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Cub Longreach LE 2020 review

Hybrid campers tread the line between caravan comfort and camper trailer-manoeuvrability and are touted as somewhat of a new thing; almost an evolution of comfort as more people look for a perfect camping experience.

But camper-trailers like the Cub Longreach LE prove that the concept has been around for decades.

It hasn't always been called the Longreach, but this high-walled, super-sized, off-road camper-trailer was one of the first to offer caravan-like comfort and space in a product that'll go anywhere off-road*. (* In terms of reasonable use and having obviously scrutinised your camper's warranty conditions before setting off to make sure you're covered for that sort of usage.)

The 2019 LE takes the comfort levels even further, so we grabbed one for a night to check it out.

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

Designed and built in Australia, the Longreach LE is really light, despite its large body size. (image credit: Brendan Batty) Designed and built in Australia, the Longreach LE is really light, despite its large body size. (image credit: Brendan Batty)

For a rear-folding camper, the Cub Campers' Longreach LE is massive. It has double-height walls and a 3.2-metre-long body, so even packed up it almost resembles a small caravan, rather than a large camper-trailer. Overall, the camper is 5.55m-long under tow and opens out to a little more than 8.5m long. But because it's only 1.95m wide and 2.05m tall, so it should fit in most garages.

It's also light, at 1387kg, with a 1900kg aggregate trailer mass (ATM). That gives it a little more than 500kg of load capacity. At tare, it'll add 137kg to the rear of your tow vehicle, but more with a load in it.

Length8550mm
Width1950mm
Height2050mm
Weight (Tare/ATM/Tow Ball)1387kg/1900kg/137kg

How practical is the space inside?

The long, high-walled body transforms into the largest rear-fold camper living area on the market. (image credit: Brendan Batty) The long, high-walled body transforms into the largest rear-fold camper living area on the market. (image credit: Brendan Batty)

For a rear-fold camper-trailer, the space inside couldn't be more practical. The long body and high sides mean that when the camper is open and set up, it has a lot more space than most. Behind the bed, for instance, there is enough space for Cub to have fit a small dinette.

The dinette has cushioned benches for two and a swivel table that can also become a counter over the rear floor area.

The camper's length also means that the rear floor area is massive. It is easily big enough to lie a couple of kids on, or if your nest is empty, to set up some camp chairs and a table to enjoy a covered living area.

It is still a rear-fold camper-trailer, though so, despite the fact it has nearly twice the space of other hybrid-style campers, it's very sparsely furnished. There's no internal kitchenette or anything like that.

What is the bed like?

The LE adds a pillow-top mattress and upholstered bed-boards, so you can be comfortable in bed, whatever you’re doing. (image credit: Brendan Batty) The LE adds a pillow-top mattress and upholstered bed-boards, so you can be comfortable in bed, whatever you’re doing. (image credit: Brendan Batty)

The LE gets an upgraded mattress over the standard Longreach, and the pillow-top is more than anyone ever expected while camping.

Given the camper's body is reasonably long and wide, there's extra space around the mattress for storage.

There's also good lighting, thanks to reading lights in the front corners. The LE even adds an upholstered bed-board, so you can sit up in bed reading, or just use it for lazing against during the day.

What’s the kitchen like?

The stainless-steel kitchen is massive, with heaps of storage. (image credit: Brendan Batty) The stainless-steel kitchen is massive, with heaps of storage. (image credit: Brendan Batty)

Like the interior, the Longreach's kitchen is better for the sheer size of the camper-trailer.

A long, wide, stainless-steel slide-out, it dominates the front of the camper providing ample preparation space, good storage and really good extensions.

It slides out from under the bed and uses a single, adjustable leg for support; the slide-out wobbles a little, so a second leg wouldn't go astray to help prevent that from happening.

For cooking, the kitchen features a Smev three-burner stove and large sink – well, it's large for a camper-trailer anyway.

A 14-litre Truma hot-water system is tucked away under an internal dinette seat and plumbed to the kitchen via quick-connect bayonets. 

The kitchen bench is stepped up behind the stove and sink and made from dimpled stainless-steel which doesn't show up the scratches like the smooth stuff, so it looks better for longer, and still isn't hard to keep clean.

Under the stepped-up bench are three big drawers which complement the two others on the opposite side.

A lift-up hatch next to the sink fills out the available storage space.

There's also a neat breakfast-bar extension that stores under the kitchen, but fits to the side of the camper wall.

How easy is it to tow?

Cub-developed independent suspension is the key to the Cub’s handling prowess. (image credit: Brendan Batty) Cub-developed independent suspension is the key to the Cub’s handling prowess. (image credit: Brendan Batty)

Cub Campers are famously good to tow, and even the largest of them lives up to the reputation.

As big as it is, the Longreach LE is quite light thanks to the effort Cub puts into engineering. As a result, it's not a strain, even for older dual-cabs like the D22 Navara.

And because it isn't any higher or wider than a modern SUV, there was very little wind-drag or buffeting as we cruised along the highway.

Cub developed the camper's Australian-made and -designed independent, coil-spring suspension and the set-up yields excellent ride in any conditions.

For the LE, Cub has added an extra shock-absorber each side to improve its performance even on the most corrugated roads.

An AL-KO off-road ball hitch is standard but can be upgraded to the Click-Lock version if you'd prefer that or need a more low-profile hitch. 

In reverse, the long drawbar makes it an easy camper to manoeuvre around a campsite, plus it has enough size that the tow-vehicle driver never really loses sight of it while positioning it.

How easy is it to set up?

Even for a big camper, it’s really easy to set up. (image credit: Brendan Batty) Even for a big camper, it’s really easy to set up. (image credit: Brendan Batty)

Cub didn't invent the rear-folding camper concept, but there's no one in Australia (and almost no one in the world) that's been making them for longer, and Cub has pretty much nailed the set-up procedure.

There are six clips to release, then a silent boat winch to unwind until you reach the ‘STOP' written on the strapping. At that point, give the lid a small shove to engage the gas struts, and it opens to just past centre.

From there, you use the winch to slowly, and safely, lower the floor into place.

Inside, a few poles slip into place in each corner of the tent, and the rear bow extends. The whole process takes less than five minutes and we've proven that time and time again with different Cub models.  

The awning is a different proposition – it's a lot of canvas to manage, and a lot of it is up high. There's definitely a procedure to learn, which I failed to do in the short time we camped with it.

Thankfully, it can be left zipped to the camper when packed, and the poles tuck away in the dedicated pole locker.

Setting it up is better with a friend, but can be managed single-handed, although it adds a fair bit of time to the processes.

What options are available for it?

As the ‘Limited Edition’ camper, it already has some great features, such as Redarc Redvision. (image credit: Brendan Batty) As the ‘Limited Edition’ camper, it already has some great features, such as Redarc Redvision. (image credit: Brendan Batty)

The LE is already Cub's ‘optioned up' version of the Longreach, so it has a lot of the features usually reserved to up-sell you.

The batteries are managed by Redarc’s Redvision system, which is a central-command hub for everything that can be turned on and off or measured – batteries, water tanks, pumps, lights and power points.

There’s also a second 100ah battery, doubling the camper’s electrical capacity.

The LE pack also adds the hot-water system and external shower, a Fusion stereo and sub-woofer (which seems unnecessary, and likely to annoy your fellow campers), extra lighting, a pillow-top mattress and nice upholstery.

One of the most practical additions to the LE is the aforementioned dinette, with under-bench storage. 

That said, there’s still a long list of options – you can add extra canvas to the awning and tent, Sirroco fans, an additional door, a bedroom privacy screen, or an extra gas bayonet for a barbecue.

You'll also need to bring your own fridge or buy one from Cub, but most 75-85-litre chest fridges will fit. (Note: that's an 85-litre EvaKool in our photos.)

Any potential issues with it?

Given that this is a high-walled, high-roof camper, getting the awning on and off is a job for tall people, or someone smart enough to pack a ladder.

I’d also be worried that my kids would scratch the side of the camper while fitting the breakfast bar, as it has some sharp edges. Is either of those issues? Hard to tell, really.  

This isn’t the camper for everyone – my guess is that plenty of people look at this and find it too sparse, too basic. I kinda get it.

But there are very few campers which offer the same amount of open, internal space, or that are as easy to set up.

That the Longreach, albeit with a few different names, has lasted so long on the Cub Campers' product roster is a testament to its versatility and ability to accommodate a small family on off-road camper trips.

It's arguably one of the forerunners of the hybrid camper scene, and it's now starting to evolve with campers' desires for more comfort.

WarrantyFive years
Sleepstwo
Water capacity 100 + 80 litres

$47,990

Based on new car retail price

Daily driver score

3.5/5

Adventure score

3.5/5

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

$47,990

Based on new car retail price

This price is subject to change closer to release data