Prime Campers PT-X16 reviewed at Caravan of the Year 2024 presented by MSA 4x4 Accessories

Prime Campers PT-X16 reviewed at Caravan of the Year 2024 presented by MSA 4x4 Accessories

Winner — Best Value for Money and Best Under $100k

A pocket rocket loaded with extras, the Prime Campers PT-X16 is an ultra-affordable couples tourer with offroad mettle.


Value for money

It’s remarkable what the team at Prime Campers has squeezed into a 16ft couples floor plan. The PT-X16 is one of the smallest caravans in this year’s Caravan of the Year competition and the least expensive, with a price tag of $74,599 that secured Prime Campers the Best Value for Money and Best Caravan Under $100k awards. 

It’s reasonable to expect some significant concessions in features and comfort from a timberless offroad caravan that’s more than $10,000 cheaper than its nearest competitor. Yet, the PT-X16 wants for little. Within its compact footprint are a favoured north–south island bed, internal kitchen and separate toilet/shower ensuite with attractive finishes and ample storage throughout. In fact, the PT-X16 has one feature we haven’t seen in any other caravans in this year’s competition — a canvas barbecue porch, which attaches to the front of the awning, significantly increasing the sheltered outdoor living space.

 Prime Campers keeps costs down by manufacturing in China, and it doesn’t skimp on features and off-grid comforts. The PT-X16 is a natural evolution from the brand’s hybrid range, is the refined product of 13 prototypes, and includes all the features of a hard-top caravan, with the flexibility for outdoor cooking and living. Included as standard in the price tag are a 95L Kooltron dual-zone slide-out fridge (in addition to the indoor 154L fridge/freezer) and a barbecue slide-out with plumbed sink (barbecue not included). 

Suitability for intended touring

This is a couples caravan designed for those looking to upgrade from a traditional hybrid or camper trailer to a full-size caravan with some offroad capability. To that end, this caravan is extremely fit for purpose. The Cruisemaster DO35 hitch and Monroe/Tough Dog suspension will comfortably negotiate the gravel, and the compact, single-axle design provides enhanced manoeuvrability off the bitumen. Off-grid living is made easy with 800W of solar, 400Ah of lithium battery power, a 3000W inverter and 200L freshwater storage. The team has even squeezed in 140L of grey water tank storage, useful for places like national parks where wastewater is often required to be captured. For its size, the PT-X16 isn’t lacking anything substantial found in its bigger, more expensive competitors. The only concession is weight. With an ATM of 3100kg this is a very heavy caravan for its size. The team is working on reducing the weight, but in the meantime a medium to large tow vehicle is required.



For a 16-footer, the Prime Campers PT-X16 packs in a lot. Often that leads to the detriment of space and usability, but not so here. The use of a narrow table means getting between the bed and ensuite is not too bad, and there is a single tunnel boot under the bed, meaning when you swing your legs you’ll find the floor not a step or cabinet you have to haul yourself over.

The smaller table does mean you can only realistically seat four people and they’ll be cosy, and the interior kitchen bench barely has space beyond the sink and four-burner stove top. 

That all sounds a bit negative but where it matters most — around the external kitchen and under the awning — the PT-X16 tourer excels. 

The external kitchen has done away with a lot of fuss leaving a sink and a benchtop that is recessed to take a Weber or induction plate, but it could just as easily be used for meal prep. I think it’s genius to let the owner choose how to use it. 

Inside, the layout is the most common and most popular with a rear ensuite, mid living and front bed, and even if it’s only a 16ft (4.87m) van it does well for space, though storage is light on with the underbed AC absorbing a lot and limited drawers. 

The ensuite has decent space for drying off and getting past the dinette to the bed is not too bad for such a compact van. Importantly, all general power outlets (GPOs) are wired to the inverter and there are plenty of them, and with 18 — yep 18 — 12V power points to choose from, you’ll be able to charge everything and anything. 


Not a Gunshot Track kind of van — the Prime Campers PT-X16 is a tourer with gravel roads and open track travel in mind, and it’s warrantied for it too. It looks ideal for tackling the Oodnadatta or Tanami Tracks if you take it nice and easy.

With an extra battery, barbecue porch and water filter system, $74,599 feels very good value to me. The build is modern, the fit-out is pretty good and the self-sufficiency specs are great. I reckon it’s a good buy for a first-time caravanner or someone upgrading to their first new van.

I am a huge fan of the two 200Ah Baintech lithium batteries in the PT-X16 because they come with an impressive five-year warranty and an expected 5000 cycles. They are fed power from 800W tempered glass solar.

Taking care of charging is an inverter/charger combination unit from Victron rated to 3000W as an inverter and offering up to 100A charging from AC power so yes, you can run the air-conditioner off-grid during the hotter hours without concern on sunny days. Along with the inverter charger are a separate 30A DC charger and combined 80A MPPT solar regulators. 

There is still gas in the van to run the cooktop and hot water system, but with two 9kg bottles you probably won’t need to swap one out more than monthly when on the road.

Water is decent with a 200L fresh and two grey tanks, a 100L tank under the van and a portable 40L for the kitchen. Expect a week to 10 days with careful use. 

If you’re looking to stay off the grid for long, you’ll probably first run out of toilet cassette capacity. So, either pack a spare cassette or expect to have to head to a dump point every few days. 



As one of the lightest vans at our event, you would expect the PT-X16 to be a pleasant towing option, and it was. The powerful petrol Nissan Patrol whisked it along with performance to spare, with the van towing smoothly behind. The single-axle setup and compact length make it manoeuvrable in tight spots, and the trailing arm coil suspension with Tough Dog shock absorbers delivered a smooth and silent ride over our towing course.

es of safety combined with the compact van. Tuson Sway control is there if you do get into strife, but I think you would have to be really hustling in poor conditions to need it.

The van is relatively heavy for a 16ft model with its 2430kg tare weight. Payload is a generous 670kg if you use all of the 3100kg ATM, so a range of mid-range tow vehicles will match, including most of the twin cab utes. SUVs like the Isuzu MU-X and Ford Everest also come to mind.

Build quality

Prime Campers has been importing vans and campers in a hybrid manufacturing process for 10 years, and it has an ISO 9000 certified factory in China dedicated to the brand. The body and chassis arrive at the Queensland factory for electrical and plumbing installation and final fit out of accessories. The work is completed by qualified tradespeople and independently certified.

The company’s switch to a timber-free composite construction will appeal to many buyers who rightly see this as a sensible, modern development for better weight and insulation properties and more durable quality.

Prime Campers management told us they commissioned 13 prototypes before settling on the design of the PT-X16, which resulted in an impressive compact couples tourer.

Single-piece composite panels have XPS foam and an aluminium frame between skins of fibreglass. They bond the walls, roof and floor together in what Prime Campers calls an Esky-like entity that’s highly robust.

High-yield 460mpa steel in the chassis and A-frame surpasses Australian standards. The single trailing arm suspension is also over-engineered and looks fantastic with Monroe springs and Tough Dog 4WD Suspension shocks.

I like the visual impact inside. It’s clean and simple with a subtle colour palette that should stay on trend for years. The finish is well executed, and the materials look like they will last the distance. All appliances and the electrical installation are of mainstream quality, so there’s been no skimping to save a few dollars. Overall, I’m impressed with the way the van is built, and it’s sure to win buyers at a very competitive price.


Here is a company that has been selling into the local market for a decade, with campers, hybrids and caravans that continue to evolve with the times. Switching to composite construction reflects the demands of savvy buyers. The capable Victron power system is brilliant and very usable for off-grid travel.

I like the interior design, the revised heating ducts and the sensible-sized ensuite in a van of this size. The slide-on barbecue porch is a nifty solution for cooking outside without compromising rules around ventilation for gas appliances.

A lot of thought has gone into storage options, including the pole holder, the generous box on the A-frame and the rear storage tubs. For me though, the interior design is a winner. Packing the features needed for a couple into a compact van is clever thinking. As we head into an electric tow vehicle future more buyers will appreciate the benefits of a smaller caravan over the fiddly set up of a camper, so I believe Prime Campers is on the right path. As the range develops it would be great to see more weight saving to take advantage of the composite materials while retaining the ruggedness needed for Australian conditions.


Customer care

Post-sales service and warranty matters are something that almost the entire recreational vehicle industry needs to improve on. Prime Campers has given this some thought. In the first instance, it offers a five-year structural warranty that covers the chassis and drawbar. Definitions here need to be understood too. For many in the caravan industry, structural includes the bodywork but in this case there’s a 12-month warranty.

As is common, many of the appliances and parts are covered by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) which in many cases is 12 months but often for items like batteries and suspension, a longer time frame. The Prime Campers warranty includes roadside assistance and three days of accommodation. That’s not all. Prime Campers has set up an extended warranty arrangement, which extends beyond the manufacturer’s warranty, for 10 years. As with all matters like this, there’s plenty of fine print to read.

As part of the purchase price of the PT-X16, Prime includes a four-to-six-hour handover process and a follow-up at the first service.

Prime Campers has dealers in several states, with more to come. Service and warranty repairs don’t necessarily have to be done at a dealer but can be done at an authorised repairer without voiding any warranty.


Priced under $75,000, the PT-X16 is a very attractive proposition. In the current economic climate, that is certainly an attention grabber. It is also quite a good-looking van, with the exception of the front drawbar box, having plenty of inclusions.

What’s also attractive about this van is its layout, which mirrors that found in many caravans: an island bed up front, a full-width bathroom across the rear, and a kitchen bench and dinette in the middle.

In a world where caravans generally become quite large and heavy, the PT-X16 had some appeal with an external length of just 5.31m (17ft 4in) and a tare mass of under 2500kg. Thus, it is an excellent towing prospect for a considerable number of vehicles, including many dual cab utes.

Although some of the external storage is dedicated to items like batteries and gas cylinders, the Prime team has clearly given some thought to providing a generous amount of external storage. That includes some purpose-designed bins on the rear bumper bar.

A valuable option for the PT-X16 has to be the front barbecue porch — a very neat idea for providing weather and shade protection for the person wielding the barbecue tongs!

Overall, Prime Campers’ PT-X16 is a very neat, single-axle design. 



Overall length 7.64m (25ft)
External body length 5.31m (17ft 4in)
Internal body length 5.15m (16ft 9in)
External body width 2.36m (7ft 7in)
Travel height 2.95m (9ft 7in)
Internal height 1.99m (6ft 5in)
Tare 2430kg
ATM 3100kg
Payload 670kg (calculated)
Ball weight 254kg
Ball weight at tare 10.5% (calculated)


Frame Fibreglass and aluminium, structural insulated panel with fibreglass reinforced thermoset polymer skin roof and floor
Cladding N/A
Chassis 150mm x 50mm x 4mm double dipped galvanised RHS steel
Suspension Trailing arm with custom-built Monroe springs and Tough Dog 4WD Suspension shock absorbers, NTN bearings and Penrith grease
Coupling Cruisemaster DO35
Brakes 12in drum electric
Wheels LT265/75/R16 mud terrain 1550kg rated tyres, alloy rim 16x8 1700KG rated, LC 6 studs
Water 1 x 200L freshwater, 1 x 100L and 1 x 40L (portable) grey water
Battery 2 x 200Ah Baintech lithium (1 x 200Ah standard)
Inverter 3000W Victron inverter/charger
Solar 800W
Air-conditioner Houghton Belaire HB9000
Gas 2 x 9kg
Sway control Tuson (optional)
Cooking Barbecue slide with sink
Fridge 95L Kooltron dual-zone slide-out fridge/freezer


Cooking Thetford gas and electric oven, grill and four-burner cooktop 
Microwave 20L
Fridge Thetford 154L upright fridge/freezer
Bathroom Separate toilet and one-piece fibreglass cubicle shower
Washing machine Washer and dryer two-in-one, 3kg washing machine and 1kg dryer 1.15kW power
Hot water Truma UltraRapid electric and gas

Prime Campers PT-X16 price from $73,999


  • Additional 200Ah lithium battery
  • Tuson sway control
  • Barbecue porch and air-inflated room 
  • Full caravan water filtration 

Prime Campers PT-X16 price as seen $74,599


Prime Campers

4/120 South Pine Road
Brendale Qld 4500
P: 0721 033 744 / 1300 567 789

65-67 Wingfield Road
Wingfield SA 5013
P: 0882 443 345 / 1300 567 789


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