For more

The com­pact Ezy­trail Stir­ling Z camper com­fort­ably de­liv­ers out on the tracks. suit­able for a fam­ily of four? We hit the road to find out the an­swers.

Motorhome & Caravan Trader - - News&reviews 2016 Ezytrail Stirling Z - Quick specs: 2016 Ezy­trail Stir­ling Z

There are big trail­ers, and there are lit­tle trail­ers. Some trail­ers are com­fort­able, oth­ers are good to tow. The tricky part about find­ing the per­fect camper trailer is that of­ten when you want the com­fort and us­abil­ity of a big­ger trailer, you travel through places where a smaller, more com­pact op­tion is bet­ter suited to the ter­rain.

The Ezy­trail Stir­ling is its for­ward-fold range with Z, SE, and LX sig­ni­fy­ing where it falls in the line-up on specs and price. While the top-of-the-line LX might sound tempt­ing, it was the base model Z that piqued our in­ter­est. It’s in­cred­i­bly light­weight with a Tare of just 1040kg and a com­pact size due to the lack of large stor­age ar­eas. Not the kind of stuff that will catch your at­ten­tion if you’re aim­ing to camp at the Taj Ma­hal for a week, but per­fect if you’re plan­ning on tak­ing tougher tracks and look­ing to do it in rel­a­tive com­fort.

So does the re­duced weight and size re­ally make that much of a dif­fer­ence? And de­spite this, is it still

FIRST IM­PRES­SIONS

It doesn’t take a rocket sci­en­tist to click that more than a few camper trail­ers at this end of the mar­ket share a few sim­i­lar­i­ties, not only in lay­out but de­sign as well. To that end, Ezy­trail has tried to stand out from the pack with deep gloss paint jobs framed by stain­less steel trim­mings. The gal­vanis­ing on the chas­sis was smooth and con­sis­tent through­out with a heavy coat­ing of chip-re­sis­tant paint pro­tect­ing the floor­pan. High im­pact ar­eas have been cov­ered with 1.5mm thick alu­minium check­er­plate pan­elling in­clud­ing each side of the front stone apron.

While the in­te­rior did seem plain, it was also func­tional. The floor­ing is tim­ber-look vinyl, cold to the touch dur­ing long win­ter nights, but it does make for easy clean­ing in sandy or muddy con­di­tions. Con­vert­ing the seat­ing area into a sec­ond, child-

sized bed was an easy process with the ta­ble rest­ing on two ready-made chan­nels, al­though the ta­ble was rick­ety at its full height, thanks to some not-so-ac­cu­rate ad­just­ment holes. An easy fix but one worth not­ing. Over­all, the Stir­ling Z has the fit and fin­ish of the more ex­pen­sive Ezy­trail mod­els. It ap­pears the cheaper price is a re­sult of the com­pact de­sign rather than cut­ting cor­ners on qual­ity.

STOR­AGE AND PRAC­TI­CAL­ITY

Let’s not su­gar-coat things here, the whole point of the Stir­ling Z is a com­pact and low-weight camper. If you’re on the hunt for a camper big enough to bring along a full-size bar­be­cue, you’re look­ing in the wrong place. In the main box, stor­age ar­eas are lim­ited to what you can fit on the floor. It might not sound like much but we were more than able to fit all our bulky items like pil­lows, quilts, and sleep­ing bags into the space. The door can be opened while the trailer is closed so load­ing and un­load­ing isn’t that much of a drama. Un­der the seat cush­ions there are var­i­ous com­part­ments that will take smaller items. The rear-most seat houses the kitchen un­derneath as well as the elec­tri­cal panel and 100Ah bat­tery. There is room to slot in an in­verter in this sec­tion and pos­si­bly a sec­ond bat­tery with some care­ful mounting. There are stor­age com­part­ments down both flanks too, al­though you will have to dodge the wheel arches. These are best looked at

for long-term stor­age of items like spare parts rather than day-to-day needs.

Up front, the stor­age box is from where a lot of the size has been cut but it still has the large fridge slide the high-end mod­els have that will hold up to an 80L fridge. There’s a large stor­age bin on the op­po­site side, which will be taken up with the an­nexe and awning when not in use. A smaller stor­age sec­tion be­hind houses the poles, with room for a small tool bag with pegs and ropes. Like most of the mod­els in this range, it can be op­tioned with a boat loader to in­crease stor­age space.

OF­FROAD CRE­DEN­TIALS

The Stir­ling Z isn’t ex­actly aimed at the hard­core, goany­where crowd but it does cope sur­pris­ingly well.

The sus­pen­sion was def­i­nitely a bit stiff, like the spring rates would be more at home in the larger mod­els, which re­sulted in the hitch do­ing most of the ar­tic­u­la­tion. That said, it towed eas­ily through the track with plenty of ground clear­ance through­out and most vul­ner­a­ble com­po­nents were well pro­tected. It’s rel­a­tively low cen­tre of grav­ity com­pared to most ‘se­ri­ous’ mod­els, meant it felt sta­ble and happy to fol­low where it was led, rather than be­ing some­thing sep­a­rate to con­sider on line se­lec­tion. If Ezy­trail re­leased a more of­froadori­en­tated Z, a few in­clu­sions like larger tyres, big­ger brakes, and more ex­ten­sive check­er­plate work would be a bonus. All in all, the Z per­formed flaw­lessly through the track and we’d feel con­fi­dent tak­ing it through tracks a stan­dard ve­hi­cle could never dream of.

IS IT UP TO THE JOB?

It’s got all the gear you need to spend weeks at a time re­motely. There’s a full stain­less steel slide-out kitchen in the rear with twin 9kg gas

cylin­ders up front, al­though bench space is lim­ited. It’s got the ex­pected kitchen sink, which is hooked up to an elec­tric wa­ter pump and into a 100L wa­ter tank mounted un­derneath. There’s also twin jerry can hold­ers up front for an ad­di­tional 40L of ca­pac­ity on ex­tended trips. The elec­tri­cal sys­tem is bare­bones with a sin­gle 100Ah bat­tery pow­er­ing the lot.there’s also LED light­ing through­out with a 12V power out­let and twin USB out­lets. For ex­tended tour­ing, you’d want to tick the op­tions box for the 160W so­lar panel sys­tem, 240V in­verter and one of the var­i­ous Redarc charg­ing sys­tems.

Setup was quick and easy. On our first at­tempt and with chil­dren ‘help­ing’, we still had the main body of the trailer setup and ready to sleep in un­der five min­utes. The bulk of that time was spent ad­just­ing the four legs to get the trailer level. The in­clud­ing awning added another 10 min­utes to the setup time al­though with prac­tice could eas­ily be cut in half.

In­side isn’t large enough to cook in so should be looked at en­tirely as a liv­ing area or small meals room. The bed is quickly as­sem­bled for kids but at roughly 1.5m (5ft) long, it won’t suit teenagers. A pri­vacy screen for the main bed is a wel­come in­clu­sion as is the sep­a­rate LED light­ing. The mat­tress how­ever, did feel like karma ex­tract­ing a debt, so would be top of my up­grade list be­fore tak­ing on any ex­tended trips.

THE VER­DICT

The Stir­ling Z isn’t go­ing to be for ev­ery­body. But if you’re af­ter a trailer that’s light and com­pact enough to drag through most ter­rain and still have enough room to spread out with the fam­ily, it’s def­i­nitely worth a look.

Ezy­trail cur­rently aims these as a bud­get of­fer­ing and some­thing that can be towed be­hind soft­road­ers, but we can’t help but feel they’re on to a real win­ner here. A lit­tle more height with some big­ger wheels and brakes would have this a se­ri­ous com­peti­tor for the cur­rent crop of go-any­where trail­ers, and do it for around half the price.

Clock­wise from main: The Ezy­trail Stir­ling Z does well on tough tracks; this low-weight camper is a com­pact size; it fea­tures stor­age com­part­ments; the rear most seat houses the elec­tri­cal panel.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.