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I didn’t think I would ever get excited by another hybrid camper, but I’m happy to say I was wrong. The new Austrack Tanami X13 ticks every box in a hotly contested market. I’m happy to have had a long association with this brand watching them grow from infancy with their exceptional attitude toward quality products backed by some real commitment to customer service and providing exceptional value for money with terrific packaging.

The X13 is only one model in the Austrack range of hybrids that spans from 10-15ft. Austrack has experienced enormous success with other models including the award-winning Telegraph and Savannah forward-folds, and the ripper little Simpson (with roof-top tent). But hybrid campers are the flavour of the year and for very good reason.

My nephew brought a similar camper (not an Austrack) not long after they first hit the market. He, like so many other campers, wanted to step up from swags and tents for trips with his very young family. Hence he needed accommodation for two adults and two young kids for extended adventures including a sojourn from Melbourne to Cape York. He needed to carry enough supplies to keep the family fed, watered and clothed, plus carry all the necessary recovery gear and plenty of toys for young and old. Sound familiar?

I guess he’s a bit like his Uncle; he doesn’t put up with finicky, exhaustive set-up times at the end of a long journey. He also emphasised the need for solid security that only really comes with a hard wall camper. Solid walls and simple set-ups also assist in keeping those horrid biting nasties out of the camper.

The Austrack Tanami promises much for not a lot of money, so is it worth your trek to go see it?

TANAMI X13

WORDS JOHN WILLIS, IMAGES JOHN WILLIS AND SUPPLIED

The Austrack

REVIEW Austrack Tanami X13 Hybrid

BELOW The tough little unit should follow you anywhere

ABOVE External kitchen is the focus of the outside living experience  // BELOW Long poles and chairs, etc, can go in the tunnel boot

Compact IQ Brake Controller

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The only real difference in the layout of the Austrack Tanami as tested to my nephew’s camper is that this Austrack is optioned for a couple who prefer the popular ensuite, both the bunk option. Bunk layouts are terrific for younger kids, but let’s face it, older kids will be happy in the annexe, a separate tent or swag away from ma and pa anyhow. (And so will ma and pa!)

Basically, the Austrack Tanami X13 is an imported camper that is finished and distributed in Australia. But take a good look at the quality and inclusive packaging, and celebrate the fact that at under $40K its low pricing at means all prospective travellers can fulfil their dreams with confidence. I would personally be exceptionally happy to make the X13 my permanent travel companion.

The Tanami starts with a hot-dipped galvanised RHS 150 x 50 x 4mm drawbar and 100 x 50 x 3mm chassis giving a very solid foundation. I was very pleased to hear that the box frame is welded aluminium with Royal silver aluminium composite panel, insulation and gloss black aluminium checker plate features giving lightweight strength and longevity. The gas strut assisted pop-up roof is easily erected and made from a reinforced fibreglass outer, an aluminium frame and gloss white inner alloy panel.

Austrack’s adjustable independent trailing arm suspension with coil spring and twin gas shocks either side has been proven as strong and reliable over time and trial. She rides on 265/75-R16 mud-terrain tyres and reinforced black alloy mags with six-stud 4X4 hubs, heavy-duty bearings and 12in electric brakes with breakaway and handbrake. It has a registered ATM of 2750kg but can be plated back to 2500kg if required for your towing requirements; however, with a tare of 2090kg, twin 120-litre food-grade Poly water tanks and one 80-litre plumbed grey water tank it won’t leave much safe loading capacity when full.

ABOVE Just remember the wheel goes up on the jockey when towing // BELOW A lot has gone into making the underpinnings tough

“Hybrid campers are the flavour of the year and for very good reason”

The water tanks, plumbing and grey water tanks underneath are well shrouded against damage. However, the waste tank does reduce the otherwise excellent ground clearance. I guess that’s the price you pay when loading so much into so little.

Out in front is a 3500kg McHitch with double safety chains, Ark XO Series heavy-duty jockey wheel and a black checker plate alloy tool/storage box with a bevel shape to act as a stone guard and deflector. The box contains dual gas bottle and jerry can retainers with tie rails on top for added flexibility, and the front of the tub has a replaceable PVC wear covering.

Out back is a nice strong bumper with LED trailer lighting plus a pair of spare wheels and engineer-rated recovery points. Quick as a whip you can pivot down the bumper and fold out the rear extenda gaining oh so much valuable room inside. I must say that I was hesitant when I first saw this extenda system, but it is very refined, well-weighted, strong, and very secure, and even has a large rear window.

It doesn’t matter what angle you look at the Tanami, it’s full of surprises. The passenger side has all of the usual van style features with dual, double insulated and tinted windows with anti-mosquito mesh and shade curtains; toilet cassette, pull out hot/cold shower, lockable water fillers and 240V power fittings, however you will simply marvel at the huge storage in the forward compartments, this one with large separated drawers, plus a huge full-width boot compartment above for all of your accessories and toys.

ABOVE The front-end has cavernous storage options // BELOW Twin spares fold to allow the bedroom set-up process

OUTDOOR LIVING
Let’s face it, camping is about outdoor living and the Tanami makes it simple, easy and comfortable. The “living” side of the unit features a very large sliding fridge mount up front with an optional 95-litre Travelmate fridge/freezer in a well-sealed compartment with auto lighting, power and ventilation. The three-way security door has an electric fold-out step and illuminated handle and next to it a fold-out table for convenience.

Toward the rear is large, pull-out pantry and a slide-out stainless-steel kitchen complete with Smev three-burner cooktop, sink with mixer tap, utensils drawer, folding wind deflectors and large slide-out preparation bench with multiple storage compartments. Overhead protection is supplied by an electrically activated waterproof PVC awning with manual over-ride, plus the inclusive package also offers a fully enclosed canvas annex including roof, walls, floor and draft skirt for those longer stays in an ideal campsite. And of course it seems life isn’t complete without a 22in LED TV with interior and exterior mounts and connections plus a full CD/DVD/MP3/USB/RADIO entertainment system. If you are looking for an external shower there’s a hot/cold unit on the passenger side that comes complete with a slide on shower tent.

STEP INSIDE
The internal layout and finish are very good, continuing with the theme of packing in so much in so little. As you step up through the security door there’s a good array of cabinet, drawer and wardrobe space both to the left and right plus some bench and removable table space in case you are restricted from outside living, or maybe just for a cosy morning cuppa. Straight ahead is the ensuite which is surprisingly roomy and features full head height complete with an electric flushing toilet (external removable cassette), vanity sink with mirror and fully adjustable shower rose. The hot water is supplied via a Truma Water Ultra Rapid gas/electric heater.

Austrack has selected a chic array of internal finishes including plush faux leather seating for the small dinette and bed ends, timber-look vinyl flooring and clean white internal panels with gloss ebony cupboard doors. There’s added storage under the dinette and multiple internal side pockets. When assembled the folding 150mm inner-spring mattress quickly becomes a customised king-size, full-length bed which combines with good overhead clearance for taller campers.

ABOVE Nice angles feature for a guided walkthrough // BELOW The bed is seriously large, making the step-up to a bunk van inevitable really

ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING
I seriously cannot believe just how complete the Tanami package is. There are three 100AH AGM batteries, three 100W roof-mounted solar panels plus the Anderson plug connection for plenty of power. Add to this a 2.0kW Sinewave inverter with 65-amp inbuilt charger, a digital display amp and volt meter plus multiple 240V USB and accessory outlets and you are set for extended adventure with plenty of charge.

There’s a very sensible array of LED lighting throughout. The gas lines are completely plumbed from the gas bottles to kitchen plus an external barbecue bayonet fitting with dual bottle change over valve and gas certification certificate.

ABOVE Monitors for everything and lights to show you if something's broken // BELOW External shower so you don't cart your dirt indoors

VERDICT
This Austrack X13 Hybrid’s namesake, the Tanami desert was one of Australia’s final frontiers. It was not fully explored (except by Indigenous people) until well into the 20th century. Yet today you can expect to take on the rigours of such destinations with plenty of creature comfort and essential supplies with this rugged, and complete voyager. Again, I cannot believe the exceptional quality and complete packaging for the money, especially when I tell you that it is less than $40K including the air-conditioner.

PROS
• Compact unit with all the bells and whistles
• Good water and power
• Easy set-up
• Tried and proven suspension
• Big, cosy bed
• Great outside living
• Storage
• Electric Awning

CONS
• A bit heavy – watch your GTM!

SPECS
Tare: 2090kg (as displayed)
ATM:
2750kg
Overall length:
6050 x 2180mm (hitch to tail lights)
Awning: 3.5 x 2.5m (Extension: 876mm)
Coupling: McHitch 3500Kg Uniglide platinum coupling with locking pin
Price as tested: (Inc. aircon) $39,900
More info: austrackcampers.com.au

WORDS JOHN WILLIS, IMAGES JOHN WILLIS AND SUPPLIED

REVIEW Austrack Tanami X13 Hybrid

I didn’t think I would ever get excited by another hybrid camper, but I’m happy to say I was wrong. The new Austrack Tanami X13 ticks every box in a hotly contested market. I’m happy to have had a long association with this brand watching them grow from infancy with their exceptional attitude toward quality products backed by some real commitment to customer service and providing exceptional value for money with terrific packaging.

The X13 is only one model in the Austrack range of hybrids that spans from 10-15ft. Austrack has experienced enormous success with other models including the award-winning Telegraph and Savannah forward-folds, and the ripper little Simpson (with roof-top tent). But hybrid campers are the flavour of the year and for very good reason.

My nephew brought a similar camper (not an Austrack) not long after they first hit the market. He, like so many other campers, wanted to step up from swags and tents for trips with his very young family. Hence he needed accommodation for two adults and two young kids for extended adventures including a sojourn from Melbourne to Cape York. He needed to carry enough supplies to keep the family fed, watered and clothed, plus carry all the necessary recovery gear and plenty of toys for young and old. Sound familiar?

I guess he’s a bit like his Uncle; he doesn’t put up with finicky, exhaustive set-up times at the end of a long journey. He also emphasised the need for solid security that only really comes with a hard wall camper. Solid walls and simple set-ups also assist in keeping those horrid biting nasties out of the camper.

TANAMI X13

The Austrack

The Austrack Tanami promises much for not a lot of money, so is it worth your trek to go see it?

ABOVE External kitchen is the focus of the outside living experience  // BELOW Long poles and chairs, etc, can go in the tunnel boot

BELOW The tough little unit should follow you anywhere

Compact IQ Brake Controller

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

The only real difference in the layout of the Austrack Tanami as tested to my nephew’s camper is that this Austrack is optioned for a couple who prefer the popular ensuite, both the bunk option. Bunk layouts are terrific for younger kids, but let’s face it, older kids will be happy in the annexe, a separate tent or swag away from ma and pa anyhow. (And so will ma and pa!)

Basically, the Austrack Tanami X13 is an imported camper that is finished and distributed in Australia. But take a good look at the quality and inclusive packaging, and celebrate the fact that at under $40K its low pricing at means all prospective travellers can fulfil their dreams with confidence. I would personally be exceptionally happy to make the X13 my permanent travel companion.

The Tanami starts with a hot-dipped galvanised RHS 150 x 50 x 4mm drawbar and 100 x 50 x 3mm chassis giving a very solid foundation. I was very pleased to hear that the box frame is welded aluminium with Royal silver aluminium composite panel, insulation and gloss black aluminium checker plate features giving lightweight strength and longevity. The gas strut assisted pop-up roof is easily erected and made from a reinforced fibreglass outer, an aluminium frame and gloss white inner alloy panel.

Austrack’s adjustable independent trailing arm suspension with coil spring and twin gas shocks either side has been proven as strong and reliable over time and trial. She rides on 265/75-R16 mud-terrain tyres and reinforced black alloy mags with six-stud 4X4 hubs, heavy-duty bearings and 12in electric brakes with breakaway and handbrake. It has a registered ATM of 2750kg but can be plated back to 2500kg if required for your towing requirements; however, with a tare of 2090kg, twin 120-litre food-grade Poly water tanks and one 80-litre plumbed grey water tank it won’t leave much safe loading capacity when full.

ABOVE Just remember the wheel goes up on the jockey when towing // BELOW A lot has gone into making the underpinnings tough

“Hybrid campers are the flavour of the year and for very good reason”

ADVERTISEMENT
Buy online
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

The water tanks, plumbing and grey water tanks underneath are well shrouded against damage. However, the waste tank does reduce the otherwise excellent ground clearance. I guess that’s the price you pay when loading so much into so little.

Out in front is a 3500kg McHitch with double safety chains, Ark XO Series heavy-duty jockey wheel and a black checker plate alloy tool/storage box with a bevel shape to act as a stone guard and deflector. The box contains dual gas bottle and jerry can retainers with tie rails on top for added flexibility, and the front of the tub has a replaceable PVC wear covering.

Out back is a nice strong bumper with LED trailer lighting plus a pair of spare wheels and engineer-rated recovery points. Quick as a whip you can pivot down the bumper and fold out the rear extenda gaining oh so much valuable room inside. I must say that I was hesitant when I first saw this extenda system, but it is very refined, well-weighted, strong, and very secure, and even has a large rear window.

It doesn’t matter what angle you look at the Tanami, it’s full of surprises. The passenger side has all of the usual van style features with dual, double insulated and tinted windows with anti-mosquito mesh and shade curtains; toilet cassette, pull out hot/cold shower, lockable water fillers and 240V power fittings, however you will simply marvel at the huge storage in the forward compartments, this one with large separated drawers, plus a huge full-width boot compartment above for all of your accessories and toys.

ABOVE The front-end has cavernous storage options // BELOW Twin spares fold to allow the bedroom set-up process

OUTDOOR LIVING
Let’s face it, camping is about outdoor living and the Tanami makes it simple, easy and comfortable. The “living” side of the unit features a very large sliding fridge mount up front with an optional 95-litre Travelmate fridge/freezer in a well-sealed compartment with auto lighting, power and ventilation. The three-way security door has an electric fold-out step and illuminated handle and next to it a fold-out table for convenience.

Toward the rear is large, pull-out pantry and a slide-out stainless-steel kitchen complete with Smev three-burner cooktop, sink with mixer tap, utensils drawer, folding wind deflectors and large slide-out preparation bench with multiple storage compartments. Overhead protection is supplied by an electrically activated waterproof PVC awning with manual over-ride, plus the inclusive package also offers a fully enclosed canvas annex including roof, walls, floor and draft skirt for those longer stays in an ideal campsite. And of course it seems life isn’t complete without a 22in LED TV with interior and exterior mounts and connections plus a full CD/DVD/MP3/USB/RADIO entertainment system. If you are looking for an external shower there’s a hot/cold unit on the passenger side that comes complete with a slide on shower tent.

STEP INSIDE
The internal layout and finish are very good, continuing with the theme of packing in so much in so little. As you step up through the security door there’s a good array of cabinet, drawer and wardrobe space both to the left and right plus some bench and removable table space in case you are restricted from outside living, or maybe just for a cosy morning cuppa. Straight ahead is the ensuite which is surprisingly roomy and features full head height complete with an electric flushing toilet (external removable cassette), vanity sink with mirror and fully adjustable shower rose. The hot water is supplied via a Truma Water Ultra Rapid gas/electric heater.

Austrack has selected a chic array of internal finishes including plush faux leather seating for the small dinette and bed ends, timber-look vinyl flooring and clean white internal panels with gloss ebony cupboard doors. There’s added storage under the dinette and multiple internal side pockets. When assembled the folding 150mm inner-spring mattress quickly becomes a customised king-size, full-length bed which combines with good overhead clearance for taller campers.

ABOVE Nice angles feature for a guided walkthrough // BELOW The bed is seriously large, making the step-up to a bunk van inevitable really

ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING
I seriously cannot believe just how complete the Tanami package is. There are three 100AH AGM batteries, three 100W roof-mounted solar panels plus the Anderson plug connection for plenty of power. Add to this a 2.0kW Sinewave inverter with 65-amp inbuilt charger, a digital display amp and volt meter plus multiple 240V USB and accessory outlets and you are set for extended adventure with plenty of charge.

There’s a very sensible array of LED lighting throughout. The gas lines are completely plumbed from the gas bottles to kitchen plus an external barbecue bayonet fitting with dual bottle change over valve and gas certification certificate.

ABOVE Monitors for everything and lights to show you if something's broken // BELOW External shower so you don't cart your dirt indoors

VERDICT
This Austrack X13 Hybrid’s namesake, the Tanami desert was one of Australia’s final frontiers. It was not fully explored (except by Indigenous people) until well into the 20th century. Yet today you can expect to take on the rigours of such destinations with plenty of creature comfort and essential supplies with this rugged, and complete voyager. Again, I cannot believe the exceptional quality and complete packaging for the money, especially when I tell you that it is less than $40K including the air-conditioner.

PROS
• Compact unit with all the bells and whistles
• Good water and power
• Easy set-up
• Tried and proven suspension
• Big, cosy bed
• Great outside living
• Storage
• Electric Awning

CONS
• A bit heavy – watch your GTM!

SPECS
Tare: 2090kg (as displayed)
ATM:
2750kg
Overall length:
6050 x 2180mm (hitch to tail lights)
Awning: 3.5 x 2.5m (Extension: 876mm)
Coupling: McHitch 3500Kg Uniglide platinum coupling with locking pin
Price as tested: (Inc. aircon) $39,900
More info: austrackcampers.com.au