Why we chose to upgrade Australian Off Road campers within our first year on the road.
6 months into travelling around Australia with our 3 kids, on what was supposed to originally be a 9-12 month lap, we decided we needed a slightly different setup from our AOR Quantum Plus. Early on we knew we couldn’t see all of Australia in such a short period of time and we went on indefinite leave. We both secured some remote travel work which as you could imagine with 2 school aged boys and a toddler, can really only be completed at night when they are all asleep.
After about a month of cool winter nights, it started to present a small logistical problem. With our Quantum Plus the 3 kids beds utilised all our sitting space, with the dinette converting to the lower bunk, a fixed bunk above that and our youngest using on the ¾ couch. This really only left our Queen bed as our work space, which was not a very productive working environment. Ryan would simply fall asleep with the laptop resting on his knees after about 25mins. We decided an upgrade was in order if we were to travel as long as we now planned and started looking at what options were available.
We were never really going to stray away from the AOR brand but for comparison reviews Ryan looked into several manufacturers, their specs and designs of their family vans. During a scheduled service for our Q+ we were speaking to the owner of AOR ‘Steve Budden’ who suggested the twin bed option in their Matrix Pop Top – ‘MPT for short’. This got us thinking and the more we looked into this layout the more sense it made; 5 berth option, internal and external kitchen options, 2 tables with enough seating for roughly 7 inside…… With our new travel plans, we decided this was the right van for us and placed our order.
Here are a list of the key features that we opted for on our new MPT, which were based on our needs as a long term travelling and working family;
– Twin bed option with lagun table
The twin bed option enables the use of a lagun table when the beds are separated providing additional seating and the second table. When the table is removed an infill panel drops in between the twin beds and the two mattress’s can be pushed together like a double, then with bolster drop in cushions for the gaps under the windows creating a queen bed. This is by far the biggest upgrade and asset to our new van
– Dinette bunk beds and bunk above bedhead
With 3 growing boys we now required proper bunks for each of them, to ensure long term comfort and a sense of personal space. We once again opted for the dinette bunk conversion, the above dinette bunk but with the Matrix we added a gas strut operated bunk above our main bedhead.
With the dinette bunk a little longer than the one in the Q+, the caravan sheet we had didn’t fit as well. so we looped the fitted sheet over 2/3 of the cushion and the little man took that bed allowing our eldest to have the new gas strut bed which worked perfectly as it’s now the largest bed in the van.
– 300A/hr Lithium battery system
With a family of 5 living full time in the van, having power is an extremely crucial utility. So once again upgrading to the largest battery system available was an easy decision. We had the 300A/hr lithium system on our Q+ also and after 11 months of full time travel we have never dropped below 55%. Choosing lithium over the conventional battery system also plays a huge part in keeping our weights down.
– Recycle water system
A new addition for this van was the supply of a Recycle water system which uses the water from the shower to flush the toilet which saves an enormous amount of water. As primarily Outback travellers, conservation of water is a crucial part of our travels.
– Raptor paint protection coating
This was an option that we knew definitely knew we wanted to add as the lower half of the van gets sprayed with a heavy duty coating called “Raptor” which provides excellent paint protection from those pesky thin scrubs in the form of pin striping. The best part is if there is any damage you can touch up the Raptor coating and everyone will be none the wiser.
– A 3rd water tank
We optioned for an additional 60L water tank, ontop of our standard 140L & 80L as we had optioned for the 60/80L grey water tank split which now gives us a full 280L plus an additional 40L from our rear jerry cans.
– External kitchen
The final main feature we added was an external kitchen which comes complete with stainless storage box/pantry with a twin burner cooktop and grill with sink. This option has been great for us as we love cooking outdoors and find the grill to perform exceptionally well.
We absolutely adored our AOR Q+ have found our new MPT to be such a better equipped van for families or those just looking for additional space. We strongly recommend this option to any families who are after a very capable and compact family option.