Designed and built by Frank Bottaro, an innovative journeyman with three decades’ experience in the industry, the Monoblocco 2’s smooth, sculptured all-fibreglass body embodies Frank’s accumulated skills as a cabinetmaker and fibreglass moulder that date back to when he began working in Italy with his brother half a day a week, aged just 10.
However, its evolution from the original Jet Monoblocco (Italian for ‘one piece’) is also unmistakable. Look closely and you’ll see a number of differences.
Layout & design
The MB2 now has a front window and a front boot, whereas the Jet had a tunnel boot. But if you want a tunnel boot on your MB2, Frank will give you one!
But some things remain reassuringly the same. The construction of the MB2 is one of them, with the caravans made entirely of fibreglass. Its walls are formed from double-sided fibreglass with insulating foam injected in between the inner and outer panels, which are then ‘soldered’ to the end mouldings and one-piece roof with fibreglass.
To further strengthen the structure, the one-piece front and rear panel overlap the adjacent walls by 50mm on both sides, forming an immensely-strong, one-piece monocoque structure. With no joints, no J-moulds, no external screws or silicone, there are no leaks.
The smooth, one-piece moulded design allows the MB2 to waft through the air without sharp edges creating fuel-sapping turbulence. A fibreglass shroud covers the A-frame; the single spare wheel is recessed behind a lockable fibreglass cover into the rear panel and the twin 9kg gas cylinders are also tucked securely out of the wind and out of sight.
In fact, apart from the ventilation for the Suburban gas hot water system on the right-hand side and the standard roll-out awning on the left, there are no body protrusions on the entire body, which is finished to a very high level.
As a result, despite its Tare weight of just over 2500kg, the Monoblocco 2 tows as easily as a 2t caravan and is less affected by head and side winds.
The purchasers of this particular caravan chose its welcoming colour scheme of Tasmanian oak cabinetry and flooring, with ochre-red cloth upholstery on the L-shaped lounge and, to my eyes, it looked great.
But there were no surprises in its layout, which mirrors what the majority of experienced travellers specify in touring vans they plan to spend quality travelling time in. It has a front, north-south island queen bed with mirror-doored robes beside and two large cupboards above; a good-sized kitchen with stainless sink and drainer, four-burner Thetford cooktop, grill and oven alongside and, to their right, a large Dometic 190L fridge with a microwave above.
Plenty of cupboards, plenty of bench space, plenty of light – good design features that reveal the travelling experience of both Frank and his customers.
The L-shaped lounge was chosen for its practicality in this medium-sized caravan, as it straddles the tandem wheel arches, delivering comfortable seating room for four, so you can have new-found friends around for drinks or dinner.
The rear ensuite, which spans the width of the van, also follows a familiar theme, with the separate shower cubicle on one side, vanity in the middle and toilet against the nearside wall, with a top-loading Wasser X5 top-loading washing machine sliding out from the vanity.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The resurgent Future System, under the experienced guidance of founder Frank Bottaro, has lost none of its mojo during its post-GFC years in the wilderness.
Its latest all-fibreglass-bodied Monoblocco 2 is an appealing and very well-finished custom-built alternative to the conventional Australian caravans in the demanding $90,000-$100,000 price bracket.
- Aerodynamic and functional styling
- Innovative fibreglass construction
- High quality finish
- Personal attention to customer needs
I would have liked…
- A stay for the front boot
- Lining for the boot
- Stone protection for the A-frame water tap
The full test appears in Caravan World #536 April 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!