The Altitude Ultimate Hard Floor reviewed here was a prototype, with the production versions coming with a 250mm-longer trailer box, giving a 200mm-longer hardfloor area. Importantly, this will allow travellers to fit double bunks inside the tent while still retaining sufficient living space.
But, despite the enhancements to a proven design, the principle will remain the same, with the rear-hinged hardfloor folding off the back of the Zincanneal steel trailer box to form a weatherproof home, with the aid of telescopic struts and a tether attached to the drawbar-mounted mechanical winch.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
This speed in setting up, compared with a softfloor camper, was something we really appreciated. We chose what seemed to be pretty level ground to set up the camper, but it was slightly tricky to get the hardfloor level on one side, with the base’s angled metal pegs sinking into the sodden ground. A couple of timber boards underneath would solve this issue.
While awnings are always quicker to erect with the help of two people, this 4400x2400mm beauty can be set-up quite easily with one set of hands. Once you’ve zippered it onto the main folding tent, one pegged pole and one of the two self-supporting front struts that ‘bungee’ on to the camper’s stoneguard are sufficient to hold it up, while you work down the side to add pegs and guy-ropes for the other three main poles.
The 4mm thick, 100x50mm A-frame with a DO35 coupling and a 50x50mm 2.5mm-thick DuraGal chassis sit atop Cruisemaster 2t-rated trailing arm and coil spring suspension. With twin shock absorbers either side, there is plenty here to take care of the worst corrugations on a camper weighing just 1150kg empty but with a massive payload of 850kg.
However, I’d like to see more shielding for the water tanks, which could be vulnerable to rock damage in the sort of terrain that owners might be encouraged to take this camper. Brian informed us that Ultimate production models will all come with this added protection.
Inside, the Ultimate is compact, as you would expect from its 1900mm width, but still roomy. The bed has two deep sliding drawers underneath its foot and also lifts up on front hinges to provide access to great storage room beneath. One LED strip light attached to the middle tent hoop delivers good overall illumination, while there are additional LED reading lamps on either side of the bed.
Once levelled, the base, with its durable rubber flooring, allows room for a table and a couple of chairs for quick overnight stops. With the aforementioned extension planned for production models, a double bunk will make things cosy, but still acceptable for travellers.
The outdoor kitchen, with its three-burner gas cooktop, stainless steel sink, hot/cold mixer tap and separate slide-out barbecue, is another example of experienced thinking, allowing the chef to remain dry while also leaving plenty of room under the awning for a table and chairs adjacent to the tent entry.
The optional 85L Waeco fridge-freezer that emerges on a robust slide from the huge A-frame storage box is also easy to access under the awning, as are the two adjacent pantry drawers. All compartments are held firmly in place by substantial spring-loaded latches when stored.
THE WRAP UP
Based on a proven, award-winning hardfloor concept and with recent softfloor credentials, the new Altitude Ultimate Hard Floor is a great value package for its current $37,990 price tag.
Altitude founder Brian Johnston aims to keep the business small and is currently building just two campers per month. This assures buyers of not only very personal attention, but also that the Ultimate they buy will be tailored to their needs. From our limited experience with it, should take them and their families to some great faraway places.
HITS & MISSES
- Functional, compact design
- Quick set-up
- Rough terrain specs
- Value for money
I would have liked…
- Retaining strap on fridge-slide door
- More shielding for water tanks
Check out the full feature in issue #87 April 2015 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine.