I find it heartwarming that the proud tradition of premium Australian design and manufacture is still popular in this topsy-turvy dog-eat-dog world. One of our premium camper manufacturers is the Sunshine Coast's Rhinomax Campers; they have drawn upon the success of their previous models with their Discovery MK2 Hybrid, which comes at a reasonable price and towing capacity, whilst revealing tremendous comfort and facilities.
Quality abounds in the Rhinomax range, with former Rolls Royce engineer and Rhinomax Partner Andy Dean bringing the manufacturing standard up to a superb presentation. But make no mistake; the Discovery Hybrid camper trailer ain't no princess. Its level of comfort may suit royalty, but this unit has the strength and attitude of its Rhinoceros namesake when it comes to its bushability.
DISCOVERY MK2 HYBRID SPECS
The Discovery has quite a low tare weight at 1740kg, with a low-ball weight of 145kg to give one of the largest payloads (760kg) within the 14ft hybrid sector. Its weight is carried with a low centre of gravity giving the unit tremendous surefootedness; its rugged construction and design ensures you can confidently travel over harsh and broken terrain with ease, and return safely. Its footprint follows the tracks of the towing vehicle with a 4WD width of under 2m (1970mm).
It is quite long with its LOA of 6400, yet still not much more than most of the popular forward fold camper trailers, and has similar real weight. Its overall height is 2400mm on the road and that extends further when the roof is popped open on the easy cantilevered struts. Or there’s an electronic worm drive option for those who need it.
The Discovery is based on a very tough hot-dip galvanised chassis with Cruisemaster XT fully independent trailing arm suspension. It has twin shocks and coil springs each side, a strong and well insulated fibreglass composite body shell and terrific ground clearance with a steep departure angle. It will appeal to serious offroaders who want a good level of comfort on arrival.
CAMPER TRAILER BODY
Out in front the 150 x 50 x 4mm A-frame drawbar peaks at the Vehicle Components DO35 offroad coupling, with Anderson plug and standard trailer wiring including breakaway cable for the 12in electric brakes. There’s a strong AL-KO swing-away jockey wheel but, to be honest, I think it's hard to go past the new ARK units for overall function. I say this as I have had problems with swing-down styles on broken and uneven ground and prefer the ability to fully adjust the height to match the situation.
The main body shell is a large 4500mm x 1950mm giving plenty of room inside and out for the multitude of facilities. You will love the fully insulated shell with its 30mm thick composite fibreglass walls and roof and one-piece insulated floor. The security aspect can’t be underestimated. Leaving your camper trailer at camp has never been safer, with the lockable shell providing security for your valuables. There’s a large triple-lock door with security mesh screen, and the roof can also be locked down to secure the shell.
STORAGE AND KITCHEN
A very comprehensive full-width storage container sits forward of the main body shell, combining an exceptional amount of enclosed storage, twin gas bottle and jerrycan holders, and a large luggage/firewood rack essential for carrying in the timber for that warming bush TV. It has a hard-wearing surface over the alloy construction becoming a stone guard for the body shell.
Underneath is a 125L poly water tank secured high in the chassis and another 110L option can be fitted giving tremendous capacity. The Discovery MK2 also has the facility to pump water directly from a stream or external source, and has lockable filler caps plus a pressure-reducing inlet for utilising mains pressure in a more domestic situation.
Rhinomax has manufactured a beautiful stainless steel kitchen that pulls out parallel to the kerb side. The kitchen incorporates a three-burner Thetford stove plus a large sink with a hot/cold mixer fuelled by the Truma gas hot water service. The top folds over to provide a large stainless bench space, plus there’s an under-sink compartment. A large cutlery drawer and two big pantry drawers give you ample dry food storage.
Next to the sink is a long fridge slide with a huge pot/pan and pantry storage drawer with a convenient sliding storage drawer on top. Plus there's the secure, ventilated slide for the 85 litre fridge/freezer from Eva Cool.
POWER AND SHOWER
The Rhinomax Discovery MK2 comes with a very comprehensive power and charging assembly. It has a 12V electrical system incorporating the lithium-compatible Redarc BMS 30 battery management system, a DC to DC charger, 2 x 120A batteries, 1000W pure sine wave power inverter and 320W roof mounted solar panel facilitating extended sojourns well off the power grid. There is also a complete 240V power system installed for when you have the opportunity to connect to mains power.
The Discovery has one of the easiest ensuites on the market where you simply pivot the spare wheel carrier to the side, unclip the fibreglass support shell on the rear that pivots upwards and the shower tent falls easily to the ground. It is simply huge. It can even act as a secluded hideaway when using the porta-loo which lives in a two-way compartment accessible from both inside and outside the camper. There are no poles required, but you may wish to peg its base to stop it flapping in the wind.
The offside of the unit has the water tank fillers, 240V input and two more large storage compartments. Each side has a large opening double-glazed window complete with blackout curtains and flyscreens.
Thankfully, the doorway and internal dimensions are large enough for both tall and wide individuals, and the folding stairwell is easily spaced for those of us with bad knees. The internal presentation lures you to come inside and relax. With is five-seater lounge and pivoting table, plus optional thickly padded grey leather upholstery, maybe it will entice the crew inside for a dinner party, drinks, or a card game.
Up in front is a delightful queen-size innerspring mattress that remains permanently made. There is plenty of room both overhead and surrounding the bed, plus reading lights, 12V power points and plenty of ventilation. Under the bed are a large pair of storage drawers and there's more storage under the lounge seats, plus the fitting point for the batteries and electrical systems.
At the rear of the cabin Rhinomax have crafted a superb rear bench/vanity/bureau unit. The one in the trailer I tested had stone-look laminate benchtops and glossy grey drawer and cabinet fronts to match the leather. It features a sink with hot/cold mixer, 240V and 12V power points, an optional TV plus heaps of soft close drawer storage and a tall cabinet in the corner. It also displays the water meter, Bluetooth/FM/MP3 sound system with USB inputs, Redarc power display and heat controls for the hot water service.
The Rhinomax Discovery MK2 Hybrid camper trailer is a finely crafted and superbly appointed large hybrid with the tough Rhino guts to get you there and back again with confidence. Its superb selection of components, layout and facilities are matched with a high level of comfort and facility with an edge that comes from the experience of Rolls Royce engineering.
I found the Discovery MK2 to be particularly well priced considering its commitment to Australian manufacturing and componentry, and would find it an ideal travelling companion for an extended adventure around our huge continent with all it has on offer.
Suspension Cruisemaster XT fully independent trailing arm suspension
Brakes 12in electric
Coupling DO35 off-road
Chassis Galvanised box section
Drawbar 150 x 50 x 4mm galvanised A-frame
Body 30mm insulated fibreglass composite
Wheel/tyre 17in alloy with with 265/70 R17 all-terrain tyres
Style Steel mag
Box size 4.5 m x 1.95m
Length 6.5 metres (hitch to tail lights)
Body size 4500mm x 1950mm wind out Thule annex
Gas cylinders 2 x 4.5kg holders
Water 125L poly std plus optional 110L
Cooktop Thetford three-burner gas
Kitchen Stainless steel, large sink, hot/cold mixer, large stainless bench space, under sink compartment, a large cutlery drawer and two big pantry drawers above, fridge slide with huge pot/pan and pantry storage with sliding storage drawer plus 85 litre fridge/freezer from Eva Cool.
Battery 2 x 120 AMP AGM (Std)
PRICE AS TESTED