Australian Off Road’s 2012 Eclipse Series II holds its own
The 2012 Australian Off Road (AOR) Eclipse Series II is a big hybrid with a magnificent combination of offroad assets and a huge, luxurious internal living space. The Eclipse Series II was a finalist in Camper Trailer Australia’s 2013 Offroad Camper of the Year (OCOTY) Awards, surprising and impressing the judges with its offroad capability.
AOR’S 2012 model is a reengineered version of its predecessor and has the same sturdy chassis as the popular Quantum. It’s a sexy machine that will please both couples and families, crossing the line from a hard-core camper to a luxurious holidaymaker.
With features like mood lighting, an enticing 8in innerspring mattress, beautiful cabinetry, lush upholstery, music and plenty of space in the cooler to keep the champagne icy, the Eclipse is fully equipped for that romantic getaway.
It’s extremely spacious, offering plenty of living space. It’s a big offroad machine with an overall length of 5.8m and a Tare weight of 1590kg. By the time you fill the 140L fully-shrouded water tank, twin gas cylinders and jerry cans, 110L Waeco fridge/ freezer, a separate 47L Evakool fridge and pack your bags, you will be towing around two tonne. It’s a lot of weight – but it’s also a lot of camper and it’s built to take it.
We had six people inside the Eclipse and could have stayed and partied in the inviting surrounds. The full length pop-top roof is simple and easy, even for vertically challenged travellers to use. What’s more, it’s guaranteed to be dustproof. There are seven independently switched and dimmable LED lights around the trailer with plenty of 12V and 240V sockets, a TV aerial outlet near the bed and inverter remote sockets from the 300W pure sine wave unit. To keep things cool there’s a 12V fan above the bed, three-stage double-glazed windows and blackout flyscreens, plus the camper is lined with Duralite composite, enhancing its inherent strength and insulation.
Internal storage and comfort is at a premium on the Eclipse. Everyone needs some wardrobe space for that special ‘night on the town’ clobber, and there’s enough room for Imelda’s shoe collection in the three cavernous drawers under the bed. AOR fitted out the unit to individual design, but this one has an upholstered convertible dinette that drops down to create a child’s berth easily. Bunks were also an available option. The dinette is big enough for larger people to use comfortably and not only provides a good indoor dining area, but a great place for
The 2012 Australian Off Road Eclipse Series II has the boulders to hold its own.
travellers to download their daily photos and steal a moment for the all-important Facebook updates.
The indoor kitchen has a three-burner gas stove with glass top, a Waeco upright 110L fridge/ freezer and a stainless steel sink with hot and cold pressurised water. The surfaces look sensational with a black marble laminate and stainless steel splashback. Underneath, there are a further three large drawer units with twin push button locking mechanisms and self-closing slides, as well as plenty of pot, pan and pantry storage and an easy clean parquetry-look vinyl floor. You will find that you will still be able to enjoy that early morning or late night cuppa even when it’s too much trouble to go outside.
Electronics are provided by a Pioneer AM/FM/CD stereo with USB, two 100Ah AGM batteries, a Ctek 25A charger, the 300W pure sine wave inverter, Morning Star solar controller with two 90W panels on the roof, Anderson Plug for DC charging and a BM1+ compact battery monitor/management system. The Truma gas hot water service takes as little as 12 minutes to heat.
Many of us camper trailer folk prefer to cook outside, so the Eclipse also has an external kitchen. Both the Evakool and the stainless steel kitchen are on easy access slide tracks. There’s a Thetford two-burner gas stove with grill, sliding benchtop, stainless sink with hot and cold water and a large utensils and pots drawer. To keep you cool and dry there is a convenient Sun Chaser awning the full length of the trailer. The amount of enclosed storage around the camper is truly cavernous. One of the compartments alone is 500L!
You might get the feeling that this pretty boy doesn’t have the rocks for serious offroad treks. Well let me tell you, they aren’t rocks, they’re boulders! It’s true the Eclipse is heavy, but it’s got the running gear to suit. There’s a big, solid chassis meeting a galvanised and powder-coated 125x75x4mm drawbar. AOR manufactured the independent trailing arm suspension with twin shocks and coil springs rated to 2.5 tonne. It has all of the usuals: swing down jockey wheel, handbrake,
12in electric drums, DO35 coupling, four stabilisers, mesh stoneguard, detachable rubbish bag and approved recovery points.
This big, fully Australian-made hybrid is built for tall Aussies, with a full-height door and plenty of internal headroom. It has a terrific capacity for allowing access to the whole van on the road, so if the weather turns cold you can still get to your woolly socks, or your bathers if you happen upon a nice beach in summer. This level of convenience is certainly appreciated.
An external ensuite assembles easily and doubles up with the porta potti loo. It has external hot and cold water and a lightweight, yet very roomy, tent enclosure, big enough to store the bikes away from thieving eyes.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The elegant 2012 Eclipse conveys a level of excellence that lives up to its AOR pedigree and is the next step up from a hardfloor camper. It has great offroad credentials on the outside, and a very sexy demeanour inside with every bell and whistle to keep the whole family happy in the most extreme and remote environments. All in all, it strikes a good balance between function, space and cost.
Above: The 2012 Eclipse is sizeable, but it’s impressive in the rough stuff.