi-trailers.
Inbuilt insulation reduces heat transfer and maintenance and repair are straightforward.
The floor is also made from a composite panel, faced with an underfloor layer of galvanised steel sheeting for protection against stone strikes.
Rubber pinch-weld automotive seals are fitted, to keep dust and water out.
Standard running gear includes: three 16-inch aluminium wheels in LandCruiser stud pattern, shod with 265/75 R16 off road tyres; 12-inch electric brakes and four Pedders heavy duty shocks
A stainless steel outside kitchen slides on bearings and features pan storage and a large pantry drawer. The stove is a Thetford three-burner unit with electric ignition and a toughened glass, hinged lid. The sink has a mixer tap connected to the hot water system.
A sliding shelf fits onto the pantry drawer and a utility bench clips onto the side of the kitchen. When unclipped and turned upside down it fits over the stove and acts as a sloping dish drainer.
Although there’s no internal kitchen the rear bench top makes an ideal place for a portable camping stove.
The Discovery comes standard with a Hitchmaster DO35 coupling, but others are available on request. (OTA’s bush testing of the DO35 and subsequent threats of legal action if we published our findings would prompt us to request an alternative!)
Electrical power equipment is headed by a Projecta Intellicharge 25amp 240v charging system and Projecta electronic low voltage disconnect. Battery condition and water level gauges are standard.
There’s also a Projecta 600-watt pure sine wave inverter.
Interior and exterior lighting is all LED and there are 12-volt and 240-volt power points throughout the camper. Twin 150-watt solar panels are mounted on the roof.
Standard tankage is a 125-litre, Australian-made, food-grade poly water tank that is 12mm thick. An additional 85L tank is optional.
A power hot-water shower is standard and there’s a choice of hot water systems: a Truma LPG unit or a Webasto diesel hot water system. A water pressure
regulator means you can connect into a town water supply when available and save tank water.
The shower cubicle opens on the back of the camper and consists of a hinged panel that springs out, dropping the fabric privacy panels into place. When folding it away the fabric is folded into place and stored behind the closed lid: simple.
The Discovery Hybrid off-road camper has a 2016 RRP of $69,000; tare weight, 1620kg; ATM, 2500kg; ball weight, 110kg, overall length, 6400mm; body length, 4500mm; width, 1970mm and travelling height, 2400mm.