One of the more exciting trends in the camper trailer industry is the continued roll-out of campers that aren’t quite camper trailers but aren’t quite full caravans or pop-tops either. It’s a niche market where those manufacturers who are willing to explore it often find plenty of potential customers waiting.
A good example is Queensland’s Lifestyle Camper Trailers, a manufacturer that started business building softfloor campers but has now moved into the crossover market. One of its latest models is the Elite Breakaway and, like others in this genre, it has little canvas but still retains essential camper features such as easy towing, offroad ability and a quick setup.
When it’s all folded up, the Elite Breakaway looks much like a solid box, with long hopper windows on both sides and an alloy checkerplate toolbox on the front drawbar. In its box state, the trailer measures 3000x1850mm, making it quite a compact unit on and offroad.
What’s more, the camper’s dry Tare is 850kg, minimising resistance out on the tracks, which is impressive, given its style.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
Setting up the Elite Breakaway takes minimal time. It’s just a matter of undoing the four corner clips and lifting the solid roof, assisted by the scissor lifts and gas struts. Naturally, the area between the roof and trailer body has vinyl walls but most of the walls comes with insect screened windows that can be closed off from the inside. The only wall area with no window space is the entry door, the lower part being hinged on the trailer body and the upper part being zipped vinyl. Four quick-drop corner stabilisers keep the trailer steady when parked up at camp.
Inside the trailer, the layout is quite simple. The doorway gives access to a walkway across the front of the trailer. A bed fills the rest of the trailer and its high enough off the floor that it’s easy enough to climb into and still has room for two good-sized drawers underneath. The all-round gusset windows provide plenty of ventilation and there are two fixed wall windows at pillow height. Like any good camper trailer, the bed base can be lifted to get to the trailer base storage. Two ceiling LED lights above the bed supply illumination.
Outside the trailer, and in keeping with camper trailer tradition, the stainless steel kitchen is fitted to the hinged tailgate. It comes with a stainless steel Smev two-burner cooktop and swings out easily into position when setting up camp. A hinged extension piece improves the general bench area no end. Completing the rear kitchen is a marine ply timber pantry box that slides out from
Up front, the alloy checkerplate box mounted on the drawbar is designed to hold a chest-style fridge. Its top half is hinged and is easy to open but it also has two roof vents to improve air circulation.
Something else that is easy to set up is the three piece awning – one for the trailer side, one above the kitchen/tailgate area and one for the bit in between.
The Elite Breakaway has a somewhat square look about it but there’s absolutely nothing square in its practical design. It is very quick to set up for an overnight stop and requires only a little more time for longer stays.
As a crossover unit with little canvas, it’s much smaller and lighter than many offroad caravans and it offers a lot to the offroad traveller. It also has an amazing load capacity of 1050kg that you’d be pushed to fill. Lastly, the trailer comes with a five-year warranty – how’s that for manufacturer confidence?
HITS & MISSES
- Good, lightweight crossover design
- Great external storage capacity
- Well-ventilated interior
- Neatly folds down for travel
- Entirely made in Australia
- Kitchen bench and fridge at opposite ends of the camper
- No external lights
- In wet or cold weather, there’s nowhere to sit inside
Check out the full feature in issue #95 December 2015 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.