Brutish off-grid pop-up camper brings Outback flavor to UK hinterlands
The photos and spec sheet of the new X1 "micro habitat" trailer from Valkari Overland scream "Australia's latest off-road camper trailer!" But this overbuilt brute is more likely to be found roaming the highlands and moors of the British Isles than the Outback of Australia. No matter where it roams, the go-anywhere squaredrop brings some comforts and luxuries from home, growing into a roomy base camp with dining lounge, sleeping space for the whole family, plenty of cooking power and a full entertainment system.
Not only do Valkari X1 features, like the hot-dipped galvanized chassis and dual-shock independent suspension, sound straight out of Australia, but the shape of the 16-foot (490-cm) X1 looks very much like it could be the latest offering from Bruder, a high-popping, more axle-centered alternative to the EXP-4. However, the company was founded in Great Britain in 2020 by entrepreneur Nevil Slade, also the founder and CEO of racing simulator manufacturer Vesaro.
Above its chassis and 265/75 R16 off-road tires, the X1 has a welded aluminum alloy frame skinned out in 25-mm aluminum-composite panels sandwiched around insulation. That rugged, weatherproof shell protects a cozy interior designed to sleep an entire family, with dual doors and foldaway steps providing convenient entry and exit.
Like some of the latest American off-road trailers, the X1 relies on a pop-top design to expand livable interior space beyond the simple two-adult mattress found in many an off-road tear or squaredrop. Valkari fills out the standing-height space with a dining lounge with wraparound seating and a bench-style sofa.
At night, the table drops down and the cushions rearrange into a wall-to-wall 75 x 57-in (190 x 145-cm) bed that Valkari suggests will fit a child and two parents. The available pop-up roof sleeping platform helps sleep a larger family, adding a 44 x 81-in (112 x 206-cm) bed good for a pair of adults or three to four children. The modular three-piece platform allows for access down to the main floor of the trailer.
Valkari takes amenities to the next level with a 14-in LCD TV and stereo speakers. Two outside speakers pull music from the DVD/CD/Bluetooth/radio media player to the other side of the walls.
Cooks will have to step outside and around back, where the tailgate galley houses dual slide-outs below a full-width worktop. One multi-level slide-out houses the sink and the independent dual burners, and the other slide carves out dedicated space for the optional 30-L fridge. A standard water heater pushes hot water to the sink for cleaning dishes and also to the outdoor shower. An optional fold-out shower room can be used with the shower sprayer as well as the available portable toilet.
A pair of 100-Ah deep-cycle lead-acid batteries wired to a 2,000-W inverter powers onboard equipment like the audio/video gear, 12-V water pump and LED lighting. Solar panels can be added on optionally. Fresh water gets distributed out from a 120-L underbody steel tank with digital monitoring and drains into an 80-L gray water tank. Air conditioning and diesel heat are available as options.
The X1 comes standard with a retractable awning and a full-size roof rack that holds dynamic loads up to 110 lb (50 kg). Off-road electric brakes with electronic management help bring the 2,425-lb (1,100-kg) camper trailer to stop.
According to its website, Valkari is working to get the X1 certified for use on UK roads. It plans to sell it for a starting price of £16,999 (approx. US$23,475) or £17,498 ($24,150) with the three-piece removable upper sleeping platform. Interested parties can sign up for more info and updates, and uninterested parties may or may not gain a little more interest after watching the 3.5-minute simulation below.
Source: Valkari Overland