The budget-conscious end of the camper trailer market is a busy scene. We take a close look at EzyTrail’s Stirling-GT MK2 to see how it stands out from the crowd
Twenty grand is an achievable budget for a great many families in the market for a camper trailer. You could buy second-hand, but why would you when there are so many brand-new trailers with so much going for them? But what do you actually get for under $20,000, and how well could a budget-priced trailer hold up in the bush? We’ve given the popular EzyTrail Stirling-GT MK2 a good going over, under, around and through as we dragged it around the back blocks of NSW and Queensland.
All good camper trailers need a firm foundation. Built upon a 100 x 50 x 40mm galvanised chassis, the list of standard features is impressive: twin-independent adjustable suspension with dual shock absorbers per side; 12-inch electric brakes; off-road tyres on alloys (with a matching spare); a trailer breakaway system; front, side and rear storage drawers and boxes; 155 litres of water via two tanks, electric pump and shower hoses with attachable nylon ensuite; weather-proof external speakers; 12V battery management system based on a 100Ah deep-cycle AGM battery; dual gas bottle holders; sturdy jockey wheel (rated to 500kg); 3.5-tonne hitch and stone deflector; gas strut assisted boat and storage rack; and an impressive pull-out kitchen with great functionality to keep the foodies happy.
The tent is constructed from 450gsm canvas, with plenty of windows, annexe and attachable annexe walls. It’s the small things too. Start looking in detail, and you will find a fridge compartment ventilation fan, 12V cig type, USB and Anderson outlets, compartment and external lighting, and a portable toilet. Inside appointments include leather bench seating, comfort lighting, timber flooring and a queen-size bed. All of this is wrapped in a choice of six external metallic paint colours.
We took a brand-new unit out into the hills of New England, then into southern Queensland, before completing the loop through central NSW and back to Sydney. We lived out of it for a week, we took it off-road, over plenty of rocks, corrugations and dust. We even took it low-range off-roading, in some steep terrain. We used the kitchen, we pulled out the drawers, we sat in the living area, we slept in it, we did all of the things you would expect a typical user to do.
Well, pleasantly we can say that we did not lose any bits. There is always the chance that something might rattle loose on a new trailer, but that did not happen. The dust protection held up well, with minimal dust ingress. It towed smoothly and tracked true. Some of the more significant hits in low-range did not unsettle the trailer nor tow vehicle. At times the added length of the forward-fold design made itself known on the tight and twisty single track, but the natural reversing characteristics offset this.
The design and placement of the compartments and drawers are well thought-out. There is a pleasant synergy in the living space, kitchen and access to the fridge and storage, and it is a nice homey feel when set up. Speaking of setting up and packing down, we may have missed the ‘easy way’ to do it, but we found it a bit of an awkward operation. While the annexe is a great addition, it is something best erected with at least two people.
The quality of the canvas seems reasonable, but there was a niggle that we found annoying. No matter what we adjusted, we could not get the canvas doorway opening to sit plumb with the lower section of the tub opening/step initially. It skewed toward the front. A call to EzyTrail had us sorted though – turns out there is a ‘knack’ to setting it up.
The overall fit, finish and functionality of the whole unit is good. EzyTrail has incorporated some smart thinking with maximising space – little door pockets for storage, well-placed power outlets, free-running and well-fitted doors and drawers with gas-assisted struts make using the trailer a pleasant experience. There were no finish issues that we could discern; metal edges and fitting are well executed. The kitchen is impressive. Once again the quality and level of functionality along with the convenient placement of power, lighting and gas outlets make it easy to use.
With all the features included in the base price, it is a turn-key solution. There would be no need to do anything other than pack your gear in, hook it up and head bush. The only downside to the inclusions, and the natural size of the handy forward-fold design, is that the kilos start to add up. With a tare of 1600kg, it is not the lightest camper out there but it is well below most tow vehicle’s capabilities.
Overall, we enjoyed our time towing and living out of the Stirling-GT MK2. It is a dependable, robust, well-finished and very functional camper; it is not hard to see why it is a popular unit, you get plenty of bang for your buck.
Overall Travel Length: 5.66m
Overall Body Width: 2.0m
Tare Weight: 1600kg
Ball Weight: 140kg
Price as tested: $19,990 plus on-road and delivery costs
More info: ezytrailcampertrailers.com.au