Held, as usual, at the Rosehill Racecourse, the show drew a solid response from a public that seemed to have an abiding interest in camper trailers. While the largest sector of the show is, as always, the caravans, the most crowded area seemed to be that of the camper trailers.
The show illustrated one of the strongest movements in the camper trailer market at the moment - the widening gap between entry level campers, which are now pushing into the $20,000-plus range, and the top end premium brands which are now edging close to and even beyond $100,000. Everyone, it seems, now wants, and is prepared to pay for, the top features.
The following is just a selection of the great designs on show.
RELAXING ON THE MURRAY
Blue Water Campers displayed its new Murray forward-fold camper. With a 610mm-deep body, it is, they claim, the roomiest in its class, with space for two storage drawers under one of the lounge seats, and enhanced capacity under the rest, reducing the shortfall in storage capacity. It features two large pantry drawers next to the fridge slide, which occupies space sufficient to carry up to a 110L Waeco. Blue Water import the basic chassis and body but fit out everything else here, so you get all Australian canvas, suspension and electricals. Priced from $28,990 it’s not a bad deal.
Complete Campsite released a display camper in its Exodus range of hybrids fitted out with bunk beds which attracted a lot of attention, as it appears that this is an increasingly popular format for families. Company owner Grant Joyce reported it had suddenly become one of their more well-liked displays.
TRAVELANDER LANTREX LT
A long-term leader in the slide-on market, Queensland’s Travelander added a new arm to its range with the release of the Lantrex LT, a rear-fold camper with lots of unique attributes. It featured the company’s unique auto opening and closing function, with a rolled alloy chassis (and research being undertaken into a possible carbon fibre version soon), fibreglass body and Webasto hot water and space heater and options which include air conditioning, airbag suspension and a vast wrap-around awning. Prices start at $48,000 and go up to around $60,000 as seen at the show.
NEW POP-TOP HYBRID
MDC continued its recent extension into hybrid style campers with its new XT-17. At $64,990, it isn’t cheap but incorporates a large number of features to ensure it received a lot of attention. The two rear spares drop down to permit the rear bed to be extended to complete sleeping potential for four. It isn’t small, at 7100mm in length and a GVM of 3000kg, but includes full trailing arm suspension, three 85L water tanks, Truma hot water, internal and external showers, 300Ah of AGM batteries and five-year warranty.
THE KITCHEN’S THE SELLER
Lifestyle had its new AT-12 XK on display and it continued the run of great success for this new design. Lifestyle first released its XK – external kitchen – design in the Reconn model and it was so popular it was adapted to the AT-12, already a fashionable design with its large pullout side creating enormous internal room in this hybrid camper. With the addition of the external kitchen, and the addition of extended bench space over previous models – it all came together. Lifestyle was one company which reported a doubling in business from previous Sydney shows thanks to both their campers’ features and location.
CUB GOES FORWARD
Sydney’s Cub Campers has responded to market demand with its new Forward Fold, the first Australian company to release a locally made design in this format since Queensland’s Modcon Campers released its version in the 1990s. With a deep body, Redarc BMS30 battery management system and five-year warranty it has all the makings of another success for the veteran Sydney company.
AOR KICKS ANOTHER GOAL
Australian Off Road has extended its success in the 2016 Camper Trailer of the Year awards with the release of the immensely popular Quantum Plus. With an additional 670mm of internal living space it makes outback travel even more luxurious and sets up the option of bunk beds for the kids. It has a permanent and roomier dinette and an extra window and at only $4000 dearer than the traditional Quantum was proving to be very popular with the discerning public.
CONQUEROR’S FINE TUNING
Conqueror released its 2016 range of models, headlined by the UEV490. It had a huge range of upgrades, including an enormous batwing awning, improved electronics (Redarc battery management system), flat roof for reduced weight (the whole camper down by 150kg), one-piece doors, Smart Locks instead of Allen keys, steel front quarter panels for a more rigid body, drawbar-cum-front nose cone increased to 6mm thick for greater strength, permanently plumbed gas and water for quicker set-up time and halved fuel consumption in the Webasto hot water system.
REINVENTING THE SOFTFLOOR TENT
Queensland’s Trackabout has reinvented the softfloor tent with a unique design that incorporates all the poles into the canvas and a unique side-opening awning. The whole package has just a three-minute set-up and pack down, with all the poles packing away with the canvas. The side awning – which can be extended to match any of the company’s tent configurations with zip-on end and walls – opens straight off the bed, which is just inside a huge side-opening wall. The idea is adaptable to any of Trackabout’s existing, new or - even better – past models. For those who want ease of set-up in a full size touring softfloor this is the one.