Mark Nisbet is the owner of Signature Camper Trailers and the back story on how he bought the business is a ripper. He was looking to purchase a Signature Deluxe II camper in 2018/2019 as it suited what Mark wanted, something that was compact, could go anywhere, was lightweight, fully customisable, and ready for adventure.
When Mark found out that the business was for sale, he couldn’t believe his luck, snapping it up after some due diligence. This was the beginning of a grand adventure and the rise and development of the Signature TOYTUF TF1 Expedition that we had the pleasure of judging.
CAMPER AUSTRALIA EDITOR AT LARGE - GLENN MARSHALL
This camper is aimed at young couples and tradies and is built to go anywhere your 4WD goes, backed up with gear to keep you self-reliant. Being customisable means you can choose the electrical setup that suits you, add a specific rooftop tent (RTT) and awning or even go without a rooftop tent and load up the tinny and throw the swags into the storage cage.
If you’ve checked out the Signature Campers' social pages, you’ll see where these camper trailers get taken, even up Billy Goat Track in the Victorian High Country during some downtime at CTOTY. Mark loves testing his own products as it helps with product development. He also listens to industry experts such as Enerdrive and Lovells Springs and customers who always seem to come up with great ideas.
For such a compact expedition camper, the electrical package is next level. This is a great setup using the Enerdrive charging package matched to an optional REDARC solar blanket. The neatness of the Enerdrive installation, plus all the internal and external wiring is a credit to the sparky.
As I’ve already said, being able to add almost any RTT and awning to the camper adds diversity and it means I could save money when buying the camper by installing a rooftop tent, awning and ensuite tent myself bringing the driveway price down to only $30,500.
With loads of power thanks to the 200Ah Enerdrive eLite batteries managed by the Enerdrive system, you’ll keep the fridge running for weeks. The limitation is only having 111L of water in two tanks, however, being able to carry a jerry can or two of water instead of fuel will let you go further for longer. There’s space to carry 9kg LPG for the Dometic two-burner stove or a barbecue and the TOYTUF 270-degree self-supporting awning and hard-shell rooftop tent are simple to deploy. Having good protection from the weather and a comfortable place to sleep is very important and this camper has it covered.
CAMPER AUSTRALIA CREATIVE DIRECTOR - TIM VAN DUYL
I love what this camper stands for and that's exploration. Don’t get me wrong, there are still details that add comfort, but this thing is made to go places 90 per cent of campers won’t. Think the Bight, the backcountry around Little Sandy Desert Park or the five bays east of Somerset Beach, Far North Qld. You’ll take the TOYTUF anywhere in Australia you want and you won’t need a massive tugger or bank balance to do it.
The asking price for what we saw at CTOTY was a touch over $33k which is getting into half-decent forward folding camper territory but then you’re hauling more weight and bulk. For remote travel, give me the compact TF1 every day.
Storage is good and the payload of 610kg means even when you have the 111L water tanks full, you can still carry a heap of gear, probably more than you need.
Set up is as basic as you want it. If you are just stopping for a night, pop the roof top tent (you can BYO tent, we had a HT1600 Hard Shell) and grab a pie from the travel oven, a beer from the BYO fridge and you’re done. If you want to pull out the awning, that’s a minute or two. Short of a walk-in Hybrid, this is the next easiest set up I have seen.
CTOTY 2023 JUDGE - KATH HEIMAN
Imported campers have improved in leaps and bounds in recent years. And this is evident among the growing fleet of compact expedition campers that promise to keep up with their owners, wherever they may like to roam. Among this style of rig, Signature Camper’s TOYTUF TF1 Expedition offers an enviable level of build and finish quality. Signature impressed the judging panel of Camper Trailer of the Year 2022 when it fielded an imported 13-foot hybrid with the sort of attention to detail and quality Australian componentry that placed it well beyond the norm. What we learnt this year is that Signature apply the same level of rigour to other campers in its fleet.
Because the TOYTUF TF1 Expedition is bursting with local input and good old Aussie know-how. In essence, the TOYTUF TF1 Expedition is a mobile toy box bristling with Enerdrive electrical componentry, tucked inside a well configured baked enamel storage box strongly constructed from zinc anneal steel and with hinged access doors to multiple handy cargo bays. On top of this box sits a versatile powder coated roof-top cage which, in turn, holds the RTT. The model reviewed included the TOYTUF RTT which boasts 300GSM ripstop canvas and – surprisingly – with a window in the ceiling so you can watch the stars in bed. Nice.
Supporting all this goodness is a 100 x 50 x 4mm hot dipped galvanised chassis and drawbar, underslung with custom dual Lovells Gas Legend shock absorbers and Lovells coils that are unique in Australia to this rig.
When asked about the genesis of this camper, Mark from Signature told us that he was looking to bring to the market a perfect blend of compact, go anywhere attitude, light weight, fully customisable camper that was ready for adventure. And it’s no surprise to say that, with its tiny footprint and oodles of clearance, the TOYTUF TF1 promises an easy tow on the tightest of tracks. For those who enjoy challenging themselves, I would have liked to see the Raptor coating extend beyond just the tops of the wheel arches, but that’s a minor quibble with such a sturdy little tow. And it’s worth remembering too that there’s no need to partner the TOYTUF TF1 with a Ram or Silverado and go gully hunting. With a tare of just over 1000kg, ATM of 1650kg and a 100kg ball weight, this camper is suitable for most soft-roaders making an outdoors lifestyle readily accessible to a range of users.
SIGNATURE TOYTUF TF1 EXPEDITION SPECS
Weights and Measures
|Ball Weight||Approx 100kg|
|Chassis||100 x 50 x 4mm Hot Dip Galv|
|Body ||Zinc anneal steel with enamel paint|
|Tyres ||265/75R16 Mud Terrain|
|Brakes ||12in Electric Brakes|
|Suspension ||Independent Trailing Arm with Lovells Coils and Twin Shocks|
|Coupling ||Cruisemaster DO35|
Accessories and Inclusions
|Battery ||2 x 100Ah Enerdrive eLite Lithium Batteries (200Ah total)|
|Solar ||Optional - REDARC Folding Panel|
|Stove ||Dometic 2-burner Gas|
|Fridge||Option - up to 75L|
|Water ||111L freshwater, jerry can 2 x 20L|
SIGNATURE TOYTUF TF1 EXPEDITION PRICE $33,280 (as tested)
Supplied by Signature Camper Trailers