By Rod Bruem
Sizing up the right new caravan to buy is a bit like the old Goldilocks and the Three Bears scenario.
You don’t want one too big for your needs, spending more than you need to and ending up with something overly onerous to tow.
Nor do you want one too small, leaving you and your travelling companion cramped and grumpy – like the proverbial bear with a sore head.
Finding the one that’s “just right” of course varies from person to person, but dealers will tell you a fair proportion of buyers are now in the market for a caravan under the old 20ft mark in length -and they don’t want to spend more than around $60,000.
For that (of course) they want all the latest luxuries. The top two items on the wish list normally being a reasonable ensuite and the ability to go off-road and “off grid”.
Here’s what works:
1 ) Interior
The bathroom is a reasonable size, has a 2.5kg washing machine, decent shower and basin, plus a door/screen you can close without fuss.
The kitchen area is a good size for when you really need to be inside. Storage is good. There’s a comfortable nicely upholstered lounge area opposite with a fold down table. It is simple and sturdy. The appliances are good -a decent fridge, oven/grill with four burner stove (three gas burners, one electric). It’s a compact, but a very workable space.
The queen bed is up front, with big airy windows on each side. The bed doesn’t have a bolster arrangement, or need to be pulled in or out like some vans of this size. This is great if you’re stuck in the bush on a wet day and want to relax in the van. There’s no having to make up the bed or risk tripping around.
The first thing that stands out is the upgraded exterior with a composite sheet material replacing traditional aluminium cladding.
Colour-wise it comes in silver or white.
The silver alongside the all-round black checker plate, plus the 16” wheels and all-terrain tyres combined well. It’s more “weekend warrior” in appearance than it is say, “Darby and Joan’s retirement vehicle”, although I suspect even Darby and Joan wouldn’t mind that in 2017.
3) Well built and supported.
The base for all Supremes is a Road King Chassis. Yes, the company that makes it, puts its name on it. The company is in Melbourne. This is good. Road King uses only Australian steel. The chassis is full box section steel, the A-frames are all 4mm thick and all chassis are 3mm thick. It has an extended A-frame, which the engineers will tell you makes for better towing dynamics and weight distribution.
The “semi off-road” which means you can take it off road and it’s built to stand up to rough tracks.
It comes with a 12 month warranty, with Hinterland Caravans offering an extended five year warranty. This is negotiable in your package.
Suggestion for buyers
It’s a big ask getting all you want for $60,000. Supreme has done remarkably well developing a quality package that ticks a lot of boxes. Best of all is the way it fits everything in a van of this size.
To read ‘what’s missing’ and key specs, see Issue 25 of ROAM