Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

Pod All-Roada roof top camper 2021 review

A plastic trailer might not seem like the most obvious solution to a problem, but for the last decade, Stockman has been doing just that to make off-road trailers lighter. 

Weighing as little as 200kg for the simplest model, the Pod Trailers are made in Australia from recycled plastic on galvanised-steel frames. 

You can easily mix-and-match features to create the trailer you need. For those who need accommodation as well as storage space, the All-Roada Roof Top Camper is the company’s most popular product. 

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

  • The All-Roada is a simple, lightweight camper for people who don’t need every bell or whistle. The All-Roada is a simple, lightweight camper for people who don’t need every bell or whistle.
  • The All-Roada is a simple, lightweight camper for people who don’t need every bell or whistle. The All-Roada is a simple, lightweight camper for people who don’t need every bell or whistle.
  • The All-Roada is a simple, lightweight camper for people who don’t need every bell or whistle. The All-Roada is a simple, lightweight camper for people who don’t need every bell or whistle.
  • The All-Roada is a simple, lightweight camper for people who don’t need every bell or whistle. The All-Roada is a simple, lightweight camper for people who don’t need every bell or whistle.

One of the defining features of the Stockman Pod trailer is its diminutive size and weight. With the standard drawbar, it’s 3.8m long, 1.85m wide and 1.5m high, without the tent on top. The extended drawer bar adds 300mm of length, while the tent adds about 300mm in height. Either way, it’s not likely to be taller than your 4WD and is about as short as camper trailers get (other notable small campers include the Patriot X2 at 3.0m long and the Cub Weekender at 3.95m). 

It’s potentially the lightest camper on the market. Because Stockman makes the bodies from roto-moulded plastic, it doesn’t have the inherent weight of steel, or even aluminium, trailers of a similar size. In the All-Roada, roof-top camper form, it weighs just 400kg, leaving about 350kg of load capacity if you don’t upgrade to the braked model (which can carry 600kg of stuff). Even the Extreme model, with heavy-duty independent suspension and heavier-duty frame only weighs 500kg. The Patriot X2, by comparison, is 835kg. 

Length: 3800mm

Width: 1820mm

Height: 1800mm

Weight (Tare/ATM/Tow Ball): From 400kg/750kg/50kg

 

How easy is it to set up?

Most roof-top tents are very simple to set up, but because the Stockman’s tent isn’t at normal roof-height (on top of a 4WD), things are even easier. Once the cover is unzipped, the tent folds to the side, and the adjustable ladder supports the overhanging tent base. An extended vestibule shelters the entrance when you hop in and out. Onto this, you can fit the extra room walls, and then a full-length awning, significantly increasing the covered area around the camper. It’s quite an extensive tent system that seems well made. 

The ladder has large feet on the bottom to give it a bit more purchase in soft sand campsites, but I did find they skittered across harder gravel, so you might need to peg them down on some surfaces. 

  • Setting up is as easy as flipping over the tent and adding the spring poles. Setting up is as easy as flipping over the tent and adding the spring poles.
  • Setting up is as easy as flipping over the tent and adding the spring poles. Setting up is as easy as flipping over the tent and adding the spring poles.

Packing up was just as easy – again, because the trailer isn’t very tall, so you don’t have to work at the limits of your reach. Blessedly, the cover goes on easy and isn’t so snug it’s impossible to zip up. I’d also love to see straps to allow one to roll the cover up when the tent’s set up. I’ve only ever seen that feature on the Feldon Shelter roof-top tents, and it makes so much sense. 

How practical is the space inside?

  • As well as the tent, there’s a full-length awning with walls for each end and a drop-down extra room. As well as the tent, there’s a full-length awning with walls for each end and a drop-down extra room.
  • As well as the tent, there’s a full-length awning with walls for each end and a drop-down extra room. As well as the tent, there’s a full-length awning with walls for each end and a drop-down extra room.
  • As well as the tent, there’s a full-length awning with walls for each end and a drop-down extra room. As well as the tent, there’s a full-length awning with walls for each end and a drop-down extra room.

As long as we’re liberal with our definition of the word ‘inside’, it’s a very functional living space around and on top of the trailer. With all the canvas up, you can get from the bed to the kitchen without exposing yourself to the elements. Both sides of the extra room have a door, so you can walk through it to the front storage box of the trailer without having to go all the way around. The awning has walls at either end, so in a blow, you’re protected from three sides.

What is the bed like?

  • The roof-top camper offers a simple, but comfortable camping experience for two. The roof-top camper offers a simple, but comfortable camping experience for two.
  • The roof-top camper offers a simple, but comfortable camping experience for two. The roof-top camper offers a simple, but comfortable camping experience for two.
  • The roof-top camper offers a simple, but comfortable camping experience for two. The roof-top camper offers a simple, but comfortable camping experience for two.

Like most roof-top campers, the bed is a thin, high-density foam mattress with a join in the middle where it folds. It’s a firm bed with plenty of space and lots of opportunities to open windows and let a breeze through. Weather awnings over each window offer a decent level of protection from the rain when the weather’s steamy, and the tropical (dual-layer) roof will keep it cooler than many other, similar tents. 

What’s the kitchen like?

Full disclosure – there was no kitchen fitted to the model I tested for this review – we can blame COVID-19 supply issues for that. The manufacturer’s Victorian factory has been understandably out of action, and so it didn’t show up in time. Fortunately, I have experienced the Pod All-Roada’s kitchen in the past, and although it’s basic, it does the job. In fact, because the kitchen isn’t overly complicated, there’s heaps of useful storage throughout it – too many camper kitchens prioritise ‘function’ over somewhere to actually store food. 

The Pod’s kitchen slides out from the back, ‘eating up’ about half the trailer body’s storage space. There’s an in-built gas stove, but the sink is just a collapsible basin. The stainless-steel work surface covers three large, open drawers which are ideal as big, hearty pantries, can fit cereal boxes and have plenty of room for cooking gear. 

How easy is it to tow?

Because it’s not even heavy enough to need brakes, the All-Roada is very easy to tow. It’s one of the most popular campers behind smaller SUVs, family station wagons and the white stretch limo that does airport transfers to my home-town. (I’ve never been in it, mind you, I just see it all the time). 

What options are available for it?

  • Almost every feature can be added or removed to completely customise the trailer. Almost every feature can be added or removed to completely customise the trailer.
  • Almost every feature can be added or removed to completely customise the trailer. Almost every feature can be added or removed to completely customise the trailer.
  • Almost every feature can be added or removed to completely customise the trailer. Almost every feature can be added or removed to completely customise the trailer.

The Pod Trailers are, in general, very modular, and can be upgraded or downgraded as needs be. As I look through the options, it appears that it costs about the same to buy a base trailer and add everything you get in this package, as it costs just to buy the package, so you could start small and work up without any financial penalty, or you could mix-and-match just what you need. 

Options include a higher lid (pictured), bike racks, stone guards, independent suspension, additional storage, a storage shelf over the kitchen, the kitchen itself.

Pretty much everything on board can be removed and replaced with something else. 

Any potential issues with it?

Good news is, it’ll never rust (well, the body, anyway). Given how simple the trailers are, not a lot is reported to go wrong with them. Dust ingress is an issue for some earlier models, but the sealing around the lid has been improved, so performance is better in that regard. 

There is a lot to like about the Pod All-Roada. It’s light, versatile and straightforward to use. The upfront price is probably a turn-off for some – $17,000 for a box trailer with a roof-top tent might make some people baulk, even if it is made from recycled plastic and lighter than anything else on the market. 

Given the established off-road equivalents, though (the Patriot X2 or X1N, or one of the smaller Drifta Off-road Trailers for instance), it’s reasonable value. 

WarrantyFive years
SleepsTwo
Water capacity65 litres
CostFrom $17,855

Thanks to Peter from Camperact Narellan for lending me this Pod All-Roada to review. Find out more about Camperact’s range of Aussie-built campers at camperact.com.au or call (02) 4624 9911.

Daily driver score

4/5

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'