- Large amounts of storage space
- Plenty of upgrade options available
- Can be set up for freedom camping
- Lightweight and sturdy construction
- Fully loaded trailer is easy to tow
If you need proof Kiwi ingenuity is alive and well, you should pay Rob Mclean at Work and Play trailers a visit. With nearly 25 years at the forefront of the marine industry Rob’s knowledge of fibreglass is as good as it gets (Work and Play’s parent company, Black Pearl fibreglass, is a primary hull manufacturer for the respected Rayglass brand).
The story of these trailers, which are offered as trade-orientated, mobile workshops or the Stopover camper trailer variations, really is one where us Kiwis excel – innovation through necessity. You see, aside from fibreglass and boating, Rob’s other passion is the outdoors, and more specifically, hunting. Out of this typical bloke’s endeavour the pretty ingenious Stopover 350 camper trailer was born.
“I love my duck shooting and through that I had made myself a ute-box for my dogs with gun racks and storage as well. It became a really popular design and I ended up adding a slide-out BBQ and things like that to really make it a deluxe hunting box. I used this setup regularly for my hunting trips, but was still taking a tent; my wife actually made the suggestion to put three of the boxes together and I could sleep in the thing.”
Engineering and design
Take a look at the roof line and you’ll swear it’s just an extended ute canopy. You’ll be wrong. Though Rob does admit the ute canopy windows compound the confusion. This really is just a matter of making the design more uniform across the trade trailers and the camper trailers; if you want caravan style windows they are a simple fit. Probably an upgrade I’d make to maximise natural light. But there is very little you could criticise the design for.
That rigid fibreglass shell is built to the same exacting standards and ultra durable strength of Black Pearl’s marine product, with a lightweight yet tough Polonia timber frame providing the support. The standard galvanised roof rails are rated to 500kg carrying capacity, and have been successfully tested at greater weight than that.
Storage is everywhere – it has an optional front box that can house a large three-way fridge and generator if needed, more external lockers provide space for house batteries, and the trailer can be specified with an electronics pack, which adds lighting, stereo and potential power outlets. Underneath the standard RhinoRack awning lives a slide-out drawer that comfortably houses a three-burner BBQ, and lockers for pots and pans, with a generous pantry/gas bottle storage located above the drawer.
Inside there are large under-seat stowage, one of which accommodates the custom-made clip-on tent made by the Kiwi Camping Company. The other holds a fibreglass access step and there are handy cubbies to the side of the bed, for books, drinks, toothbrushes and toiletries, etc.
One of the most significant benefits is under the queen bed. Two huge 130L water-tight storage tanks can have dual purpose; in the most basic form they can be additional secure stowage, but they could be easily converted to facilitate fresh and grey water storage for a kitchen and outdoor shower. Rob has even developed a free-standing sink/bar stand.
Throw a portable loo into one of the spare storage cavities and you’re essentially set up for self-contained freedom camping. Naturally the trailer is equipped with levelling jacks for set-up on rough terrain.
The whole unit is lined with marine grade carpet so you can literally hose it out after use, the tent can be closed off from the main trailer at night for additional privacy, and it offers enough room for two single stretchers or a double if you don’t mind blocking the access for the night.
Rob intends on producing a slightly shorter version, as well a longer specification, and there is almost no end of tweaks that can be made. He has developed units with twin single beds, room for the additional kitchen sink, and floor-to-ceiling barn doors at the front of the trailer. But, if you can think of an alteration specific to your requirements, Rob probably has a solution to suit.
The Work and Play is a durable full-fibreglass unit designed and built entirely in New Zealand. With nothing really quite like it in our market, the Stopover 350 offers acres of storage, the ability to hold 130L of fresh and grey water on board, a comfortable queen bed, external BBQ, bike and boat racks, an additional tent extension and plenty of options to upgrade from the base package.
Starting from $21,000
Length including drawbar
Queen and twin single versions available