CAMPER AUSTRALIA EDITOR AT LARGE - GLENN MARSHALL
The pop-top roof is a manual lift that was easy to perform, Kath is always our test subject for this, and she was suitably impressed. The main bed set up is quick, although some gas struts to assist would make it quicker and easier, the floor section is especially heavy and awkward to lift and drop down. You can leave the bedding on the queen-sized foldable mattress, which saves time when packing down and setting up.
The slide-out kitchen offers generous bench space, a four-burner stove and a plumbed sink with a mixer tap. A support leg is available to keep the kitchen stable and a LED stalk light can be plugged in to provide light when it gets dark. The table that folds down from the side of the camper would be better served with a shelf or two and some 12V power points.
The kids' bunks are permanently set up and provide space to store their toys and clothes bags while travelling. The rollout awning is very basic, but the whisper was that OPUS is looking at adding the air annex as an option that would make setting up easier.
The Cruisemaster DO35 hitch makes hitching and unhitching easy, even if the ground isn’t level and it also makes towing offroad easier by offering excellent articulation. Having Ironman Pro Foam shockers as standard on the OPUS OP13 is fantastic as they provide excellent control when offroad. I’ve been running this shocker setup for nearly five years on my 4WD and love them.
The base price of the OPUS OP13 $54,999 offers good start-up features; however, you’ll get better value when a ‘pack’ is added. The one we judged had the Longreach pack included in the $56,496 price tag, although this special ran out at the end of February. The Longreach pack added a third 105Ah lithium battery, the 3000W inverter, pop-up power point, Sirocco fans and the diesel heater at a cost of $1497.
While the OPUS OP13 is compact, it still offers enough for a young family of four to camp comfortably off-grid for a week or so and experience sensational places like the Gibb River Road and the Cape. I believe that when the OPUS air annex is added, this will take the OPUS OP13 to another level.
CAMPER AUSTRALIA CREATIVE DIRECTOR - TIM VAN DUYL
There are a lot of campers with the silhouette of the OP13 but few are as sharply priced or as well-set up as what we had at CTOTY 2023. Thank the special Longreach Pack that the team were adding to all campers early in the year for a lot of the added value, but dig deep and it's a decent if not great buy in standard trim.
The layout we saw, Layout 3, is a double bunk option with one bunk trimmed to fit inside the small 13-foot footprint so it is aimed at young families with kids still growing. At first, I thought this was a mistake but then, with the annex up, I’d be inclined to send the biggest kid outside in a swag and enjoy a bit more internal space.
I’d like to see more pantry space as it feels a little light for a four-person family and I wonder why there is a second sink inside (you could make do with just the sink in the ensuite). The kitchen is a breeze to use and has ample bench space and good access to the fridge slide capable of taking a 95L Evakool.
Setting up the OP13 is fairly simple with the roof opening up quickly and easily but the slide for the bed needs attention. Without gas struts seen on some competitors, you need some dexterity in holding the panels out as you get it all together.
CTOTY 2023 JUDGE - KATH HEIMAN
OPUS has built its name on the iconic inflatable camper tent inspired by the military’s expeditionary inflatable tent systems. So, it was surprising to see the OP13 solid-walled hybrid roll-up to this year’s Camper Trailer of the Year event. Launched in 2020 and targeted towards OPUS’ loyal customer base looking for options beyond a forward fold camper, the OPUS OP13 stakes its claim among a growing field of imports of its type.
In this case, OPUS has opted for a 13-foot camper with an expander-style internal bed space that minimises the rig’s dimensions while maximising the internal living space. Given the OPUS pedigree, we were interested to see what point of market differentiation this camper brings to a relatively crowded field.
The answer was evident as soon as the team from OPUS began reeling-out the camper’s specifications. In reality, the difference is the impressive range of electrical componentry and inclusions sufficient to deliver power, water and food to keep a small family away from civilisation for an extended period. With the Longreach Pack onboard, we were looking at 315Ah lithium, 5 x 100W solar panels, 1 x 3000W inverter, 40A DC-DC charger and a 50A AC-DC charger. Drawing down on this power is (among other things) the Trauma Aventa air conditioner, a (potentially) very big fridge with space for a 95L unit, and a stereo system with two internal/external speakers. With 2 x 120L water tanks, a 67L grey water tank and space for 2 x 4.5kg gas bottles, there’s considerable potential to maintain a level of self-sufficiency unrivalled in many campers of a comparable size and price-point.
A rub-point may come when the camper is packed to capacity. With an ATM of 2700kg and tare of 2243kg, this is a hefty beast with a payload that will inevitably come under pressure once the water tanks, fridge and pantries are filled, let alone the family’s camp gear.
The degree to which this is an issue will depend on your style of travelling and also the camper’s configuration. While we saw Layout 3 with a king bed and two sturdy bunks, other layouts remove this infrastructure and cater to couples.
OPUS OP13 SPECS
Weights and Measures
|6in hot dipped galvanised chassis
|Aluminium composite body
|2 x 16in alloy wheels with 265/75R16 mud terrain tyres
|12in electric brakes
|Ironman Foam Cell Suspension
Accessories and Inclusions
|3 x 105Ah lithium batteries
|5 x 100W
|Instant hot water
|Four-burner outdoor standard with dish rack
|Capacity for 95L
|2 x 120L freshwater tanks, 1 x 67L grey water
OPUS OP13 PRICE $56,496 (as tested)
Supplied by OPUS Camper