Pioneer Camper: How to Make the Most of Your Onyx

Do you have a similar Pioneer camper like this one?

Pioneer Campers, they’re built in Australia, in Victoria. Now the owner of this Onyx has brought it in to see if we can try and iron out a couple of pain points.

Check out the video below to see what we’ve done.


Beautiful Features

Pioneer Camper are solid little units, built in Australia. What we like about them is that you can really tell that the design team and the people who built it made things that just work.

The engineering, for example. Most camper trailers are just built with 90 degree boxes. So it’s a lot easier to put a door on a 90 degree box, but by the time you put it all together, you’ve got a camper trailer that looks kind of boxy (if that’s even a word).

On the Pioneer Camper Onyx, most of the panels have these beautiful angles. The doors have beautiful angles. And to top it all off, all the folds and panels and doors follow beautiful lines down the unit so you end up with a very good looking camper.

Now under these beautiful doors and panels is some awesome engineering. As you can see in the video, under one of the panels, hidden away, is the kitchen. Take the door, for instance. There’s no gas struts, but the door just stays up by itself. It’s even got a light on it. Awesome.

To get the hot plate out, all you need to do is pull the spring-loaded pin and that just starts swinging out. See how smooth this is, and see the tolerances which is amazing. They’ve cut the corner off and it just fits beautifully. And yet you can swing it all the way out nice and smooth and bring it over to the side. And then there is a little hole there so when you click it in, just give it a little push and it locks it in position. Even when you open the glass door of the hot plate, look how it just misses, just beautiful, right?

Pain Points

So now you’re just about ready to make a cup of tea, except you got to go over, open the panel on the LPG bottle to get access to it, unhook it from the bottle holder, pick the bottle up, put it down at your feet here where you’d be making a cup of tea. Then you got to get your tools out, hook on the regulator to the bottle, hook it into the bottom of the hot plate, turn the gas bottle on, turn the gas hot plate on, press the sparker, and it should light up so then you can make yourself a cup of tea. And after that you deserve one.

You can see why the owner thinks that’s a bit of a pain. And frankly, we can see his point. Get it? Pain point?

The Pioneer Camper Onyx comes with a gas regulator on it already and a plumbing gas line. So the line goes to the hot water system that’s  behind one of the doors. Now this isn’t to standard anymore. The regulator needs to be slightly higher. You can’t just come straight out of the top. So what we’re going to do, the regulator is nearly over five years old now, so it’s best to replace them because they’ve got like rubber diaphragms in them that tend to fail. So you don’t want to be out in the bush and something fail and you’re not having any gas to cook.

Our Solutions

We’re going to take this regulator out, put a new one in, put a 90 degree angle on it to hook it into here. We’ll also, this is a smaller gas, the smallest gas pipe, right? So we’re going to enlarge it just to cope with the extra megajoule ratings from the new appliances because we’re going to put a bayonet in for the barbecue and the hot plate.

There is a wet storage underneath the camper, as you can see in the video, where you can put stuff like hoses in there, wet suits, bathers, even rubbish, just stuff you don’t want to have in the camper that would get smelly. Our thoughts are to try to install a couple of gas bayonets in here so it’s very close for the hot plate to hook onto.

Also, what’s going to be good about it is that when this door is shut, the bushes aren’t going to hit it. There’s going to be not as much dust and rocks hitting it or something. It’s protected. And also it keeps the beautiful lines and everything because you’re not seeing these bayonets hanging off the bottom of it.


In the video you can see a quick rundown of what we’ve done. We’ve put on a new gas regulator. We’ve enlarged the gas pipe. There are the information stickers that you need to put on and the license attaches along with it. You can see it’s got a nice new flexible hose on there as well, and you don’t need any tools to hook that on. The hot water system’s line come in and they all join in a tee underneath by the water containers. So it’s all kept up underneath.

We also show you in the video where we put the bayonets. It turned out really, really sweet. So we’ve got one for the barbecue and another for the hot plate. There you see how we’ve put them on a bit of an angle because the door hangs down and we wanted to make sure that that wasn’t affecting the barbecue bayonet.


We also show you how easy it is to hook the barbecue up. So we’ve got the three-meter hose. Grab the bayonet end which has a dust plug, just pop that out. Stick it in. Give it a twist so it locks in. Pop out the dust plug on the other end. No gas is going to come out even though this whole hose is live now. Then you just feed it through your normal bottle.

What we normally do is just put my thumb on it and pop it on. Then we just turn on the barbecue and that’s good to go.

And to pack it up, put your thumb on it, pops off easy enough. Grab your plug. Pop that back in there. Take it off. Get your dust plug, pop that back in there. Roll up your hose. You can pack that easily.

Hot Plate

And now the hot plate, super easy. We love this. Open it up. Amazing door just stays there with the gas struts. Still don’t know how it works. Pull the little spring loaded catch. That just slides out all the way. Lock it into position. Grab your gas hose. It doesn’t matter what you put on first. We always like to put the bayonet on first, so you can chuck that in. This is only a 1.2 meter because they should be pretty short, so it doesn’t get in the way when you make the cup of tea.

All you’ve got to do then is just push it onto the bottom so it’s connected. Then you can just turn the hot plate on and now you’re cooking with gas. So, how easy is that?

All Done

There it is. Pioneer Camper Onyx. So, if you’ve got one of these and you’re thinking about how you make it a little bit easier, give us a call.