The Offline Raker puts some pizzazz into a trad-tech trailer built right for remote area travel.
Offline’s Raker Camper is another terrific rig with a familiar, traditional layout to hit our CAOS Tough Tested tracks: the flip-over hard-floor design has been a go-to for generations of campers and travellers who appreciate the relative ease of set-up and pack-up and off-the-ground living space.
The Raker kitchen is a slide-out on the near-side. This location and its well-sized bin-type food/pantry drawer–and proximity to the slide-out fridge–means easy access for snacks and lunches on-the-run. There’s also a handy little fold-down shelf adjacent to the kitchen that conceals a drinking water tap and power points for a kettle etc when plugged-in to a tourist park’s powered sites. Of course, when the Raker is properly set-up for overnight stays, the kitchen is under-cover.
By having a long fold-over floor–the hard shell/roof extends forward over the fridge cabinet; it’s around two-thirds of the total vehicle length–the Raker offers an impressively large living space. Forward inside, a nice big comfy bed is the centre of attention. Under the bed is prodigious storage; two big drawers with plenty of partitions. The size and layout make the Raker a perfect couple’s (nomads or newlyweds) or young family camper with the kids sleeping in the ‘second’ room. Or, older kids will probably be perfectly happy in their own tents or swags, with the old folks’ camper being central to the site, of course. Interior lighting is taken care of by LED strips on the tent’s internal frame and there’s an off-side zip-on ensuite/dunny tent, too.
Chassis-wise, the Raker has a hot dip galvanised structure that rides on Cruisemaster independent airbag suspension. The spare wheel rides underneath the forward section of the chassis; that’s good for helping keep the trailer’s centre of gravity down low. While we’re looking at the chassis it’s worth mentioning the Raker has an optional 100-litre tank (handy!) and coil/air suspension and wheel/tyre options too. Rough-road protection is provided by metal guards on the front–not the best material for this task, but they are angled to fire rocks down–and triple mud flaps. An optional bike rack is a nice touch for those of us who like the buzz of a good mountain bike track, or just a lazy ride around.
On the Tracks
Being a relatively light unit meant the big Chev hardly noticed the Raker was there, even with bikes loaded up and a box of wood. Equipped with a narrow profile, it stayed steady around the hairpins and Jamie looked well in charge.
The Raker featuring an uptick tail and air suspension is Sam’s design; he trounced the test track as it slipped in and out of the wombat holes. That long travel suspension also helped out on the sand, freeing Sam to pick his own lines.
The judges were impressed. Let’s see how that translates to the scores.
Director, engineer and remote area traveller, Sam comes to the 2022 Tough Tested campaign with a wealth of knowledge, having charted the Simpson Desert in his own designs. How does the Mega Test compare? Time will tell
Challenge Penalties TIME (tot)
TIME TRIAL NA 1:18 TEST TRACK