Launched in 2009 by Aussie entrepreneur David Hazelwood after a decade of development, the two-berth Wedgetail tent camper is one of a range of distinctly Australian RVing and outback camping solutions -- just like the stunning clamshell-designed Innovan or rugged EarthCruiser EXP -- of which “Crocodile” Dundee himself would be proud. Not only does the Wedgetail supply all the elements necessary for a worry free bush excursion but its elevated two-metre-high sleeping platform ensures that you won’t need Dundee’s unique field craft skills to keep the crocs, dingos, and other creepy crawlies at bay.
Described by Mark Allen of Australia’s Overlander Magazine as a “Wedge Tailed TARDIS,” -- a reference to the popular BBC television series “Dr. Who,” where the protagonist travels through the space-time continuum in a vehicle that’s, paradoxically, larger on the inside than the outside -- Hazelwood’s slide-on tent camper does indeed display many of the transcendental qualities of the Galafrain Time Lord’s famous TARDIS. However, it’s Hazelwood’s clever use of space, the incorporation of a raft of innovative design features -- like a revolving 80-litre Waeco reefer which can be accessed from both inside and outside the RV -- and his adept fusion of a hard sided aluminium camper coupled with a cavernous canvas tent which provides overlanders with a truly out of this world outback camping experience.
The Wedgetail’s aluminium box section construction helps deliver a slide-on camper with a dry weight of just 650 kg (1,433lbs), even when fully-loaded with options like a Truma hot water system, stove, fridge, 120 litre fresh water tank, genset and an en suite shower and toilet. These amenities are enhanced by the incorporation of a number of cleverly thought out features like the locking pass through storage bays which can be accessed from both the interior and exterior of the vehicle. This is particularly useful when carrying out food preparation in the outside kitchen. The exterior galley not only boasts this shared pantry but also incorporates its own independent hot and cold water supply, a 12 volt and two 240 volt outlets, LED lighting and a gas bayonet to allow the portable two-burner gas stove to be utilized outside.
Setup of the Wedgetail can be comfortably completed in about 8-10 minutes. The rear section (including the optional storage pod) can be hand cranked open in just a few seconds. The roof -- which also doubles as the tent platform -- can then be cranked open and, once deployed, is supported by two weight-bearing adjustable legs. Pull out the telescoping stairs, add a couple of internal tent supports and you’re ready to fire up the Barbie. Of course, setup may take a little longer if you also opt to erect the optional 3 x 2.2 metre exterior tent annex and raise the camper on its four stands (rated at 1500kg each) so that you can liberate the ute.
The Wedgetail is another excellent example of a well thought out antipodean camping product which can legitimately claim to be a "master of the outback."
Country of Origin: Australia • Platform: Ford Ranger Extra Cab • Dimensions (closed): Base Length 2.2 metres, Width 1.79 metres, Height 1.22 metres (above tray) • Dry Weight: 650kg • Price: $39,879-$46,237 AUD depending on equipment level • Contact: Wedgetail Campers, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia • Tel: 0458 493 917 •
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