Otron Signature Spirit 2: Review
The Otron Signature Spirit 2 is a well-built blacktop tourer with extensive options.
Otron Signature Spirit 2 highlights
- 6.75m (22ft) tandem axle caravan
- Built for off road use
- Aero Flex independent suspension
- Front bedroom, rear bathroom layout
Queensland-based manufacturer Otron Caravans builds a range of caravans suitable for all kinds of travel, including the Signature Spirit Series 2, a 22ft (6.7m) model.
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CONSTRUCTION AND OFFROAD ABILITY
The chassis is built using SupaGal RHS grade C450LO instead of the lighter grade C350 LO. Between the 150mm/6in chassis rails are the 200L fresh and 100L grey water tanks. Mounted on the front offside rail is the battery box (with two 120Ah batteries) and just about everything else has been neatly strapped up out of the way. That includes the water pump which is below floor level – put there to reduce the possibility of internal water leaks.
The Aero Flex independent suspension looks a bit different to the normal set-up. It combines a rubber torsion bar as a lead point, the coil springs as weight reducing points and the shock absorbers as an impact area. These three elements give you a smooth and responsive ride, in both negative and positive pull in a similar way to load sharing suspension. One important aspect of the suspension is that there are no wearing parts thus eliminating all points of pressure. Air bags can also be fitted if required.
The Signature comes with a timber frame but, instead of meranti, it’s made with treated hoop pine. Covering the frame is a 2mm Cormat membrane cladding which comes with both insulation and an UV rating. In addition to the 3500kg coupling and Trail-A-Mate jockey wheel, there are two covered 9kg gas cylinders, a large alloy checkerplate storage bin, pole storage tube and two jerry can holders. Load capacity of this van is 640kg. In addition to the drawbar bin, there is also very large front tunnel storage and a smaller, but quite tall, bin at the rear nearside. All the doors come with pinch weld sealing.
LAYOUT AND BEDROOM
Step through the Signature Spirit’s Camec security door to discover the internal layout. The door is forward of the wheels, which means the bedroom is to the left (front) with the kitchen (nearside) and dinette (offside) to the right, leaving space across the rear for the bathroom.
The internal colour scheme and general decor of this particular van was a mix of the traditional timber look with more contemporary colours. Although there are a couple of small partitions separating the front bedroom from the living area, the effect is quite open plan.
Up front, windows all around give a breath of fresh air and natural light. Centre stage, a queen-sized mattress sits on a ply timber bed base. Lifting the bed reveals quite a deep storage space, with a centre partition, underneath. That area is supplemented by a generous array of side wardrobes, bedside cabinets with two drawers and overhead lockers. There is full-height, but relatively small, diagonal cupboards at the foot of the bed on each side. Bedroom lighting is courtesy of LED ceiling downlights and bedside reading lights.
KITCHEN AND DINETTE
Although café-style dinettes can look quite similar, there are often some interesting variations. In this case, both seats have a wall cushion, slide-out foot-rest and a drawer - the latter two items are, unusually, one above the other. Naturally, there are also the usual items like tri-fold table with cupboard underneath, as well as 240V and 12V outlets above the table.
Food preparation happens in the generous kitchen. Being a trendy van, the Signature Spirit 2 has a trendy angle the far end against the bathroom wall. That nicely accommodates the stainless steel sink and drainer, complete with flick mixer tap and filtered drinking water outlet. Under the sink is a large cupboard, along with four drawers. Above the sink, the microwave oven is set lower than the adjoining overhead lockers, so it’s at a more user-friendly height. Adjacent to the sink, a four burner cooktop, grill and oven delivers all the cooking heat required, while the rest of the kitchen has supplies three good sized drawers and three overhead lockers.
The forward end of the kitchen bench area is the entertainment area with a locker-mounted radio/CD player and a wall-mounted bracket for a flatscreen TV which can be seen from either the dinette or bed.
Across the way from the main kitchen bench, the 186L three way fridge sits above a good sized drawer, making the fridge quite easy to get at without bending over. Between the fridge and the dinette are two wire basket slide-outs. Both are fitted with locking bolts in case the cabinet door bounces open unexpectedly.
One of the notable features of this van is its spacious bathroom. There’s enough room to have a shower cubicle, Thetford cassette toilet with generous elbow room and a large cabinet with the necessary wash basin and mirror, along with a front-loading washing machine and a considerable amount of cupboard and drawer space. And the cupboards above the washing machine are particularly easy to get. Even the washing machine can be loaded while you’re sitting on the loo – there’s no excuses for just sitting there reading now! Like the kitchen slide-out baskets, the bathroom sliding door has a lock to prevent movement when travelling.
In its standard form, this Otron Signature Spirit caravan retails at $67, 500 but our review van had a few extras fitted which bumps up the price a bit. But optional items solar panels are not really an option if remote travel is on your agenda. With all the extra goodies fitted, the Spirit is a very well-appointed van and there's absolutely nothing wrong with the general workmanship, fit and finish. It looks to me like a pretty good van for touring around Australia.
- Grey water tank fitted.
- Excellent fit and finish
- Well-sanded timber around the cupboard frames
- Spacious bedroom and bathroom areas
- Generously sized kitchen bench area
- Foot rests and drawers under dinette seats
I WOULD HAVE LIKED
- Not much, there's nothing wrong with the workmanship
- How about 5V USB sockets for device chargers
The full test appeared in Caravan World #525, April 2014. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!