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Patriot Campers X1 Grand Tourer 2018 review

Over the past 12 months, some of the most significant names in camper-trailers have fallen victim to their own success. Ultimate Campers, one of the most interesting and (previously) desirable camping products was placed in voluntary administration and bailed out, while Kimberley Kampers, always the pinnacle of off-road camper design, still has a very uncertain future, if one at all. 

But amongst all that, here is Patriot Campers, an Aussie company essentially building $40,000 to $60,000 soft-floor camper-trailers and flourishing where others are failing. 

So what’s so good about them, and are they really worth all that money?

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

The Patriot is only a small unit, but packs a big punch. (image credit: Brendan Batty Photography) The Patriot is only a small unit, but packs a big punch. (image credit: Brendan Batty Photography)

For all the hype surrounding it, the Patriot X1 Grand Tourer (GT) is only a little trailer – behind a LandCruiser 200 Series it seems diminutive. From hitch to rear-mounted spare wheel the camper is just 3.3-metres long and 1.75-metres high. Wheel arch to wheel arch is 1.85-m. 

Coming in at under 1000kg before a load, the Patriot is also very light for a modern camper-trailer. Its tare weight is around 940kg and it’ll then carry another 660kg of gear. Patriot claims this camper-trailer has a 120kg ball-weight before load. 

Length3300mm
Width1850mm
Height1750mm
Weight (Tare/ATM/Tow Ball)940kg/1600kg/120kg

 

How practical is the space inside?

The TentStep is a patented design that’s so much better than a ladder. (image credit: Brendan Batty Photography) The TentStep is a patented design that’s so much better than a ladder. (image credit: Brendan Batty Photography)

Once the tent’s set up, the living space is quite clever. So that the bed and tent base doesn’t hang over the sides of the trailer when packed up, and so it can fit a king-sized bed anyway, the bed folds in the middle. Patriot has also developed (and patented) a staircase up to the bed, rather than a ladder, which makes the climb up and down far less daunting. 

A zippered cut-out in the tent wall provides access to the two-large storage area in the driver’s side of the camper, which is where you’d keep clothes, charge phones and maybe store a second fridge or Porta-Potti. 

If you’re travelling with kids, the zip-on kids’ room (pictured) is easy to set up, can be left attached to the tent while packed up and has enough room for two to three stretchers across the floor (depending on which stretchers you use). Another bed can be laid out under the master bed’s overhang. 

What are the beds like?

Because the bed folds in the middle it’s king size when set up. (image credit: Brendan Batty Photography) Because the bed folds in the middle it’s king size when set up. (image credit: Brendan Batty Photography)

Patriot use a pocket-spring mattress for the main bed, which when packed up, folds in half. Unfolded it’s just larger than a king-sized bed. The TentStep system is simple genius, too. It means you can easily walk up into the bed, rather than climb, and can hop out facing forwards, rather than climbing backwards. There’s even a little balustrade for balance.  

What’s the kitchen like?

The X1 GT’s kitchen is comprehensive, even including a swing-out barbecue at the front. (image credit: Brendan Batty Photography) The X1 GT’s kitchen is comprehensive, even including a swing-out barbecue at the front. (image credit: Brendan Batty Photography)

The Patriot’s kitchen is quite sophisticated and spreads itself across a whole side of the camper. The main hatch folds down creating a stainless-steel countertop over which the two-burner stove slides out. It’s a Bromic gas version which you’ll need to attach to the gas bottle each time. Around it are a few cabinets for pantry storage. Forward of this, the fridge slide is in its own taller compartment. It can only fit a 60-litre fridge, though, so travelling families may need to carry a second in the car, or another in the opposite storage compartment.

Under the fridge-slide, though, is a telescoping slide-out, stainless-steel kitchen unit. It has a sink and more storage, as well as extra space for food preparation. In the front boot, there’s also a swing-out arm which carries an optional Weber BabyQ barbeque. It’s all very comprehensive.

How easy is it to tow?

Take it anywhere – it can handle it. (image credit: Brendan Batty Photography) Take it anywhere – it can handle it. (image credit: Brendan Batty Photography)

As compact as the camper is, it’s not a drama to tow. Underneath the camper is the Cruisemaster suspension that Patriot helped develop and which is exclusively available on Patriot campers and products. That’s quite significant, as others have tried that with Cruisemaster, but have usually ended up developing their own. It’s a dual shock, air-bag set-up that’s completely adjustable, whether that’s for extra clearance or to level out the camper at camp.

How easy is it to set up?

Soft-floor campers, if well designed, are actually amongst the easiest of campers to set up, and the Patriot is exactly that. To get everything done and dusted, including the awning, kids room and kitchen took a smidge over 10 minutes. Compare that to some of the Jayco campers we've reviewed and it’s only a couple of minutes slower. 

What options are available for it?

The fridge and Weber are optional extras. (image credit: Brendan Batty Photography) The fridge and Weber are optional extras. (image credit: Brendan Batty Photography)

The X1 Grand Tourer is quite a comprehensive package out of the box, although you can spend more on it if you like. A diesel cabin and hot-water system is a popular upgrade. You can replace the gel batteries with lithium or upgrade the inverter. 

The Weber is also an optional extra, although the swing arm it sits on is standard. The kids room is a standard feature on the GT, but optional on the lower-spec version.

Any potential issues with it?

The awning has heaps of coverage, but can catch water. (image credit: Brendan Batty Photography) The awning has heaps of coverage, but can catch water. (image credit: Brendan Batty Photography)

The Patriot product is as good as the hype and the price suggests it is, although there could be a few little improvements. 

A bigger fridge space would be better, but I couldn’t actually suggest any way to make that happen.

The Supapeg 270-degree awning also has the potential to catch water, as it uses spreader bars on the outside edge to keep it taut. It’s not a tall awning, so lowering the edges sufficiently will compromise head-room.

The Patriot X1 GT is an expensive camper-trailer but there’s very little on the market with such attention to detail, such well-thought design and such practical features. 

There’s almost nothing like it, which means, to some extent, as long as people keep buying them, the price, beginning at $52,990, is right on the money. I’d buy one, if I could afford it. 

Of course, there is the standard X1, at around $46,000, which pares back the features a little to bring the price down. 

What do you think of this Patriot Camper? Worth the cash? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Patriot Campers X1 Grand Tourer
Warranty5 years structural and canvas. 
Water (Fresh/Grey)155L/n/a

$52,990

Based on new car retail price

Adventure score

4.5/5

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

$52,990

Based on new car retail price

This price is subject to change closer to release data