Recently we were offered an opportunity we simply couldn’t refuse — an invitation to road test the Ultimate GT 360. With travel restrictions easing, we set out for a quick trip to the coastal village of Moruya on the NSW south coast. As it turned out, this weekend outdoor adventure was just what the doctor ordered.
We were already familiar with the GT 360, which we reviewed at the Redarc 2020 Camper Trailer of The Year Awards. And we’d liked what we’d seen. But this time would be different.
Our plan was to collect the camper from the factory floor and put it through its paces over four days and three nights. Staying at the Mungerarie Riverfront campsite next to the Deua River, we’d check out the minor roads and fire trails around Deua National Park, as well as the coastal tracks in the local vicinity. So we’d be packing up, hitching up and setting up several times a day. What better way to find out how the GT 360 performs, packs and plays!
We were met at the factory by David Rodgers and Steve Smith, Ultimate Camper’s Owner and Sales Manager. There, we were presented with over 40 changes that have been made to the rig since David took on the company back in 2019. These functional updates are largely in response to customer feedback and the Ultimate team’s quest for continuous product improvement. It’s this kind of attention to detail and responsiveness that make Ultimate Campers unique, compact, hardcore, offroad campers you can trust.
Taking a walk around the factory floor, we found a production line that Henry Ford would be proud of. No less than 15 campers were in various stages of build. Behind the scenes,
we could truly appreciate the quality of build and pride the Ultimate Camper team take in their work.
Outside were 10 more campers that were back for their routine service checks or an array of upgrades. For some it was the addition of a new 360 awning. For others it was simply time to lavish some extra love on their rig with optional extras.
At reception, we bumped into Paul and Irene who’d arrived to collect their camper, which they’d owned 17 years from new. When they were looking to update, they couldn’t find any other camper they liked, so they decided to keep their original Ultimate Camper and bring it in for a full suite of upgrades, including the electronic opening unit to make set-up even easier.
A short drive from the factory and we arrived at Mungerarie Farm Stay on the banks of the Deua River. Now for the real test. How fast could we put-up the Ultimate GT 360 with the assistance of a 10-year-old? The answer, 10 minutes — it took longer to drive to the campsite. And there were plenty of jobs suitable for her little hands.
The 360-degree awning and safari roof was easy to erect. Unless the wind gets over 20km/h, you won’t need to use tie-downs. But, if you do, the pre-tied guy ropes are tucked away in handy storage pockets stitched into the awning itself. This massive shady space is a super sizzling summer saviour and there’s no doubt it will catch the attention of copy-cats for years to come.
Putting up the spare room was a breeze using the handy Velcro tabs secured to the campers upper structure. With a handful of tent pegs on each corner, we were done.
Over the whole weekend, our best time for set-up was a tiny eight minutes. Our final morning pack-up took the longest. Even so, we were ready to roll in 45 minutes (and expect we’d get quicker with greater familiarity). This included: cleaning-up breakfast; gathering up bikes, rods and camp chairs; dousing the fire pit; folding away the spare room; and refurbishing the rig with a blower-vac to get rid of the inevitable debris that had followed our feet inside. Exactly what you’d expect to be doing on a road trip. Securing the roof clips was a challenge for Kath, but the Ultimate team tell us they’re working on it!
The Thetford three burner cooktop, with combined sink unit, is the burning heart of the GT 360’s functional galley kitchen. Surrounding the stove, the fibreglass Galaxy benchtop and swing-away tables are complemented by an optional galley shelf above the cooktop and sink, which was quite handy. Combined, they provided 3sqm of functional work surfaces. When our bellies were full, the water temperature and pressure from the Truma electric water system made clean up a breeze.
The clever benchtop pantry recess, with its chopping board cover, provided a useful storage area for frequently accessed dry goods. Meanwhile the galley storage drawers are ample for cutlery, crockery and additional dry food items. Besides the cutlery drawer, however, storage is simply free space so items can rattle and rub unless packed well. Further customisation of the drawers with, for example, bespoke foam inserts for common items would have been welcome. The two sets of LED galley lights, while useful for cooking, reflected off the midge screen obscuring the outside view.
We quickly filled the 130L Isotherm fridge with perishable goods. Being an up-right unit, there was more wasted space than you’d generally find in portable chest fridge/freezers, and food needed to be carefully stored on the fridge shelves as some movement was inevitable on rough roads. The benefit, however, was that the shelves kept goods separate and easy to find, and there was certainly enough space to support several days on the road between re-supply.
While easy to use when the camper was set up, the fridge was inaccessible on the road. So roadside lunch-stops needed to be serviced from an alternative fridge in our tow-tug.
The GT 360’s super king bed was cavernous. With a 100mm Ezi-Fold high density foam mattress as standard, and with options for memory foam or pocket spring upgrades, the GT 360 promises a good night’s sleep on par with anything you’re likely to achieve at home. The reading lights on flexible arms were good and provided diffused light within the camper more generally.
In transit, we found most of our pillows and blankets could be shoved into the boot boxes under the lounge cushions. But, a doona or big sleeping bag would need to find a home in your rig, or in a bag on the floor of the camper, to keep it off the ground.
While the super king bed will keep the adults happy, Ultimate’s GT 360 caters for kids, both young and old. For the littlies, the dinette converts to a ‘dicky-bed’ at the foot of the main mattress. It’s a fully viable single bed space and our littlest crew member was a big fan. Alternatively, if you want the kids outside, there’s the optional spare room, and this is where the GT 360’s adaptability to growing families really shines.
The spare room provides a fully enclosed annexe, tucked neatly under the side fold. Once unfurled, there’s plenty of room (4sqm) for a couple of stretchers while leaving ample floor space for bags and knick-knacks. If you’re travelling with kids, there are myriad internal and external pockets to keep things organised, so there’ll be no excuse for a shambolic rumpus room.
Alternatively, take your mates fishing, hunting or prospecting and keep them out of your king bed! For duos, the spare room offers an additional meshed seating area away from the flies, or a place to get your gear out of plain sight when you’re away from camp.
Whichever way you look at it, the Ultimate GT 360 has versatility in spades.
RELEASE THE BEAST
To get a feel for how any camper runs — both on and off the road — its best to use your own tow-tug because of your familiarity with it. You know when it’s labouring and when it’s not, and you know what it feels like to be pushed from behind. For our test, the Ultimate GT 360 performed like a pro and it would be hard to fault its offroadability.
We spent our days hauling it over the washouts, ‘whoa-boys’, tight turns and inclines of the Deua National Park. We purposely sought difficult tracks and traversed more rugged terrain in one weekend than many owners would in a month, if not a year. Despite this punishment, most of the time we couldn’t feel that the GT 360 was on the hitch!
The under carriage is one of the cleanest you’ll find on the market and quite possibly one of the strongest. The chassis has a drawbar and centre spine of 100 x 100mm Duragal with the rest of the ‘Y’ frame made up of 100 x 50mm. Hanging below are a set of Cruisemaster XT independent trailing arms supported by long travel Lovell Springs and heavy-duty shocks from Ironman 4x4.
These attributes, combined with the GT 360’s 18-degree ramp over, its 32-degree departure angle, 570mm ground clearance and its 828mm draw bar, make this rig ready to tackle the highways, byways and fire trails with real poise. Whatever we threw at it, the Ultimate GT 360 proved itself as an effortless travel partner.