Chatting with Ultimate Off-Road Campers’ owner David Rodgers should come with a warning. A warning that your brain will be subjected to overload by a man whose attention to detail and quest for perfection is now legendary at the company’s head office and showroom in Moruya on the Far South Coast of New South Wales.
We followed David around the production facility after a simple “Hi David, what’s new?” greeting and emerged an hour later with a whole list of production process improvements and tweaks to the iconic off-road camper trailer that’s been made here in Australia for more than 25 years.
Not content with a gong at the Camper Trailer of the Year awards, which Ultimate Off-Road Campers won for being “The Most Comfortable Camper Trailer”, David has set himself the unenviable task of making Australia’s most iconic off-road camper trailer even better in record time.
Our whistle-stop tour of the manufacturing facility started at where the lids are being made. David tells us that the lids are being strengthened and at the same time made lighter by around 3kgs, something to do with carbon he tells us. We nodded knowingly and asked the silly questions — how much stronger? David tells us it will be 3x stiffer and 50% stronger. Ultimate Off-Road Campers models have always had the lowest tare weight of any brand in its niche. Looks like we’re going to put even more daylight between us and the rest!
We’ve barely had time to digest this news and we’re off to the gull-wings area. They are now reinforced. David opens and closes, and opens and closes. We’re looking up and down as he does it like a game of gull-wing tennis. Game, set and match to the reinforced gull wings.
They do say that as one door closes another opens. And true to form David shuts the gull-wing door and takes us to the area where the main body is being built. He points out the new door. 25mm thicker than previously plus there is one handle with a lock and key and one insider lock too. No more sleeping with one eye open! David also points out that the step into the camper trailer at the door has been made smaller. This was mentioned by the judges at the Camper Trailer of the Year awards. And he listened. But not only listened, acted.
What the hell? We look inside the body and there is a large steel contraption seems to be holding at all together. It’s square. David says, “perfectly square”. It’s a jig. This will further improve the manufacturing process and build quality. We nod. This is just the marketing team. We are not terribly tech minded and really, what started 45 minutes ago with a “Hi David, what’s new?” has us all scribbling notes and taking photos. We haven’t even had a coffee yet.
But the stuff that gets us all hot under the collar is the little things. The logos on hinges. David love hinges and brackets and screws. He loves attention to detail. He shows us that a simple change of nuts and bolts in the lockers leaves a neater fit. We say “yeah, great”â€¦.because we’re still looking at the Ultimate Off-Road Campers logo on the shiny hinge.