It’s more than apt that Goldstream RV’s 1800 EWB ST is inscribed with the “Australis — Great Southern Land” motto on its sheathing. To steal a few lines from Icehouse frontman Ivor Davies’ Great Southern Land lyrics, it’s a mid-sized family bunk van that will have you ‘standing at the limit of an endless ocean’, ‘listen to the motion of the wind in the mountains’, and ‘hidden in the summer for a million years’.
POWER AND THE PASSION
Based in Pakenham, VIC, Goldstream RV is a proudly Australian-owned caravan manufacturing company, and this display of patriotism is a constant theme in its Australian-made range.
In fact, the 1800 EWB ST also sports a “25 years and counting” axiom, which Goldstream says is recognition for the public that it has been in business for 25 years, and to give potential buyers some confidence in knowing that they are dealing with a reputable company.
But this custom-built four-berth van, which CW recently tested within the Baw Baw Shire, doesn’t purely rely on ‘riding on the back’ of slogans. And in that respect, it will have any intrepid family whipped into a travelling fervour. Goldstream says this full-height caravan obviously targets the family demographic, of which there’s been keen interest from the standard middle-aged couple with young to teenage kids in tow.
Undoubtedly, the 1800 EWB ST meets its brief in this regard. Immediately upon inspection it’s strikingly clear that it’s purpose-built for family forays. At this point, I must say that much thought has gone into the interior layout.
I’m suitably impressed with the twin bunk setup along the rear section of the offside wall. Both appear the epitome of comfort, and each with windows, USB ports and reading lights. The top bunk even has a vent.
But it doesn’t end there, as the kids’ quarters has copious storage — two cupboards with hanging space and four large slide-out drawers in the middle of the rear wall.
And as if the striplings aren’t pampered enough, they also have a toilet/shower combo (opposite the bunks) at their convenient disposal. It comes with a surprisingly spacious shower, Thetford toilet, moulded basin and tap, mirror, LED light, and a shower curtain to stop the toilet seat from getting wet.
Now all that doesn’t mean the caravanning ‘guardians’ don’t come in for some mollycoddling.
Mum and dad, or nanna and poppy, receive a space-saving east-west bed in the front bedroom. They also get two deep/wide rectangular overhead lockers above the bed, with shelving above on the bedhead side.
Also in the boudoir is a Finch TV (mounted on the nearside) that can be viewed from all areas of the van, ‘toilet’ light, two reading lights, the BatteryPlus 35HA battery management system, a switch and thermostat control for the Truma UltraRapid hot water service, and a scupper vent above the bed to eliminate dust ingress
Meanwhile, the offside kitchen is a pragmatic affair. Basically all the requisites are on show including a Thetford Minigrill MKIII, sink/flick mixer tap, four slide-out drawers and a cupboard under the sink, a pots cupboard under the cooktop and a rangehood above the cooktop, decent-sized window two overhead cupboards, and a BMPRO Trek display and a Finch RV car DVD/MP4 player both mounted on the cabinetry.
Adjacent to the main section of the kitchen is a 190L Dometic RMDX21 three-way fridge/freezer, with a 23L NCE microwave above.
My only slight criticism in the galley is the limited benchtop space.
Directly opposite the kitchen, the plush fabric-upholstered L-shaped lounge simply invites family relaxation. The living zone also has a good-sized dining table that the entire clan can gather around, and once again ample storage including two good-sized overhead cupboards, a slide-out drawer under a section of seating, plus a corner cabinet.
There’s also a panoramic double-glazed window, a lights switch panel, and a Sirocco fan offering supplementary climatic comfort.
I’m also taken with the LED lighting setup in the kitchen/lounge zones. The downlights are embedded into a 15mm laminated ply panel that provides an aesthetic and modern look.
Internally, there’s also a skylight situated between the kitchen and lounge, a centrally located Dometic Freshjet air-conditioner, and two speakers.
And all the furniture is 15mm-thick lightweight ply with a laminate front which can be wiped over and is much harder wearing against knocks etc.
Externally, this 5.55m (18ft 3in) 1800 EWB ST is resplendent with a 3mm-thick aluminium composite armour. And it has structural solidity courtesy of a 6in DuraGal Preston box-section chassis, with 6in A-frame.
Meanwhile, construction of the roof is aluminium composite (3mm) like the rest of the van, and the and floor is 12mm-thick ply with a waterproof membrane underneath.
It’s also loaded with features, including Cruisemaster XT suspension (upgraded to 2800kg ATM), and a host of optional extras — Cruisemaster DO35 coupling, Sirocco fan, front toolbox, extended A-frame, slide-out barbecue tray, exterior shower, black checkerplate (front, back and waistline), and a gas bayonet.
It also comes with Goldstream’s ‘Adventure Pack’ as a standard inclusion.
Aside from the van’s up-front fitted options, it also comprises an AL-KO jockey wheel, dual 9kg gas cylinders mounted on a rail jutting out from the A-frame, a stone shield with Goldstream RV monogrammed mudflaps, a tap with checkerplate guard behind the gas cylinders, LED light bar and grab handles.
There’s also a full-width tunnel boot, with a nearside slide-out for a Weber Baby Q.
The nearside boasts the ‘usual suspects’ with a Dometic awning, fold-down picnic table, double steps to the entry door, two marine grade speakers, a 10A/250V outlet, USB port/12V socket/TV point, hatch for the toilet cassette, annexe light and illuminated grab handle.
On the offside are a 15A/250V inlet, fuse box, ventilation for the fridge, water fillers, mains water inlet, and an exterior shower positioned at a sensible height. (I reckon an exterior shower is not a luxury but a necessity during family sojourns to coastal and/or country settings.)
Meanwhile, the rear sports a spare wheel at a user-friendly height, Iluma light bar and Safety Dave reversing camera.
The van’s battery (1x80Ah lead crystal), water (2x82L) and solar (1x120W) capacities are ample for running lights, water pumps etc.
And Goldstream RV extensively utilises a world-leading, European-designed 14L Truma UltraRapid gas/electric unit due to its stainless steel tank, compact dimensions, excellent insulation, stronger heating element, corrosion resistance and faster heating of water, including continuous reheating of water while showering.
THE BOTTOM LINE
At a ‘Banjo’ under $65K, this bespoke model has a mouth-watering price tag.
And it evokes a ‘happy families’ scenario - inside and out!
In terms of reaching out to its target demographic with the 1800 EWB ST, Goldstream RV is ‘right on the money’.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
Overall length 7.6m (24ft 11in)
External body length 5.55m (18ft 3in)
External body width 2.4m (7ft 10in)
Travel height 3.05m (10ft)
Internal height 1.95m (6ft 5in)
Ball weight 233kg
Frame Meranti (42inx19in)
Cladding Aluminium composite (3mm)
Chassis Preston Chassis DuraGal
Suspension Cruisemaster XT
Coupling Cruisemaster DO35
Wheels 16in alloys, with 265/75/R16 tyres
Battery 1x80Ah lead crystal
Air-conditioner Dometic Freshjet
Sway control No
Cooking Thetford four-burner and grill
Fridge Dometic three-way 190L
Microwave NEC 23L
Bathroom Shower/toilet combo
Washing machine No
Hot water Truma UltraRapid
Cruisemaster DO35; Sirocco fan; front toolbox; extended A-frame; slide-out barbecue tray; exterior shower; black checkerplate; gas bayonet
PRICE AS SHOWN
$64,990 (driveaway, VIC)
To enquire about this caravan, please visit www.goldstreamrv.com.au or phone (03) 5941 5571.
- Amazing value
- Interior design nous
- Hits the demographic ‘sweet spot’
- Missing a washing machine
- Limited benchtop space.