Unclip, unwind and relax – even the not-so-physical will easily manage this camper
Regardless of your muscle content, or lack thereof, this Cub Camper is (almost) that quick and easy to set up: unclip a couple of over-centre latches, unwind the clever, yet simple winch system to allow the hard floor to open and rest onto the ground to the rear of the camper, whack a few poles and pegs in if you need the awning set up, then kick back, relax and ponder over the maps as to where you might end up the next night, or the next weekend depending on how long you’re figuring on staying at your current campsite.
The clever clogs at Cub’s Sydney HQ have included the general workings of their other well-regarded models set-up features into the newer Spacevan: that is, the hand-operated easy winch system that flips the hard roof/floor from the closed position to the open position and vice versa. The system makes set-up incredibly easy; even for the less physically able amongst us…yep oldies, sheilas and fellas that get sand kicked in their faces at the beach will impress even the blokeiest of blokes with the ease that they can set up a Cub Camper. By the time you’ve got a Cub set up, those other muscle-headed clowns will still be hammering pegs into the rock hard dirt and wrestling with an acre of canvas, secretly wishing they were you.
The main difference between most other Cub Campers and this Cub Spacevan is, well…the extra space! Yep, the walls are higher to allow for the extra room and inclusions inside – pretty simple really! It’s not so tall to be as large as a full sized caravan or even a pop top type van, but it does slot itself into a fairly unique type of camper trailer class.
Stepping up into the hard floor – and it is quite a high step, so you may need to bring along a small step or ladder to make life a little easier…especially those oldies with bung hips or squeaky knees… anyway, once inside you’re greeted with a mass of stainless steel in the kitchen area. An upright 90 litre 3-way fridge freezer, a 4-burner cooktop with griller, built-in sink with 12 volt running water, fold out table top and a handful of cupboards have all been hit with the stainless stick and gleam to make your camping pretty classy indeed.
Further forward is a lift-up mattress (inner sprung on this particular model) for resting your weary bones after a full day of high action adventure, or lounging around sipping tea… regardless of which brigade you fit into, the mattress provides a great resting spot with plenty of ventilation and windows through which the larger-than-normal doorway provides masses of flow-through air.
While most windows are within the canvas, there is also a couple of glass sliding units in the solid walls to let a little more breeze through – the more the better I say! A couple of reading lights at the head end of the bed make late night reading comfortable as does the solid wall to prop your pillow against – no need to avoid leaning on a canvas wall; another advantage of the higher solid walls!
While this style of camper is restricted in its internal floor space, making it a perfect fit for two, you can slip a few extra bodies down on the hard floor – just don’t forget to bring a couple of extra mattresses for them.
A great feature I like on the outside is the ability to access the fridge and a few storage drawers without having to set the whole camper up. Simply swing away the spare wheel, open the rear hatch and you can, somewhat awkwardly get at the fridge and kitchen cupboards. The only downside to this accessibility is that, in my opinion, the fridge is mounted at the roughest end of the camper trailer – it cops more up and down movement/jarring compared to the front of a trailer. The Spacevan also has a fridge box mounted on the drawbar to accept a chest-type fridge – a better bet for my money.
Underneath is Cub’s own version of independent trailing arm, coil suspension to provide a reasonably soft, compliant ride for the Spacevan. It’s standard fare on the Spacevan Drover offroad, as compared to the other Spacevan variants (of which there are 5 all up) which utilise leaf springs.
Up front, Cub utilise a Trigg polyblock offroad coupling and mechanical override drum brakes – some other Spacevan models use electric drum brakes. The galvanised draw bar is a whopping cross section, to which the LPG bottle and jerry can holders, hand winch pole and stone deflector are attached.
A side awning running the length of the camper aids to the comfort of longer stays or when the weather is not ideal. This awning does take a little finesse to put up and is more easily done with two people. Cub utilise horizontal spreader bars that hold via Velcro tabs against the camper’s main wall. Quick and easy – yes, but they do tend to push the walls and internal bows slightly out of shape if not careful.
The higher sides bring with them a little added weight, making this unit top the scales at (claimed by Cub) 1130 to 1160kg with a ball weight of 135 to 155kg. That’s all on the high side for a camper trailer, but low when compared to any type of caravan. All up the Spacevan appears to be a great compromise between a go-anywhere camper trailer and a more-creature-comfort-packed caravan.
To all those camper-type-people that I’ve offended, take your weary old bones or puny-muscled arms and try setting up a Cub Camper for yourself; you’ll love the ease with which you can set it up regardless of terrain and despite how many posers are watching on… ignore them and they’ll go away… probably to check out the complete range of Cub Campers.
They’ll more than likely want to get in on the act of easy setup camping too.
Manufacturer: Cub Campers
Model: Spacevan Drover Offroad
Body length: 3.2m
Tare weight: 1180kg
Price: $41,490.00 (ex Sydney or Melbourne)
Wayne Larkins from head office on the day of the shoot for his expert knowledge on all things Cub.
Find Out More
Address: 23 Loyalty Road, North Rocks, Sydney
Phone: (02) 8838 8600