what's new

on the camper trailer scene


what's on the camper trailer scene



    I was privileged to be shown over the new Vista RV by Ian Porteous, owner of Dreamtime Campers & the exclusive NSW agent here in Newcastle. The Vista RV is one of the new breed of campers that are emerging, somewhere between an off road camper trailer & an off road caravan. They are very compact & weigh little more than a fully loaded off road camper trailer.

    The lines are sleek with plenty of toys & hidden fixtures to keep any boy happy. The Vista RV has been built from the ground up incorporating design features of a caravan while its off road camper trailer roots are imbedded with strategically placed storage of jerry cans, gas bottles & spare wheel.

on the outside

    The Vista RV uses the MS Series suspension which is an all new asymmetric independent suspension & is fully integrated into the hot dipped galvanised chassis. Through the skilful use of engineered control arms the hub movement is kept in a vertical plain, unlike other asymmetric independent suspension systems. The MS Series suspension gives more then 330mm of wheel travel & incorporates 10 neoprene rubber bushes, the same used in off road vehicles. There is a well proven Vehicle Components AT35 off road coupling up front & two rear recovery points.

    The body comprises of various materials chosen to produce a strong durable finish & weight to a minimum. The roof is fibreglass while the sidewalls are made from fibreglass faced, vacuum pressed composite panels. The powder coated sheet metal panels are integrated into the camper giving strength & a 21st century appeal.

    The nose cone boasts plenty of storage. The upper most locker is hinged from the front & gives easy access to items such as the canvas awning, hoses, ropes, straps & extension leads. Behind the bra/stoneguard cover is a well sized locker which could easily hold a generator. Nestled behind the nose cone unit is the spare wheel. Access to the spare is by swinging the complete nose cone unit to one side. On each side of the nose cone is housed the jerry & 4.5kg gas bottle holders guarded from stone damage behind water jet cut powder coated steel panels.

    Towards the front on the drivers side there is a wide gear locker with further provision for two more jerrys towards the rear which gives a total capacity of four jerry cans overall. Depending on where you are going you can carry extra water or fuel or both. The 240 volt weatherproof input plug is also found in this corner.

    Forward on the passenger side is an exterior kitchen with a large stainless steel roll-out workbench. The two burner gas cook top includes a bbq plate &  features a quick to erect hinged windshield. From under the cooktop emerges a stainless steel sink with a fold down water outlet connected to an electric water system. There is a good sized built-in cutlery drawer & also ample storage space for pots & pans under the bench. Adjacent to the entry door there is a manual water outlet alongside the filler cap of the 70 litre water tank which is set rear of the axle.

    A triangular sail awning can be fitted giving shelter over the doorway & cooking area with a few poles & ropes. There is also a full annex available as an option which includes walls & a draft skirt.

    Across the back & out of harms way of flying stones is found an 80 watt Suntech solar panel. The panel is gas strut assisted & can extend to face the sun. Under the solar panel is a handy fold down table. The locker on the lefthand rear corner houses the 100 amp hour gel deep cycle maintenance free battery. There is an optional upgrade to a 160 amp hour battery.

    The Vista RV is fitted with white 16x8 six stud rims & new 265-70 R16 tyres. The electric brakes take control of the tare weight at 1100kg & there is a generous 350kg payload.

on the inside

    To the right as you walk in the entry door you will find the 12 volt & 24o volt electrical management system which houses the 12 volt fuse panel, 240 volt breaker, a 15 amp 3 stage smart charger & Projector 10 amp solar panel regulator. Also in a handy location on the panel is found the 12 volt water tank level indicator. There are two external 12 volt outlets and one internal, as well as two double 240 volt outlets one of which is over the benchtop. The onboard battery is charged from the tow vehicle via an Anderson plug.

    Setting up camp is a simple matter of lifting the roof which is hinged at the front. The roof hinge is not just bolted to the roof. It attaches to a full frame that is integrated into the campers upper shell giving both the hinge & the campers shell full structural strength.

    The wedge shaped canvas infill gives ample ventilation with flyscreening in all three sides as well as a clear plastic see through cover on the rear wall. This can be unzipped & rolled down to reveal the flyscreening. Small LED lights are scattered around the interior of the Vista RV giving subdued lighting throughout, rather than bright concentrated lighting in one location. A switch controls the two stages of the lighting.

    Once standing inside, the kitchen unit is built across the rear with an upright Engel 2-way fridge. There is more than enough storage in the cupboards, even a hanging space for clothes. The bench top has a stainless steel sink with the fold down water outlet also connected to the electric water system. All cooking is designated to the outside cooktop. In the corner of the benchtop there is a lift off lid allowing access to a recessed plastic storage container. This is a good place for fruit or perhaps tea, coffee, sugar & biscuits for a quick cuppa. You could also put ice in it & use this area as extra fridge storage. A MP3 CD/radio stereo is fitted for entertained.

    There is comfortable seating for one person either side of the table or at a pinch four could be accommodated. Collapsing the table to make the bed up is a very simple one handed operation. Just release the lever & the table moves towards you & drops down & back into the height of the bench seat modules. A cushion infill then brings the table space to bench seat cushion height. The mattress cover is sewn together or in other words hinged, so you only need to pull half of the mattress down over the seating complete with the fitted sheets in place to make a Queen sized bed in no time. There is no need to make the bed from scratch at every camp stop. Above the bed is a hatch providing plenty of through ventilation.

    Underneath the seating there are two spring hinged lids on each side giving access to more storage space. This area has been designed to house a number of two litre plastic water containers where you could carry purified water if needed.

    The Vista RV is priced at $49,900. Options include a solar & regulator upgrade, a 160 amp hour deep cycle battery & a full annex. For more information or a look over the Vista RV please feel free to give Ian a call at Dreamtime Campers.  The Vista RV website can be found at http://www.vistarv.com.au






























photos taken at Dreamtime Campers, Cardiff, NSW



photos & info by Rob


August 2008