Cub is Australia’s oldest standing and most prolific folding camper trailer builder and the current 2018 Brumby is the evolution of its most popular and well-known line of hard-floor campers. It’s, for all intents-and-purposes, the bread-and-butter Cub.
The top-of-the-range camper in the 2.2-metre bodied series, it’s amongst the smallest of the campers, but packs the most punch. Overall, it’s just 4.35-metres long when closed, or 6.6-metres when opened, but it only weighs 885kg and manages a respectable ball-weight of around 140kg. With an ATM of 1400kg, there’s over 500kg of load allowance, which leaves plenty left over, even after the 80-litre water tank is filled.
As an off-road camper trailer, it’s the real deal, too. It can go anywhere and do just about anything. The coil-spring, independent suspension is made in-house by Cub and is flawless in most situations. Behind the car it was composed, easy to manage and, because it’s light and small, had only a modest effect on fuel economy.
The tent is made in Cub’s western Sydney factory from Australian made canvas and although it’s not the largest rear-fold on the market, there’s room for two kids inside. Quality, as you’d expect, is quite high and the tent is very easy to set up. For a long time, Cub’s piece-de-resistance has been its Ezy-wind winch system which takes the muscle out of flipping a camper. Overly strong struts help push the camper lid over (it only takes a light shove to flip it), before the winch tape catches is and lowers it to the ground. Inside, the rear tent bow extends and two support uprights click into place – done. It took me about six minutes in front of a camera, but I’ve seen Cub’s managing director do it in less than two-minutes.
It’s not the set-up that’s the mark of a great camper, though (usually at set-up, you’re not in a hurry, after all), but the pack-up, and that’s still very simple. Because there’s a winch to pull it back down, there’s very little of the fussing often needed to get it folded. The Kimberley Kamper was a great example – it went up super easy, but squeezing the canvas all back in took real muscle.
The tent has three windows around the bed, a large door and two more windows around the sides. It’s not as intricate as some of the tents you see from overseas – it doesn’t have the same extensive list of standard canvas add-ons like a tropical roof or annexe walls, but it’s got the basics, like an awning. I just came back from a weekend with 40 Cub Campers owners, all of which got pounded by an intense summer storm. None of them complained of water getting in.
Inside, there’s not an extensive list of interior features, but it covers the essentials. The bed is a high-density foam mattress on a lift-up base, while there’s a few little cubby holes either side. Both sides also have 12-volt sockets and a reading light each on a bendy arm. Other than that, it’s just undercover space that’s very likely to stay dry, no matter what.
Being a hard-floor camper, the storage is pretty good. There’s heaps of open space under the bed – the foot end of it lifts up so it’s easy to get to. Under here you’ll also find the battery (or batteries if you’ve asked for two), and a couple of extra 12-volt outlets.
Externally, there’s a large storage boot on the driver’s side and a luggage rack on the lid. There’s also two gas bottle and two jerry can holders behind the mesh stone-guard. For the foodies out there (or in-fact, anyone that has to eat), the kitchen’s pantry is quite good. It’s a stainless steel drawer that’s almost the entire width of the camper.
I quite liked the slide-out kitchen. It’s a very well made unit with a two-burner stove, stainless steel sink and 12-volt water. A few little drawers keep most utensils you’ll need regularly, close at hand. The fridge box, with fridge slide, can handle most chilly-bins up to about 100-litres. Pictures is a Dometic CFX95.
What really sets the Brumby apart is that there isn’t another Aussie made hard-floor camper trailer like it, at this price point, on the market today. Although a couple-year-old Kimberley Kampers Classic or Aussie Swag Explorer, at a similar price might be a good, although slightly heavier, alternative. At a similar, new price-point, something like the Blue Tongue Overland XR has a better kitchen and a few extra features, but also isn’t as light or easy to set up. Maybe you could look to a soft-floor, though – the Trackabout Safari, at $27,500, is a solid alternative, and also Australian made.
In closing, the Brumby is a bloody-good little camper. It’s light, easy to set up and will follow you just about anywhere. Yes, it’s a little more expensive and a little plainer than something that’s come from China, but for all that, it’ll do everything you ask of it out in the bush.
Cub Campers Brumby specs and price
Style – Off-road, rear fold camper trailer
Chassis – Galvanised RHS steel
Suspension – Independent, coil spring
Hitch – AL-KO, off-road
Berth – Two plus two
Dimensions and Weights
Towing Length – 4350mm
Width – mm
Tare Weight – 885kg
ATM – 1400kg
Water – 80-litres
Gas – 2 x 4.5kg
Fridge – up to 95 litres
Battery – 1 x 100ah standard
Solar – optional
5 years on suspension, chassis and canvas.