Storage can be a real bone of contention when touring, but a pure touring beast like the Patriot camper X1 provides genuinely good storage for your next adventure to where the lack of phone reception is no longer a consideration but a relief.

For most of us storage is the single biggest issue for every trip and we are the only ones who truly know where everything goes inside our truck and/or camper. This instalment will focus on the Patriot’s storage, with dimensions including length 3.30m, width 1.85m and a height of 1.90m one would think the Patriot lacks the size for any genuine storage. In fact, this is one of the benefits of the roof top sleeping arrangement and the result is ample storage throughout the Patriot X1.

IMG_1843The front compartment opens up to provide room for up to six 20 litre jerry’s, plus more space above for an optional chainsaw rack (should that take your fancy). Needless to say, it varies as to what I use this space for – really depends on the trip – for shorter trips this area remains empty.  However, it is designed to carry fuel with air breathers up nice and high for possible water crossings. It’s also a great usable storage area for extra water, a generator, fuel or any other larger items. On each side of the camper, there are gas bottle holders built for 4.5kg gas bottles, which are easily removed when needed.

The driver’s side has a number of smaller storage opportunities – remember this is the side in which the roof top tent folds down onto when you pull up for the night. Immediately up the front is a medium sized storage area containing a split shelf. On the inside of the door to this compartment is the instant gas hot water unit for showers (I will talk more about this function in a futureIMG_1837 instalment).  The unit itself takes up little room, you just need to be mindful when packing in this area to leave some room when you shut the door and be mindful that what you put there is possibly going to rub on the heater.  We tend to put sleeping gear in here, pillows, doona covers, sleeping bags etc – as it is very convenient to be able to pull it out and throw directly up into the roof top tent once it is unfolded.

Above the wheel arch on the driver’s side is some further small storage areas.  It’s not massive, as the house battery (a 120 amp/hr AGM) and the Redarc Battery Management System (BMS) are also mounted here, and it is a little awkward to get to when the roof top tent is opened up as it is directly underneath.  But, having said that it is still functional to use and IMG_1838I have purchased small storage containers which fit in nicely hold a range of items like dry food and various odds and ends required for trips.

The rear main access compartment is massive in terms of camping storage.  It’s a deep and high storage area and comes with an option for a double stacked drawer system on the right-hand side (which I have) and there is a pole rack designed for the Supa-Peg 270 degree awning poles up nice and high out of the way.  This still allows for plenty of room for large or bulkier items including portable solar panels, large bags e.g. suitcases or duffle bags, chairs etc. IMG_1841You will definitely be impressed with the capacity here. The double stacked drawer system patriot makes is really well made and feels super strong.  It is also quite long and deep and helps keep all those things like pegs, ropes, ground sheets, wind breaks for the awning area, camp ovens, gas fittings, etc. handy in one area.  Basically, whatever you like to have available and handy, these drawers and the main rear storage compartment will deliver.

Now at the back on both sides, behind each rear wheel arch, they have small caged storage spaces.  I am not sure we are making the best use of these on our trips so far. We have tended to use this as a place to stick rubbish bags so animals can’t create a mess at night or muddy recovery gear.  At first, I was not sold on these open storage spaces, but the more I use the camper the better use I make of them.

The passenger side of the vehicle is all about general living and I will discuss this area in my next instalment. What I will say now to wrap up, is that for a robust camper trailer this thing kills it for storage options and what I like about it most is that it makes my daily life easier.  The Patriot is a pure touring setup and is stored in the garage when not in use, almost totally packed and ready to go.  It has basically made things a lot easier, whereas before, with only my 4wd, where I have a set of drawers in the back, its a big compromise on space.  I have to work around them daily when home, and if I want to put a mountain bike in the back and go somewhere or simply want to pick up a bulkier item from Bunnings and return home, the drawers can be a real pain. The purpose built Patriot solves all these issues and you can keep it packed so you only need to do a grocery and drinks shop before hitching up and heading off for a weekend away.

What is more impressive about Justin and the team at Patriot is they haven’t just sat on an already good product. Since I made my Patriot purchase in mid 2015 they have continued improve it and have taken on customers feedback in their latest re-work of the Patriot X1. When you thought the storage couldn’t get much better they have made it so in the 2016 model.

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Welcome to Expedition 134

We’re excited to introduce the new Expedition 134 website, the new home for Open Sky Touring.

This change is another step in our journey to consolidate our branding and name in the marketplace.

While things might look different, the passion to make the toughest and most functional gear possible hasn’t.