A host of new models wheeled out for their first major public display at Leisurefest 2015.
The spring weather that extended across the show, which ran from October 8-11, did no harm, attracting a healthy crowd of 30,000 visitors to Sandown Racecourse.
Just months after releasing its teardrop-shaped, all-fibreglass J-pod camper, Jayco has returned briefly to its 1970s roots with a cut-price, wind-up camper – the Australian-spec, but US-built Jayco J8 with a ‘show’ price of just $10,990, undercutting Jayco’s previous entry level, but better-equipped, locally-built Swift wind-up camper by around $5000.
Based on the Jay Series Sport from the Jayco America range, the bare-bones 3.7m-long ‘Starcraft Sport’ J8 has a Tare weight of 604kg, an ATM of 749kg and a ball weight of 82kg, meaning it can be towed without trailer brakes by very small vehicles.
PIONEER CAMPERS MITCHELL
Former Western Australian and now Victorian-based camper trailer specialist Pioneer Campers set a cat among the pigeons with its new Mitchell hard-roof camper.
Wedge-styled, well-equipped and priced at $58,485 with many included features, the aluminium composite walled Mitchell was developed over a 12-month period and has a rear-hinged fibreglass roof for greater internal headroom and a quick-to-erect, drop-down hardfloor with sewn-in rear tent.
AOR SUPER CAMPERS
Australian Off Road chose Leisurefest to show off its new 2016-model Quantum Super Camper, priced at $92,900.
The ever-inventive Queensland manufacturer has temporarily suspended series production of the previous $77,900 entry-level Eclipse Super Camper pending the arrival of a new $60,000 ‘no frills’ model and has thrown its weight behind its top-selling Quantum pop-top, displaying two new Series IV models.
Both feature major revisions and now have full, lightweight fibreglass bodywork in place of the aluminium of all previous AOR Super Campers, effectively ending the aluminium era for the specialist offroad builder.
Each also gets the new fibreglass nosecone and tail panel of the full-height Matrix Series IV offroad caravan, greatly increasing storage room and aerodynamics.
The Quantum Plus, which costs an additional $4000 at $96,900, has a 500mm longer body, with the extra length providing space for a cafe-style lounge. The extra room also allows an optional folding double-bunk setup.
RHINOMAX & MOUNTAIN TRAIL
Rhinomax displayed a revised version of its Discovery Offroad Hybrid with a larger 150x50mm chassis and some interior revisions, while Mountain Trail showed off its latest EDX hardfloor camper featuring a super-rapid setup and Van Cruiser displayed various versions of its new, tough, hard-roof SUV extreme offroader.
ON THE MOVE
Melbourne’s On The Move Caravans debuted its new hard-walled Crossfire hybrid that blurs the lines between an offroad caravan and a camper trailer.
Measuring 6.67m (21ft 11in) long, 1.93m wide and 2.25m high and with a 1491kg Tare and 2500kg ATM, the Crossfire has an introductory, drive-away price of $52,990 (ex-Melbourne).
The new Crossfire range includes a single-axle, 3.2m (10ft 6in body length) hardtop model with a double bed inside and an external kitchen, while a larger, 4m (13ft 3in) pop-top variant manages to squeeze in a combination shower/toilet. A third, family model with rear bunks instead of an ensuite will also be released soon.