Menacing off-road teardrop bores through Outback and camps like a boss
One of the more aggressive-looking (but still lovable) teardrop trailers out there, the Stockman Rover is much friendlier than its sharp looks might lead you to believe. In fact, it's designed to be a nomad's most loyal friend, offering easy, light towing, fast, no-hassle accommodations seconds after arrival, and the most important comforts of home – a warm bed, hot meal and steaming shower. Its aggressive dimensions merely ensure it gets where it's going in one solid piece.
At many an RV shop, a tiny, mattress-filled teardrop trailer would be the simplest, most barebones camper option on the menu. That's most definitely not the case at Stockman Products, an Australian outfit with more than 15 years of experience building hard-wearing towable plastic gear tubs and pods for everything from basic cross-city relocations to extreme off-road adventures. Prior to the Rover, the company's most elaborate camper consisted of a hunk of canvas that popped out of the gullet of just such a pod.
For Stockman, the 16.4-foot (5-m) Rover teardrop represents the peak of low-hassle, hard-walled camping comfort and luxury, an answer to customer requests for a simpler camping solution with nary a pole nor patch of canvas. And boy did Stockman embrace the challenge of sizing up from gear pod to person pod, creating a more capacious cabin every bit as distinctive as its original plastic cargo tubs.
The Rover's arched roofline and broad sidewalls might fall a little short in aggressive presence when compared to Australian recreational heavy equipment like the Track Tvan or Offline Domino, but Stockman's sharply angled front-end accentuated by slash graphic, flared fenders, oversized doors and meaty all-terrain tires match the standstill aggression of virtually any "extreme" overland teardrop or squaredrop with roots north of the equator. The Rover's iconic tear shape and glossy white composite construction merely give it an approachability that more prickly off-roaders lack.
To meet its goal of fast setup, Stockman has hung a 30-second swing awning on the roof and carved out oversized left and right doors nearly large enough to somersault through. Campers can spend the minute or so setting up the awning and flipping the tailgate or dive directly inside and escape the post-dusk chill.
The interior includes an inner-sprung queen mattress sandwiched between 28-mm (1.1-in) insulated walls optimized for thermal and acoustic insulation duties. Headboard pads and individual reading lights make sitting up in bed and reading a more natural experience, while a CD/Bluetooth stereo with indoor and outdoor speakers provides some integrated entertainment.
Stockman has squared off the rear-end of the trailer, creating a simpler flat tailgate/galley roof and straightforward inset kitchen area. The tall interior leaves room for an available upright 107-L fridge/freezer and a full-width stainless steel countertop. The most basic package comes with a single-burner butane stove and 12-V pump-fed sink, and higher-spec models bring in a swing-out gas BBQ grill. An available fold-down side table adds extra space 'round the corner for storage and food prep.
The base Rover "Explorer" comes wired with dual 100-Ah 12-V batteries, and the mid-tier "Intrepid" package tacks on 200 watts of roof-mounted solar. The flagship "Ultra" model includes a full 240-V electrical upgrade package with lithium battery bank and Bluetooth monitoring.
Every Rover comes built up for the full gamut of off-road use and abuse, riding on a pair of 17-in alloys wrapped in all-terrain tires and bolted to the galvanized chassis by way of a twin-shock coil-sprung independent suspension. A full-width dust-proof nose box up front offers secure gear and luggage storage.
The Rover tares in at 1,080 kg (2,381 lb) and offers a payload of 520 kg (1,146 lb).
Stockman introduced the Rover right before the pandemic RV craze in early 2020 and has since slightly modified the design. The Rover Explorer base model prices in at AU$44,490 (approx. US$32,200), while the mid-tier Intrepid starts at AU$54,990 (approx. US$39,400) and tacks on extras like the roof rack, swing-out awning, solar panels, outdoor shower tent and water heater, swing-out BBQ and fridge. The range-topping Ultra prices in at AU$65,990 (approx. US$47,250) and brings on the electrical overhaul, fixed side ladder, TV/DVD entertainment system and reverse-cycle air conditioner/heater.