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Cub Campers Brumby 2018 review

Marcus Craft
Editor - Adventure

10 Oct 2018 • 17 min read

In a camper-trailer market seemingly in danger of being swamped by cheap products of dubious build quality, it is refreshing to see a local mob, Australia’s Cub Campers, persisting with well-built and highly functional camper-trailers packed with standard features and with plenty of optional extras. 

The company's 2.2m rear-fold* line-up includes the Weekender, Explorer and Brumby; its 3.6m line-up includes the Traveller, Escape and Longreach. (* When the trailer is static, its roof can be unfolded to the rear to become the hard floor of the camper’s entry-way. Check out the accompanying photos to better understand the process.)

Our test Brumby was a standard model (from $29,490) with an Adventure Pack ($1300) and draught skirt ($225), giving it a $31,015 price-tag.

This off-road camper-trailer has a 885kg tare weight and 139kg on the tow ball. (image credit: Brendan Batty) This off-road camper-trailer has a 885kg tare weight and 139kg on the tow ball. (image credit: Brendan Batty)

How big is this camper-trailer? How much does it weigh?

Length

4350mm

Width

2200mm

Height

1700mm

Weight (Tare, ATM, Tow Ball)

885kg / 1400kg / 139kg

The off-road rear-fold Brumby has a 2.2m-long body and is 1.7m wide, including the alloy roof rack, which is standard. When set up, it has an open length (including the drawbar) of 6.6m. 

Its rather compact exterior dimensions keep it from appearing to be an intimidating camper-trailer when it comes time to tow or set up.

Cub Campers reckons the Brumby can sleep up to four people.

How easy is it to tow?

  • The Brumby is not a huge unit – in terms of weight or dimensions – so it is very easy to tow and monitor on the move. (image credit: Brendan Batty) The Brumby is not a huge unit – in terms of weight or dimensions – so it is very easy to tow and monitor on the move. (image credit: Brendan Batty)
  • The Cub Campers' is equipped with its own independent coil-spring suspension set-up. (image credit: Brendan Batty) The Cub Campers' is equipped with its own independent coil-spring suspension set-up. (image credit: Brendan Batty)

At 885kg (with 139kg on the tow ball), this is a nimble and easy-to-tow trailer. 

It has a galvanised steel chassis and is equipped with Cub Campers' own independent coil-spring suspension set-up, which helps the Brumby ride through undulating terrain with supreme ease, maintaining composure all the way. 

Its AL-KO 50mm off-road ball hitch, which affords a greater range of motion for the coupling – up and down, and side to side – than a standard one does, gives the Brumby an extra level of flexibility and manoeuvrability on rough tracks.

Another boost to its ease of towing is the fact that, due to the Brumby's compact size, the driver is able to constantly monitor the trailer’s position as you can see over it, along its sides, and behind it, with no need for towing mirrors.

The Brumby rides on 17-inch six-stud alloy wheels, shod with Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tyres.

It has two rated recovery points (2400kg) at the rear, which are a bonus for those who tackle decent off-roading.

How easy is it to set up?

The Brumby follows the same easy set-up principle as others in the Cub Campers line-up: in basic terms, it's a case of unclip, unwind and then lock everything into place.

Note: before you start setting up, if your numberplate is mounted on the camper’s roof rack, remove it.

Also, our test Brumby had the spare-wheel carrier on a swing-away bar* at the rear of the camper, so we had to unlock that and swing it right out of the way, so it was clear of the back so it did not impede the set-up process. (* It’s part of the optional $1300 Adventure Pack.)

We then unclipped four latches, one near each top corner of the camper, and moved to the camper’s front to start using the Ezy-wind silent winch, which is standard on the Brumby.

As the winch unwinds – it really is very quiet – the camper unfolds to the rear and, once the hard-floor entry-way is in place, its legs can be extended to the ground to support that section. 

Then the heavier-duty AL-KO wind-down support legs, under the camper’s main body and behind the axle, can be unlocked and set into place.

From there, it was simply a matter of extending the interior ceiling poles and locking them in place in order to keep the canvas all-round taut. 

Then we took a walk around the Brumby and locked everything into place, including two press-studs on the floor’s rear edge and tie-down loops at various spots along each side of the camper and its front.

How practical is the space inside?

Inside the Brumby is open and well ventilated. (image credit: Brendan Batty) Inside the Brumby is open and well ventilated. (image credit: Brendan Batty)

It’s big and airy inside and really is a basic but functional space. 

The Brumby’s kitchen, fridge, pantry and more storage spaces are accessed via the camper’s exterior so there’s not a lot going on inside this camper, but the storage ideas and solutions in here – including under and alongside the bed – are well suited to camping life.

The floor of the entry-way could be used alternately as a children’s bedroom and eating area, if you don’t bother setting up your awning for dining purposes.

The main bedroom is open and easy to access from the entry-way, and the bed has storage space underneath and along each side.

What are the beds like?

The main bedroom is a touring-friendly space with storage room under and alongside the mattress. (image credit: Brendan Batty) The main bedroom is a touring-friendly space with storage room under and alongside the mattress. (image credit: Brendan Batty)

The dimensions of the bedroom space are mostly occupied by the mattress – a 2130mm x 1350 medium-density foam one – and it didn't seem to offer too much in the way of comfort or cushioning between me and the bed base. I had a pretty ordinary night of sleep on it, but maybe my spine is just overly sensitive. If I was buying a Brumby, I’d replace that current mattress with the Cub upgrade or my own choice pretty swiftly.

There is handy space along both sides of the bed to place your books, head torches and other bits and pieces; there is also ample room underneath the mattress in which to store gear, stowed-away awnings, soft bags and the like. That's also where the batteries are – one as standard, one an option.

Both sides of the bed have LED reading lights on bendable stalks and USB charging points.

As mentioned, the entry-way floor space could be used as a children’s bedroom; just throw a couple of mattresses, pillows and sleeping bags down there and the youngsters will be set.

What’s the kitchen like?

  • Stainless-steel and robust, the kitchen is made for the camping life. (image credit: Brendan Batty) Stainless-steel and robust, the kitchen is made for the camping life. (image credit: Brendan Batty)
  • The Brumby’s kitchen can be had with an a optional 75-litre Waeco CFX fridge/freezer. (image credit: Brendan Batty) The Brumby’s kitchen can be had with an a optional 75-litre Waeco CFX fridge/freezer. (image credit: Brendan Batty)

The Brumby’s kitchen, which emerges from along the camper’s side, includes a two-burner Smev stove and stainless-steel sink on a slide, a 75-litre Waeco CFX fridge/freezer (optional) on a slide, a long slide-out pantry drawer, two 4kg gas bottles and it also has an 80-litre underbody heavy-duty water tank and a second 80L water tank is an option.

If you’re loading up the kitchen work spaces, make sure you have unfolded the legs to support the benches.

All in all, the kitchen’s components are easy to operate and highly functional.

As for power, there are, as standard, internal and external 240V outlets, a Projecta IC2510 battery charger and monitor, and a Projecta IDC25 12V DC-DC charger.

What options are available for it?

Options include a second 100 AMP hour battery (fitted). (image credit: Brendan Batty) Options include a second 100 AMP hour battery (fitted). (image credit: Brendan Batty)

Our tester had the $1300 Adventure Pack, and, as such, it came bolstered with a bunch of extras including a second 100 AMP hour battery (fitted), a second water tank (80L), utility rack upgrade and utility spare-wheel bracket. (Note: According to Cub Campers, the Adventure Pack “adds approx. 143kg to total camper-trailer weight when the second water tank is full. The ball weight will also be affected.”)

The spare-wheel swing-away bracket that our test Brumby had is another option. (image credit: Marcus Craft) The spare-wheel swing-away bracket that our test Brumby had is another option. (image credit: Marcus Craft)

Other options include canvas front wall with window, pocket spring mattress upgrade, utility bike rack Hayman Reece bracket, boat loader and many more.

Any potential issues with it?

The high-ish step up into the Brumby caught out this reviewer once or twice. (image credit: Brendan Batty) The high-ish step up into the Brumby caught out this reviewer once or twice. (image credit: Brendan Batty)

There are no real serious negatives about the Brumby so I’ll indulge in a bit of nit-picking.

As mentioned, our test Brumby’s mattress offered little in the way of cushioning or comfort, but that’s easily fixed: go for the Cub Campers upgrade or throw in your own, bearing in mind that it’ll have to fit in the space provided.

The step up into the entry-way is quite high and I clipped the edge of it with the toe of my boot on two separate occasions when trying to step inside. Either adjust your approach to getting in, or place a step outside the entry-way to make access easier.

The Brumby is a fine example of top-notch design and manufacturing at a reasonable price.

It looks great, tows well, is very easy to set up and take down and does everything Cub Campers claims it’ll do – with no fuss. 

Any issues in this camper are really only a matter of nit-picking and can easily be rectified with Cub options or adjustments.

The attention to detail is superb and, as a built-for-purpose camper, the Brumby certainly hits the mark.

Is a rear-fold camper-trailer your cape of tea? Or do you prefer a forward-fold? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

$29,490

Based on new car retail price

Adventure score

4/5

adventureguide rank

  • Light

    Dry weather gravel roads and formed trails with no obstacles, very shallow water crossings.

  • Medium

    Hard-packed sand, slight to medium hills with minor obstacles in all weather.

  • Heavy

    Larger obstacles, steeper climbs and deeper water crossings; plus tracks marked as '4WD only'

Price Guide

$29,490 - $29,490

Based on new car retail price

This price is subject to change closer to release data