CTA recently tested the Outback Campers Australia Sturt around Shoreham – a picturesque and tranquil hamlet overlooking Western Port Bay on the Mornington Peninsula, Vic, – and it was obvious from the outset that such a sedate environment and its gentle winding roads offered no resistance.
The Sturt gave a distinct impression it belonged in the more remote regions of our wide brown land – an idea supported by OCA foreman, Andrew Renzo. During the past couple of years, Renzo has enjoyed extended periods in a Sturt at Cape York and the Kimberley, doing it the ‘hard way’. And he says, “it will take anything you want to throw at it”.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
The Sturt is as tough-as-teak, right down to its ‘boot heels’ – a fully Australian-made camper that suits those who wish to camp anywhere at an affordable price.
The camper trailer’s body is constructed of 1.6mm Australian sheet metal, which is stylishly etched, sealed and painted in dark charcoal Hammertone that is durable and can be touched up with a spray pack.
The Sturt’s camper top is manufactured from Australian-made Bradmill 10oz Superdux canvas, with a 2.55x1.85m tent size. The tent folds from the rear of the trailer, providing convenient bed orientation and easy storage access. And it’s coloured in khaki and ochre – earthy tones that don’t show up the red dirt too easily – as well as cool beige.
The travel cover is clipped down with press-studs, a fail-safe method to fix a cover.
I was suitably impressed with the effortless setup; it was a simple, 10-minute, one-man operation with the assistance of gas struts on the galvanised tubing tent frame. The internal frame pivots from the trailer, providing a rock solid system that requires no additional guy ropes or poles. After some practice, you should be able to set up the Sturt in no more than 20 minutes, including an extra bedroom and annexes. Additionally, the camper’s tent has no loose walls or a baggy roof that could act as a water catchment.
Ventilation is king in the Sturt, with the camper having three large fly-wired windows in the tent section with external zip-down flaps, and two fly-wired windows with internal zipped flaps in the bed area, all of which create and maintain great airflow. The bed-end windows allow you to check the weather in the morning or have ventilation over the bed on a hot night. The tent-end windows can be easily set up as an awning or strung out as a blind for privacy and/or shaded ventilation.
And I reckon the centre doorway is a real winner. It has the door located at the bed, meaning that the tent room can be utilised in the way your heart desires and is well protected by the zip-on 2.3m canvas awning.
The bed area is 2.14x1.850m and comes with a very comfortable 100mm queen-size medium-density foam mattress, but a queen-size 100mm pocket spring mattress is a popular option. A second bedroom can also be attached as an option, which is ideal as a children’s bedroom, and it is capable of fitting average size bunks. There is abundant internal storage underneath the bed, with convenient access through the tailgate.
The stainless steel kitchen, which is located under the awning, slides out on heavy duty drawer slides. It has all the necessary mod-cons including a Smev two-burner glass-top stove, a stainless steel sink and dish drain rack, 60L EvaKool fridge/freezer and storage compartments underneath. The stove is run from a 4.5kg gas cylinder (with room for another 4.5kg gas cylinder) and a quick system that allows for easy connection. There is also plenty of bench space on the stainless steel top, and the aluminium propeller plate sides are a nice touch. All doors are lockable and have rubber seals which aim to keep the dust and water out.
THE WRAP UP
I may be revealing my baby-boomer origins, but I reckon the Sturt is as Australian as football, meat pies and kangaroos.
It’s a quintessential Aussie softfloor camper trailer that has stood the test of time for more than 25 years. And it’s been everywhere, man...
HITS & MISSES
- Truly Australian made
- Reasonably priced
- Serious offroad camper
- Electrical system could be upgraded
- Water capacity could be increased
- LED lighting is only an option
Check out the full feature in issue #94 November 2015 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine.