There is no doubt that for those that want to get away from it all off the blacktop and into the outback - there is plenty of choice: everything from two-tonne caravans to lightweight camper trailers.
Each end of the spectrum has its advantages and disadvantages. With a van , you take the comforts of home with you, but there is a weight penalty. A camper trailer is considerable lighter, making off- roading much
Easier, but you do have to leave a few comforts at home.
And to be fair, that is what many people like to do - sit beside meandering river and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature with minimal gear and effort.
It was with his in mind that we took a look at the Wren off- road camper built by M.G.Campers. The Wren is built in Geelong, Victoria.
The Wren camper is no tubby Tommy. It weighs in at 590kg.
The Wren is built on a hot- dipped galvanised chassis and the running gear is independent suspension. Sports rims and off-road tyres, along with a spare wheel mounted on the side of the trailer. Conversely, getting at the spare wheel is much easier than, say, ferreting around under the trailer.
The actual camper body has been built onto a separate frame and is connected to the main chassis at six dampening points. This arrangement should limit the amount of stress that the camper body has to undergo when roughing it. That means there’s less chance things will crack and break when you’re dawdling about in the back of beyond. To make roughing it a little easier.
There’s also a holder for a jerry can or water container. At the front of the camper trailer, much like at the front of a caravan, is a galvaniser steel- lined boot. Underneath the trailer is a 60-lt water tank with a protective guard around it.
At the back, a hatch gives access to the storage area of the camping trailer when it’s folded up. A luggage rack on top of the camper trailer can be used to carry a boat or almost anything else for that matter.
Other standard features include the snap-up jockey wheel and for the off-roaders, a Treg hitch.
With a camper trailer of this size there is a lot of storage under the lift up bed. There are some catering facilities in the Wren. A two- burner stove has been mounted behind the locker door on the near side of the trailer. When the door is folded out, the camping stove is set up and the hose is connected to the nearside gas cylinder.
Also tucked away in the locker is the hand pump for the water supply. This means cooking and washing up can be done without lifting the roof of the camper. There’s a light fitted above the stove for cooking at night.
Camper Set Up
Going from parked to set up isn’t at all difficult and can be done by one person, although it makes it a lot easier if there is two.
With the camper trailer reasonably level, the two rear stabiliser jacks should be slid down into position. The luggage rack is then released by undoing the two clips on either side and the slide bolt at the front.
When the luggage rack is lifted over the rear, the floor and the tent section follows it automatically. Four gas struts aid this procedure. With the floor in position on the now up-side down luggage rack, It’s bolted into position. Inside the tent section, two poles are extended to make the tent section taught; they’re tightened with wing nuts.
The canvas screens can now rolled up and doors zipped opened. The rear door flap can act as a canopy and the front window has it’s own little canopy, supported by poles that attach to the drawbar.
All windows and doors have fly screens and the side windows above the bed have clear plastic windows as well. For keeping water out of the trailer, there is a generous canvas flap hanging over the edge of the trailer.
Inside, the layout is Spartan indeed. The double-bed foam mattress lies on wooden slats in the bed of the trailer. The bed can be lifted up, assisted by gas struts, to get to the storage area underneath. There are some narrow storage compartments on either side of the bed.
The Wren has been put together quite well.
There are also a couple of 12V reading lights on each side of the bed- nice touch. There is a light at the base of the bed for lighting the living area. Next to this light is a 12V socket for the fridge.
The Wren is a purpose- built machine for off-road and lightweight travel.
Features like the body chassis mounted on the main chassis are always going to cost more dollars. But the unit is very easy to erect, once a level space has been cleared, which is important after a hard day on the road - or off- road, as the case may be.
For the boating / fishing enthusiast who likes to get away to the quieter spots, it makes an excellent boat trailer in which you can live as well. What a great idea.
|Travel Length||7ft 11 in ( 2.4m )|
|Opened Length||15ft ( 4.5m )|
|Travel Height||3ft 11in ( 1.2m )|
|Width||5ft 11in ( 1.65m )|
|Chassis ( Double )||Hot- Dipped Galvanised Steel|
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