A fancy swag

You’ll find the 2011 Aussie Swag Ul­tra E is a lit­tle more lux­u­ri­ous than its rough name­sake.

Motorhome & Caravan Trader - - Contents Issue 202 -

The 2011 Aussie Swag Ul­tra E is far more lux­u­ri­ous than its rough name­sake

The 2011 Ul­tra E was de­signed to be a self­suf­fi­cient tour­ing unit, an off-the-shelf camper with lit­er­ally ev­ery lit­tle thing you need to travel com­fort­ably in the bush. So to give it a good run in some re­ally rough coun­try, we took it out on the Gibb River Road – the per­fect test­ing ground.

There were two vari­a­tions of the 2011 Ul­tra, the ‘E’ and ‘G’. The ‘E’ had an elec­tric hot wa­ter sys­tem and gen­er­a­tor, while the ‘G’ came with a gas hot wa­ter sys­tem and ex­tra so­lar panel and was built for peo­ple spend­ing time in na­tional parks where gen­nies aren’t al­lowed.

Some say that you should do things right, or not at all. And the Ul­tra is an ex­am­ple of a camper built to that same ex­act­ing phi­los­o­phy. All of the com­po­nents, from electrics to bed­ding, are of high qual­ity. There are no short­cuts, the fin­ish is im­pec­ca­ble and you’d be hard pressed to find one out in the bush with any mod­i­fi­ca­tions, which says a lot.

We came across a cou­ple fur­ther down the Gibb who had been trav­el­ling in one for six months, and asked them what they would change. They looked at each other, then shrugged their shoul­ders.

BODY WORK

The 2011 Ul­tra utilises a hot-dipped gal­vanised chas­sis with 100x75x6mm steel. That’s se­ri­ous strength. The body is steel, too, and the in­de­pen­dent trail­ing arm sus­pen­sion sys­tem com­ple­ments this trailer’s of­froad pedi­gree per­fectly, while the 16in tyres help with clear­ance. Elec­tric drum brakes come stan­dard and a Treg cou­pling fin­ishes the run­ning gear. The Ul­tra is built right, from the bot­tom up.

The home com­forts on the Ul­tra are what sep­a­rate it from other campers. The con­ve­nient kitchen lets you cook next to the camper (in the shade) and also opens up the space un­der the awning. The stain­less steel pull-out unit com­prises a Thet­ford four-burner stove with grill, sink and drainer with mixer tap and stor­age. A fold-out cut­ting board bench on one side gives you more work­ing space, while a mas­sive splash­back and wind guard pro­tects your can­vas and gives you some­where to store spices and uten­sils close to hand.

Above the kitchen is a long slide-out pantry drawer, and next to that is the fridge slide, with an­other mas­sive fold-out stain­less bench. This holds a huge 80L Waeco, which is great as a combo fridge/freezer. You won’t find many camper kitchens bet­ter or­gan­ised.

With a fridge that big, elec­tric wa­ter heat­ing, light­ing ev­ery­where you need it (most of it LED), a 700W pure sine in­verter and ev­ery­thing else that peo­ple like to plug in, you need a se­ri­ous elec­tri­cal sys­tem. Here’s where the 2011 Ul­tra sings.

A full 240V straight to shore sys­tem is in­cluded,

along with the afore­men­tioned 700W pure sine in­verter. Four 12V sock­ets are lo­cated around the camper. There are even bed­side read­ing lamps in­side.

All this is pow­ered by twin 105Ah bat­ter­ies, which would get you through two or three days in the bush un­aided. But when you in­clude the 130W so­lar panel (mounted to the front of the trailer so you can charge on the go, but fully re­mov­able so you can camp in the shade and still charge your bat­ter­ies), Honda EU20I and 60A Xantrax bat­tery charger – you have a sys­tem that could keep you run­ning for months. And the fin­ish, con­nec­tions, and wiring are all top notch. There is a volt­meter on the so­lar reg­u­la­tor, which will give you a read­ing on the bat­ter­ies, but it would be nice to see a more in­ter­ac­tive me­ter in the sys­tem as well.

Sleep­ing ar­range­ments in the Ul­tra are pretty straight­for­ward. Most of the stor­age is in a huge drawer un­der the bed, which is eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble with­out open­ing the camper, via a large hatch. The queen-size mat­tress is made from high den­sity foam with egg-crate foam on top. A hand­ful of stor­age bins down the side of the bed are good for keep­ing bits and pieces. The hard floor is big enough for a cou­ple of camp cots, if you don’t mind things a lit­tle tight.

Ad­di­tional stor­age on top of the kitchen box is avail­able, with a rack and dust-proof stor­age bag, good for stor­ing ex­tra can­vas like awning walls. The top of the camper also has a wire rack that you can pile stuff on, as long as you’re will­ing to pull it off be­fore set­ting up.

The can­vas is all Aus­tralian Wax Con­vert­ers and you can leave the twin awnings at­tached when clos­ing it up. Four poles are re­quired to set up the kitchen side awning, which takes about 10 min­utes from the time you pull up. The end of the camper has a mas­sive mesh win­dow that can be com­pletely opened up to let in air on hot­ter evenings.

THE BOT­TOM LINE

There is lit­tle to fault with the 2011 Ul­tra E. It’s a classic ex­am­ple of a hard floor camper trailer built right, from the ground up. At $52,700, as new in 2011, you cer­tainly aren’t get­ting all of that qual­ity for free, but it’s pretty easy to trace where those dol­lars are go­ing.

Above: There is a rack for stor­ing things on top of the camper, as long as you don’t mind tak­ing them off be­fore set­ting up. Right: The fold-out bench next to the fridge is very prac­ti­cal.

Top: You can sit back and en­joy the seren­ity of the bush when your camper comes with ev­ery­thing you need. Above: The splash­back has room to store spices and uten­sils.

Top: A mas­sive mesh win­dow pro­vides good air­flow. Above: The 80L Waeco fridge/freezer suits re­mote tour­ing well.

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