Review: Adventure Off Road Arkaroola Elite review
We test and rate the Adventure Off Road Arkaroola Elite, a contender ($30,000 - $45,000 category) in Camper Trailer Australia's 2014 Camper Trailer of the Year awards.
ADVENTURE OFF ROAD ARKAROOLA ELITE REVIEW
Adventure Off Road Campers has been part of the Australian camper trailer scene almost from the beginning, and always with its own unique design. Time has proven this design works, and the unique features continue to grow.
The Arkaroola Elite is Adventure’s top-of-the line model. It has been tested in the crucible of hire trailers for many years and so comes with credentials to rival those of Superman; this thing is almost unbreakable.
STRENGTH AND CONSTRUCTION
Unlike almost all other campers, Adventure units do not have a bed on top of the base trailer; instead, it pulls out of the back, and swings around at right-angles. This frees up the top to host a huge cookery and food preparation area along the passenger side, and for access to a huge storage area along the driver’s side.
The unit rides on a sturdy hot-dip galvanised frame, with 50mm beam axle and nine-leaf springs that, despite the preening around independent set-ups, are not to be sniffed at. I liked the screw-on dust caps over the bearings.
The hitch is a Treg poly block and brakes are inertial in standard form, with electrics optional.
The Arkaroola Elite, however, comes with a high level of features that puts it right up there with the best in the market, starting with a bed that is larger than king size and provides comfort in spades. And it’s nice and low, so entry and exit is easy and comfortable for all ages.
Setting this up — and the 2.1x2.3m tent-withfloor that erects around it — takes a mere four or five minutes for one person. Additional rooms can be added off the end. Over the kitchen is a pull-out awning, which is separate to the main tent so it can be erected for track-side snacks. This takes three to four minutes with two people.
At the front, shelter is provided with a shade sail that takes just two minutes to erect. The trailer comes with a 240v power circuit plus 120W of solar to supply the 120Ah AGM battery. Additional fittings include a 1220 Redarc dC-dC charger and 15amp projecta mains charger. All wiring is hidden inside the chassis.
Given the huge size of the kitchen area, this trailer really suits the foodies, so having only a single 86l water tank seems a bit underdone. Fitting the optional second tank would be highly recommended.
The kitchen can have a stainless steel or plastic sink, and there is a radio and ipod dock with USB support for entertainment. There is white and amber lEd lighting over the kitchen, and a two-burner lido stove with griller on a swing-out arm, with windshields either side and auto gas shut-off. Immediately to hand are a fold-down crockery store, lift-up access to under-bench storage, two 240v outlets, 12v fuses and a voltmeter to keep tabs on the battery health.
Food is carried in a 78l ARb fridge, with lEd light above in the front tub and a fan to circulate the air. Gas comes in a single 9kg bottle behind a checkerplate guard with a garbage bag storage area adjacent. Adventure was the first to introduce its unique horizontal net stoneguard, which works so well it’s now being copied by others.
The Arkaroola Elite even comes with a high-lift jack, shovel and Maxtrax recovery strips, so you’re prepared for anything.
At 1000kg, this trailer is not light, but with 500kg of carrying capacity and go-anywhereability with a heap of comforts, it has much to recommend it.
To discover the Adventure Off Road Arkaroola Elite's final score, be sure to check out Camper Trailer Australia magazine #73. Why not subscribe today!
ADVENTURE OFF ROAD ARKAROOLA ELITE RATING
PHIL LORD: The Arkaroola Elite covers camping facilities in a unique design with a solid, well-built chassis to get you there and back without worries.
A large fridge, suffcient water capacity, a hot-water service and solar panel as standard give the Elite owner the option of staying at camp that bit longer without having to head for a town to replenish supplies.
A very solid chassis and structure plus a relatively nimble body permit a deep breadth of offroad work with this camper. The Elite has a mix of great features including the hot water service and generous gas and fridge capacity.
MIKE PAVEY: This is a good tourer suitable for couples or small families. It’s a well-finished camper generally, although there is some black silicone overrun internally. Construction quality is good, with a galvanised chassis, zincanneal body work, Australianmade Wax Converters canvas, Outback nine-leaf spring suspension and an off-road coupling.
Offroadability is also good, with a compact length of 4.2m and reasonable tare weight at 1000kg. Hubs are matched to most vehicles, it has a good chassis, robust suspension and quality lT all terrain tyres. Recovery gear comes with, including a high lift jack, Maxtrax and shovel.
Extra comforts come from the the fusion entertainment system with ipod dock and the portable hot water system. This product would have good resale value. Adventure has been making trailers for 19 years. It’s a known product, and very well-made.
STU JONES: This set up is unique to Adventure Off Road, and it’s great to have a point of difference in the market. It’d make an excellent basecamp, but is also ideal for the quick overnight stop thanks to the easy set up process, while roadside stops for lunch are also easy due to the quickly-accessed kitchen down the side.
The bigger-than-king size bed that slides out from rear is the only one like it on the market, and the low bed height would be a good feature for older couples. Self-suffciency is okay, but could be improved with an additional jerry and battery — one of each is not ideal. That said, it does come with dC-dC and solar, which is great. The solid construction means it would perform well offroad, and it’s lighter and shorter than others in its class.
I liked the kitchen LEDs that had a yellow "anti-bug" option at the flick of a switch. Adventure campers have been well tested in the hire market, so you know it works. It is a good, strong brand which means it would retain its resale value.
DAVID COOK: Adventure is a name that is widely known and respected throughout Australia, and is especially strong in South Australia where the outback comes closest to the major cities. The unique design provides great options for cooking as well as a comfortable bed, plus an impressive loadcarrying capacity.
These are the basics of what makes up a good trailer, and it’s then a matter of build quality and the detail of fit-out of the electrics, suspension and the rest. Adventure refined all of this long ago, resulting in a trailer that’s almost indestructible and one that can take you anywhere you want to go. The Adventure is up there with the classics of the Australian camper trailer scene.
Call to enquire: (08) 7007 6987
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