Camper Trailer of the Year 2020: Lumberjack Glenaire

Camper Australia — 7 February 2020
The Lumberjack Glenaire partook in the $25,000 to $50,000 category contest at REDARC Camper Trailer of the Year 2020.

Say hello to the Lumberjack Glenaire. An electronically actuated double-fold set-up action, a king sized bed and a queen sized bed, al fresco dining in the internal dinette, a huge awning for outdoor living, lockable jerry can and gas storage, and a big boat rack for toys all set this folding camper apart from the pack.





SCOTT HEIMAN

Score: 72

The Lumberjack Glenaire is named after a region on the Great Ocean Road. But the name has Scottish roots. While ‘Glen’ refers to steep, long valleys, the ‘aire’ refers to taking care or paying attention. And grab your attention the Lumberjack Glenaire will, as it deploys its double-fold with the electronic actuators with one click of a remote button. 

As for that long valley? Well, the forward-fold opens to a king sized bed while the rear-fold offers a queen — with a cavernous lounge area in between. On the day of review, we were able to comfortably fit the four-person judging panel (and two extras) into this living space to talk over the Glenaire’s spec sheet, while devouring a cheese platter off the functional island table.

The actuators of the Lumberjack Glenaire are deployed with a dedicated 100Ah deep-cycle battery, and there are two more of the same to support you around camp. Solar is optional but an Anderson plug connected to a 25A charger is fitted standard so you can plug-and-play your own. With three batteries and a family on board, solar will be high on your list of options. Meanwhile, two 9 litre gas bottles, twin jerry holders and a pair of matching 100 litre water tanks should be enough for a family to disappear for as long as it takes. While you’re out on the tracks, you can feed the tribe from the main fridge slide which will easily accommodate a 100 litre fridge. And, on the driver’s side, there’s a second slide for another fridge, a generator, or dry goods. The main pantry is forward of the main fridge-slide and is large enough to fit a trolley load of tukka.

All of this rides on generic independent suspension and shocks with the option to upgrade to Dobinsons suspension components. Where the rubber meets the road, there are 265/75/R16 Goodyear Wranglers mounted on alloy rims with a Landcruiser PCD and there’s even a pair of spares mounted on the rear bumper. 

Nearby are two 4 tonne rated recovery points. At the recovery points, the rig has a 30 degree departure angle but unfortunately the rear water tank is the point of impact and should, in my view, be moved forward to maximise clearance, noting there is a baseplate. 

When folded down, the camper has a 250kg rated cargo tray/boat rack for the kid’s extra gear, or even a tinnie. At the other end the hitch sports a 3 tonne polyblock which is plenty for the Glenaire’s 2,400kg ATM.


DAVID COOK

Score: 58.5

The Lumberjack Glenaire brings a range of innovative ideas to the table, not so much in the complete uniqueness of the ideas but in terms of their combination in the one camper. First there is the automatic opening remote control. This comes with its own dedicated battery and a worthwhile manual override, in the event of a flat battery or other electrical fault, in the form of the standard forward-fold style winch. 

The dual opening sides to the lounge area also are not original but they can supply that panoramic outlook on a camp site and fantastic flow-through ventilation when there is any air movement, though if the flies or mosquitoes are bad you might want to bypass that feature.

The front storage area is a feature more in the line of practical functionality. When most forward-fold designs are open there is limited or no access to the gas bottles and/or jerry cans on the drawbar, other than partly folding up the front extension of the tent. The Glenaire enables easy access by way of a pair of fold-back wings on the stoneguard, and the capacity to lock the whole structure shut to keep undesirable fingers away from your components.

And the combination king and queen memory foam mattresses afford plenty of space for comfortable sleeping arrangements.

If you’re looking for comforts the Glenaire has a number. Aside from the auto-opening there is a handy boat loader included, rated to 250kg, so even a fair sized tinny can be carried in comfort. There is the seemingly universal TV/DVD player, a multi-media entertainment centre, and individual reading LED light strips for each sleeping position. There are two handy storage drawers under the front bed, and side pods in the walls behind the seats, but under-seat storage is limited due to the narrowness of the seats. This, however, creates a roomier floor area around the internal table.

The auto-open option makes for ease of initial set-up in some ways, but there are 18 points of adjustment required on bows within the tent, plus a total of 45 poles and spreader bars in the full set-up. In some ways they’re not all required at every set-up but if you leave some out and get caught by unexpected rain or wind in the night you’ll know why you should have put them all in place.

The large gable on the awning is worthwhile as this helps in shading/sheltering the awning area.


TIM VAN DUYL

Score: 53

Overall the finish of the Glenaire impresses. The external panels are clean and assembled well with even gaps all round. The roof of the canvas is light in colour which will help keep heat out and the interior finish is modern and hard-wearing with wood-like vinyl used in key areas. 

The use of proper compression seals in the external storage lockers gets a big tick from me. They also have to be installed properly; get a pinch in a corner and dust will find its way in. The team at Lumberjack know how critical this is and chose to have all the seals on the Glenaire done locally and done well. 

The use of Hammertone coating on almost all external surfaces is apprenticed and its application is smooth and flawless. Welds were good, almost as good as you’d see locally on top-end campers and much better than days past when some imports looked like an apprentice’s first effort. 

The chassis is 120 x 50mm — enough and not over the top. Meanwhile the floor is supported by a steel frame that runs to near the outer edges of the sides. The floor itself is 12mm marine ply which thankfully has a stainless steel sheet to protect it from flying rocks. The underside is pretty neat with the liberal use of Hammertone continuing throughout. 

Canvas is a heavyweight 14oz with proper midge screens and the design takes into account the need for cross-flow ventilation, with both sides able to be fully rolled up for totally unobstructed flow. It also allows for great views from the lounge area. 

A nice touch is the oversized stainless steel hinges and locks on the cupboards. They not only look sharp, contrasting against the black Hammertone, but their size will spread weight well; they should last a long time. 

As a dual-purpose camper, the type equally at home in a Holiday Park or National Park, the Glenaire offers a family a lot. The space is impressive, the lay-out very liveable, and it’s packed with clever and useful features. It might live at the pointy end of the imported twin-fold camper brigade in price but then it's also backed with a five-year structural warranty and 178 authorised repairers dotted around the country. 


KATH HEIMAN

Score: 73.5

Picture a family together, the adults kicking back with a few cold beverages on a comfy lounge, the kids giggling together over some shared joke on a thick mattress, and a pot on the stove nearby promising a tasty feed some time soon. Place this family in the outdoors, and they may be enjoying time in a Lumberjack Glenaire. This forward and rear double-fold hard-floor camper aims to offer a home away from home for families intent on exploring this country’s back-roads, where, we were told, 70 per cent of the Glenaire’s buyers spend their time.

While this rig is built overseas, it’s wired here with locally produced parts added. The cabin walls are constructed of 14 ounce canvas with mesh that looks like it will keep the bities at bay. 

That said, I’d like to have seen added insect mesh between the lounge area and sleeping compartments to allow al fresco living to continue in the lounge area while others enjoy some shut-eye, bug free.

The stand-out manufacturing feature is the inclusion of Danish-made actuators, supported by one of the three 100Ah batteries, that allow the bed spaces to be folded-out and into place at the press of a button within a matter of seconds. 

At the end of a hard day on the road, this feature offers Lumberjack a definite market advantage and ‘X factor’. 

The other stand-out feature is that this camper specifically caters for adults and kids alike with two 100mm memory foam mattresses — a queen on one side and a king on the other. With both mattresses having a unique north-south orientation, no one is left walking over a sleeping companion in order to get in or out of bed. There’s also the option of turning the lounge into a third bed.

While the Glenaire has the look and feel of a high-end product, there are some compromises evident here and there. These include the suspension and brakes which are both generic imports; however, there is an offset in the dual shockies that provide some redundancy. The stoneguard up front, while predominantly checkerplate, has nylon mesh inserts which may pose a puncture hazard under backroad conditions. And it has to be said that full deployment of the Glenaire requires 45 poles and spreader bars, a number that could get on your goat after a while.

The Lumberjack Glenaire oozes potential as the social hub of many nights under the stars. At $30,999 as standard, it isn’t the cheapest camper with a lounge-bed lay-out. But it certainly looks the goods, and has high levels of amenity for an adventurous family, including a couple of unique features to justify the additional outlay.  


CAMPER SPECS

Tare 1,800kg

ATM 2,400kg

Ball weight 220kg

Payload 600kg

Drawbar 100mm x 50mm x 4mm hot dip galvanised bolted and welded to frame

Chassis 100mm x 50mm x 4mm

Hitch 3 tonne 360° polyblock system

Jockey wheel 10” swing-up

Tyres 16” A/T Goodyear, alloy rims (with Lumberjack branded special edition rims as an option)

Cladding Steel

Brakes 12” electric brakes with breakaway unit and handbrake

Suspension Independent suspension with dual shocks

Body type Dual-fold hard floor with motorised set-up

DIMENSIONS

Overall length 7.3m

Body size (travel) 5.65m (L) x 2.15m (W) x 1.6m (H)

Annex 6.7m x 2.4m, all walls and floor included

ACCESSORIES

Kitchen Four-burner slide-out cooktop with wind deflectors, dual food preparation spaces, stainless steel sink with tap and drainer

Gas 2 x 9kg rings, gas plumbing optional

Water 2 x 100L lockable water tanks with alloy bash plates, HWS to be added

Bedding Main bed king sized, rear bed queen sized, dinette converts to double bed

Batteries 3 x 100Ah Century, Anderson plug at front for portable solar panel

PRICE AS SEEN

$32,999 ($30,999 as standard)


CAMPER STAR RATINGS


David CookTim van DuylKath HeimanScott Heiman
1. Fit for Intended Purpose5.568.57.5
2. Innovation6.5687.5
3. Self-sufficiency5.546.56
4. Quality of finish6687
5. Build quality6777
6. Offroad-ability646.56
7. Comforts6778
8. Ease of use536.57.5
9. Value for money6588
10. X-Factor657.57.5


ENQUIRIES

Lumberjack Camper Trailers

Address 290 Princes Highway, Corio VIC 3214

Address 2/11 Moss St, Slacks Creek, QLD 4127

Phone 1300 30 40 45

Web www.lumberjackcampertrailers.com.au

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