There are many caravans that lay claim being offroaders, yet when it comes to the tough stuff, owners can be left feeling misled. The Titanium Southern Star ATX, however, is definitely hardcore and can be talked about as being in the same league as top brand name offroad caravans such as Kedron.
At just over eight metres, it’s not too big and with its rugged design and intelligent construction — using Henrob high tensile self-piercing rivets to join an interlocking aluminium frame — this is a caravan that enjoys a bit of flex when the going gets tough.
With this in mind, we headed to the Victorian High Country. Unfortunately, bushfires restricted where we could go, but we ended up camping overnight at Frys Hut near Sheepyard Flat, plus the drive up the Hume Highway was an opportunity to see how the Titanium towed — it sat nice and straight behind the Nissan Y62 Patrol even when a speed of 110km/h was reached for a short stint.
On the winding, corrugated and dusty Howqua Hills Road, the Titanium was in its element. The Cruisemaster ATX independent suspension, offroad racing monotube shocks with remote reservoir and AL-KO iQ7 braking system combined beautifully. A detour to Tobacco Flat saw the Titanium cope with the tight track, washouts and contours of this 4WD only track.
Upon arrival at Frys Hut, the Titanium Southern Star ATX was unhitched and set up within minutes.
RUGGED EXTERNAL LOOKS
From the outside, the Titanium looks solidly built. With the roof (32mm) and floor (25mm) made from one-piece insulated fibreglass composite vacuum-sealed sandwich panel, and the insulated walls covered with composite 3mm Premium RV cladding, even hail would be hard-pressed to damage this exterior. The body sits atop a 4in x 4in FP steel chassis, hot-dipped galvanised for added protection, with the A-frame being 6in x 4in with a 2in raiser — all the steel is 4mm thick.
To go with the solid suspension set up previously mentioned, larger VC bearings and a 63mm stub axle are included. The Duramax disc brakes are fed by braided brake lines that provide better protection and trouble-free water crossings. A set of alloy rims were wrapped in 285/75 R16 Thunder Trac Grip MT rubber and one of the two spares mounted on the tri-arm rear bar that’s rated to carry 360kg.
On the A-frame sits a huge checkerplate toolbox with 1025L of space and includes slide-outs for a Weber Q and a generator, slide-out drawers and a straight-through space perfect for a table and chairs. In front are two 8.5kg LPG bottles and a mounted regulator protected by the front stone guard with mudflaps. A single jerry can holder is attached to one of the access doors. There’s also a cavernous boot with 1080L of space that can be accessed from both sides.
A Raptor pull-out kitchen has a sink that supplies hot/cold water from one of the three 85L poly roto-moulded water tanks with brass fittings, and a three burner Thetford LPG stove. A slide-out tray provides some bench space and a place to store cutlery or cooking gear once the lid is lifted.
Outside entertainment is covered with a mount for the 24in LED TV/DVD combo, aerial point connected to the roof mounted Wingard antenna and DC charging socket. There is also a good-sized fold-down picnic table with a DC charging socket nearby and two external speakers that connect to the Fusion CD/MP3/Bluetooth sound system.
A Dometic awning runs the full length of the body and provides ample weather protection. Lighting is taken care of with two dual colour orange/white LED strip lights, LED door light, LED step light and front and rear 20W LED adjustable work lights. There are two rear recovery points connected to the chassis and rear slides and four drop-down stabiliser legs. A dual-lens camera provides a clear vision for the driver when reversing or to see what’s behind when cruising. The two lockable and dustproof ventilation hatches for the fridge were impressive as they provide plenty of airflow to assist in keeping the compressor cooler.
Adding to the three drinking water tanks that sit between the chassis rails is an 85L grey water tank made from the same robust material. At the pointy end is the Cruisemaster DO35 hitch, perfect for offroad conditions, and the AL-KO jockey wheel, which looked to be the weakest link on the whole rugged design, being so small.
One of the first things I noticed when entering through the Camec tri-lock entry door, was the light projected through the large Ranger double glazed perspex windows and the great airflow they provided when open.
I was also happy with the well thought out floorplan. At only 18ft 6in this isn’t the largest of caravans, but it felt bigger than it was. The north-south queen island bed is oversized at 1.93 x 1.52m, with the bedhead providing ample storage in overhead lockers, wardrobes and drawers. There are also recessed hideaways with a 12V/USB charging socket in each, extra space and two LED bedsides lamps complete the picture.
At the rear is a full-ensuite with Dometic ceramic cassette toilet, oval ceramic vanity basin, fibreglass shower and Destination RV 3.5kg top loader washing machine. Storage is reduced by the washing machine included but the flexibility it adds makes it worthwhile.
In the kitchen, bench space is limited by the full-sized sink and Swift four-burner (three gas, one electric) mini grill, although when not in use the cover/splashback integrates into the bench. A Sharp Carousel microwave rounds out the cooking features and is positioned at a safe level under the stove.
The cabinetry is a combination of marine ply and hardwood timber glued and screwed together before being covered in laminate. The drawers are soft close, and an ingenious mechanism prevents them from sliding out completely if they accidentally open on a rough track. The overheads provide added storage and operate on stainless steel piano hinges with gas struts to keep them open.
One of the overheads contains the control panel with switches for the Swift 28L stainless steel hot water service (LPG or 240W), the Enerdrive 2000W pure-sine inverter, the Sureflow water pump and 12V fuse panel. The Simarine monitor tells you everything you need to know about your electrical system and can be accessed via a phone app too.
A cafe-style leather dinette with multi-fold table and footrests sits opposite the kitchen and here you’ll find another Narva 12V/USB charging socket. Within easy reach is the Dometic 224L compressor fridge that fits nicely into the space, being deeper rather than wider. The temperature inside can be adjusted thanks to the True Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner or the 12V Sirocco fan.
Beneath the bed is the heart of the Titanium Southern Star ATX — a very neat electrical setup. Here you’ll find the Enerdrive 200Ah Lithium battery, 40A DCDC charger, 240V battery charger and 2000W pure-sine inverter. A Tristar 75A solar controller links to four 170W roof-mounted solar panels, more than enough to keep you off-grid for longer. The controller for the wireless light switches and the
AL-KO iQ7 brake controller are also housed here. The lights can be controlled via a small hand-held remote control.
Titanium Caravans is a family-owned and operated business that was created eight years ago and Managing Director Jason Grech is making sure Titanium stays at the forefront of an ever-changing caravan manufacturing market. Every caravan is customisable and factory tours are more than welcome.
There are 50 employees involved in the manufacturing process, including in-house qualified tradesmen, plumbers, auto electricians and A-Grade 240V electricians. The construction method neither new nor cheap, but it certainly provides one of the strongest frameworks you can get in a caravan.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So where would I take this Titanium Southern Star ATX? Without a doubt places like the Cape, Kalumburu, Plenty or Gary Junction Highways would be on my list. Would I try and drag it up King Billy Track in the Victorian High Country? Not a chance — not that the caravan couldn’t handle it, but the track is too tight, too steep and height would be an issue. This goes for many places in the High Country, but there are some places that wouldn’t be a problem. As far as camping off-grid goes, this caravan would enable you to stay at that perfect spot for a lot longer than others thanks to 680W of solar production, 200Ah of lithium power and 255L of potable water.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
Body length: 5.6m (18ft 6in)
Overall length: 8.23m (27ft)
Width: 2.43m (8ft in)
Height: 3.1m (10ft 2in)
Payload: 664kg (calculated)
Ball weight: 190kg (tare mass)
Frame: 1.8mm interlocking aluminium with Henrob riveting and composite insulated flooring and roofing
Cladding: Aluminium composite 3mm
Chassis: 4in x 4in laminated beam deck with 4in x 2in raiser, all steel 4mm thick
Suspension: Off-Road Cruisemaster ATX independent suspension includes off-road racing monotube shocks with remote reservoir
Coupling: Cruisemaster DO35
Brakes: Duramax disc brakes with AL-KO IQ7 brake controller
Wheels: 16in 285/75 Mud Terrains on alloys
Water: 3 x 85L poly roto-moulded tanks with brass fittings
Grey Water: 1 x 85L
Battery: 1 x 200Ah Enerdrive Lithium Battery
Solar: 3 x 170W with Tristar 75A controller
Air conditioner: Houghton Belaire 3400
Gas: 2 x 8.5kg
Kitchen: Raptor pull out kitchen with 3 burner stove and sink plus Weber BBQ
Sway control: No
Cooking: Swift 3 burner plus one electric and mini grill
Microwave: Sharp Carousel
Fridge: Dometic 224L compressor
Bathroom: Full ensuite with separate shower, Dometic ceramic toilet, vanity sink and Destination RV top loader washing machine
Hot water: 28L Swift stainless-steel gas/electric — no anode required
PRICE AS SHOWN
To enquire about this caravan, see caravanscoffscoast.com.au
or phone (02) 6652 5523