Eco Tourer caravan review

By: Peta Stavelli

Eco Tourer caravan review Eco Tourer caravan review
Eco Tourer caravan review Eco Tourer caravan review
Eco Tourer caravan review Eco Tourer caravan review
Eco Tourer caravan review Eco Tourer caravan review
Eco Tourer caravan review Eco Tourer caravan review

Check out this review of the Eco Tourer caravan…

The Australian-manufactured Eco Tourer caravan is uniquely designed to fold down into an aerodynamic, low profile trailer which easily pops up when you reach your destination to allow full head room and plenty of space.

The Eco Tourer’s design makes it perfect for those who have limited storage space – people who require an easy-tow vehicle and for those who favour getting off the grid into the back blocks. Not only does it tow superbly, it also has generous ground clearance, even in the standard and hybrid models which are not designed – as is the aptly named – off-road configuration.

The Eco Tourer is imported into New Zealand by Mal and Alisha Brady at On The Way RV. Alisha tells me the ECO part of the name is an acronym for economic, convenient and original. They have been selling the brand for eight years and cannot keep up with the demand. "We’re always selling out and had none to display at the last Covi Supershow."

She appreciates that these will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but says the majority of buyers are very keen outdoorsy people who really like to get away from it all.

"They love the convenience of being in the back blocks and being able to lock it down so that it looks absolutely secure and impenetrable."

At 16 feet overall, the Eco Tourer is small, but includes everything (like an en suite) and has two metres of head height.

The very solid galvanised chassis and insulated double-skin fibreglass walls make the vehicle heavier than expected.

"It was traditionally very heavy on the ball, but we asked for it to be made lighter to suit the New Zealand market and they reduced ball weight by 50kgs which makes the Eco Tourer suitable for towing by a wider range of cars."

The Eco Tourer is manufactured by Melbourne-based Caravan Court which is a three generational company. Caravan Court sells other brands, and created the Eco Tourer a decade ago to fit a niche market. It is assembled in China from Australian components, which keeps the price down.

"It’s not the cheapest caravan around, but it’s one that has the timeless factor."

Eco Tour3

Timeless and stylish, especially with the new white and grey interior – which replaces the previous wood finish. The first impression is of a light, fresh interior; it seems a great deal more spacious than the old one.

It is compact, but designed well to incorporate a great deal of storage space in cupboards, moulded overhead lockers and under beds. I loved the bedside lockers and the very clever design of the threefold table.

The Eco Tourer offers three to four berths. Mattresses are inner sprung. The vehicle is available with single or double bed configurations, and it is well designed to allow for the grandkids to come along for the ride. The ‘en suite’ bathroom, so called because it is located beside the double bed, is a dry shower version with cassette toilet, which – unusually – has its own water supply plus a small extractor fan and separate sink outside the door.

The galley has all you need to whip up some sustaining tucker when you’ve been off trailing the beaten track. There’s a three burner with expel air and a fantastic hatch designed to quickly release odours. Add in a 90-litre ’fridge/freezer and microwave, together with those well created kitchen storage options and you’ll be a happy camper.

All windows are Camec acrylic wind out, and all are screened and graced with Pelmeted curtains which are practical and don’t look old-fashioned. The front window offers a wide panoramic view and the set up and pack down could not possibly be simpler. The wind-down mechanism looks like child-play. The only cautionary note is to take a few minutes to ensure that everything is stacked away when you begin your pack down.

I became a converted fan to the Eco Tourer after speaking with a couple of keen trampers who had bought one and hearing from them how it ticked all their boxes for a light, aerodynamic touring caravan – with solid walls – which enabled them to really get away from it all. They also had space constraints at their home where the small garage defined their storage capacity. Again, the Eco Tourer was the obvious choice and they have not had a moment’s doubt that they had made the right one.

Other practical features include a Fiamma awning with optional centre rafter; four corner stabilisers; a wide track axle and 195R14C light truck tyres with 14-, 15- or 16-by-5.5 inch alloy rims (depending on the model). The Eco Tourer has 10-inch electric brakes. There are nine well placed LED lights including bedside lamps. A practical 240-volt external plug is a welcome addition; as is the 50Ah Anderson plug to charge the battery while towing. Extras include an LED TV; CD player with volt meter and audio input from the TV. 

If this review piques your curiosity, as I hope it might, Alisha and Mal Brady can talk you through the New Zealand extras and specifications for the Eco Tourer.

For more information, call On The Way RV on (07) 574 9594

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