Heavy duty off-road caravan doesn't leave luxury behind
Last year, we looked at a number of new camping trailers built rough and tough on the outside and soft and luxurious inside. One was the Off Grid from Australia's Lotus Caravans, and Lotus hasn't taken any time off from innovating tough shells with cozy-as-home interiors. This year it launches the new Tremor, a larger dual-axle trailer that'll follow your 4x4 to the roughest, most distant destinations to provide a sturdy roof, comfy bed, shower, hot meal and even clean clothes.
Introduced last month as part of Lotus' 2017 lineup, the new Tremor looks much like the Off Grid and other Lotus models from the outside – a slab-sided, powerful block built from German composite and reinforced with diamond plate around the lower edge. The dual-axle Tremor is noticeably longer than the 14-ft (4.3-m) Off Grid we looked at last year, and the three available Tremor lengths are 19.5, 20.5 and 22 ft (6, 6.3 and 6.8 m).
Extra length never goes to waste in a caravan, and Lotus uses it to open up the interior with roomy floor plans while adding a high level of equipment. The floor plans vary, and the flagship 22-ft model includes a bedroom at one end with plenty of storage, while the central belly of the beast has a full kitchen on one side and dinette set on the other. At the other end, bunk beds occupy one corner and a full dry bathroom with toilet, sink and shower takes up the other.
The smaller floor plans lose the bunks, feature a different dinette layout and appear just a tad less open and spacious than the 22-footer, as is to be expected with the loss of a couple of feet.
Where the Tremor really steps above other off-road camping trailers is in its impressive level of amenities and mod cons. This is far from a barebones mattress-and-galley caravan.
The kitchen is loaded with a four-burner range and oven that look nearly as large and nice as what an average Joe or Jane might cook with at home. A Dometic three-way refrigerator keeps food chilled, and a microwave helps in prep work and heating up leftovers. Food gets chopped and mixed on laminate countertops with high-gloss acrylic backsplashes.
The Tremor can store power in dual 120-Ah batteries and keep them charged with help from dual 150-W solar panels. The trailer fights off the sweltering heat of the Outback with a standard roof-mounted Ibis air conditioner, while LED lighting is used throughout the interior and exterior. There's no need to worry about running out of clean clothes on extended trips either, with a standard top-load washing machine in the bathroom.
Like the Off Grid, the Tremor has a tough G&S SupaGal off-road chassis and Control Rider independent suspension system built for wheeling over all kinds of ground and grit. It rolls on 16-in alloy wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires and includes a spare wheel and 12-in brakes. Other listed equipment includes dual 95-liter water tanks, a Wineguard HD antenna, indoor and outdoor TV hookups, two gas bottles and an outdoor shower.
Lotus doesn't list pricing on its website and didn't respond to our inquiry, but a look at a few online listings reveals that prices for the three Tremor models tend to range roughly between AU$70,000 and $85,000 (approx. US$53,500 to $65,000).
The size and interior equipment of the Tremor are nice, but we still prefer some of the features of the smaller Off Grid, particularly the slide-out outdoor kitchen with Weber grill. Lotus has expanded the Off Grid lineup for 2017, advertising a total of six Off Grid floor plans ranging from 14 to 19 ft (4.3 to 5.9 m), so it is possible to enjoy the Off Grid's outdoor equipment package with some of the size and interior amenities of the Tremor.
The 19-ft Off Grid's layout is similar to the 22-ft Tremor with bunks, a four-burner stove and a full bathroom. This floor plan lacks the defined bedroom area of the Tremor models, though, more closely integrating the mattress into the greater living area.
Source: Lotus Caravans