Developed from the popular 1400 Series Explorer, which Goldstream RV has manufactured for the past 15 years, the 1500 Series was born.
Customer feedback asked for a modest extension to create the space needed for the standout feature; the luxurious island bed option seen in our test hybrid. The 300mm added also allowed for a compact dinette that, although cosy, is ample for two without sacrificing the all-important internal cooking facilities.
Considering the compact external width (2280mm) of the 1500’s body, the decision to have the dinette seating side-by-side was a masterstroke. Yes, the intimacy of sitting opposite your loved one over dinner is lost but space gained in the walkway to the north-south bed and around the massive 164L Thetford three-way fridge is a clever compromise and it is comfortable too, with a four-way adjustable table and deep cushions.
This layout is much more friendly for late-night bathroom excursions and for anyone using the rear-positioned kitchen. The internal stovetop is a three-burner and the sink a decent size, and with its rear position in the hybrid it is easy to quickly access should you need to on travel days.
The shower-over-toilet is one-piece moulded fibreglass, and uses a simple curtain for privacy and has a sink over the cistern. Like the kitchen, it’s easy to access should you need to stop on the go. I might be on the tall side, at a smidge under 2m, but I found navigating the inside of the 1500 with the top down easy enough, so you will too.
Goldstream RV takes a simple and easy-to-understand approach to options. Based on popular combinations, the team has created the Aussie Adventure, Offroad and Panther Offroad packages. Each adds capability and comfort with notable upgrades in the Aussie Adventure package; a larger 150 x 50mm chassis, pre-wiring for solar input and a handy toolbox. The Offroad package fitted to our 1500 adds to the Aussie Adventure package with an offroad hitch (Cruisemaster DO35) plus independent coil spring suspension and an extra chassis member to better handle the outback. If you chose to go Panther spec’ you get the aforementioned plus an extras list as long as the combined cast of The Lord of the Rings; including an up-sized fridge, large TV and even air-conditioning. These well-thought-out packages are not the only way to build your perfect 1500 Remote, however — Goldstream RV offers you the choice to add parts of each bundle as you want as we saw with the upgraded model.
Take the fantastic layout and add almost every reasonable option and our test 1500 is very liveable. Our 1500 Remote had it all, a Truma UltraRapid hot water system that provides hot water as long as your gas or water last, an inner-sprung mattress that will have you sleep easy and a streamline AC system. There is a high-mounted TV set (optional) for a lazy morning check of the news or while having an afternoon nap during the cricket season and with twin 82L fresh water tanks and a cassette toilet, you can go off the grid for reasonable lengths of time. I say reasonable, as the only thing I feel needs to be added to take this 1500 to a week-long off-grid stopover is a touch more solar and maybe a switch to higher capacity batteries. This is an easy upgrade after purchase or at the time of ordering.
There is no denying that a north-south bed is the most practical for couples. You can have your favourite side, you can get up in the night with minimal disruption to your partner and typically you get your own cupboards and windows. Effectively, you get your spot and they get theirs, equally as comfortable and liveable. It takes up a bit of floor space but for a couple on tour, the space lost does not ruin the layout so is a great compromise.
Speaking of being on tour, it is easy to forget the compact size of the 1500 when looking at the volume of storage around and under the bed, it has just enough space for a lap of the land. You will need to use the occasional laundry at a caravan park however, as there is no clothes washer. With the batteries safely mounted to the chassis, there is more room under the gas strut-assisted bed base. The base includes a single drawer that looks perfect for shoes or an extra blanket for colder nights. Beside and above the bed are cupboards, reading lights and USB points as well as a controller for optional heating and the AC.
Headroom, with the top popped, is great at just under 2m. Open the vents around all four sides and a nice cross breeze makes the space more comfortable on hot days or flick on the fan in the roof hatch. It is a truly liveable space.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Being a hybrid means different things to different people but one commonality is outdoor amenities.
Our 1500 had a Dometic slide-out kitchen, an external hot shower, spot to hang the TV with additional power outlets and of the biggest map tables I have seen.
On the drawbar live two 9kg gas bottles to service the twin kitchens and hot water, as well as a toolbox that could, at a pinch, house a portable fridge — the only extra thing you might want outside but that's being picky, as you shouldn't need more with a mammoth 164L internal fridge.
I particularly appreciated the oversized map table as it doubles as a great servery under the shade and shelter of the awning.
The Dometic kitchen is a common sight now and for the right reasons, it offers plenty of cooking space and does not need a support leg plus it has a decent cutlery draw and prep station.
Underway, the 1500 Remote’s travel height is only 2.5m — great relief for people wanting to follow their nose into the bush — however, the 2.43m width (including awning) will require some extended mirrors and a careful approach on tighter tracks.
The rear positioning of the entry step is ideal for offroad work as it is less likely to catch a drainage hump along a track and the rear bumper.
The makers chamfered the rear of the van a touch and in doing so set the twin-spare wheel carrier at a decent height to avoid too many scrapes. The body of the van is set high on the chassis and in the case of our test 1500, had an extended A-frame.
Although extended A-frames can make backing a trailer easier and often give a better on-road tow, they can be a burden off the road when the extra length hits the ground or stops you from turning a tight corner. We were lucky enough to have a new Land Rover Discovery Sport which, with height-adjustable suspension and a short rear overhang, made light work of the Victorian High Country tracks we snaked our way through.
Over the half dozen water crossings the 1500 Remote’s body stayed high and dry courtesy of the raised, independent suspension of the Offroad package.
Often with raised trailers, the centre of balance becomes an issue and you need to take extra care on off-camber corners and steep, side-on slopes.
Impressively, we never encountered any moment of concern during our trip, something even the film crew noted. The 1500 Remote never looked like unsettled or that it might tip.
Traditional is the best way to describe Goldstream’s approach. Inside the 3mm composite panelling is a stout-for-its-size
42 x 19mm meranti frame while under the body lives a 150 x 50mm DuraGal chassis and A-frame.
As mentioned, the chassis is part of an upgrade. The twin water tanks are polyethene, so indestructible, and their taps are neatly shielded to prevent rock damage.
Adding more protection to the Remote, with good looks to boot, is black checkerplate alloy body armour and a good sized stone guard.
THE BOTTOM LINE
There is no denying the Goldstream RV 1500 Series Remote is capable off-road.
We witnessed it tackle all obstacles in its way, fuss-free.
Then we looked inside and instantly fell in love with the liveable layout and comfortable bed. But it took a little more time to fully appreciate the smaller details, such as the dinette layout and rear kitchen and its plentiful storage.
The little things give this hybrid the comfort of a much bigger caravan but with the single axle agility and low tow height of a much smaller trailer. It is an exceptionally well thought out and balanced approach to modern caravanning.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
Body length 4.65m (15ft 3in) Overall length 6.9m (22ft 8in)
Width 2.26m (7ft 5in)
Height 2.5m (8ft 2in)
Payload 600kg (calculated)
Ball weight 187kg
Cladding 3mm composite panelling
Chassis DuraGal Steel
Suspension Cruisemaster XT
Coupling Cruisemaster DO35
Brakes 12in electric
Water 2 x 82L tanks
Battery 2 x 80A LED crystal
Solar 2 x 80W
Air-conditioner Finch reverse-cycle
Gas 2 x 9kg
Sway control N/A
Cooking Thetford three-burner glass lid stove
Fridge Thetford 164L three-way
Bathroom Toilet/shower combo
Hot water Truma UltraRapid
Adventure Pack 100 x 50 chassis with AL-KO Cross Country coil independent suspension
Offroad Pack 150 x 50 chassis with Cruisemaster XT Coil Independent Suspension, D035 hitch, 120W solar
Panther Offroad Pack plus 160W solar, stoneguard protector with mudflaps, reverse cycle aircon, water filter, BMPRO 30A charger, Trek monitor and DC/DC, dual LED crystal batteries, TV package on swing arm, reversing camera, picnic table, gas bayonet, changeover gas regulator, jerrycan holders
PRICE AS SHOWN
$79,990 inc on-road costs
To enquire about this caravan, contact Goldstream RV, 75 Bald Hill Rd, Pakenham, VIC
Ph: (03) 5941 5571