The 2019 Sydney Caravan Camping and Holiday Supershow was a major venue for the release of the camper trailer industry’s latest in ideas and models.
Once again it was held at the Rosehill Racecourse exhibition facilities, over the week from April 28 to May 3.
A total of 22 camper manufacturers were represented and, as the main stage for the industry in the nation’s largest marketplace, we saw a number of new and updated models across the range on display. Here are a few that stood out.
Conqueror UEV-310 Lightning
The South African sourced Conqueror UEV-310 Lightning gets its name from the speed of set-up, claimed to be just 60 seconds. It’s a small “adventure” style camper at 3300mm overall length and is all inclusive of a lot of comfort gear, like a television, Baby-Q barbecue, shower tent and Range Rover rack on the roof with an all-electric set-up rooftop tent and batwing awning. At 880kg Tare and with a 520kg payload (for an ATM of 1400kg) it’s pretty light so has a lot going for it. Price is $37,990.
Lifestyle Reconn R4
Brisbane’s Lifestyle campers were showing their new Reconn R4 model which had a lot of interesting features. There are three versions of this camper: with an internal shower and ensuite option; end bunks for the kids; or a full internal kitchen. There is, of course, that great Lifestyle external kitchen and the cavernous driver’s side storage bay. The gas hot water slides out on an arm for the external shower or kitchen and there is a neat staircase to the bed which incorporates a series of drawers. “It’s like the R2 on steroids,” a Lifestyle employee told us. There is also a dual axle version available for $7,000 more than the base model, which comes in at $72,950.
At $29,950 the new Lifestyle Iconn – which falls between the Breakaway and the R2 – offers real value for those seeking a hybrid style camper. It is 300mm shorter than the Breakaway Ultra but 80mm wider. Again it comes in three layout options: with an internal dinette and external fridge slide; with end bunks and an external fridge slide; or with an internal 130L fridge, cupboards and table. There are a number of optional items which can convert this camper to a real hitter, including optional dust suppression, gas hot water, electronic actuators for the roof, external shower room and so on. At 1400kg its Tare is good and with a 600kg load capacity it can carry everything you need.
Brisbane-based MDC released its Forbes range of hybrids with three different sizes. The Forbes 12 is a three-berth camper with an internal ensuite, diesel heater and optional air conditioning. The Tare is 2080kg and the ATM 3000kg. The Forbes 13 is slightly larger but still a three-berth van with Tare and ATM figures of 1960kg and 3000kg respectively. The Forbes 15 is a five-berth camper that has a Tare of 2180kg. All these campers come standard with a diesel space heater, gas hot water, a second spare wheel, electric awning, external stainless steel kitchen, 300 watts of solar, TV, 1000 watt inverter, two water tanks, DO-35 hitch, three 100Ah AGM batteries, ensuite and entry step. Air con is standard on the 15. Prices are $39,990 for the 12 and 13 and $49,990 for the 15.
Mountain Trail EDX V2
Premium manufacturer Mountain Trail has released a newly updated version of its EDX rearfold hardfloor. As a winner at Camper Trailer of the Year in 2016 this camper was seen as the top of the heap in rearfolds, but it’s now become even better, with a new, deeper and wider body, with a refined kitchen that now swings around along the body line, and galvanised inner guards for added strength in an area often subject to severe punishment. The ground clearance is enhanced, there is a larger 2000 watt inverter and that great automated electronic opening system is even better than before.
New Age Wayfinder
New Age has become the latest caravan brand to tap into the camper trailer market with their new Wayfinder model. New Age was bought out by the Walkinshaw group in January and they have used their extensive design and engineering team to come up with their own version of the traditional pull-out end bed camper. It has a 200kg payload for the roof, so you can carry a tinnie or other heavy items up there, the spare wheel is embedded into the rear panel to shift weight forward for better balance, the bed support poles are hand adjustable and the chassis is all-new and wider than normal. It comes in two models, a 13ft for six-person occupation or 12ft for two-person. Prices are $42,990 and $34,690 respectively. Though advertised as being suitable for outback use the slipper spring suspension and single 100Ah battery may be a limitation too far.
Opus 2 Sleeper
The inflating tent Opus range has just expanded into forwardfold territory with the 2 Sleeper model. This comes with an external ensuite and an internal portaloo. The forward bed is a queen in size, and the impression of space is enhanced by the impressive headroom inside the tent. With six vents and a tropical roof internal temperatures should never be a problem. The lounge appears very luxurious and there is a large range of options. And yes, it all retains its unique air-beam construction for rapid erection of both the tent and annex.
Signature also released their new Deluxe, a small “adventure” camper that mimics a number of others on the market. It features pressed side panels which give it a pleasing finished look while retaining an internal framework. All the side locker doors drop down to give a series of external shelves and there’s a rooftop cage area that’s suitable for wood storage, with two rear storage lockers and removable front and rear doors to permit transport of a kayak or other lengthy item. While there’s a rooftopper tent the camper is also available without the tent for $1,000 less. With a 1000kg Tare it’s light enough and the ATM of 1650kg means there’s a huge load capacity.
Signature Camper Trailers released their new Elite forward fold, which is a model based on customer feedback. It has been stretched over 300mm (now 5550mm long) over previous models for greater internal room and storage. Pole storage has been moved to the rear to reduce ball weight and the body is now 90mm deeper. In line with the increased weight that this brings (Tare 1720kg, ATM 2320kg) the drawbar has been increased from 100mm up to 170mm in depth, along with an upgrade in the hitch to a 3.5 tonne McHitch. It includes a large pantry and each camper is plumbed for a hot water service.
Track fielded its new T4 hybrid, the replacement for the much lauded Topaz. This is an all-new model that’s been some time in development and was drawing a lot of attention from those with a serious budget to spend. Very little has been carried over from the Topaz, though the format is similar, with three variations on the theme. The Rhapsody has an internal ensuite with the forward bed, the Symphony has the queen sized bed with a rear internal kitchen, and the Concerto has the main front bed and rear bunks with a reduced internal kitchen. Each model includes 240 watts of solar, gas central heating and two-way hot water. There’s a huge options list, as with all Track products.
Brisbane’s Trackabout continues to fly the flag for innovative sidefold softfloor design with their Explorer model. This is a shorter model (4600mm long) for easier maneuvering in tight situations and better ramp-over angle. The walk-up aisle is alongside the queen sized bed, and the expansive kitchen and huge pantry slides out of the back. At 950kg Tare and with a monumental 1050kg payload this will take you anywhere with just about anything. Like all Trackabout designs it has that quick two-minute tent set-up and while notionally starting at $30,000 it could take you up to $45,000 if you ticked all the options boxes.
While not displaying anything new it was good to see the traditional and unique shape of an Ultimate camper trailer at the Sydney show, following the company’s recent difficulties. After being picked up by the owners of Bluewater Campers following the iconic business’s slide into administration the brand is back in full swing, with the factory at Moruya on the NSW south coast back at work, and expansion into a greater range of showrooms.
Uprising Pro Trade Elite
While not strictly a camper, the Uprising Engineering Pro Trade Elite has deep origins in this industry as it comes from Rob Harley, the previous front man for the very successful Bluewater Camper Trailers. Rob saw a market niche for a tradesman trailer with all the features of a good camper, such as roller slide drawers, quality suspension, battery storage with all the best in electronics for topping up tools between jobs, good sound system, fridge on a slide, hot dip galv chassis, rooftop racks and lots more. It can even include a pie warmer. At 1300kg Tare with a payload of 1500kg it ought to be every tradie’s dream, and thus sales have reportedly been excellent just by word of mouth.