Kohi Campers Northstar

Kohi Campers Northstar 600 ATV Review

MCD reviewer Randall Johnston discovers how Kohi Campers’ Northstar Hardwall 600 ATV slide-on camper and LDV dual cab 4×4 ute can be seamlessly combined to reveal a world of possibilities.

Kohi Campers’ customer-turned South Island brand representative Jase Collins enjoyed a winter and summer off the beaten track camping with his family, clocking up more than 50 days of adventure. With plenty more trips planned for himself, Jase took me on a quick roadie from his home base in Springfield, Northern Canterbury to show me the ropes of the Northstar 600 ATV & LDV T60 combo package at a lovely local spot along the Waimakariri River.

This intrepid combo consists of LDV’s T60 turbo diesel, luxury double cab ute; and the Northstar 60-year anniversary, 600ATV Hardwall Slide On Camper. The ute comes with a full GVM upgrade that’s carried out by LDV, and is covered under their five year/130,000kms factory warranty. This upgrade includes upgraded heavy duty suspension and rear airbags, a towbar and all-terrain Hankook tyres. The ute comes in a range of five colours; Jase went with ‘Blanc white’ to match his camper.

The track disappeared as we entered the Kowai river bed. The terrain was rough and encrusted with boulders as we headed towards the ‘Waimak’, This is serious Barry Crump, 4×4 country. Not the sort of place you would normally think of taking a campervan or a traditional caravan – at least not without the pain and stress of potentially doing some serious damage to it or getting stuck. While Jase drove slowly to navigate the bumps, clearance was never an issue, and the confidence with which he negotiated this tricky terrain was testament to his faith in its ability to handle the rough stuff.

Kohi Campers Northstar
The Northstar can easily handle the off-the-beaten tracks of Alexandra

Here, near the riverbank, Jase showed me the decoupling process, where the LDV T60 dual cab ute is separated from the camper. The entire process takes him well under five minutes and is something that virtually anyone could easily do.

Once the fasteners have been loosened, a remote control is used to bring down the ‘HappiJac’ legs. Watching this was reminiscent of watching footage of a Mars rover stabilise itself on the Martian surface; it was really very impressive! Once the legs are down and the camper raised a foot or so above the rear tray of the ute, the vehicle can be driven forward, leaving just the camper fairly high up on its ‘stilts’.

Once up on stilts, the camper is then lowered to a less unnerving height, and the family can pile back in; camp is set, leaving the ute free for some extra serious off-roading, a trip to the shops or whatever takes your fancy. Northstar Campers are designed to be used free-standing, which means there’s no need for extra support when not on the ute – you simply slide off your camper and drive away.

Probably the most impressive thing about this combo is its next-level four-wheel driving capabilities. This allows you to access some magical camping spots that others simply wouldn’t be able to get to in a traditional four-wheel drive campervan or off-road caravan.

Jase says he loves just having one vehicle; with the camper off, the ute doubles up as his everyday wheels. This saves him plenty of money, compared to owning a campervan as well as his normal daily driver, freeing up money for many more adventures.

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Setting Out For Kenepuru Sound

Knowing he’s going to mostly be in more remote areas without power and tap water, Jase has chosen an off-the-grid set up for his personal camper, with flexi solar roof panels, lithium batteries and a 1500 watt inverter – necessary to run his coffee maker and to charge the e-bike batteries. He can even attach a garden hose to the onboard water pump to extract an endless supply from a nearby stream: great for a lengthy hot shower or to easily refill the onboard water tank.

Kohi Campers Northstar
There’s plenty of space to fit four people comfortably in the roomy seating area

GENERAL LAYOUT/DÉCOR

With the ‘decoupling’ business over so quickly and with the ease and pleasantness of Gwyneth Paltrow’s divorce statement, it was time to take a look at the interior of the camper.

Wow! While the space afforded to the shower kitchen and dining area/lounge is (by necessity) modest, it’s still hard to believe that the designers have so effectively placed so much, basically onto – and just a little way beyond – the rear of a dual cab ute.

The whole camper is just four metres long, yet there’s easy access to everything you’d expect in a regular modern day caravan. Sure, space is at a premium, but it’s all there, and somehow everything still has its own space, with nothing feeling too cramped. Storage space has also been factored in virtually everywhere, with seemingly none of its internal footprint wasted.


The décor is bright and modern, with plenty of large windows and a skylight in the bedroom at the rear of the camper, directly above the ute tray in an amazingly spacious, loft-style space. The layout is simple and intuitive, and there are plenty of power points throughout.

Kohi Campers Northstar
There’s plenty of interior and exterior storage for those little extras

LOUNGE/DINING

The lounge and dining space is modest, but with a fully manoeuvrable Lagun swing away dining table and two-sided lounge seating, it’s definitely usable, and actually doubles as a food prep station to complement the adjoining kitchen space. Comfortable enough to sit two adults and a child or two, the designers have done a good job on this central space, which is very functional at the heart of the unit. The kitchen table is removable to create the additional bed, making this unit family-friendly. This space also gets plenty of light, as does the whole camper, thanks to four large, insulated windows with screens and roller shades.

KITCHEN

The kitchen is located in the centre of the camper, along the ‘passenger side’ wall. Again the footprint is modest, but it’s entirely functional and well equipped, complete with a Smev two hob gas stovetop, Dometic fridge-freezer, single sink, instant water heater, LP/carbon monoxide detector and fire extinguisher all included here.

There really is everything here you need to cook up a storm.

Kohi Campers Northstar
The Smev two-hob gas stove is great for easy stir-fries, says Jase
Kohi Campers Northstar
The Dometic fridge freezer has enough space for several days’ worth of food

BEDROOM

The bedroom for me is what really shines here. The 142x185cm ‘Sure Sleep’ memory foam mattress is super comfortable, but it’s more the surprising spaciousness of the elevated loft-style bedroom area that is really something special. There’s plenty of lighting and power points, and unless you are an extremely tall person, you’re going to be able to sit upright with no trouble up here.

The bedroom is reached easily by a step in the dining area, and once you’re up there, you can open the sunroof and the windows on either side, and you don’t really want to leave. The ceiling is well above head height, and as Jase points out, the elevated space means that even in busy camping areas you have full privacy – you can’t even see people passing by at all. In this bed, you have an unobstructed view of the surrounding nature, with fresh air passing through. It’s like being in a tree hut with a canopy view and a 360° sound of rustling leaves and birdsong. Granted there is only a horizontal wardrobe space, but how many glamorous black tie events did you attend on your latest camping adventure? And that doesn’t take away in the slightest the super cool fact that you’re essentially sleeping in the space above the cab of your ute. TV provisions are provided for in this space also.

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Kohi Campers Northstar
Not just a bedroom: the section over the cab is a whole living space in itself

BATHROOM

The bathroom is just to your left as you enter this camper. The toilet and shower are all contained in the same ‘shower-shaped’ space but cleverly, part of the floor can be removed when showering, to give additional height and to prevent the toilet floor from getting wet. A powerful extractor fan and high-pressure hot shower head add to the convenience here.

Kohi Campers Northstar
The compact bathroom has a built-in shower and integrated toilet
Kohi Campers Northstar
The outdoor shower means easy sprucing up, no matter where you are

EXTERIOR

The exterior when freestanding looks pretty darn cool, as if it has simply descended from the air. It is still impressive when attached to the ute, but the point of difference is highlighted when the camper is decoupled from the vehicle. Functionality has been made a priority on the outside too, as exemplified by the external hot shower. This is a real bonus that anyone who loves the outdoors will appreciate. The three exterior LED patio lights and the external power points all make it easier to extend the living outdoors, which is what it’s all about really.

SUMMARY

Jase gets plenty of questions and comments when he’s out and about in this thing. Kiwi campers and the general public are always intrigued, especially those who are into four-wheel driving, and it’s not hard to see why. In my view, if you’re interested in creating magical moments with your family in spots that other caravan or campervan owners can’t reach, you can’t go far wrong with Kohi Campers’ 600 ATV and LDV ute combo.

ADDED EXTRAS

Just in case you were wondering…yes you can tow your trailer, boat or horse float while the camper is on. A pop top model is also available. The campers are designed to fit on most Asian/European single, xtra cab and double cab utes in either wellside or flat deck configuration with little or no modifications required. Impressed? Just remember you heard it here first!

Kohi Campers Northstar floorplan

Kohi Campers Northstar 600 ATV Specifications

Base Dry Weight

690- 790kg

Interior Height 

1.96 m

Exterior Width

1.98 m

Overall Length

4.00 m 

Floor Length

1.90 m

Approximate Centre of Gravity

.40 m

Cabover Bed Size 

1.42 m x 1.85 m

Dinette Bed Size

1.00 m x 1.85 m

Mattress to Roof Height

.80 m

Fresh Water Capacity

64 Litres

Grey Water Holding Tank

31 Litres

Cassette Fresh Water Tank

15 Litres

Cassette Black Water Tank

19 Litres

Price: Prices start at $74990 for the 600 ATV slide on camper and $139990 for the combo package with the 2022, LDV, T60, 2l, bi- turbo diesel, 4×4 luxury double cab ute.

For more information, visit Kohi Campers.

Looking for motorhomes or caravans for sale in NZ? Browse our latest listings here

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