Caravan review: Windsor Wild 196RD and 220MD

John Ford — 20 November 2023
Windsor has added two new semi-offroad vans to its fleet: the Windsor Wild 196RD couples van and 220MD family van.

Windsor Caravans has added a series of semi-offroad vans to its popular composite-bodied fleet. For the first look at the new range, we tackle the wilds of the Scenic Rim in South East Queensland with two of the most popular models.

Since its introduction five years ago, the Windsor Genesis has proven itself a reliable blacktop cruiser. The modest range offers two couples and two family vans appealing to buyers wanting a lightweight van with a workable layout and a sensible payload of features. The vans come standard with all the essential appliances, and this combines with a market-leading construction method to ensure an easy-to-tow and value proposition.

The company

As one of our heritage brands, Windsor retains a strong brand recognition and has a modern take on practical usability. Apollo RV took over ownership of the Windsor brand from the WA builder Fleetwood in 2018 and moved production to Northgate, a northern suburb of Brisbane. The vans accompany motorhomes, a well-oiled production line honed by years of experience building motorhomes and caravans, including for the Apollo hire fleet. Making vans that cope with the rough and tumble of the hire fleet showed where vans need strength and durability and gave valuable insights on usable layouts.

Our reviews of the new Wild models saw us travelling with a couple in the 196RD (rear door) and a family in the 220MD (mid door) into the hills and countryside of the Scenic Rim south of Brisbane. A typical mix of owners using the vans over a couple of days gave good insights into how well the vans fit their very different applications.

The build

For the new Wild range, Apollo has retained the layouts from the Genesis series with a single-axle 17ft 6in couple’s van, a 22ft family van and a couple’s and family option in the mid-size 19ft 6in model. The Wild models have upgrades to deliver a rough road capability and retain the composite body features of the Genesis range.

The walls, roof and floor are single-piece structural panels with an insulated foam core inside a gel-coated 1.4mm fibreglass exterior. The Sunshine Coast-produced panels are 28mm for walls and roof and 34mm for the floor, providing valuable temperature protection in hot and cold climates. The single-section roof arches all the way from the chassis at each end for superior weather protection. All panel edges are bonded under an ABS corner cap, and recent tweaks in the production process ensure a weatherproof and extremely strong monocoque entity.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) in the joinery section of the 20,000sqm complex delivers a close and neat fit of the lightweight ply joinery. Keeping costs and decision-making headaches to a minimum, colour palette choices are limited to metallic grey or the warm tones of nikolo pine. Both are conservative/contemporary, and you can personalise them with soft furnishings. 

The main upgrades for the Wild range are on show under the vans. Instead of the original 150mm chassis, the new Hilton hot-dipped galvanised version now features a 6in (150mm) drawbar leading back to a 4in (100mm) chassis with a 4in riser, so there’s a hefty 200mm support for better rough road endurance. The suspension swaps from a rubber torsion system to Cruisemaster’s CRS2 (Country Road System) independent trailing setup with twin shock absorbers. The 176 has a single axle, and the rest of the fleet sport a tandem arrangement. The hitch transfers from a 50mm ball to the robust Cruisemaster DO35 offroad coupling. All-terrain tyres complete the set of more agro 16in alloy wheels. 

Both vans have a gradual roof entry and a square rear end with a modern, well-balanced impression. The new chassis brings a higher ride height while splashes of colourful new graphics and sections of black checkerplate show a more formidable appearance. 

The A-frames include a full-width stoneguard protecting twin 9kg gas bottles, and storage is limited to a front tunnel boot with neat lining and a light on all models. Along the sides are external lights, speakers and a picnic table, while down the back, the spare now rests on a bracket attached to the rear bumper bar. 

Plumbing and electrical installation under the vans is neat and practical, with nothing hanging down to grab on road surfaces and plenty of protection for vulnerable fittings. 


With a tad over two metres of ceiling height, there’s a roomy, open feeling to the interiors. Close-fitting furniture adds to the quality impression, and oversized windows splash light against the predominantly white fibreglass walls and ceiling. 

The 196RD is a couple’s van with the most popular layout of a rear ensuite, front bedroom and central living space. This interior design delivers privacy at the bed, easy access to the ensuite and a workable kitchen space. The kitchen flows along the driver’s side from the fridge forward to the cooktop, sink and bench with overhead cupboards. A three-way 188L fridge/freezer, a 25L microwave and a grill with gas/electric burners are common across the range. 

The passenger side is home to a cafe dinette, plenty big enough for two for meals or relaxing. And down the back, the neat full-width ensuite has a moulded shower, Thetford cassette toilet, a vanity, a washing machine and valuable storage options in overhead cupboards and under the vanity.

The 220MD has 18 inches of extra length to include a set of bunks and more space in the living area. The ensuite runs north–south along the rear passenger side with the under and over beds opposite. The entry door moves towards the centre, just rear of the main bed, but importantly, the layout retains a north–south bed. 

You have a choice of two or three bunks, and like most vans with this layout, floor-to-ceiling cupboards along the back wall have ample storage and include a washing machine.

A U-shaped lounge at the dinette allows space around the table for a young family, and the roomy ensuite includes a separate shower and a usable vanity. The extra length of the interior gives valuable liveability for a family over the 196MD version and adds only around 215kg weight penalty. 


The Wilds all have a basic off-grid package with a single 200W solar panel, a 120Ah AGM battery with BMPRO charger and a monitor at the entry door. Both vans have a pair of 82L water tanks. While this setup might seem light on in today’s market, the twin 9kg gas bottles will run the fridge for weeks, so there’s enough onboard self-sufficiency for several days of off-grid camping. Water often becomes a primary consideration for extended stays away from civilisation, so depending on the situation, families may need to keep showers to a minimum to conserve the supply.


The tare weight of the 196MD is 2240kg, or only 90kg more than the Genesis version. ATM has increased by 250kg to 3000kg, giving a generous 760kg of payload without tipping the scales too far. We towed with my 200 Series LandCruiser, which had loads of power and weight capacity to spare, but something like a Prado or Isuzu MU-X would do a great job. The van was smooth over dirt road sections and sat behind without banging or lurching. It was soft and well-balanced at higher speeds on the freeway and backroads with full water tanks and a light equipment load. Our LandCruiser has a load of accessories and a set of 33in Yokohama tyres, which are excellent offroad but don’t do the fuel economy any favours. We achieved around 22L/ph over our review, but a stock 200 should improve that figure by at least 10 per cent.

We sat the larger 220MD behind an Isuzu D-MAX, one of the more popular mid-size 4WDs in the market and a popular choice for families. Tare weight is 2455kg, which is light for such a large van, showing the advantage of the composite build and sensible fit out. The ATM of 3200kg is well inside the D-MAX towing limit of 3500kg and leaves around 745kg of payload.

Our Creative Director, Tim van Duyl, towed the 220MD with a MY23 Isuzu D-MAX X-Terrain in a sophisticated granite grey. Over 494km of towing, the 3.0L four-cylinder proved frugal, sipping 16.6L per 100km, and that was not just flat driving. Our shooting location included the steep sections of Mount Barney, so the D-MAX had to haul the van up and onto the tablelands before tackling the rolling hills inland. The X-Terrain is Tim’s pick of the D-MAX range because of its features and value. It comes with a host of extras as standard, and with suitable options ticked on top (brake controller, rubber mats, 12-pin plug), it still comes at a sharp price of a smidge under $67,500.

Sway control is an option across the Windsor range. Although we never got into a situation where we needed it, it’s a valuable safety feature for times when conditions like strong winds or emergency braking conspire against you.

The bottom line

Beefing up the Windsor range to make it a more robust touring companion will please many astute buyers attracted to the modern build of the range. Windsor’s engineering and construction methods mean the body and interior are already suitable for some rough road travel and giving extra ride height and a more suitable suspension make a good van even better for outback roads. A $5000 premium over the standard range will be a tempting offer for couples and families looking to get into more remote national parks and destinations with long stretches of corrugated roads.

Winsor vans come with a five-year structural warranty and three years on the internal fit out. A three-year roadside assistance package will look after you in case of a breakdown.

The 196MD is the quintessential Aussie couple’s touring van with a proven layout and a sensible weight and size for laid-back towing. The price is a tempting $83,790. And the roomy 220MD makes a lot of sense for families and is good value at $92,290.



  • Composite body construction
  • Quality suspension and chassis
  • Lightweight makes better towing


  • Limited interior colour choices


Good value in today’s market

Light and well-balanced. Suits mid-size tow vehicles

Designed to tackle rougher outback roads

Quality composite body and underpinnings

The most popular layouts in their class

Limited off-grid ability as standard

Five-year warranty and roadside assistance

The Wild upgrade improves the range’s appeal

Conservative styling with proven layouts



Overall length8.025m (26ft 3in)
External body length 5.88m (19ft 3in)
External body width 2.45m (8ft)
Travel height3.1m (10ft 2in)
Internal height 2.035m (6ft 7in)
Tare2240kg (approx.)
Payload760kg (calculated)
Ball weight190kg (approx.)
Ball to tare ratio8.5% (calculated)


CladdingComposite panels with insulative foam core
FinishGel-coated interior and exterior walls
ChassisHot dipped galvanised steel chassis
SuspensionCruisemaster CRS2 trailing arm suspension
CouplingCruisemaster DO35 Coupling
WheelsTyres, 16in All-Terrain
Water2 x 82L fresh water tank
Battery1 x 120Ah deep cycle AGM, BMPRO Battery Management
Solar1 x 200W solar panel and regulator
Air-conditionerDometic reverse cycle roof top
Gas2 x 9kg gas cylinders mounted to drawbar
Sway control Optional


CookingStove with grill (1 x electric, 3 x gas burners)
FridgeDometic 188L absorption (12V/240V/Gas)
BathroomFully enclosed shower, Thetford 18L cassette toilet
Washing machineYes
Hot water20L (Gas/240V)

Windsor Wild 196RD price from $83,790



Overall length9.05m (29ft 7in)
External body length 6.88m (22ft 6in)
External body width 2.45m (8ft)
Travel height3.21m (10ft 5in)
Internal height 2.04m (6ft 7in)
Payload745kg (calculated)
Ball weight195kg
Ball to tare ratio8% (calculated)


CladdingComposite panels with insulative foam core
FinishGel-coated exterior walls
ChassisHot dipped galvanised steel chassis. 150x50 A-frame, 200 x 50 chassis
SuspensionSemi-offroad suspension, Cruisemaster CRS2 trailing arm suspension
CouplingCruisemaster DO35 Coupling
WheelsTyres, 16in All-Terrain
Water2 x 82L fresh water tank
Battery1 x 120Ah deep cycle AGM, BMPRO Battery Management
Solar1 x 200W solar panel and regulator
Air-conditionerDometic reverse cycle roof top
Gas2 x 9kg gas cylinders mounted to drawbar
Sway control Optional


CookingStove with grill (1 x electric, 3 x gas burners)
FridgeDometic 188L absorption (12V/240V/Gas)
BathroomFully enclosed shower, Thetford 18L cassette toilet
Washing machineYes
Hot water20L (Gas/240V)

Windsor Wild 220MD price from $92,290


Speak to your local Windsor sales specialist. 


If you need help choosing your first caravan or are considering upgrading your existing one, check out the Windsor caravans available on TradeRVs today.

The sellers will be happy to help and answer any inquiries you may have about the products advertised for sale.


Caravan review: Windsor Genesis 196MD 2023

Review: Windsor Genesis 220MD

Review: Windsor Seka SKL 5525


Windsor Windsor Wild 196RD Windsor Wild 220MD Couples touring Family van Semi-offroad vans New releases Wild range Composite-bodied fleet Scenic Rim Queensland Apollo RV Off-grid capabilities


James Demergue