Australia is known for camping trailers that are tough and Outback-ready on the outside, soft and luxurious on the inside, as evidenced quite well by hard-sided caravans like the Lotus Tremor and Bruder EXP-6. Ultimate Off-Road Campers builds pop-up trailers with that very same combination, and it recently launched its most impressive effort to date. The Nexus trailer rides compact and streamlined, and pops open at camp to reveal luxuries like leather furniture, a premium sound system and an indoor laser projector for showing movies hundreds of miles from the nearest theater.
Ultimate explains that it used all of its two decades of experience in designing, tweaking and selling camping trailers when developing the 14.1-foot-long (4.3 m) Nexus, its new flagship. It relied on its tried-and-true off-road-capable construction, light, aerodynamic design and cozy interior layout, while adding a longer list of standard and available features to raise the bar.
Since we've never covered an Ultimate Off-Road Camper before, we'll start with the build features that set the Nexus apart from the pop-up you might see atop blacktop at a national or state park. Ultimate designs its trailers for off-road travel, and not just dipping a few tire knobs in a puddle on a dusty washboard road, but wading through the river, climbing over rocks and wheeling through sand on the way to the makeshift remote campsite of your choosing.
The Nexus chassis is of Duragal steel construction, and the independent trailing arm suspension relies on long-travel coil springs and off-road shocks. The trailer has 22 in (570 mm) of ground clearance, and large 20-in alloy wheels shod in Cooper S/T Maxx 285/55/20 tires.
Up above, a curvy composite body keeps airflow smooth and fuel economy up. It also provides a watertight, dust-tight shell over top the fold-out cabin and equipment inside, ensuring that no matter what you drag it through, it's ready to cook, sleep, eat and lounge upon arrival.
Unlike many other pop-up campers, which pop straight up and/or expand out at the ends, the Nexus flips out to the side. Ultimate says its trailers take about five minutes to set up, which involves opening the canvas tent and readying the inside.
The interior is really where the Nexus shines above and beyond what you might expect from a rugged, off-road pop-up. At one end, the galley houses a dual-burner gas stove, sink with glass lid, 110L compressor fridge/freezer, L-shaped carbon fiber countertop and plenty of storage. The other end is where the king-size bed calls home, and in between, a wraparound leather couch provides a place to sit. The removable table can be used inside or outside, with the included tripod base.
The Nexus is wired up with a 240V electrical system that relies on dual 100Ah lithium batteries for storage. It includes a 30A Redarc battery management system, 160W Redarc solar panel and 1500W inverter, powering equipment like the LED lighting, Fusion premium sound system, and myriad outlets.
The Nexus' most interesting electrical device is the optional Sony laser projector, which sets up inside, casting images on a screen that affixes to the galley window. It can show externally stored content wirelessly or via HDMI, providing a bit of modern entertainment far, far away from the modern world. This option launched with the Nexus but is also available on other Ultimate trailers.
Other standard Nexus features include a 110L water tank with gauge, built-in hot water system, outdoor shower, front and rear awnings, dual 8.4-lb (3.8-kg) gas tanks, jerry can storage, a nose cone storage area and a gas heater. Integrated rails on top make it easy to mount up a roof rack to haul gear. Options include an insert to turn the couch into a second bed, an external galley, awning walls and a spare room.
Ultimate launched the 1,875-lb (850-kg) Nexus in late April, and the new model starts at AU$73,500 (approx. US$55,650). That's a lot of coin for a trailer, but it is the flagship, and the other models in Ultimate's lineup have the same chassis/body construction and sizing, only with lesser levels of equipment. The entry level XTRK prices in at AU$46,000 (US$35,000), with king-size bed, interior galley, basic electrical system and other equipment.