Forward fold campers have hit the Australian camper trailer scene like a tidal wave in the past three years. Now, their fit outs have begun to evolve so they’re on par with the finely tuned styles that have been on the market for several decades. These upgrades have begun to iron out a few of the design limitations on the earlier versions and are making them even more attractive to the buying public. Typical of these upgraded versions is Blue Tongue Campers’ Overland XF Series II. Released earlier last year at the Sydney Caravan Camping & Holiday Supershow, it’s kept in motion the strongly upward trajectory for this energetic company.
The Series II is built on the same sturdy hot dip galvanised 100 x 50mm chassis and drawbar combination with trailing arm independent dual shock absorber suspension as the underpinnings of the Series I. This model also rolls on the same high load alloy rims and 265/75 R16 all terrain tyres. All good so far.
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The body remains the same fully welded steel structure, painted with two-pack polyurethane, still with the stainless steel hinges, fasteners and wheel mouldings. The top still swings open and can be closed with winch assistance, but is manageable by hand with relative ease. The bed is still a queen-sized foam mattress at the front with the optional double bed at the rear when the internal table is lowered and matched with the lounge cushions.
There is still that all stainless steel kitchen with cutlery and storage drawers, with the three-burner Smev stove, stainless sink and drainer and pull out extension, all covered by an LED light on a stalk.
The front storage box will still hold up to a 95L Waeco on a sturdy fridge slide. There are still two storage compartments on the driver’s side of the camper, as well as two slides in the driver’s side of the storage box which are handy for a generator or porta-pottie.Unchanged is a 120L stainless water tank, with a 35L shower water tank. You still get two 100Ah batteries, Anderson plug charging connection for your tow vehicle, 12V cigarette and USB plugs to the lounge area, mains charger, power control panel and LED lighting inside. And you still have the option of a 30 amp Redarc battery management system.
The tent is 450gsm plain weave canvas with gas strut assistance for set-up. It has a tropical roof, with midgeproof mesh on all windows, a zip-out side above the kitchen, awning with all walls and vinyl floor and a shower tent ensuite.
Okay, so if all this is the same, what’s left to be changed?
Well, now the once optional gas strut assisted boat/luggage rack is a standard fitting. The two 4kg gas bottles and two jerry cans are enclosed in an aluminium front nose cone, which keeps them cleaner and makes air flow around the front much better – and keeps them protected from rock strikes.
The poles, which once travelled in a shelf area in the storage locker between the access door and the fridge storage has been moved to a new cross-body box at the rear of the camper, beneath the spares. This assists in lowering the ball weight to 130kg, a pretty good figure in a camper design that frequently sees ball weights up closer to 180kg and even higher, often when empty.
And there are now two spare wheels at the back, assisting in lowering that ball weight, though we’d prefer to see the handy storage box which once occupied the space of the second spare as you can simply never have enough storage space, especially in a forwardfold design, which typically is a little short on room.
And that area which was once devoted to pole storage, in the top of the storage locker next to the fridge slide, now has a very deep drawer, with divider, which makes for a great pantry area.
The sink now has a three-tier drying rack, and the jockey wheel has been upgraded to a heavy duty Ark XO model. Internally the lounge is now finished in leatherette, and has wrap-around cushions for more comfortable seating.
The options list has also been extended to include a 240V hot water service as well as the more portable diesel-fuelled system, there’s a TV antenna, a range of Waeco fridges up to the new 95L model and the potential for a Slumberest inner spring mattress.
None of these changes in the Overland XF are sweeping redesigns, more a matter of fine tuning what was already a pretty good package, so much so that the original model of the Overland XF is still available. The price has gone up, slightly, from $21,990 to $22,490, a minor increase for quite a range of improvements. You are getting a lot of competent off road camper trailer for your money here and if the aesthetics match your tastes you’ve found a good home on the road and off.
- Proven design
- Well finished
- Lighter ball weight
- Competent electronics
- Good offroad capability
- Difficult access to spare wheels
- Shortage on internal storage space
- No internal access without fully opening out camper
Blue Tongue Overland XF Series II Specs
Drawer bar: 100 x 50 x 4mm hot dip galvanised
Dimensions: 5300mm long, 1900mm wide, 1400mm high
Ball weight: 130kg
Wheels: 16” high load rated alloy wheels
265/75 R16 all terrain tyres
AL-KO 3600 3.5T rated off road hitch
Suspension and brakes
Heavy duty independent trailing arm with coil springs
Dual shock absorbers
Fully welded steel body
Painted with quality 2-pack polyurethane
Stainless steel trims to edges and door openings
Stainless steel sink with drainer
3-burner Smev AGA approved cooker with wind deflector
120L 304 grade stainless steel tank with electric pump
2 x 100Ah batteries
Anderson plug for car connection
Power control panel
Five years structural, one year all other components
Blue Tongue Campers
27/3-11 Flora St, Kirrawee NSW 2232
Ph: (02) 8544 0976