The popularity of box style campers is on the rise, and it’s easy to see why. The Canning from Hitch Campers is a great example of what can be done with a simple, yet well thought out design.
It is a small, light camper with great offroad ability built in. A full queen sized bed with plenty of light and ventilation and no ladder to climb or wet canvas to fold away means the Canning from Hitch Campers is very easy to live with.
TO THE CAPE AND BACK
With a lifetime of 4WD touring to the Cape, the Simpson, and other iconic destinations under their tyres, father and son duo Andrew and Luke Peers couldn’t find a camper that provided what they wanted, so they built their own. They had towed caravans and boats behind them on their extensive remote travels so were used to simple luxuries on the road like a good bed and having no canvas to fold.
After five years of R&D on different designs they settled on the Canning that we see today. At first glance you might think you’ve seen this design before. However, when you look closely, you realise there is more to the Hitch Camper than meets the eye.
Drawbars are generally not noteworthy. The Hitch Campers drawbar however brings a smile to my face and makes me wish my own camper had a similar one. If you have ever reversed a trailer in confined spaces, you’ll know the drawbar can either help or hinder you — my rear bumper has dents to prove it. With the straight drawbar of the Canning, you are able to reverse close on 90 degrees to the camper, which means less turns to get out of a tight situation.
The large dimensions (150 x 50 x 3mm) of the drawbar and chassis (100 x 50 x 3mm) shows that this light trailer is meant for tackling even the roughest tracks. The Raptor coat will protect the chassis from the inevitable multitude of stones bouncing into it on outback roads, and its suspension from Cruisemaster should carry it comfortably over millions of corrugations and holes in Aussie outback tracks and roads.
Coil springs are standard, though these can be upgraded to air suspension, which has the advantage of easily levelling the trailer once at camp.
Mounted to the chassis are the composite panels, which create the spacious yet light body. Composite panels are becoming the construction material of choice, providing a rigid structure with minimal dust or water ingress points while also providing great insulation for the internal spaces of the camper.
Below the body is the standard 95L food grade water tank. This is a good starting size, and an additional 95L water tank can be added to complement the optional gas hot water/shower ensuite in the Adventure Pack. This was included on the test camper and is a great feature wherever you go.
At the rear of the camper is the kitchen, accessed via a flip-up door. This instantly provides a roof over the kitchen area. It is large enough to keep the rain or sunshine off as you boil the billy on the slide-out gas stove. Gas isn’t plumbed but the hose is easily connected to the gas bottle mounted next to the kitchen.
There are a multitude of power options in the kitchen, with both 12V USB and 240V outlets in easy reach. I would like to see a small shelf incorporated so there is a place to put charging phones or tablets. The cupboards provide storage above the food preparation area and built-in sink.
The fridge is located in the large storage area at the front of the camper. A 60L fridge can be accommodated on the pull out slide. The electrical system is also housed in this area.
Enerdrive chargers and monitors are supplied standard with a 150Ah AGM battery which can be upgraded to a lithium battery. If you have airbag suspension, the controls are also located here.
A 2.5 x 2.5m awning comes standard, as does the heavy duty Rhino roof rack.
One of the most attractive elements of the Canning is the ease of going to bed and getting going again in the morning. As a tourer, there are often long distances between destinations, requiring constantly shifting camp. In the Canning, the bed is only a door away, while the kitchen is only two handles away and you get a roof at the same time.
The less time setting/packing up, the more time there is to explore the local area or relax at camp. Everything is quick to set up. The optional 270-degree awning fits neatly over the kitchen whether the door is open or not, which is not the case for all campers. The shower tent is quick to open and is right next to the hot water system.
As a base camp, the Canning works a treat. The two doors to the sleeping area mean one person can get up early without having to scramble over the other to get to the door. Nights can be hot, so crossflow ventilation is a breeze with the two opposite doors equipped with both midget and security mesh.
In the roof there is a Thule Omnivent with built in reversible fan and a window in the front panel so there are four openings catching a breeze from three directions. A fan keeps the dust out of both the kitchen and the sleeping area as it pressurises these spaces on the move.
A downside of this style of camper is that storage is not overly abundant. To counter this, Hitch Campers has provided a heavy-duty roof rack on top of the camper for large and additional items not able to be stored within the camper.
ON THE MOVE
A low tare of 840kg and ATM of 1600kg help make the Canning a dream to tow. The AL-KO offroad hitch or the optioned DO35 from Cruisemaster, connect the trailer solidly to the tow vehicle. The 10in electric brakes make short work of stopping the camper when needed.
We found a rocky creek with a steep entry to test the articulation and ground clearance of the camper. It towed easily down the uneven entry and out the other side. Entry and departure angles were good and the distance from the hitch to the camper wheels ensured the camper towed straight and true on rough and gravel surfaces.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Canning from Hitch Campers is a well thought out camper designed by people who use them. At a glance, you may think all these style of campers are the same. The closer I looked, though, the more I could see the attention to detail and inclusion of quality fittings that ensure the Canning would meet the highest expectations of performance and ease of use.
For myself with my love of bikes, kayaks and other outdoor sports equipment, I would definitely need to use the roof rack on the camper. Because there is no pop-up roof, the roof rack is always within reach and relatively easy to access. The ability to enter or leave the sleeping area without a ladder is unusual in a camper of this size and, to many people, this will be a big plus.
Ball weight 84kg
Suspension Cruisemaster XT Freestyle Independent Coil Suspension
Brakes 10in drum
Coupling AL-KO Offroad Ball Coupling
Chassis 100 x 50mm Raptor coated
Body 29mm Composite panel
Wheels 16 x 8 steel rims
Tyres Hankook RT03 MT 265/75R16
Style Box camper
Body size 2800 (L) x 2200 (W) x 2100mm (H)
Towed length 4770mm
Awning size 2.5 x 2.5m
Gas 1 x 4.5kg
Water 95L freshwater
Hot water Gasmate Watertech (option with adventure pack)
Cooktop Dometic 2-burner (external)
Kitchen Rear built into camper with Dometic 2 burner stove, sink and bench space;
Electrical Enerdrive 40A 12V DC Charger, Enerdrive 20A AC Charger,Enerdrive Epro+ Battery Monitor
Battery 1 x 150Ah Slimline AGM Battery
Adventure Pack — Additional 95L fresh water tank, 270-degree awning, hot water system, outdoor shower, Shower/Change room
Enerdrive 2000W Inverter
Enerdrive Blue Module
DCS Lithium battery
Cruisemaster Airbag Suspension
Platform roof rack
Cruisemaster DO35 Coupling
Table and Slide Mount
Fire Wood Tiedown
Adjustable Toolbox Shelf
PRICE AS TESTED
Address Unit 4,8-12 Gateway Court, Coomera Qld 4209
Phone 0480 292 400