In February, 48,000 people trekked their way to the Melbourne Showgrounds to investigate the latest products displayed by some 80 RV manufacturers.
The Victorian Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow first began in 1953, and last month it was held for the 70th time. Attending on Friday 24 February, I joined Caravan World’s Editor at Large, John Ford, to have a look at the newest products displayed by RV manufacturers that were set up throughout the entire showgrounds.
It was a blistering hot day with strong wind to match, so the sunnies were out, and hats held on tightly. As quite a novice to the field, I trailed alongside the more experienced John as he forged the way through the crowds, pointing out many new and impressive highlights to the camper scene.
Stoney Creek Campers had a nice range on display, including the SC-FF Off-Road Camper Trailer, that is a nice 11ft (3.4m) family camper with a king bed and large six-seater dinette sofa that two kids can use as a bed.
SC-FF Off-Road Camper Trailer
One of the next that caught our attention was the OPUS OP4. The large curved open exterior was what I noticed first, and the team was happy to explain the OPUS Air Beam Technology that fully inflates the camper canopy and annexe at the touch of a button, rather than owners using metal poles to set it up.
The camper features two double beds, one of which converts into a king and was very spacious inside and out. The OP4 starts at $34,999 including delivery, on road coasts, roof rack, LED lights and full AIR ANNEX. OPUS also featured Block-Out Tents that aid in creating a completely dark sleeping area, ideal for young kids or anyone who enjoys a daytime nap. And at only $175 each or $300 for a pair, it wouldn’t push the budget too much, and can always be added retrospectively.
OPUS OP4 with Block-Out Tent installed
OPUS entered its OP13 solid-walled hybrid roll-up into Camper Trailer of the Year (CTOTY) 2023, which offers quite a different experience than the company’s classic inflatable camper tent – but the results of how the OP13 went are still eagerly awaited.
At the Ultimate Campers Australia’s stand we stopped and watched the team demonstrate how simple the Nexus camper is to set up and pack away. The electric lid opens with stainless steel mounts and functions smoothly, even with a bike and surfboard attached to the roof. The camper has a sleek white and black aerodynamic design, and features a leather lounge, king-size bed. Included is a stainless-steel barbecue shelf that is the perfect fit for your small barbecue or induction cooktop. Ultimate Campers returned to CTOTY 2023 with its Xscape camper, and after fantastic success in 2021 the judges were keen to see the latest and greatest by Ultimate.
Patriot Campers X1H and X3 were both on display. The X3 was particularly noteworthy, as it is the first of its kind by Patriot Campers as a live-in camper that is not only tough and ready to go, but also includes a comfortable living area and pop-up dining table and lounge which extends to reveal an additional bed. You can even option in a second bunk, although that will add to the starting cost of $76,990.00. Comparatively, the X1H model starts off at $59,790.
The Iconn E2 by Lifestyle Campers was a beautifully built and robust pop-top camper that seems to bridge the line between maximising on internal space while still remaining compact to ensure it’s ready for on and offroad adventures. The Iconn E2 has three different layouts, offering either a 1-2 berth layout or two different bunk layouts that can sleep between one and four people.
Mars Campers is one of Australia’s well-known brands and produces on and offroad campers and hybrids. The Endurance LS seemed to have a steady stream of interested visitors. This forward fold camper trailer starts at $25,990, and features a complete outdoor kitchen, oversize queen main bed and lounge that converts into a double bed. While the complete setup with annexe extended meant the camper body itself wasn’t overly visible, a quick google will show you the black, white and red design, and comes up at 18ft (5.5m) long, 6ft 2in (1.9m) wide and 5ft 1in (1.55m) high, or 5ft 6in (1.7m) high with boat rack attached. The Space X model was also on display – a dual fold camper that offers plenty of internal space.
The new Tvan Lightning Camper Trailer by Track Trailer was definitely noticeable for its eye-catching shape, and white, black and gold exterior colour. Once we got closer to the compact van, the team was able to explain some of its other great features that make it one of the most rugged towable micro-campers on the market. The Lightning is Track’s first all-electric model, leaving behind the LPG tank it relies solely on a combination of a 500A lithium battery system and two solar panels – a 200W on the roof, and a removable 160W panel on the rear. The Lightning includes the exterior kitchen seen on other Tvan models, but the gas stove was swapped out for a dual-hob induction cooktop that is built into the sleek stainless-steel benchtop.
The Lightning includes the signature rear hatch design with deployable Skyward Lift-Up Deck tent setup that was introduced to the fifth generation Tvan, giving you additional space on top of the queen bed located within the trailer itself. The Lightning is available to order in Australia and starts at approximately $101,800. The Lightning was another entrant at CTOTY 2023, and the results of this fantastic compact camper are eagerly awaited.
Tvan Lightning - Skyward Lift-Up Deck
Tucked out of the heat in the Exhibition Building 1 at the front of the showground, we came across the Hero Camper Outback, which was in Melbourne for its first Australian capital city debut. This was another camper I noticed firstly because of its unique and stylish shape, then the lovely green exterior that seemed to pop against the sea of white, black and grey – particularly indoors. This compact camper is designed and assembled in Denmark, and the display version was priced at $64,990, with the additional Hero Skybox rooftop tent and ladder that provides extra sleeping space on top of the lounge/bed inside the camper. However, this rooftop tent did add $4k and around 63kg to the overall weight. The rounded front features a 125W solar set-up, while the teardrop-shaped rear opened up to a minimalist kitchen with 22L fridge/freezer, benchtop and sink and 30L freshwater tank.
Hero Camper Outback
All in all, despite the heat that threatened to melt us, ice-creams and all, exhibitors and visitors seemed to have an enjoyable and worthwhile experience over the course of the show, with many making sales. The Hema Maps tent did a bustling trade, as did the accessories building that featured everything from decorations to go in your camper to newly released products such as the upgraded Solid GPS tracker by a young Australian team. “It was great to see a line-up of Camper Trailer of the Year 2023 entrants, and we’re all really excited to see what the outcomes are,” John said as we concluded our tour of this year’s Supershow.
THE NEXT STEP
If you need help choosing your first Camper or are considering upgrading your existing one, check out all the campers available on TradeRVs today.
The sellers will be happy to help and answer any inquiries you may have about the products advertised for sale.