Fifty years of Cub heritage reaches further with a limited-edition hard-floor camper, the Longreach LE.
Aussie-made campers are getting almost as rare as Drop Bears these days but one brand that has managed to stay local for more than 50 years is Cub. Cub’s latest release is its new limited-run, top-of-the-range Longreach LE. Based on the 3.2-metre long Longreach, the Longreach LE adds a bunch of extra equipment for about $11,000 more than the Longreach and as its name suggests is a limited production run.
The Longreach LE gets a whole swag of extra gear over the standard Longreach; such as hot water service, external shower, REDARC Redvision power control system, a Redarc BMS30 battery/charging unit, and the exterior is painted in a colour unique to the LE; called Lithium.
Inside, the Longreach LE also adds some bling with remote-controlled mood lighting at the bedhead, additional under-bed and floor lighting, a dinette area with swivel table, a four-drawer cupboard, a Fusion stereo and sub-woofer audio system, extra storage cubbies on each side of the bed and a thicker pillow-top mattress and bedhead headrests, which reveal additional storage lockers. The Longreach LE also scores bedside consoles with USB ports, Fusion speakers and reading lights.
The Longreach LE has a slightly shorter bed than the Longreach – but only by 150mm over the Longreach’s lanky 2100mm bed.
Getting the Cub set up for camp is a straightforward five-minute job: drop the rear stabiliser legs, open the camper, drop the floor legs and push out the rear bow inside and fit and adjust the vertical poles. Well, it’s usually straightforward – the demo camper’s front and centre bows appeared to have been fiddled with during a previous review. They were out of adjustment, leaving us with saggy canvas. A quick call to Cub HQ to talk through resetting the bows not only got some tension into the canvas but was a useful demo of how simple the reset job is.
We didn’t go as far as setting up the standard awning, although from experience, once zippered to the main tent (as you can see in the photos) it’s not a hard job to set up the poles and peg down the rope.
An advantage and a disadvantage of this camper is its canvas tent. On the one hand, it allows the Cub to offer much more floor space inside than a hybrid while being a hell of a lot lighter, but the downside is canvas doesn’t like being packed up wet and left like that. You have to make sure to open up the camper at the first opportunity to let the canvas dry out, or it’ll attract mould.
Getting into this off-road camper trailer is a big step – literally. If you’re a bit short in the leg department, you’ll need a folding step to get in and out of the camper.
The Longreach, like the now-superseded Spacevan Drover, has a taller body than the typical hard-floor camper, which allows a deeper bed area with fixed side hopper windows adjacent to the bed head. There’s not only ample storage space on top of the 1950mm long by 1500mm wide bed when closing up the camper, but there’s also a pretty generous under-bed storage area accessed by lifting the gas strut-assist bed base.
CATCH THE BREEZE
The hopper windows change the whole experience of camping compared to the shorter-body hard-floor campers, because even with the concertina mesh screen drawn, with the windows open you really feel like you’re living in the outdoors. With the hopper windows and three canvas mesh windows surrounding the bed all opened up, cross-ventilation is excellent. The other advantage of the hopper windows is that you can crack them open a little when it’s raining to get some ventilation without getting wet.
The dining area at the foot of the bed is a great idea, giving you a comfortable table and seat setup within the seconds it takes to lift and swivel the table into position. There’s enough room for two adults to sit at the table, or two adults and two sub-teens at a pinch.
The beauty of a hard-floor camper is, of course, that you have an open inside living area to do with as you wish – whether it be to set up bunks for extra campers, a table for guests or just to put luggage or camping gear. The Longreach LE’s hard floor area is huge. It measures 3000mm x 1940mm, more than enough for a couple of cots to be set up or even a couple of bunk beds, as there’s no shortage of ceiling height.
SPACE TO COOK AND WASH
The Cub’s stainless-steel outdoor kitchen (made in-house at Cub’s North Rocks factory) is one of the better ones around. Not only does it contain a separate bench (that is stored underneath the kitchen slide) that hooks into the camper body side, but also a large amount of food prep space on the bench itself. There’s also storage draws in the kitchen bench, although to get to the three front drawers, the fridge slide has to be pushed in. Detail features such as the two LED lights and bottle opener are just the cream on top. The front toolbox houses a fridge slide on the nearside and a large storage area on the offside, both lockable of course.
The external shower hose plugs into a tap on the rear offside of the camper and uses a simple trigger on the showerhead to operate. It might not be quite as effective as your shower at home, but it works well.
All the power and monitoring of water levels and so on are controlled by the excellent Redarc Redvision, which among other nice touches allows you to control items such as lights wirelessly from your phone via Redarc’s App.
The Cub’s underside is well protected for dirt-road or off-road forays with the strong 100-litre and 80-litre poly tanks strong enough to not require protection shields and all plumbing tucked up out of the way of flying stones and the like.
At $47,990 drive-away the Longreach LE is not a cheap camper. Yet, it does offer all-important towing lightness and toughness for remote-area touring as well as ample living space, sophisticated 12V electrics and big water capacity to stay at camp for a long time. Provided you can live with the canvas and setup/pack downtime (which you’ll get with any hard-floor camper), this is an excellent alternative to a hybrid and appears to be one of the better quality hard floors around.
Large living space
Spacious useable outdoor kitchen
High step into the camper
Canvas needs drying ASAP if wet
Not much else!
Suspension: Independent trailing arm coil spring
Brakes: 12in electric brakes
Coupling: AL-KO off-road hitch
Chassis: Bluescope galvanised steel chassis
Drawbar: 150 x 50 x 3.0mm
Wheel/tyre: 17in six-stud black alloy wWheels with Goodyear Duratrac tyres
Gas cylinders: 2 x 4kg
Water: 100L heavy-duty water plus 80L heavy-duty water tank
Cooktop: Smev three-burner stainless-steel stove and sink
Kitchen: Stainless-steel side shelf
Battery: 2 x 100 amp
Price as tested: $47,990 (drive-away)
For more information visit Cub Campers here