MARS 15 Review by Caravan World
We headed down to the stunning Yarra Valley to check out a new Mars camper. We booked the 15 for a couple of days to give it a thorough review.
Straightaway I noticed the Mars 15 is really well set up for outdoor living and that's really what camping is all about. Up the front, there is a really sturdy slide for a big fridge inside the front locker. I'd add a door catch on there to keep the door open so it doesn't swing in the wind.
Moving back we've got a picnic table handy to the kitchen and the kitchen itself is an absolute ripper. It features a big sink with drawers under and shelves above for all your cutlery. A four-burner gas stove is big enough for four pots and there is plenty of preparation space with the bench extension out. The little drawers stand out to me. They are handy to keep all your little things tidy and out of the way. The kitchen on the Mars 15 is a ripper I reckon.
Up the front, on the builder's plate, are a few clues about the target buyer and what the 15 is designed for. The Tare is 2170 kilos which tells me it's really heavy duty. Its ATM is 2700 kilos which gives us about 570 kilos of payload capacity, which is pretty reasonable for a 15-footer. The Mars 15 looks built tough and for a family needing to haul a bit of gear.
With a couple of exceptions, everything under the hybrid is really well protected. The water pipes are all good with lagging covering all at-risk plumbing. There are alloy protection plates under the water tank, and all the lines are laid out really well.
The suspension is Mars’ own design and looks really heavy-duty with a three and a half-ton rating. Brakes are heavy-duty off-road, 12-inch drums.
Inside there's an amazing amount of space for a 15-foot Hybrid. The main bed is king size and has a proper innerspring mattress.
A pair of fold-up bunks flank the sides and are long enough for anyone but they're quite narrow, so more for children. At the foot of the main bed is another one which certainly could fit an adult. It folds up into the dining table to hide away when not needed. I reckon it would be a food spot for a toddler or infant if you added a simple railing.
To the rear of the 15 is another kitchen with an optional 140-litre fridge and a stainless steel sink and nearby an ensuite with a combination shower and toilet.
Powering the 15 are three 110 amp hour AGM batteries running through a really nice electrical panel to control everything. It's all handy in one place right at the doorway. There's a 1000 watt inverter for your smaller appliances tucked away as well. For hot days when you're hooked up to 240 volts, we've got an air conditioner on the roof.
The thing that I like about this hybrid, and I want to really stress is this, the Mars 15 is super easy to pop. The frame of the roof is metal but the levers are well designed making lifting the roof stress-free.
We had an interesting couple of days down in the Yarra Valley with the Hybrid 15 from Mars. Up in the bush, it towed really well. We've had it behind the 120 series Prado which was great on the highway. It was very smooth along the bitumen but it also handled the dirt tracks in its stride as you'd expect with the independent suspension underneath.
Starting at around $49,000. It's easy to see why the Mars 15 is so popular, particularly for families. There's room there for three kids, two adults and the king-size bed is exceptional.
It's got all the makings for holidays out in the bush kitchen, plenty of refrigeration, and a lot of enough water to keep you down there for a week or so.
2700 kg ATM
2170 kg Tare
570 kg Payload
~180 kg Ball Weight
Price as Tested $56,990
For new and used Mars Campers for sale check out: tradervs.com.au