One of the most popular brands out of Sydney, Signature Camper Trailers are muscling their way up and down the eastern seaboard with their excellent value hybrids and folding campers. At 2022’s Camper Trailer of the Year, their Iridium 13 impressed taking out the hotly contested Best Value for Money camper.
DAN EVERETT (CTOTY 2022 JUDGE)
While they may not yet be a household name outside of NSW, the guys at Signature Campers are building a product that’ll make sure they’re well represented in every campground across the country. They’ve got an extensive lineup with campers of all shapes and sizes but their 13-foot hybrid got the nod to line up against the competitors this year. Promising more camper for less money, this is one of the few offerings that actually surprised judges this year.
The Signature is a bit of a weird one for me for Fit for Purpose. With only one bed it’s pretty firmly in couples territory. Either older couples looking for comfort and storage. Or younger couples looking for quick setup times and off-road capability. I think it nails the older demographic perfectly. Their rear folding section is one of the easiest to use on the market and there’s ample storage internally.
For the younger couples though I can’t help but feel it’s starting to get a little too heavy for the footprint. It’s only 180kg lighter than the Exodus that can sleep five with huge off-grid potential. Shed some pounds and some footprint and it’d score better for the young market who would take it more extreme places where being bogged could be a bigger issue.
A relatively new player to the game, Signature are hyper-focused on building the smoothest wheel they can, rather than reinventing it. As a result, there’s just nothing here that you’d scream was innovative. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great camper, far from it, but the things that make it great are refinement, rather than groundbreaking leaps forward in design, construction or usability. For its decent to excellent build, this camper stands out by climbing underneath it and learning about its value and features, not from 100 metres away where it resembles most of its competitors.
KATH HEIMAN (CTOTY 2022 JUDGE)
At $52,880, the Signature Iridium 13S is targeted at a market with a relatively modest budget. But Signature have greater aspirations for their campers than simply money saving.
The Iridium 13 provides all the features we’ve come to expect in an imported hybrid of this type, and quite a bit more. Walking around the rig, there’s a standard kitchen with a domestic quality four burner stove, space for at least a 96-litre fridge, space for a couple of 9kg gas bottles at the front (which could be reduced to 2x4kg) and some useful storage compartments. And that’s all good. But when you look closer, it’s evident that the team at Signature aren’t aiming for just ‘run of the mill’. Not by a long shot.
Quality componentry is evident throughout, and this is where the value for money really kicks in. Included are the REDARC 30amp BMS, REDARC 2000-watt inverter, Enerdrive 200ah lithium battery, Lovell Springs, McHitch coupling, and ARK XO750 jockey wheel. Other trusted brands include the Webasto R/C air conditioner, Dometic dust reduction system, and the Truma hot water system, not to mention an inner spring mattress.
Speaking to Mark from Signature at the CTOTY22 event, it’s clear that the team pay seriously close attention to quality assurance across all aspects of build, wiring and fit-out. Locks work well, seals seal, and wiring is neatly tucked away. Everyone’s happy.
While this isn’t a camper that screams X-factor, it’s self-evident that Signature has converted the bones of a competent 13-foot imported camper into a respectable, reliable, rugged rig.
Signature’s value proposition is their attention to detail, and that they’re always on the lookout for ways to make a solid camper even more capable and applicable to the Australian market. More than this though, the Iridium is deceivingly well-appointed with a Tardis-like spacious and airy interior that offers plenty of internal storage, a practical ensuite, and a comfortable bed. In short, this is a hybrid camper for a discerning buyer who doesn’t plan on taking out a second mortgage to make their overlander dreams a reality.
GLENN MARSHALL (CAMPER AUSTRALIA EDITOR AT LARGE)
The Signature Iridium 13 is designed for off-grid living at remote destinations while staying self-contained. It has plenty of lithium power with the 200Ah Enerdrive B-Tech battery on offer and power management is controlled by the ever-reliable REDARC Manager 30. There are also 300W of solar panels mounted on the roof and a REDARC 2000W inverter to run the coffee machine, air fryer and hairdryer (BYO these things).
200 Litres of water is stored in two stainless steel tanks plumbed to the kitchen, ensuite, internal sink and external shower with hot water supplied by the Truma electric/gas hot water service. A single filler is used to fill both tanks but there is no lift pump to pull water from a watercourse or jerry can. An 80L grey water tank is mounted underneath to keep you self-contained.
Protection from the weather is provided by the 5 x 2.5m electric awning that also has a manual override if you’ve used up 200Ah of battery power. The annex connects to the awning to save on weight and storage. There is a provision for 2 x 9kg LPG holders.
The quality of build and finish of the Iridium was extremely high, especially for an imported hybrid coming in at just under $53k. The internal cabinetry was nicely finished, and the marble look laminate bench tops matched well with the crisp gloss white laminate on the doors, drawers, and surrounds.
The electrical wiring in the front box was very neat and tidy and obviously the 12V guru who installs it all loves his job. The labelling of the switches was a bit amateurish; they were stickered on and looked tacky. If that's the worst I could find, call me picky, I know.
A Dust Reduction System (DRS) is rarely seen on an offroad hybrid, but the Iridium has the roof-mounted Dometic system and is a big tick from me. Dustproof automotive seals with adjustable compression latches also stop dust from entering places it doesn’t belong.
Underneath the Iridium was very neat and tidy with hoses and protected electrical cables mounted high and out of the way. Another picky issue was some paint chips on the chassis behind the wheels which can be expected on a camper that has already covered over 10,000km. Overall, this is a very impressively built hybrid.
TIM VAN DUYL (CAMPER AUSTRALIA CREATIVE DIRECTOR)
Off-road, the Iridium 13 needs to be considered. It is not a small compact, this is a big camper and it will struggle in some tracks but, bloody hell, it towed well. The upgraded suspension gave it a fuss-free tow, it never lurched or pitched and it soaked up the biggest potholes we could find. I reckon, especially with the upgraded and additionally warranted Lovells springs and shocks, that you could take this on a long lap.
Also important is the underside as it is what gets the most damage when travelling. It's pretty good with stone protection on the tanks and most cables and wires tucked away. I would say it’s better than most of its competitors but not quite at the level of locally made rigs. Like a lot of similar campers, it has rock sliders on the lower edges and plenty of chequer plate to reduce rock damage which might come in handy, but you should hope not to get to that point.
It feels like a camper that takes comfort more seriously than off-road ability, it is a pop-top top hybrid after all so it's good to see the roof isn't too hard to pop and that the mattress is a proper innersprung jobbie.
The REDARC power system is straightforward to use and with the gear mounted, high, and out of the way in the front locker, servicing it will be easy. The inverter on/off is near the neat fuse panel, which is not inside the camper. It would be nice to see it controllable from inside but that's me getting picky on a really affordable camper with a proper power system. It is great to see it there so we shouldn't complain.
Having 200A of battery and 300W of solar paired with the 2000W inverter means you will; be able to run a few high-ish draw appliances. An induction cooktop would be a good fit inside and you’ll have no issue powering chargers for tools and personal gear. And if you were keen, another B-Tec battery and an upgrade of the inverter and you’ll be able to use the AC for just a bit; that's not common in campers, yet.
The kitchen is a pull-out with a support leg. It has what you need with decent bench space, a four-burner stove and a couple of drawers for utensils. With the kitchen at the rear of the camper and the fridge at the front, there is less chance of bumping into each other, which is nice too. Both get OK coverage from the awning and wall kits can be added to seal the area up from wind and rain.
The Signature Iridium 13 is an easy-to-use camper that feels like it’ll handle more than the typical buyer would ask of it. Getting from the car door and inside will take no time and although the rear bed extension will take a little it of time, you should be set up in less than ten minutes, easily.
SIGNATURE SCT IRIDIUM 13 HYBRID Judges Rating
SIGNATURE IRIDIUM 13 SPECIFICATIONS
Weights and Measures
|Height||2.55m (Roof Down)|
|Chassis||100mm & 150mm x 50mm x 3mm & 4mm, Hot Dip Galv.|
|Body||Composite Walls, Fibreglass Roof|
|Brakes||12” Electric Drum Brakes|
|Suspension||Trailing Arm with Lovells Spring and Shock Upgrade|
|Coupling||McHitch 3.5t Uniglide|
Accessories & Inclusions
|Charger||REDARC Manager 30|
|Inverter||REDARC Pure Sine 2000W|
|Hot water||Truma Ultra Rapid|
|Fridge||Optional (ready for 96L Evakool)|
|Water||200L Fresh, Fixed 80ltr Grey & 40L Portable Grey|
|Air conditioner||Houghton Belaire|
SIGNATURE IRIDIUM 13 price $52,880 + ORC (as tested)
Supplied by SIGNATURE Camper Trailers