It’s as big and tough as you’d expect it to be
The only rhinos that are native to Queensland are the Rhinomax line of off-road campers. Like a rhino, they are built tough, which is where the Max comes into it. Constructed of quality materials from the ground up, and combined with modern sleek looks, the Rhinomax campers can be seen travelling the rest of the country from their home base on the Sunshine Coast.
The Discovery 14 MK2 is a quality all Australian-made hybrid off-road camper that combines a light Tare weight and large payload so that you will be able to take what you want, where you want. Even the local wildlife was interested in checking out the camper for the review.
Parked next to the Maroochy River on a warm winter’s day, the Discovery 14 looked right at home with the passing parade of jet skis, amphibious aircraft and all sorts of boats loaded with people enjoying the great outdoors. The outdoor gourmet kitchen is where we should start with this 14-foot hybrid camper.
The Evakool 85-litre fridge/freezer is designed specifically for this camper, and is integrated into the slide-out, which is one of the key components of the kitchen. On the same slide-out is a large, deep storage area suitable for all manner of cookware. Above this is a shallow drawer that cleverly slides back into the cavity left by the slide-out. It is simple but shows a high level of design and thought has gone into the Discovery 14.
The sink and stove slide out from the camper body along with a folding food preparation area. Below the sink and stove are two shallow drawers. There are also two drawers above the sink and stove that provide more storage suitable for pantry items. One of the drawers won’t be able to be opened if the stove is in use.
Covering the kitchen and entry is a large 4.5m x 2.4m wind-out awning. The annexe can be fully enclosed with optional walls to create a large room for those longer stays. At the rear of the camper is the large external shower. This is easily set up by swinging the spare wheel out of the way, flipping up the pod and dropping down the walls and floor for the shower. Unzip a flap, and the hot/cold taps and shower rose are there ready for use.
A Truma gas hot water system is connected to both the kitchen and shower, providing hot water from the standard 125-litre water tank. There is also the ability to draw water from an external source such as a creek or dam. If connected to town water, there is a pressure reducer.
The camper is built on a full-length hot-dipped galvanised chassis utilising Cruisemaster XT all-terrain suspension for a smooth, reliable ride.
The main body of the Rhinomax camper is constructed using 30mm insulated fibreglass composite panels. A point of difference to similar campers is the aluminium corner protection on the external corners of the body. These look good, and also protect from branches on tight tracks.
Along the driver’s side are two large hatches and storage areas. A third hatch allows access to the portaloo stored inside so it can be removed easily for use or dumping (indeed!). On the drawbar is a large storage area, optional wood box and storage for two gas bottles. Two jerry can holders fixed at an angle act as stone deflectors. There is a DO35 hitch and folding heavy-duty jockey wheel.
The inside of this 14-footer feels very spacious with plenty of light and air coming through the large windows. The inner-sprung queen-sized bed is comfortable with space on the sides for books or phones. I would like to see USB charging outlets at the head of the bed, which, I believe, will be available in new builds. Large windows run alongside the sleeping platform so you can enjoy the view without getting up.
Seating is both comfortable and roomy. Perfect for two adults and a few kids when the weather is not so good outside. The table easily swings into different positions. Under one section of the seat is the portaloo for use inside. At the rear of the camper is a bank of drawers under the benchtop, which houses the vanity basin. Both 12V and 240V outlets are available on the inside rear wall. I would go for the option of vanity cabinet that can be mounted on this wall.
There is more storage under the bed, accessible through two large drawers. The battery management controls, water levels and stereo headunit are mounted above the rear drawers. There is an option for two bunk beds rather than the standard fit-out if you’re travelling with kids.
The Rhinomax Discovery 14 MK2 is a well-designed and constructed hybrid camper that uses quality components. It feels roomy and has plenty of storage. The external kitchen is spacious with a large accessible fridge.
This hybrid camper would be just as at home at the beach as it would be travelling outback tracks.