Hi Stockman Team,
We got back from our WA Odyssey last Tuesday. The Rover went very well overall. We bush camped 16 days out of the 25 nights we were away, we only had a power site available for a total of five nights. We had purchased the Rover sight unseen and were extremely pleased with the quality of the fittings and the way it was put together. I have put together a review for you:
On a scale out of 10, I have rated the Rover a 9.5 out of 10. Personally we found it easy to tow and manoeuvre. Over the 7,000 Km travelled we averaged 15.7 litres fuel consumption per 100 Km with the 2.8 litre Prado. This is roughly 2.7 to 3 litres per 100 Km extra when not towing on country roads. I would estimate that of the 7,000 Km we travelled, there were about 350 Km travelled on ungraded roads. The dust seals on the cabin and kitchen performed really well with no visible dust encountered.
Towing and Handling – 10
Towing the fully loaded Rover was a dream, we were able to overtake Road Trains and Caravans without too much hassle. I only had the one incident jamming the Rover into an overhanging tree branch at the Madura Caravan Park. We put this down to driver fatigue (and inexperience) having travelled around 780 Km that day.
Kitchen – 9.5
We loved the Kitchen, we didn’t always use the canopy so having the rear tailgate as a cover for the kitchen worked really well. The Dometic Fridge/Freezer was fantastic. We used the freezer to good effect. We would generally top up drinks in the morning of each day and never wanted for a cold drink. The gas hotplate struggled in the windy conditions. WA is a very windy place so this was always an issue, we generally had to place the Rover facing into the wind so we could use the hotplate downwind. I have now engineered a 300mm high 3 sided stainless steel wind guard so expect this will no longer be an issue. The kitchen cabinetry was well designed and of an excellent quality
The Enerdrive RV80 Power System – 10
The Enerdrive System performed brilliantly. We didn’t use our supplementary Solar Panel until one cloudy day at Mt Magnet, once connected the 250 Watt Kings Solar panel boosted the system back up to 100% in very quick time. Due to issues with having to place the Kitchen downwind we quite often had the supplementary panel charging in the morning and the fixed panels charging in the afternoon. There was one afternoon at Lake Annean with the temperature at around 32 Degrees we stayed in the cabin with the A/C on watching movies and the system maintained a 100% charge. The Enerdrive system gauge fitted in the kitchen was excellent, I used it every day to gauge how the solar panels were performing.
Sleeping Cabin -10
The Mattress was fantastic, we generally had a great night’s sleep every night of our trip. We employed a light weight doona and a couple of continental pillows to help with sitting up. Ventilation was good with plenty of adjustment available with the side windows. The lack of a foot well did take some getting used to. We have since purchased a second single step so we have one for each door to assist with egress and putting on shoes etc. The internal cabinetry was well laid out. One of the dust seal locks travels past 90% so would like this to be replaced whenever we get to Melbourne.
Hot Water System-10
The HWS performed well. We had issues at the first camp where we couldn’t get the system to work. Luckily, we had brought along spare D cells, once changed over to the Everyreadys the system didn’t miss a beat.
Water Tank and Pump-10
The water tank and pump also performed well. We camped for 5 days straight at Meekatharra and easily made the 120 litres last. I found that filling the tank was improved with the use of nozzle on the supply hose otherwise the system created a lot of backflow and flooding causing the tank to be underfilled. The water tank gauge was very accurate.
Thirty Second Awning – 9.5
The Awning was easy to use, setup and pack away. Wind was an issue 90% of the time so we always employed tie downs and poles. As discussed earlier, I believe the Rover was supplied one pole short as the Awning support arm which extends over the Kitchen Tailgate didn’t have a provision for accepting a pole. In windy conditions this arm would impact on the tailgate lights if not supported. I was able to use one of the spare shower cubicle poles as a work around for our trip. I have since fitted the spare plastic knuckle (supplied with the Rover) to the this arm. We used the dome tent for two days only, it was somewhat fiddly to setup but was used to good effect to get away from the flies and wind. We also use two of the walls in various positions to help with the windy conditions in the kitchen area.
Front Tool Box – 10
The Tool Box, was easy to use and had plenty of space. I note the tie downs shown on the website were not fitted but this wasn’t an issue. We were able to store the supplementary solar panel, the porta loo, two tables, three chairs, two buckets and various tools in addition to the standard Rover equipment. We also added a 15 litre grey water container as this is a requirement at most Caravan and RV Parks.
Audio Entertainment System – 9.5
We used the audio system most nights as we were on our own and didn’t have to mind the neighbours. The only issue was the lack of an AM band as the FM stations were not accessible in the remote locations we frequented in the WA outback.
TV – 5
The TV was painful to use. The 13” screen on this unit was underwhelming. It’s basically a DVD player so it could play DVDs, only problem is we haven’t bought a DVD this century. We have a vast collection of Blu Rays which were ineffectual. The basic instructions supplied listed 32Gb as the max size USB the unit would recognise. We purchased two 32Gb USB sticks to store enough videos for our trip only to find the system did not recognise them. I suspect it can only recognise USB 2.0 as these USBs were of the latest 3.0 version. However, the system could read my 2 Tb hard drive but could only play five out of the 30 odd movies stored on the drive. Again, there was a restriction on the size of the files the system could read. We couldn’t work out how to synchronise the headsets with the system either. Most nights we just used my 10” Tablet. This was the only disappointing item on the Rover.
Stockman Note: Thanks for the amazing review, John! I’m sorry about the trouble you had with the TV. We are looking into the issues with USB 3.0 but USB 2.0 drives work perfectly. Other inputs are HDMI, DVDs as well as the Chrome cast provided. The sound can be reproduced through the FM stereo or the head phones. We’ve updated our description on the website to make this clearer for our customers. Happy camping