To­tal eclipse

ECLIPSE

Motorhome & Caravan Trader - - Contents Issue 202 -

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.

PRE­MIUM SPACE

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!

ROCK HOPPER

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.

Clock­wise from above: The Sun Chaser awning stretches the length of the camper, pro­vid­ing am­ple shade in a hurry; the in­ter­nal kitchen is well ap­pointed and beau­ti­fully fin­ished in black mar­ble lam­i­nate; when the weather’s fine you can make the most of th

Above: With enough in­ter­nal space to keep a party out of the el­e­ments, the Eclipse epit­o­mises the ben­e­fits of a hy­brid.

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