Outdoors

AOR shrinks Sierra trailer into light, stout DIY off-road micro camper

AOR shrinks Sierra trailer int...
AOR's Sierra ZR camper trailer is a basic, build-it-out-yourself off-road trailer for the entry buyer
AOR's Sierra ZR camper trailer is a basic, build-it-out-yourself off-road trailer for the entry buyer
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AOR's Sierra ZR camper trailer is a basic, build-it-out-yourself off-road trailer for the entry buyer
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AOR's Sierra ZR camper trailer is a basic, build-it-out-yourself off-road trailer for the entry buyer
For a compact trailer, the Sierra ZR has some serious kitchen space
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For a compact trailer, the Sierra ZR has some serious kitchen space
The ZR has the same width and length as the standard SIerra but is shorter before the addition of the roof-top tent
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The ZR has the same width and length as the standard SIerra but is shorter before the addition of the roof-top tent
The sink slide-out includes an expandable sink basin, hot/cold tap and worktop space for a portable stove
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The sink slide-out includes an expandable sink basin, hot/cold tap and worktop space for a portable stove
Sierra ZR campers can use the touchscreen or accompanying app to switch the lights on and off
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Sierra ZR campers can use the touchscreen or accompanying app to switch the lights on and off
This tubular storage tunnel holds fishing rods, table legs, tent poles and other long, thin cargo
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This tubular storage tunnel holds fishing rods, table legs, tent poles and other long, thin cargo
AOR includes a sturdy, full-length roof rack for mounting an RTT, awning, shower room, etc.
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AOR includes a sturdy, full-length roof rack for mounting an RTT, awning, shower room, etc.
The driver side (Aus) of the Sierra ZR includes three storage cabinets, the one at the rear designed specifically for clothes
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The driver side (Aus) of the Sierra ZR includes three storage cabinets, the one at the rear designed specifically for clothes
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When Australian Off Road (AOR) launched a new entry-level model last year, we didn't think an even smaller, cheaper model would be on the way half a year later. But AOR complements the original Sierra with the Sierra ZR, a utility-style camper trailer that the buyer equips as he or she sees fit. It's chiseled and carved into an ultra-tough, trail-ready warrior like the original Sierra, but it rides lighter behind the bumper and costs over $10,000 less to start. Build it into a state-of-the-art camper, or throw old camping gear in and get on your way.

The AOR Sierra emerged as a highly impressive off-road squaredrop trailer when it debuted, boasting a comfy interior with extra-long picture window, an available drop-down shower room, a large side kitchen, and a batwing awning expanding small trailer into large base camp. The trailer set a new base level at AOR, but AU$42,500 (approx. US$27,050) is still a considerable price tag for a two-person trailer, even without a global pandemic devouring disposable incomes. Enter the new Sierra ZR, a simple, spec-it-yourself cargo hauler that feels more like a true entry-level off-road camper.

"We know that many campers start off small and have their own gear loaded up and ready to go," explains AOR. "With the ZR, almost everything is optional – you can option up or bring your own roof-top tent, awning, fridge, BBQ and more."

The ZR has the same width and length as the standard SIerra but is shorter before the addition of the roof-top tent
The ZR has the same width and length as the standard SIerra but is shorter before the addition of the roof-top tent

That doesn't mean buyers are left with the simple wheeled metal box they might get from a different trailer brand. The Sierra ZR clearly shares its DNA with the original Sierra, showing the same hard-edged look, just cut down by 10 in (26 cm) at the roof to a height of 74 in (189 cm), before adding on the travel height of the roof-top tent. It's the same 169 in long x 77 in wide (430 x 195 cm) as the Sierra but drops 220 lb (100 kg) down to 1,875 lb (850 kg).

The ZR also shares the Sierra's dustproof, Raptor-coated construction, Supagal chassis, independent trailing arm suspension, zinc bash plates and identity-defining 40.7-degree departure angle. Also standard are LED lights, a 60L water tank and gas canister storage up front.

Sierra ZR campers can use the touchscreen or accompanying app to switch the lights on and off
Sierra ZR campers can use the touchscreen or accompanying app to switch the lights on and off

While it's a basic, entry-level model, the Sierra ZR isn't merely an empty, inanimate box, coming fully wired with a 150Ah lithium battery, inverter, solar hookup and FinScan touchscreen BMS with accompanying mobile app. The BMS command center is more comprehensive than those in many a well-equipped motorhome, letting campers check settings and switch hardware on/off from the onboard touchscreen or a smartphone.

The ZR's passenger-side storage turns an unassuming sidewall into a large kitchen ready to prepare a meal for the entire campground. The long hatch door drops open to double as a worktop, providing access to the pantry, utensil and dishware drawer, and long slide-out sink with worktop for a portable camping stove. The taller cabinet just toward the front packs a dual-level slide-out holding a fridge/freezer up to 60 liters and accommodating a BBQ grill. The ZR kitchen doesn't include any of the appliances themselves, but it provides the foundation of an organized, well-equipped outdoor kitchen.

For a compact trailer, the Sierra ZR has some serious kitchen space
For a compact trailer, the Sierra ZR has some serious kitchen space

There's plenty of general storage, too, starting with the large nose box up front. The driver side has three additional storage compartments, the rearmost of which has shelves for clothing. When using a roof-top tent, the available annex drops down around this rear closet, creating a handy changing room. The rear-end of the ZR houses a spare tire compartment, empty cabinet for camp chairs and other gear, and a narrow gear tunnel to hold long, thin items like fishing rods or table legs.

The driver side (Aus) of the Sierra ZR includes three storage cabinets, the one at the rear designed specifically for clothes
The driver side (Aus) of the Sierra ZR includes three storage cabinets, the one at the rear designed specifically for clothes

The big departure between the Sierra and Sierra ZR is, of course, the loss of a sleeper cabin. Instead, ZR buyers can choose from AOR's soft- and hard-shell Trax roof-top tent (RTT) options or mount their own preferred RTT to the built-in roof rack. Other available AOR options include a drop-down shower room, wraparound awning in place of the standard pull-out kitchen-side awning, and an additional 140L water tank.

The Sierra ZR starts at AU$29,900 (approx. US$19,050) before options. You can take a closer look at all its individual features in the 9.5-minute video walkthrough below.

AOR - Sierra ZR - Showcase - 2020

Source: Australian Off Road

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