- Plenty of Kiwi-engineered components, including the trailer
- Towable with the family hatchback
- Easily upgradable
- 10-minute set-up time
- Light and airy interior
In June 2009, a year after buying a 3 Dog Rover, Wayne Duffy bought the NZ distributorship for 3 Dog camping.
“3 Dogs sold here have Australian-made canvas tents, but the rest, the trailer, poles, pegs, mattress, etc, are NZ-made.”
We took the 3 Dog Pup model on a standard trailer towed by Wayne’s 3.0-litre Hilux Double cab ute. At 300kg tare and 1000kg GVW the Pup’s weight was barely noticeable, and the long drawbar made it a breeze to manoeuvre in reverse.
At the campsite Wayne and Jeannie quickly had the separate travel and storage cover removed, folded, and stored away before laying the “floor saver” groundsheet beside the trailer. Next step was to unfold the “tent”.
To do this Wayne stood on the “floor saver”, and took hold of the two corners seams where the tent floor and the sidewalls joined. Stepping backwards he pulled the tent away from the trailer. The tent unfolded, the frames stood upright, the floor panel dropped and covered the “floor saver”, and the tent was erected. Once the finishing touches were complete, tensioning a frame, pegging down the walls and fitting the window hood braces, the job was done. Total time from cover removal to completely pegged down, a leisurely 10 minutes.
Inside two doors and four large windows provide plenty of light. All windows have an insect proof mesh sandwiched between a zip attached clear vinyl screen and a zip attached fabric curtain. There are two doors, one on each side of the tent, which allows through ventilation when it is hot, and the ability to shut off the windward door. Vents in the peak allow hot air to escape from the top of the tent. The bed can be made before leaving home, and the tent folded down on top of it, so it is ready to use as soon as the tent is up. The standard queen size bed has a 150mm thick Dunlop foam mattress.
The Australian made polyester/cotton canvas on the 3 Dog Camper Trailer is resistant to levels of UV found in NZ and Australia, and has a three-year guarantee. It is a medium-light weight fabric, tightly woven with a high thread count, stable and resistant to shrinkage, and is water and mildew proofed.
The fully galvanised trailer is made by Prescott Trailers of Te Puke to suit the 3 Dog Camper Trailer. It carries a two-year warranty. The tent can be removed so the trailer can be used elsewhere, and the warranty still applies. The long drawbar provides space to carry bulky items like bikes or outboard motors, or you can fit a lockable storage box for tools.
Swinging the standard trailer tailgate aside reveals a storage area the full size of the trailer deck. Drifta storage and kitchen units, accessories sold by Wayne and Jeannie, make it easier to access items in this storage area.
“You don’t have to unload everything to get to gear stored at the back,” says Jeanie. “The Drifta units slide out. They are fitted with adjustable legs so they can free stand outside, in the awning or inside the tent.”
Attaching the awning to the Pup means it more than doubles in size to total 19.8m2, providing the floor space a family of four needs for a comfortable holiday.
The Rover is a little larger, at around 25.5m2, and has a couple more windows, but otherwise shares all the features of the smaller Pup.
My lasting impression of the 3 Dog products is they are quality products; well planned and engineered with quality materials. Quality costs, the Pup starts at $12,995 and the larger Rover model $13,995, but you’ll benefit from the brand’s reputation for longevity and low maintenance both during ownership and resale. Not to mention the hassle free camping and happy memories.