When plans were forming about the weekend away with the guys from Patriot Campers, it was evident from the get-go that it would be an action packed weekend. Justin Montesalvo, owner and operator of Patriot Campers was adamant in his email of what to bring for the weekend - normal camping essentials and TOYS, TOYS, TOYS.
We met the Patriot crew at a property on the Boyd River near the Nymboida National Park to start the weekend with some white water canoeing and tubing. The Nymboida National Park is roughly 40km south-west of Grafton in Northern NSW and boasts some beautiful scenery consisting of rock formations, rivers and creeks with stone beaches dotted along the banks and lush green forestry. There are plenty of activities to partake in, with mountain bike, hiking and 4WD trails, canoeing and swimming in the rivers and creeks, and best of all, limited to no phone reception.
The extended Patriot Family and friends sure like their Toyotas, with several 200 Series Cruisers, a Hilux and a 79 series making up the pack. When asked why the crew all drive Toyotas, Justin’s response was simple; “Our whole family drives Toyotas because that’s what we were brought up with. Nothing beats a twin-turbo V8 diesel, it’s a pretty simple choice”.
The Patriot campsite was on the Boyd River about 5km north of Dalmorton, where there were a few more Toyotas mixed with a laundry list of off road toys. From ATV buggies, to dirt bikes and quads it was pretty clear the Patriot crew like their toys and it’s easy to see how the latest addition to the Patriot range, the Toy Hauler 560 (TH560) came about. The camp site was idyllic, with the small rapids of the river only 20 meters away with a few river stone beaches dotted along the banks.
The action soon stepped up a few notches from the white water canoeing once the buggies, dirt bike and ATV’s were fuelled up and tearing around for the next few hours. As a dirt bike rider for years I had never really paid any attention to the full size side by side ATV buggies such as the Polaris RZR 1000, I always figured they were a bit of a novelty. But it took less than 20 seconds riding shotgun with Justin at the wheel to change my mind. These are an impressive bit of kit and ridiculously quick and extremely capable over just about any terrain.
Later in the afternoon we set off into the forest to recover one of the buggies that had had lost an argument with a tree stump the day before. After some running repairs it was up and running again, ready for another session the next day.
The next day we set off to another part of the property to set up an area where the kids could ride their dirt bikes and some of the adults could head off and explore in the buggies. A TH560 was set up a the base for the kids to ride around the area and it became obvious that as much as the Patriot gang like to get out and enjoy there toys, spending time with the family and encouraging the kids to get out and enjoy the outdoors is high on the list of priorities too.
The weekend was a blur of buggies, dirt bikes, quads, white water canoeing, 4WDing, swimming and camping in some Northern NSW most beautiful scenery. The Patriot crew of family and friends were extremely welcoming and after spending the weekend with them it is obvious, they work hard all week so they can enjoy their camping and toys on the weekends.
Justin’s LC200 Stretch Ute
Among 200 Series Land Cruisers at the camp, Justin’s highly modified 2015 model stood out from the pack. It has had the back chopped and a 650mm chassis extension by the guys at Creative Conversions. In addition to this it had a Patriot Campers custom tray that includes a 70 litre water tank under the tray with an electric pump, a side-out kitchen, a tray-mounted stereo, and a set of Maxtrax plus a high lift Jack. The finish of the tray is extremely high quality and holds the same look and feel as the X1 and TH560 trailers.
The 200 Series is fitted with a wish list of accessories making it an exceptionally capable tourer. Up front is a TJM bar and winch sporting a set of Great White spot lights and LED lightbars, powered by a 100amp hour lithium battery with Redarc BMS1230 and TJM Battery Monitor. The Cruiser rides on a set of Icon remote reservoir coilovers, with front and rear lockers pushing 35x12.50x17 BFG Mud Terrains to get it out of any tough terrain.
A TORQIT Diesel Tuner and Pedal Torque set up to squeeze some extra power out of the turbo diesel V8 and with a 4-inch stainless Beaudesert Exhaust the LC200 sounds tough and looks the part to match. A Rhino Rack roof basket gives extra storage and a long range fuel tank adds touring range.
When asked what sort of attention he gets driving the LC200 towing the TH560 Justin said, “I literally can’t take that setup anywhere without being mobbed every time we stop. We get barricaded on the highway by people wanting to check it out”.
For this trip the Cruiser had the kid’s trio of Yamaha dirt bikes on the tray while a Polaris RZR100 rode on the Toy Hauler.
TOY HAULLER 560
There were three TH560s on this trip each carrying a Polaris 1000cc RZR buggy on their massive 1.70m x 3.00m decks. The TH560s are a sight to see, with the carrying capacity on the back plus all the features and living area of the smaller Patriot X1 Camper on the front. It’s the next level trailer for serious touring with the capacity to carry five dirt bikes, or one side by side ATV, a pair of jet skis, or two ATV’s. Pictures do not give this thing justice.
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