The Atlantic Caravans range – including the Endeavour fleet – has been making a splash in RV circles since debuting at the 2016 Caravan and Camping Lifestyle Show in Adelaide. So I called in to Atlantic Caravans’ HQ in Campbellfield, Vic, to pick up the 6.33m (20ft 9in) E206-1 RD tandem-axle Endeavour on-road tourer Endeavour for review.
Predominantly pitched to first-time buyers that don’t want to blow the budget, I thought the Endeavour had the ‘wow factor’ of a higher-end caravan. And if I had to bundle up the shortlist of features I’d want in my caravan, it ticked all my boxes: towability, spacious bedroom, snazzy ensuite, practical kitchen, club lounge, washing machine.
It’s also a relatively lightweight van for its size. With a Tare weight of 2215kg and a fairly generous 500kg payload, it’s well within the realm of mid-sized 4WDs and SUVs. We hauled it with a Mazda BT-50 and the van proved quite steady under tow. It was assisted by to the spare wheel affixed (behind twin 9kg gas cylinders) on the 230mm extended A-frame, which balanced the ball weight and made the van quite pleasant to tow. But I did notice a lack of checkerplate protection for the water tap when I looked carefully at the drawbar.
The Endeavour has a sleek all-white armour with showy orange decals that are colour-coordinated with the wheels. And its ‘skeleton’ – part meranti timber (main frame) and part Baltic pine (cross members) – is weight saving. But how would the Baltic pine react to any water ingress, I asked?
“We’ve been using the Baltic pine in conjunction with the meranti for the past five years now, and we have never had any problems with it,” Atlantic’s Mark Chadwick said.
The van rides on a sturdy four-inch Road Runner chassis, complemented by AL-KO beam axle leaf spring suspension, and all-terrain tyres with 15in alloy wheels. Its SupaGal chassis with edge primer and Hammertone finish is not only a nice aesthetic, but also offers good protection.
KITCHEN AND BEDROOM
Stepping inside, the spacious and stylish van is quite plush and up to the minute.
A caravan-queen-size innerspring mattress is guaranteed to keep couples slumbering like Sleeping Beauty or Rip Van Winkle, and there’s a lift-up posturepedic slatted base with extension. There’s also robes and dressers at each side of the bed, two overhead lockers, and at the front of the bed is a full-height corner cupboard on the offside.
Meanwhile, the kitchen has plenty of storage and all the necessary mod-cons including a Thetford cooktop and mini-grill, Thetford 184L fridge-freezer and Sphere 25L microwave. Any camping chef would be enraptured with the amount of benchtop space available for meal prep, and there’s even a cutlery tray in a kitchen drawer.
The stylish rear ensuite comprises high-end fixtures like a ceramic vanity basin and ceramic toilet, and there’s plenty of room in the fully-moulded shower with 12V hatch above. In fact, the bathroom is quite spacious due to a wall-mounted front-loading Daewoo mini washer, which doesn’t encroach on the cabinetry space.
You also get a sliding door for privacy, and the convenience of two towel rails affixed to the back of the door. And I liked the curved vanity bench, with cabinets and railed shelving underneath.
The piece de resistance is the elegant side club lounge with a telescopic drop-down table that moves in four directions, making it easier to get in and out, as well as forming into a bed for an extra traveller. It’s as simple as lowering the table by pressing down on a button with your foot and then pushing down the table – all you need is an infill and the ‘bed’ is ready to dress! But if I can be ultra-fussy, I thought the living room window could be more panoramic.
The Endeavour also boasts a laminated one-piece timber floor (with waterproof coating underneath) that eliminates any shifting of the floor panels during transit, which consequently cause lines in the floor covering.
In-house entertainment is provided by an NCE 24in LCD flatscreen TV and a DVD/MP3/radio system, while cooling and heating needs are reliably met by an Aircommand Cormorant reverse-cycle air-conditioner.
Those that know me will tell you I call a spade a spade. And I can say the Endeavour is one of the finest entry-level vans I’ve cast my eyes upon – a real achievement by Atlantic Caravans.
Due to the success of its Murchison slide-out models, Atlantic Caravans has decided to extend this option to its Endeavour range through a state-of-the-art slide-out system that increases floor space.
The Endeavour can be customised as an offroader, with two levels of offroad packs. The ‘Bush Pack’ retails for an extra $6050. It features Torflex 2.6t independent suspension with 12in brakes (in lieu of an AL-KO 1450kg beam axle with 10in brakes); 6in chassis and A-frame (in lieu of 4in); 550mm-high checkerplate sides; 16in alloy wheels and 245mm tyres (x5); checkerplate TB03 toolbox mounted on extended A-frame; silver high profile cladding and black external fittings.
The ‘All Terrain Pack’ retails for an extra $10,350. It features tandem-axle Road Runner gas/coil suspension; 6in chassis and A-frame; 550mm-high checkerplate sides and rear; front checkerplate toolbox (TBO3); two jerry can holders; colour wheels with 245mm tyres; DO35 tow hitch; silver aluminium cladding; extra 120W solar panel; extra 100Ah deep-cycle battery; external shower; 12V fan; mesh stoneguard.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Highlighted by its contemporary interior and showy all-white high profile aluminium cladding, the Endeavour is ideal for a short getaway or a weekend escape.
It’s a great entry-level van, and enticing for a young family with one child contemplating a more adventurous lifestyle – albeit not straying too far off the bitumen. And it’s basically got the whole kit and caboodle for on-road adventuring and, in my opinion, is attractively priced at just over $63,000.
HITS AND MISSES
- Wall-mounted mini washer
- Cosy and spacious bedroom
- Snazzy ensuite
- Lounge converts to an extra bed
- Lightweight and easy to tow
- Smallish window above lounge
- Relatively low on external storage
- No exterior shower
Weights and measures
- Overall length 8.33m (27ft 4in)
- External body length 6.33m (20ft 9in)
- External body width 2.29m (7ft 6in)
- Travel height 3m (9ft 10in)
- Internal height 1.96m (6ft 5in)
- Tare 2215kg
- ATM 2715kg
- Payload 500kg
- Ball weight 180kg
Price as shown
$63,480 (plus on-roads, Vic)
The full feature appeared in Caravan World #567. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!