Quality components and intuitive design are defining characteristics of the 2012 Mountain Trail Escape. ACT
The rural NSW city of Albury on the mighty Murray River not only provides quick access to the High Country, but is also a gateway to our hot dry interior. What better place to build premium quality camper trailers? This is the home of proud local manufacturer Mountain Trail Campers.
As a finalist in Camper Trailer Australia’s 2013 Offroad Camper of the Year (OCOTY) Awards, Mountain Trail wowed the judges with new innovations and features. The brand certainly demonstrates an appreciation for the finer things in life and strives for ultimate quality in its products.
Almost all of the campers are built in-house utilising Australian materials and accessories wherever possible. The company uses CAD and laser-cut technology to refine the products ensuring peak design and performance in the harshest outback environments. This 2012 Escape is no exception, and is simply spilling over with great design, premium manufacturing and quality fittings.
The trailer of the Escape features a heavy-duty monocoque design that is fully welded, sand blasted and zinc-coated before powder-coating and sealing with Sikaflex. Its rugged construction is ADR engineered to two-tonne rating even though the Tare is only around one tonne. There are two-tonne bearings, a 50mm solid axle, 12in electric brakes and nine leaf outback springs towed by a DO35 offroad hitch with handbrake.
Mountain Trail fitted three major options to the 2012 base model under review: a beautifully designed boat loader capable of carrying an 80kg tinnie and delivering it to the ground with ease, a Waeco 80L fridge and a fully-insulated roof. Sensible options indeed, particularly if you are a fisherman; however, the loader can be used for general cargo, kayaks, or even with a Rhino rack, as displayed. It has a beautiful gas strutted mechanism that reportedly cost plenty to develop.
EASE OF USE
Mountain Trail works on the principle that if it’s not easy to use, you don’t use it! One person can assemble the main tent in about three minutes, while the complete set up with kitchen and annexe will take only five minutes longer. The main
tent framework folds over easily and needs no adjustment. The frame is built from square section steel which means gas struts can be fixed securely to assist assembly.
The 2.8x4.15m Escape tent is a beauty. It has plenty of fresh airflow through large, internally opening windows with midge mesh screens and a fully removable zip-in floor in case you damage the PVC or need to remove it for a good clean. The insulated roof option provides protection from the harsh desert sun, while keeping the tent warmer in winter. There are plenty of pockets inside the tent – an almost essential feature of a good camper. The standard full-length annexe can be left on at all times and comes with two walls as standard.
Quality abounds throughout, and the kitchen is no exception. The slide-out mechanisms on the kitchen unit and fridge are simply beautiful, and they easily lock into place for a roadside stop on uneven ground. There are four stabiliser legs for levelling for an extended stay. The 2012 Escape has an array of kitchen storage, drawers, pantry and hamper facilities all with lovely soft close doors and runners. The stainless steel kitchen also has a three-burner Smev stove and sink with cold water. All gas and water hoses are on quick connect fittings, but no hot water as standard. There’s a neat flip-up bench on the reverse side of the rear door as a preparation table.
Mountain Trail’s electrics system is fully loomed and ordered under a single part number to ensure consistency. The enclosed electrical cabinet houses twin 100Ah batteries with the facility for an extra. There is a 25Ah seven-stage AC multi charger, a 20Ah DC-DC three-stage charger for use while towing, a solar input socket for the optional outback power pack, 12 slot fuse panel, 240/12V system, water pump on and off switch and an exceptional battery management system all fitted to a stainless backing plate. There are external and internal lights in all the right places, including in every drawer and stairwell, as well as twin bedside touch on/off fittings.
We put the 2012 Mountain Trail Escape through some very dusty testing and it came home without a thing in the wrong place, a real achievement from high quality sealing mechanisms and keyed alike compression locks.