Pernieial winners, Patriot Campers, arrived at Camper Trailer of the Year 2022 with last years equal Best Build Quailty Winner, the X3. Having undergone some upgrades and refinement for the 2022 version, it was again the benchmark all other campers would be assessed against.
TIM VAN DUYL (CAMPER AUSTRALIA CREATIVE DIRECTOR)
I love the X3. From the first time I saw one at CTOTY 2020, I understood what Justin and the team were trying to do. The X3 is an evolution of what made Patriot, it is a camper with 90 per cent of the hardcore ability with a 10 per cent sprinkle of comfort but still with 100 per cent of the build quality and excellent finish. So it was no surprise to see it right at the pointy end of the results and again winning Best Build Quality and also Best Compact Camper.
Part of the appeal and I reckon the reason why the X3 again won Best Build Quality is the science that goes into the material choice and the build methodology. The chassis is not a common, heavy and prone to corrosion box-steel type. It is folded and pressed channel steel that is lighter and more rigid plus easier to keep clean. The fabrics in the awning and tent were developed by Patriot and the stove, branded by Dometic, was actually designed and tested by Patriot before being built by Dometic.
Then there is the focus on Australian-made components. All of the steel used in the construction of the X3 is Australian-made, the protective coatings (a mix of Raptor and Rhino) are used where each is best and even the powder-coating for the aluminium panels is locally sourced. The X3 is exceptionally well built and thought out.
An area where Patriot have been somewhat caught up is in Self Sufficiency. Once the leaders of the critical criteria, changing technologies and costs coming down has meant it's not uncommon to find other campers with more power reserves, more water capacity and more solar.
That is not to say there is not enough, it has been designed differently. Like the focus on components and materials used in the construction of the X3, the power and water systems have been considered, not just slapped on. But I would like to see lithium batteries make it as standard in the REDARC TVMS system fitted, they could save 30kg and double the power capacity. And as the water tanks are on the small side, I would like to see a river/stream lift system as standard, plumbed into the external shower to make the 130L water tank exclusively for drinking and cooking - this will extend stays immeasurably.
GLENN MARSHALL (CAMPER AUSTRALIA EDITOR AT LARGE)
Patriot Campers are synonymous with building tough Australian-made camper trailers that will go anywhere you take them. The attention to detail is second to none and strict quality control makes them some of the best-selling camper trailers in the country. I can tell you, that I would be very happy to tow a Patriot on any of my Outback adventures.
Patriot Campers is renowned for being unstoppable and the MY22 X3 is no different, it is the luxury aspects of this camper that sets it apart. The X3 uses the RIGILITE chassis for strength while the Cruisemaster-made X-Cruise dual shock airbag suspension keeps the X3 well balanced and stable in all conditions. The internal living space brings a level of comfort that adventures with no kids are looking for. Proudly Australian made, the price may turn some people away however you do get what you pay for and if comfort and quality are high on your list, the X3 ticks all the right boxes.
The RIGILITE chassis keeps the X3 strong, while also keeping it light with a 1600kg ATM. The aluminium body joins the chassis for a monocoque design. If the camper body is damaged in any way, the modulated system allows sections of the body to be simply replaced.
The EXORACK mounting system of the roof of the X3 provides a mounting solution for the 120X REDARC solar panel so that it tops up your camper batteries as you're driving. The solar panel can then be removed so that it becomes a portable solar panel that charges the twin 150Ah batteries while you are camping.
Having the option to include a GME XRS UHF is a fantastic way for base camp to keep in touch with the boys as they drive the local tracks or the kids as they explore the campsite. An upgrade to the dust prevention system with a PCOR air filter has improved the pressurisation of the body, keeping dust out.
While not new to the X3, the optional internal Pop Up Café with EXCL Coffee Machine is still innovative as is the gas-assisted awning arm mechanism that increases the height of the Hexacore awning a solution that other compact camper manufacturers are still trying to work out.
DAN EVERETT (CTOTY 2022 JUDGE)
Patriot are the constant leader of the pack. They always look internally at how to build things better. Their campers are uniquely theirs from the wheels to the awning. If you’re after a camper you can tow down Gunshot you have very few options. Want to do that and have an internal living space and all the mod cons? You won’t find better.
Despite being a step up from the X1, do not expect the X3 to be all about comforts, it is compromised to keep weight down and the size of the camper small. The kitchen is paired back compared to others, the tent isn’t insulated or cooled, there’s minimal pantry space and the internal dinette is cramped at best. People buy Patriots for capability with a side of comfort, not the other way around.
X-Factor has always been one of the biggest selling points of any Patriot. They’re just unarguably cool things to have. From the overall styling to the compact design. They’ll always draw a crowd. We even had to shoo away a few curious onlookers while we were doing our judging. If you like people looking your way, a Patriot is the camper for you.
In terms of Value For Money, I feel like the Patriots are the 79 Series LandCruiser of the camper trailer world. They’re well built, robust, have a nationwide dealer network and you know if you break it in the middle of nowhere you’ll be able to find parts. But you’ll also feel like you’re paying more than you should. How much of that is the product, and how much is the hype behind having something unique and with such a strong brand? That’s only something the buyer can decide but like the 79, there is a waiting list for the X3 so clearly, it works.
KATH HEIMAN (CTOTY 2022 JUDGE)
Patriot is renowned as a market leader in off-road adventure campers. The sheer agility is achieved by combining a light frame (1600kg ATM), tiny dimensions (3.75m long, 1.85m high, and 1.85m long), a steep departure angle and Tonka tough construction.
The Cruisemaster X-Cruise suspension integrates with the hot dipped Rigilite chassis that's constructed of a spine of hot dipped gal with aluminium outriggers to support the body. There’s also a removable rear drawbar. As pointed out by the Patriot team, this construction provides core strength. And it also offers versatility if an excess of driver confidence results in damage to flanking components as they can be readily replaced.
Where the rubber hits the road, the X3 is serviced by a pair of PCOR 16” alloy wheels and 33” M/T tyres as standard. Given Patriot’s zeal for design supremacy, it’s always surprising to see the space saver spare wheel under the body rather than full-size treads, preferably above the waistline. But this is one compromise that Patriot consistently defends in order to maintain other characteristic design features.
When the X3 has finished its fun on the backtracks, there are plenty of amenities both outside and in to keep an outdoorsy couple happy. While the X3 is essentially a 2-berth fold-out camper, there’s far more than meets the eye.
The bed space unfurls simply and quickly to reveal a comfortable bed serviced by a pop-up shelf to store an optional coffee machine, a power station to charge your techno-gadgets, and several internal storage boxes where you can put your clean stuff - to keep it clean. The diesel heater promises to keep your toes toasty when the nights get cold.
Fundamentally unchanged over the last couple of years, the compact galley remains logically set out and well-appointed. While fitted with a Dometic stove, there’s also space for a Weber BBQ in the driver-side locker and a folding arm near the drawbar ensures the chef isn’t too far from the action. While outside, shelter is provided by the patented Hexacore awning which is mould resistant, anti-fungal, waterproof, and super compact when folded away.
Patriot markets the X3 as a camper for people who like camping. So, it’s not a rig that’s determined to create a wall of separation between you and the Great Outdoors. Instead, it aims to get you as far into nature as you’d like to be – while providing enough comforts to remind you that you’re on holiday.
PATRIOT CAMPERS X3 Judges Rating
PATRIOT CAMPERS MY22 X3 SPECIFICATIONS
Weights and Measures
|Height||1.8m (Roof Down)|
|Chassis||RIGILITE™ Galvanised Chassis|
|Body||Aluminium Powder Coated|
|Tyres||Maxtrek MT 285/74/R16|
|Brakes||10” Electric Drum Brakes|
|Suspension||Cruisemaster X-Cruise™ 1.60T Dual Shock Airbag Suspension|
Accessories & Inclusions
|Battery||2 x 130Ah AGM|
|Charger||REDARC Manager 30 & TVMS|
|Inverter||REDARC Pure Sine 1500W|
|Hot water||Webasto Deisel|
|Awning size||2000m x 8000mm|
PATRIOT CAMPERS MY22 X3 price $83,909 (as tested)
Supplied by PATRIOT CAMPERS