Picture yourself around a campfire with a few Aussie blokes who’ve been in the camping and automotive electrical industries for over 15 years. The conversation turns to the topic of what they’d like to see in a compact adventure camper destined for a trip to the Cape. The guy who deals in campers reels off his wish list and then his mates from Hard Korr, known for its automotive lighting and batteries, throw in their two bobs worth too.
While many of us may have had similar conversations under the stars, these mates took the next step by joining forces and making this campfire concept a reality. The resultant Bushmaster camper is a comfortable evolution for Hard Korr.
The Hard Korr Bushmaster takes the concept of an adventure camper back to its roots and rebuilds it to deliver a space efficient, compact, and heavy-duty unit, supported by quality componentry including Hard Korr lighting, a Victron 600W pure sine inverter, and an MPPT solar regulator. The storage spaces are well executed, providing plenty of versatility when it comes time to pack — the fact many cavities seem designed to accommodate multiple 30-can packs may be a coincidence. But the short vacant space in front of the 250kg rated fridge-slide clearly isn’t. Put a carton of room temperature drinks here and rotate them through the fridge as needed. Nice.
Despite its macho appearance, you don’t need to be a gym junkie to enjoy the Hard Korr Bushmaster. Targeting singles, couples and adventurous retirees, there are some thoughtful touches to accommodate a range of physical abilities. The soft touch latches mean no one is left struggling with locks and bars, and the gas strut assisted rip-stop nylon roof top tent is light, compact and folds easily back into place. An easy job for one person. For buyers looking for a traditional adventure camper that’s quick to set up and simple to use, the Hark Korr Bushmaster is a highly capable travel companion.
The Hard Korr Bushmaster X is very well-equipped to tackle a spectrum of extreme conditions outdoors. As presented at CTOTY it came equipped with two 100Ah lithium batteries in place of the standard dual 100Ah AGMs, a choice being made this year — according to most of our manufacturers — by about 30 per cent of clients. Feeding them is a 25A mains charger, and while you’re on the road Hard Korr run a straight feed from the alternator that depends on a voltage sensitive relay at the vehicle end that commences to charge the battery when the vehicle is fully charged. To back up the vehicle charging is a lithium compatible Hard Korr solar regulator plus a 600W pure sine wave inverter to keep your appliances and batteries in top trim.
Water storage is 100L plus the capacity of two jerry cans. The cans themselves are not provided. This is not a lot these days, but is typical of such campers. The hot water service has the capacity to siphon water from outside sources. There is a holder for a single 9kg gas bottle, which is also not provided — just keep an eye on how much it is carrying as there is no backup.
The Bushmaster X comes in three colour choices (black, white or silver) with a two-pack paint over primer. The chassis is a hot dip galvanised 150 x 50 x 3mm structure with the main elements being continuous from the hitch to tow points. The body is zinc anneal steel with checkerplate steel on the top level and the top of the rooftop tent for enhanced load carrying. The drawers are all in aluminium with a powdercoat finish to save weight.
Completing the theme of the external appearance is a set of black alloy rims with mud terrain tyres. The core, chassis, and body are imported with all the fit-out details completed in Australia.
For an import, the Bushmaster 4000 is well constructed and primed for offroad adventure. The 150 x 50 x 3mm full chassis is hot-dipped galvanized steel with the ARK 50mm offroad hitch that provides full articulation and rated to 3.5 tonnes. An ARK 750 series jockey wheel is also mounted on the drawbar, while the independent suspension with dual 65mm big-bore Pedders shocks feels right at home underneath. The striking black alloy rims are wrapped in Goodride LT 235/75R15 MT radials. The Bushmaster 4000 towed well in the judges run, although we couldn’t test its braking capabilities as the tow vehicle wasn’t fitted with a brake controller. This camper has been towed around Tasmania with one of the offroad adventures shows on TV, and copped an absolute flogging and survived, so it is certainly ‘Cape’ ready.
The king-size Roof Top Tent measures a massive 2400 x 1800mm with 80mm foam mattress, super comfy and includes dual USB ports and dimmable LED lights. The kitchen offers a Dometic 2-burner stove and stainless sink with plumbed hot and cold water, loads of bench space and a massive 51L pantry drawer. Protection from the sun and rain is provided by the Darche 270-degree awning and there is even room for a Weber Baby Q, porta-potty and generator. Hot water is plumbed to the kitchen sink and a point on the front of the camper for a shower, all supplied from a portable hot water unit.
The RTT is simple to set up thanks to its internal gas struts and has one of the largest annexe roofs I’ve encountered. The Darche awing is simple to erect as the poles can be released once the awning has been opened up fully. There is plenty of storage, most of which is easily accessible however the pantry can’t be accessed while the stove or sink is being utilised.
TIM VAN DUYL
You can't argue that the Hard Korr Bushmaster 4000 isn’t good value for money. One look at the inclusions especially in the electrical system, the quality rip-stop tent and its apparent. Add in the five-year structural warranty and it reaffirms it's a good buy for anyone looking for a compact to take them deep into our tracks and outback.
Its self-sufficiency is good, and the ethos of simple, quick and as much storage as possible works, even if climbing into the tent won't be for all, but those same people also probably don't like the idea of staying at Somerset Beach, Far North QLD for a week. The appeal of the Bushmaster 4000 is that it won't break the bank, does not need a big SUV to tow (another cost-saver) and comes close enough to being ready to go to Somerset and back.
Beyond the obvious Hard Korr lighting and power systems, the team chose quality parts like an ARK jockey wheel, Pedders shocks, AL-KO OR ball-coupling and Darche awning when they could have just grabbed inferior copies from offshore, which keeps adding value to me.
Its compact size, still with 4000L of storage and tow-friendly tare of 1050kg, boost the X-Factor and Value for Money for me. Yeah, it doesn't win on innovation; this style of camper is tried and tested, and quality won't make a locally made camper uncomfortable but from $32,500, it's a bloody bargain with lots to offer and clear capability to go bush.
Ball weight 125kg
Suspension Heavy duty independent dual shocks
Coupling Premium Ark 360 degree 50mm hitch
Chassis Hot dip galvanised steel 150mm x 50mm
Body/cladding Zinc coated steel
Wheels/tyres Black alloy wheels and 235/75/15 AT tyres
Travel size 4050mm (L) x 1830mm (W) x 2.80mm (H)
Awning Darche 270 degree wrap-around awning
Gas 9kg bottle
Water 100L plumbed, plus a hot water system with double bayonet fittings
Kitchen 2 burner stove, stianless steel sink, 69L MyCoolamn Fridge/freezer, Weber baby-Q
Battery Twin 100Ah lithium batteries in 240V system with 25A Victron Charger
Awning Darche 270-degree
PRICE AS SEEN
Hard Korr Campers
Address Building 9, 83 Burnside Rd, Stapylton QLD 4207