The latest entrant in the RV market, the Aussie Base Station combines the features normally only associated with the top of the line motorhomes with full 4 wheel drive capability and the versatility of a slide on truck camper. Luxury standard inclusions, plenty of room, unload in just minutes and tow your boat, float or trailer.
While travelling around Australia for many years we have encountered thousands of fellow travelers all with different rigs. Most people, while happy with their RVs, said that they had to compromise when they were choosing the RV that best suited their needs. They had to forego the ability to go off road, or tow a boat/trailer or have the space they wanted or the extra seating.
At Truck Campers Australia we were also struggling to find vehicles that could carry Truck Campers. The weight has always been the major problem, not helped by the fact that vehicle manufacturers have never (to my knowledge) advertised the correct actual payload of their vehicles. Even though the Northern Lite Campers are the lightest (and strongest) of the Truck Campers on the market there are no vehicles ready made in Australia to suit. The option has been to convert a Ford Ranger/Mazda BT50 or Nissan Navara or similar to a six wheeler by adding a lazy axle . While these work well they still do not have a massive payload. The American trucks, for which these campers were designed, also struggle with their legal payload in Australia. The cost of these is somewhat prohibitive as well and we have never fitted a camper to one that did not need modifications to the existing suspension to carry the campers, usually in the form of heavier springs and shock absorbers and a sway bar.
So we decided the Fuso Canter was the best option for the Aussie Base Station. While we needed to engineer a basement so that the camper can fit over the cabin of the truck, we found the extra amount of storage was well worth it, and with a payload of over 3 tonne, the storage can be utilised. A new set of brackets to accommodate the 4 remote controlled legs or jacks had to engineered at the same time so that the camper could be easily loaded and unloaded. We also had to fit a second set of Torklift GlowSteps to the camper with a matching Torklift Handrail to allow easy and safe access to the camper when it was on the truck.
We had to modify a few things on the Canter to make it more user friendly and suitable for the use we intended. Parabolic springs were required to soften the ride when the camper was not loaded. The thin wheels with low profile tyres and rear dual wheels needed to be replaced with super singles all round. The standard Fuso Canter wheels severely limit the off road and beach ability of an otherwise very capable truck. A sway bar is also now standard on our Aussie Base Station - it just gives you a more relaxed ride.
Without doubt the best information on vehicles was obtained from tow truck operators. Unfortunately I have had a few tows and always discuss vehicles the the various drivers. One driver in the Riverina district of NSW stated the Fuso he was driving had over 1 million kilometers on the clock and it was the best vehicle the company had ever had. He also said that in 28 years in the business the number of times he had actually had to tow a Fuso was negligible. High praise indeed and his opinion was echoed by tow truck operators in the Northern Territory on the Barkly Highway and also the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. I doubt I would have met any of them if I had a Fuso in the first place.
Fuso Canters are not built specifically for use in the RV industry. So we have to add parabolic suspension (especially for when the camper is not loaded otherwise it bounces around a bit). Also we need super single wheels and tyres for better performance on beaches and off road. A suspension front passenger seat to match the driver's seat is also necessary to make your travels more enjoyable.
The Canter allows you to tow a decent sized boat or trailer and is fairly economical by comparison with others. Of course it lacks the power of the big V8 American diesels but the reality is that there is nowhere they can go that the Canter cannot. Just not as fast maybe. As one owner said to me " They don't call it a Canter for no reason".
Of course you will need a Light Truck license (in NSW) but you need this if you were to buy a Ford F350, Silverado 3500 or Ram 3500. You would find parts and service more accessible with a Fuso, especially outside the major cities.
From my wifes point of view, she doesn't mind climbing up into the cab because the view is fantastic with the panoramic windows.
Our world class campers are fully self contained off road capable truck campers and at the heart of these is the Redarc Battery Management System.
A reliable power supply should be top of your list. We never sell a camper without a Redarc BMS1230S2.
Another great innovation from Redarc, the Redvision system allows you to control and monitor multiple on-board devices. One screen has all the info you need and you can even control and monitor everything via a phone app.
Amptron 300 amp hour LiFePo4 battery complete with a Cell Balancing Battery Management System essential to maintain the life of Lithium batteries.
Options: 200 amp hour and 400 amp hour lithium upgrades available, also 260 amp hour AGM
All our campers are fitted with Happijac remote controlled electric jacks. These make loading and unloading a simple 5 minute task. Raise and lower all four camper jacks with the push of a button. Alternatively you can adjust each jack individually.
The Houghton Belaire is a low profile, lightweight genuine reverse cycle air conditioner. Using the latest technology they have made a super efficient unit which is the lightest in it's class. Starts and runs easily using a Honda 2, can even run for hours powered by the lithium battery!
Cotek SD2500 pure sine wave inverter with remote control. Mains power runs through the inverter when connected and when you have no external 240 volt power source (mains or generator) you simply switch on the inverter and have 240volt power to all your power outlets in the camper from the battery.
To cater for the Fuso Canter 4wd (and Isuzu NPS) trucks higher cabin we have extended the basement on the Northern Lite and fully enclosed the sides giving a massive amount of storage space.
Because the tray on the Fuso Canter (Isuzu NPS) is a lot higher than Northern Lite were designed for we have added a second set of steps, Torklift GlowStep Revolution, for safe secure access to the camper on the truck.
Northern Lites are made with the awning on the drivers side. We have added second identical awing on the passenger side, which is better suited to caravan parks. The annex can fit to either awning.
The larger model Northern Lite campers are not available with cassette toilets, just a 60 litre black water tank. Dump points for emptying black water tanks are not always available or convenient so we have added a 60 tote tank.
A 5kg washing machine was not realistic until Lithium batteries and 2500 watt inverters. With its own power outlet and hot/cold water supply the unit sits nicely under the new awning.
Annex storage area has been added under the bedroom cabover section. This annex can also be fitted to the existing awnings on either side of the camper. Clever?
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An external TV connection box has been added outside under the awning with connections for normal TV, satellite TV, Stereo DVD, power and USB. There is an external TV bracket and to complete the set, we have added a 24" HDTV with a mounting arm.
Roof mounted Outback TV Satellite automatically finds the 3 satellites available. Easy to deploy and close down, the system even closes automatically when the vehicle ignition is switched on. (can be deleted if not required).
With so many phones and IPads and tablets these days the demand for USB ports for charging has risen. We have included USB in the Kitchen, Dining, Bedroom as well as external sockets under the awning.
A quality awning made by Carefree of Colorado, a massive 3.1 metres long and 3.1 metres wide. Cranks out in just a few seconds. Legs attach to the ground or back to the camper. Designed to take the Carefree annex. Can be used on and off the vehicle. Option: A second side awning can be fitted on 10-2 models
We now have as standard the Carefree of Colorado motorised rear awning. When fully extended it is approx 7' (2.10m). These are a great addition to the camper - so easy to set up. Handy in the rain. Has LED lights as well. Option: Can be fitted with a motion sensor to automatically retract in high wind.
Made by Carefree of Colorado naturally, their 'Add-A-Room', or annex has a floor and side curtain or skirt, and is a huge 3.10 metres square. Designed for fast set up and pack up. Full gauze with roll up block out screens and roll down clears. When travelling, how much time do you spend indoors???
Each camper is fitted with 2 x 100 watt eArche solar panels from Solar 4 RVs. Their expertise together with the extensive research and product testing makes Solar 4 RVs the obvious choice. Flexible solar panels are a perfect fit for our moulded fibreglass campers. Option: Add additional 100 watt panels.
Similar to the roof mounted panels, each camper comes with 2 x 100 watt eArchesolar panels from Solar 4 RVs, fitted with 5 metre extension cables and Anderson plugs. The camper has external Anderson plugs wired directly to the solar input of the Redarc BMS. Perfect.
The Fantastic Vent is an absolute must have in campers. Two way (in and out) fan, can be set to temperature or to run manually with 13 speed settings. Keeps the air fresh. Helps to ensure a good nights sleep even on the hottest of nights. Remote Controlled.
A decent sized fridge is not often available in slide on truck campers, but it is always one of our most appreciated inclusions. Runs on 240 volt when available, 12 volt (only when the vehicle engine is running), and LP gas, which we have found to be extremely efficient, at other times. Mirrored doors standard.
Northern Lite campers come with the Complete Bedroom Package. Most importantly, they are all full queen sized beds with North/South configuration. Nothing else works. Double beds and East/West configurations are for singles. When travelling, a good nights sleep is most important.
The Northern Light cupboards and drawers are made by cabinetmakers from solid Sapele timber, which is lighter and stronger than most other options and definitely looks better. They feature top quality hinges and gas struts and have ball bearing rollers on the drawers.
All of our campers come with a separate bathroom,complete with shower and toilet, a towel rail, a shaving cabinet, vanity with basin and a cassette toilet where possible. Also a roof vent with an exhaust fan. Its all you need!
3 Burner Stove with Oven. Features self igniting burners and a stylish smoked glass stove cover that doubles as a splash back. Has a range hood with 12 volt fan and light.
No. 1 selling RV stove in the USA.
This high grade stainless steel sink has to be the largest sink ever in a Slide on truck camper. Has a proper laminated sink cover to match the bench top, not one of those flimsy plastic covers.
Latest model Jensen stereo, with 3 station speaker system, 4 internal and 2 external speakers. Speakers are selectable. Has a clock and alarm. Full connectivity with most media. Great sound.
High definition LED TV with built in DVD player. On a swing out bracket with a locking feature for travelling. Can be viewed from dinette/lounge area or from the queen bed in the cab.
We generally use Sharp Microwaves as they are recognised as the best in Australia. If needed, the microwave can be run off the house battery through the inverter.
Two 9kg Gas Bottles mounted on a slide out tray complete with an automatic change over system that switches from the empty gas bottle to the full gas bottle so that your fridge and appliances will keep running.
They are both full. It’s all good.
These gas hot water systems are proven to be the most energy efficient on the market. We have never had a problem in any of the campers we have sold.
These gas furnaces vent the burnt gas outside but keep the heat inside. They are so good. Built for Canadian climates with a thermostat control. Gotta love being warm in winter.
The Mopeka Check Sensor works on most LPG tanks and allows you to monitor the level of propane using the free Mopeka Check app on your smartphone or tablet and/or
monitored with the stand-alone Mopeka Check Double Monitor.
Dual pane windows are a great insulator and being acrylic reduces the weight of the camper. They are less likely to break and open from the bottom which is good if you leave a window open and it rains. Two way blinds and screens.
Heki skylight has dual pane for better insulation plus it has a combination full block out blind or fly screen option. Absolutely essential on hot nights in conjunction with the Fantastic Vent. Five star accommodation with a view of the stars.
These industry best stainless steel quick release turnbuckles will save time loading and unloading your camper. Using fastguns we can easily load or unload our camper in 5 minutes. Torklift Fastguns ensure your camper is anchored to the tray or chassis at the correct tension.
Camper - Vehicle connection is via the Anderson Mid Power Spec Pak. Twin Anderson 75 amp connections for the Redarc BMS and Fridge (when motor running) plus 8 auxiliary connections for the tail lights and reversing cameras etc.
12 volt outlet with twin USB outlets. One in the kitchen, one in the dinette one in the bedroom and we will even put one outside under the awning if you want. The 12 volt can also be converted to twin USB's.
All Northern Lite Campers have a new entrance door that has tinted glass in both windows and comes standard with pleated shades on both. They are equipped with a heavy duty rear ladder to allow access to the roof and also feature a patio style rear bumper and a swing out entry assist handle.
Basement or Underfloor storage.
A huge storage area with a massive drawer on one side, 8' or approx. 2600mm, which fits the entire annex with room to spare.
Aluminium two way folding steps are great. They are lighter and fold up when travelling and for access to the towbar. Folded up with the camper off the truck allows the camper to sit lower to the ground making it more stable and allowing an easy two step entrance.
The latest Winegard Rayzar antenna with built in 12 volt signal booster. Automatically scans and finds all available TV stations. Works with Horizontal or Vertical signals and receives signal without being aimed directly at transmitter.
This system has a separate 10 litre pressurised holding tank so that you always have a supply of 99.9% pure reverse osmosis filtered drinking water on hand. Now you can fill your camper freshwater tank, even from non-potable water sources, as you will always have a supply of safe, clean drinking water.
Our campers are all fitted with LED lighting that significantly reduces power consumption. There are 19 LED lights and they are top of the range "warm LEDs" that produce more natural light with less glare and far less heat. The outside lights have an easy swap amber lens which attract less insects
Check out all the Water System features of all Northern Lite Australian models.
We use the CMS Electracom 240 volt wiring system. The CMS double pole system is extremely safe to use and complies with all Australian Standards.
The ‘clamshell’ moulded fiberglass construction of the Northern Lite campers makes them the strongest yet lightest slide on truck camper available. They are built from the outside in, not just panels stapled together. Build quality should be one of your top priorities when considering purchasing any RV.
To get a bit of an insight as to how well they are made, read this Truck Camper Magazine Construction Article
Water leaks can do massive damage to RVs—no corner joins means no leak
When you buy a Northern Lite we don't
send you on your way with a pile of user manuals. We spend the time to show you how everything works, generally over a few days and usually camped close by. It takes a bit of time to learn how to load and unload the camper properly and to become comfortable with the whole setup. This gives you and us a greater peace of mind. Even after this we are available 7 days a week if you need to ask a question or if you have a problem. Most of our customers have stayed in touch since buying their camper and and some get together for trips away.
The Northern Lite Australian Ultimate Campers are widely recognised as the best fully self sufficient all purpose slide on truck camper available. The moulded fibreglass construction makes it best suited to all Australian road and off road conditions. Boasting the largest range of standard features in a slide on camper, these Australian Ultimate models are the complete package. Absolutely everything listed in the Standard Features is included with the camper. We don't sell you a camper then tell you it costs extra for an air conditioner, awning, turnbuckles, battery, gas bottles, etc etc etc.
The Northern Lite 10-2 Australian Ultimate Floorplans have stayed much the same for a long time. The reason is simple - they work the best.
These floorplans are the most popular by far in the USA and Canada and has just the right balance and feel. We have been travelling in ours for over 9 years and have yet to see a better floorplan.
These campers are the top selling five star rated fiberglass truck camper in North America. The clam shell design makes them the best true four season truck campers. Built for cold Canadian winters means they can handle hot Australian summers. The reality is that you can’t insulate a PopTops or slide outs. That one foot of height you save with pop tops is just a piece of vinyl. They do not keep the cold or heat in or out so heating and/or air conditioning is mostly useless.
There are Six Interior Colour Schemes available for the Northern Lite Australian Ultimate Camper Models.
If you later change your mind, or damage a cushion or part of the interior, you can replace the damaged part or the entire interior colour scheme if you wish, and it is really easy to do.