Class

Qual­ity com­po­nents and in­tu­itive de­sign are defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics of the 2012 Moun­tain Trail Es­cape. ACT

Motorhome & Caravan Trader - - 2012 Mountain Trail Escape -

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.

Above: The steel frame al­lows for large mesh win­dows. Left: Auto seals min­imise dust ingress.

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