We are recent retirees whose domestic holidays have, until now, involved air travel and short breaks. Once we had the time and the freedom, we were eager to explore our big country and have a few adventures along the way. We wanted to be able to go down a dusty track or two, and to free camp in the bush or maybe on a stretch of beach somewhere.
We quickly realised we would need a robust 4WD vehicle and some lightweight, compact and sophisticated shelter options. Where do you find that?
We didn’t feel like dragging three tonnes of caravan around – and how would that work off road? Camper trailers are lighter and better off-road, but you have to pack and unpack a lot of stuff at every stop – not much fun for the cook.
We’d driven past the Trayon factory at Kunda Park, and we were intrigued by the product name and the motto ‘the no tow way to go’. We popped in for a chat and we were warmly welcomed by the entire family who own and operate the business. Here was camping accommodation that provided shelter plus creature comforts – all loaded onto your ute.
We were particularly impressed with the kitchen and the interior layout which accommodates comfortable seating and sleeping. We opted for the Diesel Deluxe model which features interior heating plus hot water for the sink and the shower, a fully equipped kitchen, plenty of cupboard storage, a table with upholstered bench seats and a very comfortable queen bed.
We had pondered the logistics of the Trayon set up procedures, but the excellent orientation provided by Trayon put our minds at rest on that score. We’re an average couple – neither particularly tall nor strong – and we can do the loading and unloading quite easily. We each have our own particular jobs in the process and, like anything, it’s really all about technique and practice.
Since leaving Queensland’s Sunshine Coast at the end of August, we’ve driven over 4000 kilometres through a lot of hot, dusty outback across Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory. We’ve driven highways and unmade stretches including the Birdsville and Oodnadatta tracks.
Throughout it all our Trayon has not taken on any red dust. Our bedding, clothes, kitchen – the lot – remain clean and dust free. This baby locks down tight.
Our Trayon turns heads and we are always happy to answer questions and show people inside and give them a brochure. Visitors are always impressed, even surprised, at how much the Trayon contains.
We often hear that wives have insisted on a caravan because they want a proper bed and a kitchen plus storage so they don’t have to pack and unpack every time – fair enough too.
When we show them our kitchen with its two-burner gas stove and grill, the 110 litre fridge with freezer, sink with hot water, drain board, benches, storage, bed and the heater – they are pretty impressed.
The Trayon is an excellent solution for those who want to travel with the features of home, but still have versatility, easy driving and fuel efficiency compared to pulling a caravan. Packed up, it’s just a ute with a box on the back.
We’ve free camped already, and loved it; and we’ve used tourist parks as well. If we’re staying a short time we leave the Trayon set up on the ute tray. If we’re staying longer, we set it up on its legs so it becomes a free-standing unit. That means we can jump in the ute for a bit of sightseeing or go out for a meal.
The vehicle we chose for our trip by, the way, was a 2013 Ford Ranger super cab manual diesel which had long range fuel tanks, large tyres and water tanks. We added 4 WD accessories and raised the GVM to 3.5 tonnes and added the usual 4WD safety accessories.
The Trayon really is the no tow way to go.. and go and go. We may never go home!
You can follow our adventures at: www.trayonrangers.com.