Innovan Trailed Version
Written by Welby Davidson
When invited by Brad McCarthy, to accompany him on a trip to Fraser Island, Cape York and the Simpson Desert, by the most extreme route he knew, we did not hesitate to accept and took the opportunity to supply him with a protype trailed version of the Innovan Camper. Brad compiles the Dirty Weekends Guides for 4WD enthusiasts as well as magazine articles and television segments and his extensive knowledge of Queensland resulted in a very demanding but extremely rewarding five weeks in November and early December 2005.
After the trip, in an article published in the Queensland Fishing Monthly Magazine, February 2006, Brad wrote, "a fantastic new design unlike anything you have ever seen before and I reckon it will change the face of 4WD Touring forever".
To produce the trailed version, the leg supports of a Slide-On unit were left off and wheel arches were included. The inclusion of wheel arches necessitates a re-location of the hot water system and the reverse cycle air conditioner. Otherwise, except for the stairs, the features of the trailed version were similar to those of the Slide-On unit. The unit was placed on a purpose built underframe with what we considered to be the best independent trailing arm suspension and coupling on the market. A steel mesh stone deflector and storage box, LED lights and a new set of Cooper Tyres were used on the prototype.
So impressive was the performance of the unit that it was decided to make an Innovan Trailed Version available for sale.Even better underframes have been built using the experience gained from the trip. The following changes were made:
- The steel fabrication was made stronger and lighter
- Wiring looms and air lines were re-routed to give better protection
- The track width was changed
- The stone deflector was redesigned and made larger, stronger and lighter
- Drop sides were included in the stone deflector to provide easy access to the spare tyre
- The spare tyre bracket was upgraded to a full hub
- The front storage box was made much larger and more dust and water proof and fitted with a better latch
- The updated storage box houses an onboard 12 volt battery as well as the air compressor and the controls to adjust the height and pressure of the independent air suspension. It also houses the remote air outlet socket and flexible air line and gauge which can be used to inflate tyres. There is also plenty of spare room for other items.
- The air storage tank has been relocated
- A superior brake control unit has been used and
- Different stairs are to be used.
Photos of some underframes awaiting fitting of campers as well as general features are shown in the Internal and External Features section of the Gallery of the website and photos of the prototype trailed version can be found in the Gallery in various sections relating to the trip.