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Signature Campers Deluxe II 2021 review

As the market for caravanning and camping has grown, so too has the opportunity for more niche products to evolve. Where the market, just five years ago, was dominated by the choice between hard-floor or soft-floor campers, today, imagination is the only limiting factor in trailer design or function. 

And so, there’s been a rise in expedition-style trailers, which have moved the focus from ‘accommodation’ to ‘storage’. Builders like Conqueror (from South Africa), Track, Patriot and Pod (from Australia) have each been early adopters in this style of camper, each with their own premium takes. 

But, much like the market has demanded less expensive options in the form of Chinese-built hard- and soft-floor campers, some people love the expedition-trailers’ style. And they want a cheaper price point. So, companies like Signature Campers, which was amongst the first to bring that price-point down, have continued to develop expedition trailers, like its Deluxe II that is built in China, to meet that need.

How big is this camper-trailer? How much does it weigh?

  • Packed and ready for towing, the trailer measures just 4.04m long, 1.8m wide and 2.1m high. Packed and ready for towing, the trailer measures just 4.04m long, 1.8m wide and 2.1m high.
  • It’s on the heavy side, for its size, though. It’s on the heavy side, for its size, though.
  • At 1040kg before a load, it has gained weight since it the first Deluxe model a few years ago. At 1040kg before a load, it has gained weight since it the first Deluxe model a few years ago.

The Deluxe II is a compact off-road camper trailer (described as a ‘nugget’ in some of Signature’s marketing material). Packed and ready for towing, the trailer measures just 4.04m long, 1.8m wide and 2.1m high, with the roof-top tent fitted, which makes it larger than the Patriot X2, but smaller than the Patriot X1N, which are probably the two Aussie-made trailers it shares most in common. 

It’s on the heavy side, for its size, though. At 1040kg before a load, it has gained weight since it the first Deluxe model a few years ago. It weighs more than trailers like the Aussie-built DOT 5 Equip or plastic-bodied Pod All-Roada Roof Top Camper, both of which target the same type of traveller and share similar price-points. But the Deluxe II is also far more sophisticated in its design and level of features. 

Length4040mm
Width1800mm
Height2100mm
Weight (Tare/ATM/Tow Ball)1040kg/1650kg/100kg

How easy is it to set up?

Most of the camping gear on the Deluxe II from Toytuf, which is Signature’s in-house camping brand, so all of the products have been developed with this application in mind. 

Given it’s essentially just a roof-top tent and bag awning, everything’s nice and easy to set up. There’s great access around the camper to unzip the cover, and plenty of places to stand on the trailer to increase your reach. 

The tent flips over nice and easily, and the vestibule over the entrance clicks into places nice and quickly. Two ropes and pegs get hammered in, and the tent is habitable. 

  • The simple, roof-top camper design is great for people who don’t need a full-on tent to deal with. The simple, roof-top camper design is great for people who don’t need a full-on tent to deal with.
  • These spring poles don’t quite work if you also want to set up the awning.  These spring poles don’t quite work if you also want to set up the awning. 

Add some spring poles for the window awnings, and everything is done. 

Given these products are developed in-house, it would be great to see Signature work out a solution around the tent’s passenger-side weather awning and the bag awning (see the picture, above). You can’t have both up at the same time, as the spring poles fit under the bag awning. 

I also found the ladder a bit awkward as it seemed designed for a tent that’s fitted to the roof of a taller 4WD, rather than a shorter camper. When I shortened it to better suit the tent height, it wouldn’t lock into place, so didn’t support the tent floor as it should.

How practical is the space inside?

  • This is a very organised camper, with plenty of compartments for everything you need out in the bush.  This is a very organised camper, with plenty of compartments for everything you need out in the bush. 
  • Its compartmentalised design means it’s effortless to keep organised. Its compartmentalised design means it’s effortless to keep organised.
  • The camper is very well set-up as a campsite base station.  The camper is very well set-up as a campsite base station. 
  • There's upwards of nine internal, dust-proof and carpeted sections within the main body. There's upwards of nine internal, dust-proof and carpeted sections within the main body.
  • There's another seven as part of the roof cage.  There's another seven as part of the roof cage. 
  • 2021 Signature Campers Deluxe II | 3 2021 Signature Campers Deluxe II | 3

Despite the fact there’s not a lot of ‘inside’, the camper is very well set-up as a campsite base station. 

Its compartmentalised design means it’s effortless to keep organised, with upwards of nine internal, dust-proof and carpeted sections within the main body, and another seven as part of the roof cage. 

Then there’s the storage for gas bottles and jerry cans on the front drawbar – a place for everything and everything in its place.

What is the bed like?

  • There’s a 60mm high-density foam mattress in the tent.   There’s a 60mm high-density foam mattress in the tent.  
  • As a nice touch, all of the tent’s poles are shrouded in fabric. As a nice touch, all of the tent’s poles are shrouded in fabric.

The camper’s bed is typical of roof-top tents. It’s giant (far bigger than any regular bed), made of 60mm high-density foam, and reasonably firm and comfortable. 

There is plenty of airflow through the camper thanks to the large windows on each side. All of them are protected from the weather by the window shades. The vestibule also has its own window, which you can keep open to let in more light and air, or for a great view if there’s one to admire. 

As a nice touch, all of the tent’s poles are shrouded in fabric, and there are handy gear-pouches around the edges to keep things organised and close at hand. 

What’s the kitchen like?

  • Although the kitchen is simple, it’s got a generous pantry and plenty of storage around it. Although the kitchen is simple, it’s got a generous pantry and plenty of storage around it.
  • It slides out from the front, passenger-side compartment, and is self-supporting, so doesn’t need a fold-down leg.  It slides out from the front, passenger-side compartment, and is self-supporting, so doesn’t need a fold-down leg. 
  • A bench-extension slides out from under the stove, and the kitchen also integrates a small drawer. A bench-extension slides out from under the stove, and the kitchen also integrates a small drawer.
  • A fridge is stored in the largest of the rear compartments on a giant slide if you don’t keep your fridge in your 4WD. A fridge is stored in the largest of the rear compartments on a giant slide if you don’t keep your fridge in your 4WD.

There’s a good quality, simple, but functional kitchen in the Deluxe II, and just as significantly, ample storage surrounding it for the pantry. It slides out from the front, passenger-side compartment, and is self-supporting, so doesn’t need a fold-down leg. 

A simple gas-bayonet plumbs it to the gas, and there is a separate fitting for cold, 12V-pumped water.  

The kitchen has a simple two-burner gas hob and stainless-steel sink with a fold-out spice rack above it. A bench-extension slides out from under the stove, and the kitchen also integrates a small drawer. 

Above the kitchen is a large shelf, and above the wheel-arch is a neat pantry space with a slide-out drawer. 

A fridge is stored in the largest of the rear compartments on a giant slide if you don’t keep your fridge in your 4WD. It’s wired with an Anderson plug outlet and can fit a fridge up to around 70 to 75 litres. 

How easy is it to tow?

  • There’s a really heavy-duty off-road suspension system, developed in Australia, underneath the trailer. There’s a really heavy-duty off-road suspension system, developed in Australia, underneath the trailer.
  • It’s hitched to the car with an off-road McHitch Uniglide Trailer coupling and rides on 265/75 R16 mud-terrain tyres. It’s hitched to the car with an off-road McHitch Uniglide Trailer coupling and rides on 265/75 R16 mud-terrain tyres.
 

This is a nice, little, and light trailer behind the Ford Ranger I test it with. The Deluxe II has improved over the years – the chassis has been strengthened, and the suspension is developed in Australia with King Springs, so it’s quite good. It has got taller over the years, though – the tent now sits higher, and I did notice that extra level of top-heaviness, but I doubt it would ever cause a problem. 

Underneath, the Deluxe II rides on a hot-dipped galvanised, 100x50mm chassis, with independent trailing arm suspension. Twin Dobinson shocks dampen the ride, and 12in off-road electric brakes help slow it down very well – 12in brakes are massive overkill for a trailer of this weight. 

It’s hitched to the car with an off-road McHitch Uniglide Trailer coupling and rides on 265/75 R16 mud-terrain tyres

What options are available for it?

The most significant option for this trailer is to get it with or without the roof-top tent and awning. For those who just need the storage space, but already have a preferred method of camping, the Deluxe II is an excellent platform from which to throw everything on and into. 

Signature will also add options on demand, like if you want to upgrade the electrical system from the two 100ah AGM batteries or simple charging system. 

The company recommends and supplies a range of products from Enerdrive. Buyers can also upgrade the awning to a 270° opening version, or could add Maxtrax recovery slides and mounting pins.

Any potential issues with it?

I’ve already mentioned the tent and awning incompatibility, and the ladder could be better, but otherwise, this is a simple, but a well-featured product. 

I would like to see some straps added so that the tent cover can be rolled up, out of the way, when the tent is set up. 

It’s easy to compare this to the lighter, often higher-quality Aussie-made products that I’ve mentioned earlier. But considering this camper is about half the price of trailers from Patriot or Drifta, and is far more feature-packed than the likes of the Pod All-Roada, it offers exceptional value. 

Signature has continually evolved the product over the last three or four years, and that shows at camp. 

If you’re after simple campsite organisation with decent off-road cred, this is an excellent place to start looking.  

 

Warranty5-year structural and 12-month limited manufacturer’s
SleepsTwo
Water capacity 111 litres
CostFrom $17,990

Find out more about the Signature Deluxe II at signaturecampertrailers.com.au

Daily driver score

3.5/5

Adventure score

3.5/5

adventureguide rank

  • Light

    Dry weather gravel roads and formed trails with no obstacles, very shallow water crossings.

  • Medium

    Hard-packed sand, slight to medium hills with minor obstacles in all weather.

  • Heavy

    Larger obstacles, steeper climbs and deeper water crossings; plus tracks marked as '4WD only'