Established in 1963, Evernew has an unparalleled heritage in the caravan manufacturing industry, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet some key people and see the operations firsthand. Evernew owner, Dani Bib, told me the Evernew story and showed me around the showroom and factory.
Coming into their 60th year next year, I think Evernew has earnt the right to brag a little. Dani tells me they now have customers who are the kids of original customers from a generation ago. They have other customers who have come back and bought three or four vans over their life as their needs changed.
Dani took on ownership in 2017. After doing some consulting work for the previous owner, he was drawn to purchase the company when it came on the market. Dani is an automotive engineer, having worked for the likes of Ford Australia and companies that supply them. Dani reveals, "I was impressed with the quality of workmanship and the commitment to build a caravan that will stand the test of time. Bruce Bailey, the previous owner, spoke of the Evernew DNA, and this is something I have carried on.”
Dani explains what makes up the Evernew DNA. “We are not a mass production builder. We take the time to make sure we manufacture to a consistent standard. As we are a custom builder, where every van is slightly different from the next, much of what we do is handcrafted. Our manufacturing team is relatively small, and most staff have been with us a long time. This means our team have real ownership in the quality of what they do, and I can also be very hands-on in the process. Even though we custom build, we carry certain design elements through all our vans. Our vans are traditional in they have a meranti frame and composite aluminium cladding, but we have our own way of ensuring strong frames and a very high level of sealing against water leaks (See more on this in the Evernew RTX28 review in this issue).
Evernew focuses on sourcing components mainly from Australian suppliers, or European suppliers where the need arises. Evernew has developed its own design specification for the chassis and works with local supplier G&S Chassis who fabricate them from Australian BlueScope Steel. All suspension systems are supplied by Cruisemaster, another highly regarded Australian manufacturer with an undercarriage on which he builds his vans.
“The RTX 28 is a great example of what we can do, but our soon to be launched RTX35 takes it to another level.”
Quality Customised Service
The caravan body is where the customisation happens. Dani handed me over to Richard Metcalfe, who looks after the technical side of things and works with the customer to design and spec their van. Richard explained that Evernew does not have a dealer network and deals directly with the customer to understand exactly what they need. The customer only has one point of contact from start to finish of the project. The customer has the freedom to determine a layout and appliances that work for them. Richard told me, “We need to be on top of how the unique design will impact the balance and the overall weight of the van. We deal with the balance of the van by adjusting the axle position on the chassis to suit. Sometimes we also "down-sell" customers to a smaller van so it will be safe for their tow vehicle. Once we commence a build, we take photos of the van at key steps along the way and send them to the customer. This includes before the walls go on, so the customer knows what’s behind the wall. Customers are also welcome to come to the factory and see for themselves. Not all builders would be keen on this.”
“I was impressed with the quality of workmanship and the commitment to build a caravan that will stand the test of time.”
Evernew's Future Focus
Even though Evernew is quite a conservative organisation, they still have an eye for the future. Dani says their product development focus is on high specification products to rival the best top-end rugged touring products available on the market. “We have been slow and careful with new product development, listened to our customers and worked closely with our suppliers. The RTX 28 is a great example of what we can do, but our soon to be launched RTX35 takes it to another level. This new model focuses on a “gasless” solution with enough electrical power to take care of hungry appliances such as air conditioners and an impressive induction cooker. We are excited about what lies ahead, and we look forward to sharing it with our customers.”
Power Management for Your RV Part 1