Wonderland RV’s Amaroo Hornet Limited Edition (LE) has is an extravagant and striking offroader, sure to put a sting in your tail out on the tracks.
This Amaroo is well connected with the great outdoors and I reckon you could forge a lifetime of memories in this unique caravan. I loved the bright yellow flat composite exterior matched with the high black X-plate waist – but there’s more to the Hornet than meets the eye.
CW took the Hornet out to Greenvale, 20km north of Melbourne, Vic, and the robust 5.7m (18ft 8in) van simply oozed lifestyle features along with full offroad credentials. It all comes together beautifully inside, while there’s plenty of self-sufficiency in the engine room.
But let’s start at the beginning… The Hornet’s walls are cut from a solid piece of 19mm structural grade timber. The apertures are cut with a CNC for accuracy, and the CNC leaves behind interconnected studs with a 30mm radius in each corner as well as cable troughs, window and door cut-outs where required. Since all Wonderland RV vans are computer designed, the solid furniture and walls are matched together. This allows all load bearing furniture sections to be fixed from the outside in, with 50mm screws penetrating through the 19mm wall into the solid furniture. The end result is a very strong van that is specifically designed to withstand gnarly corrugations.
The van’s Road King double 4in zinc galvanised chassis with 4in riser and Al-Ko Enduro Outback 3.7t independent coil spring suspension increase the Hornet’s offroad credibility. But it also comes with the option of Cruisemaster XT 3.7t suspension. It rides on 16in six-stud alloy wheels and 265/75 R16 all-terrain tyres, with 12in electric brakes. But its capability to take you out further, and keep you there for longer, doesn’t end there. Dual 120Ah AGM batteries, two 150W roof-mounted solar panels, twin 95L water tanks plus a 65L filtered drinking tank (all with a quick-fill water system) are further evidence that the Hornet is designed for exploring, and completely compatible with, the Australian environment. To take it all one step further, lithium batteries and an inverter are optional extras.
But what impressed me even further still is the optional Redarc BMS1230s2 battery management system fitted to this van. Rated at 30A, it allows you to keep your auxiliary batteries charged from 240V mains power, your car battery and solar panels. Basically it is six products in one – DC in-vehicle battery charger; 240V AC battery charger; MPPT solar regulator; dual battery isolator; load disconnect controller; and remote battery monitor. How’s that for technology?
The Hornet’s 6in extended A-frame is home to a large front toolbox with a generator slide and twin 9kg gas cylinders which are all protected by a mesh stoneguard. The van also carries an external utility shower, galvanised tunnel boot, roll-out awning with support and black hardware, LED awning lights, and drop-down picnic table. But I thought external storage could have been improved by the inclusion of a rear hatch. And I detected that Wonderland RV has omitted an external TV entertainment access hatch which, while not completely necessary, seemed befitting of this type of van. Same goes for an external kitchen or slide-out barbecue.
At the rear are two matching spare tyres located on a four-arm bumper, two jerry can holders and a reversing camera.
Step inside the Amaroo, and you’re treated to a level of indulgence not often seen in caravans. It’s a luxurious interior abounding with quality fixtures, fittings and appliances. But, best of all, are the natural tones and soft colours which I loved.
I took particular note of the double laminate solid furniture and acrylic doors, while the Hettich metal drawers and concealed hinges, and shell lock catches, displayed Wonderland’s attention to detail and complemented the swish interior design. And the double-glazed windows, with blinds and mesh screens, provided delightful views of the outside world.
Meanwhile, the front bedroom exhibited a five-star hotel look. I was impressed by the recessed mirrors on the robe doors, which have excellent hanging space, and the slide-out drawers are of a pleasing depth. In fact, you could practically take away the entire home wardrobe – if you so desired! And how about the large 1.9x1.52m (6ft 3in x 5ft) pillow-top caravan-queen-size bed… I realise I’m knee-high to a grasshopper but the bed allows even those of a taller stature to stretch out in complete comfort and relaxation. And what’s more, it lifts up easily with the aid of gas struts to reveal a large storage space. The bedroom also has ample charging points and reading lights.
The cafe-style dinette is devised for socialising and, once again, panache and style was incorporated into the setting courtesy of tasteful fabric adorning the wrap-around seating. It also comprised headrests and footrests for added comfort and convenience.
The internal kitchen makes up for the absence of a slide-out barbecue, which limits alfresco-style cooking on the Hornet. But the internal one really does have all the mod cons – recessed Swift four-burner combo with grill (an oven is optional), Swift Dluxx microwave, 184L Thetford three-way automatic fridge/freezer (a compressor fridge is optional), Swift twin fan recessed rangehood with LED light, slide-out pantry and a deep bowl sink with drainer, three-in-one tap and filtered drinking water spout. And once again, the burnished modern CNC-cut furniture and doors catch the eye, as does a gloss acrylic splashback.
The rear bathroom is an impressive design with a modern glass bowl with waterfall mixer tap in front of a full-length mirror. And there’s also the requisite full-height one-piece moulded fibreglass shower with a fibreglass roof, Thetford swivel cassette toilet, a 2.5kg top-loading washing machine, plus oodles of storage space.
I also thought the Hornet’s one-piece galvanised-lined floor and one-piece roof were welcome additions which accentuated the van’s structural integrity. And there is loads of internal storage and full LED lighting throughout the van.
While this particular colour might not be everyone’s cup of tea, Wonderland RV has loads of internal colour combinations and coloured composite cladding options for the Amaroo Hornet LE.
THE BOTTOM LINE
At $81,990, as reviewed, the Wonderland Amaroo Hornet Limited Edition is a class act in every department. It’s not a cheap van, obviously, but it comes fully equipped and tough enough to appease the most gallant of explorers. But a juxtaposition is its deluxe internal offerings – and I dare say most of us welcome a little pampering, even off the grid. So, all in all, the Hornet strikes a happy medium of stoutness entwined with indulgence.