Outdoors

Kerfton off-road trailer slides and swings into picnic area or camper

Kerfton off-road trailer slide...
The full kitchen sets up even with the tent packed away, perfect for making a lunch on the trip without having to set up the entire trailer
The full kitchen sets up even with the tent packed away, perfect for making a lunch on the trip without having to set up the entire trailer
View 17 Images
Kerfton has been testing its trailer on corrugated dirt roads and rougher 4x4 tracks
1/17
Kerfton has been testing its trailer on corrugated dirt roads and rougher 4x4 tracks
The Kerfton trailer comes equipped with an indoor/outdoor base camp
2/17
The Kerfton trailer comes equipped with an indoor/outdoor base camp
The Kerfton trailer packs neatly into an automotive-influenced composite body, folding out into a full family tent camper
3/17
The Kerfton trailer packs neatly into an automotive-influenced composite body, folding out into a full family tent camper
Panoramic look inside the Kerfton trailer
4/17
Panoramic look inside the Kerfton trailer
The patented kitchen design stores away neatly between the benches, swinging and sliding out independent of the tent
5/17
The patented kitchen design stores away neatly between the benches, swinging and sliding out independent of the tent
Dual-burner stove
6/17
Dual-burner stove
The Kerfton trailer is sleek, glossy composite body up high, stout galvanized steel frame below
7/17
The Kerfton trailer is sleek, glossy composite body up high, stout galvanized steel frame below
Using side and front folding sections, the Kerfton trailer sleeps a family of four
8/17
Using side and front folding sections, the Kerfton trailer sleeps a family of four
Kerfton spent many hours of computer and physical rendering to get the exact style it was looking for
9/17
Kerfton spent many hours of computer and physical rendering to get the exact style it was looking for
Kerfton looks to bring a little more aesthetics to the Australian off-road camper trailer market
10/17
Kerfton looks to bring a little more aesthetics to the Australian off-road camper trailer market
The full kitchen sets up even with the tent packed away, perfect for making a lunch on the trip without having to set up the entire trailer
11/17
The full kitchen sets up even with the tent packed away, perfect for making a lunch on the trip without having to set up the entire trailer
Inside, the Kerfton trailer features dual-bench seating for six and three beds
12/17
Inside, the Kerfton trailer features dual-bench seating for six and three beds
Kerfton places the beds on the outside of the benches so that there's none of the usual bench-to-bed conversion
13/17
Kerfton places the beds on the outside of the benches so that there's none of the usual bench-to-bed conversion
The picnic table set also removes for use with or without the tent set up
14/17
The picnic table set also removes for use with or without the tent set up
The sink features built-in gray water storage and can be removed for disposal
15/17
The sink features built-in gray water storage and can be removed for disposal
Drop the tailgate and you can grab a drink without any further setup
16/17
Drop the tailgate and you can grab a drink without any further setup
Kerfton trailer fully set up and ready to camp
17/17
Kerfton trailer fully set up and ready to camp
View gallery - 17 images

A diversion from the hard-box folders and tent-tops we're used to seeing on the Australian camper trailer market, the new Kerfton trailer turns heads with a winged composite design that quickly grows from low, compact towable to family base camp. The smart kitchen puts full cooking power at your fingertips, whether the tent is fully deployed or packed up for travel. It can be used for distant all-terrain adventures and local tailgates or picnics.

The 14-foot (4.3-m) Kerfton trailer was born to bring a modern automotive aesthetic to Australia's off-road camper trailer segment. In contrast to the typical metal box or squaredrop cabin, its sleek, smooth bodywork benefits from fiberglass-based high-performance composite construction, giving it a look meant to complement any vehicle towing it.

Kerfton spent many hours of computer and physical rendering to get the exact style it was looking for
Kerfton spent many hours of computer and physical rendering to get the exact style it was looking for

So stylish is the Kerfton trailer, it might give would-be buyers pause in trusting it to take on Australia's roughest routes. But Kerfton founder and engineering manager Barry Trippit brings close to 30 years of experience working in structural engineering and composites in industries as demanding as aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, and mine construction. The man knows what it takes to make a sturdy box, and he hasn't created the Kerfton trailer for mere highway cruising or glamping resort-hopping.

"Absolutely, full-blown off-road, as tough as it gets," Trippit responded when we asked what type of terrain the Kerfton trailer is meant for. "I personally drive a LandCruiser with a long list of modifications to improve off-road capability. Testing has already included some of the roughest tracks in Australia that I’m aware of (crossing the country including thousands of kilometers off-road), both severe off-road 4x4 type terrain and violent high-speed corrugations."

Kerfton has been testing its trailer on corrugated dirt roads and rougher 4x4 tracks
Kerfton has been testing its trailer on corrugated dirt roads and rougher 4x4 tracks

So that pretty composite physique has rock-solid muscle supporting it. Down low, the Kerfton trailer is all Outback-grade Aussie construction, riding on a hot-dip galvanized steel chassis and relying on an independent trailing arm suspension with coil springs to cushion the 16-in steel-alloy wheels wrapped up in 285x75R16 tires. The 360-degree hitch provides plenty of articulation for bumpy, wobbly off-road conditions.

To get the ground clearance just right (i.e. high enough to clear off-road obstacles, low enough to provide convenient access inside), Trippit and team attached a series of moving probes to the underside of a similarly sized trailer and took it on various off-road tracks around the company's Victorian HQ to determine exactly how much clearance was needed down the length of the underbody. They landed on 20 in (51 cm) behind the axle and 16.5 in (42 cm) in front of it, which is why the full-size spare tire gets mounted to the front underbody.

The Kerfton trailer is sleek, glossy composite body up high, stout galvanized steel frame below
The Kerfton trailer is sleek, glossy composite body up high, stout galvanized steel frame below

Kerfton shows equal thoughtfulness in the multi-layer design of the expandable camper body. The tailgate drops down to become a set of stairs, opening access to the contents inside, including a water tap that's available without any further setup – perfect for a quick drink when traversing mouth-drying sections of the Outback.

Drop the tailgate and you can grab a drink without any further setup
Drop the tailgate and you can grab a drink without any further setup

From there, owners pull the slide-and-swing dual-wing kitchen out through the tailgate hatch, quickly gaining full outdoor cooking capabilities without having to set up the rest of the trailer. This functionality seems ideal for everything from a quick roadside lunch or pot of coffee to a full-day picnic with no plans to stay the night. It also creates a helpful division of labor – upon late arrival to camp, one person can get started cooking dinner while another sets up the tent.

As far as kitchen layout, a dual-burner stove, slide-out sink, fold-down worktop and storage drawers and cabinetry extend to the left, a tray for a fridge/freezer up to 78 liters in size, small shelf and two 12-V outlets to the right. The appliances are permanently plumbed to water and gas so there's no reason to connect or disconnect anything. A diesel water heater is optional.

Also accessible without setting up the entire trailer is an included 5-ft (1.5-m) picnic table and dual bench set, perfect for serving and eating the impromptu meal you cooked up on the quick-access outdoor kitchen.

The picnic table set also removes for use with or without the tent set up
The picnic table set also removes for use with or without the tent set up

The extra layers of accessibility are added for convenience, not because the Kerfton trailer is a major chore to set up into complete tent-camper form. The two top trailer sections fold out to the sides like wings, and the front panel folds forward. The tent itself builds up with an internal pole structure, so no external poles or staking are necessary. Setup can be completed in under five minutes, according to Kerfton.

The four-sleeper interior offers standing height just under 6.6 ft (2 m) and bench seating for up to six people. The two cushioned side benches are independent of the single beds tucked up against the side windows, so there's no bed/bench conversion necessary. The queen bed with inner-spring mattress up front sleeps parents comfortably, while the single side beds give two children their own dedicated sleeping space.

Kerfton places the beds on the outside of the benches so that there's none of the usual bench-to-bed conversion
Kerfton places the beds on the outside of the benches so that there's none of the usual bench-to-bed conversion

The Kerfton trailer takes care of storage with a combination of six interior cupboards, two interior drawers, and a large front cargo box designed to hold both a Weber Baby Q grill and portable toilet while leaving room to spare. Firewood or other cargo can be strapped atop the cargo box using the integrated tie-down points.

A 120-Ah deep-cycle battery powers the fridge/freezer, onboard lighting, and 12-V and USB outlets. It's wired to charge off the car, and a 240-V mains charger is also available, as is an inverter, 240-V wiring and outlets, and second 120-A battery. The lack of a shower room might be a deal breaker for some, but Kerfton offers an optional shower hookup to keep up with daily hygiene demands. The trailer has a 63-L fresh water tank on board, with extra water storage and a river-drawing system on offer. Dry weight scales in at 2,200 lb (1,000 kg), before any optional add-ons, and has a gross vehicle weight rating of 3,525 lb (1,600 kg).

Kerfton trailer fully set up and ready to camp
Kerfton trailer fully set up and ready to camp

Kerfton is preparing for production and plans to launch preordering in the near future at a base price of AU$49,800 (approx. US$38,500). Along with the aforementioned electrical and water options, Kerfton will offer an optional quick awning, annex room and diesel tent heater.

Source: Kerfton

View gallery - 17 images
No comments
0 comments
There are no comments. Be the first!