Kedron’s approach to caravan construction seems to be along the lines of making their caravans bullet proof — or at least offroad track proof. That’s not only done by sitting in a design office, but also by regular testing out in the field. Anyone who has ever seen any of the Gall Boys’ DVDs will get the idea about product testing!
Underpinning the AT5 is a Kedron designed hot dipped box section galvanised chassis with 150mm rails and drawbar. Included in the design is a removeable rear bumper which is designed to carry two spare wheels.
One of the developments from offroad travel has been the Kedron Recovery Stub® (KRS) suspension. An independent setup, KRS is designed for both coil spring and air bag suspension. In addition to giving a more stable towing proposition, the stub axles are designed to be easily replaced in the event of damage. By easily, I mean it is not necessary to replace an entire swing arm, just the stub, which can be done in more remote locations. There are a couple of options fitted to the suspension set up on this van — air bags and disc brakes for both a smooth ride and good stopping power — but the 17in alloy wheels are standard.
Kedron didn’t do anything by half with the caravan frame here. It’s aluminium, yes, but pop rivets are not to be seen. Instead the interlocked aluminium is held together by high tensile steel punch pins. The body is fully insulated and enclosed by alloy cladding with a metallic finish. For the lower areas, composite aluminium is used to minimise scraping and scrub damage, something to keep in mind on narrow bush tracks.
Double glazed windows are a standard feature. At the front, instead of large windows, two smaller ones are fitted, one above the other. It might not seem much, but the smaller windows are more of a security feature, being less easy to clamber through, and, at night time, only the top windows need to be left open for ventilation. A Camec security door completes the ensemble. Protecting the front window, the solar awning is a bit of a unique Kedron feature that triples as solar power, shade, and protection.
Mounted on the drawbar is a purpose-built storage box. It has doors on either side as well as a storage area in the top and a rack above. Both gas cylinders have their own storage cover, as do the jerry can holders on either side. In addition to that, there’s also a large storage box built to include a generator slide and the fuel tank for the diesel heater. Cruisemaster’s DO45 is used for the all-important towing connection.
There’s no shortage of goodies around the outside of the AT5. Built into the front bodywork is a three-quarter tunnel storage, in which a slide-out is fitted, ideal for the optional Camec stainless steel BBQ. It’s only a three-quarter storage because the offside section contains the electrics, including the battery management system and air bag controls.
A hinged picnic table sits close to the BBQ and a little further along is the entertainment unit, complete with all the necessary TV connections, including a swivel arm bracket. The roll out awning covers most of the nearside area but, because of the shape of the van, not the BBQ.
Being a desirable length of 6.4m (21ft), the van has a front bedroom/rear bathroom layout with a rear door entry, which allows the mid area to be taken up by a nearside kitchen and offside dinette/lounge. There are a couple of things of note, one being the glossy finish to the cabinetry, including the bench tops — it catches the eye. The other is the marine style catches used on all cupboards and lockers, which are easy to use and have a positive locking motion. At nighttime, there’s no doubt the LED lighting system is very effective. The windows frames have the usual integrated blinds and insect screens fitted and except for the kitchen and bathroom, all the windows have pelmets and curtains fitted, adding a touch of class.
In some caravans, the dinette can be described as inviting. Certainly, the club style, micro leather upholstered dinette has that effect in this van, and not only because of the classy looking upholstery job. Both seats have end footrests and are long enough to be able to stretch out. On the wall at both ends are double points and a USB hub — much better than under the table where they often are — and tucked into the rear corner is a 12V Sirocco fan. For storage there are the usual overhead lockers which, like the ones in the kitchen opposite, are deep and top hinged.
HOTEL CLASS SLEEPING
Windows are fitted all round in the bedroom area and as previously mentioned instead of large windows on either side, tiered smaller ones are used, which doesn’t affect the window area at all.
At 1.88m x 1.52m (6ft 2in x 5ft) the bed mattress is custom made pocket-spring. I’d like to tell you I did an extended test on this, but time and COVID-19 did not permit it. Under the bed, there is the usual storage area, reasonably sized despite the tunnel storage, and I have to admit the generous bed head array of cupboards, overhead lockers and under bed drawers looks quite impressive in its glossy grey finish. Both occupants get 12V and 5V USB charger outlets inside the pillow cubbies.
The AT5 is air conditioned by a roof mounted Truma Aventa unit, but for when mains supply isn’t available, the bedroom has both a ceiling fitted Fiamma fan hatch and a wall mounted Sirocco fan.
WELL APPOINTED KITCHEN
Kedron kitchens are generously sized and this one continues the trend. It has all the usual features — microwave oven, four burner cooktop/grill/oven and a sink/drainer, the latter having a very classy looking black glass drainer. For the travelling chefs, there is a generous amount of bench top space.
Being a well sized kitchen bench it also means a more than adequate amount of drawer and cupboard space. In keeping with the piano hinges and marine latches fitted to all doors, the drawers have metal sides. Beside the microwave oven is the electrical control centre where the water tank gauges, service switches, touch pad controls and radio/CD player are to be found. However, there are also the 12V circuit fuses. Everything is very neatly laid out and all highlighted by a distinctive blue light.
At the forward end of the kitchen bench, the TV is mounted on a wall bracket and can be seen from either the dinette or the bed.
On the opposite side of the van and fitted into the corner between the dinette and bathroom is a Dometic 218 litre fridge. It’s compressor model and therefore fully efficient for operating just on 12V DC.
Across the rear, the shower/toilet area is quite spacious. The shower cubicle is larger than usual and given the rectangle shape of the bathroom, there’s enough space for the ceramic (optional) cassette toilet to have cupboards and shelf space all around. There is still room for the vanity basin, mirror and a wall mounted Daewoo washing machine. For night time use, blue light illumination is fitted, not only for getting around but also just in case you cannot find the loo paper!
GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL
A 300Ah lithium battery supplies the 12V DC load and that is charged by four 180W solar panels and, when mains power is connected, a 40A three stage charger. It’s all connected to form a sophisticated power system that also includes the 240V sockets and fittings, but they separate from the 12V system except for battery charger and inverter connections.
Water tank capacity is very good with two 100-litre fresh water tanks and a 65-litre tank for drinking water. On the drainage side, the grey tank has a capacity of 60 litres.
Given the general construction and list of items fitted to this AT5, it might not be surprising to learn it will need a large tow vehicle. It has a tare of 3150kg and an ATM of 3990kg, which does only mean a payload of 350kg if something like a LandCruiser with a maximum tow rating of 3500kg is used. Something like a Ram 1500 or Chevrolet 25500HD with a 4500kg tow capacity would be preferable.
THE BOTTOM LINE
There’s no doubt that Kedron’s AT5 has a considerable amount of class and style and is a serious offroad contender. However, it requires a heavy-duty tow vehicle to not only cope with the weight considerations but also the driving power when negotiating offroad terrain. That said, it’s a van built with the comfort and ability factors in mind.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
External Body length 6.4m (21ft)
Overall length 8.9m (33ft)
Width (incl. Awning) 2.46m (8ft)
Height 3.05m (10ft)
Ball weight 280kg
Frame Interlocked Aluminium Wall Frame / Secured with Solid HighTensile Steel Punch Pins
Cladding Metallic Finish Alloy Cladding
Chassis Hot Dipped Galvanised 150mm
Suspension Kedron KRS Coil
Brakes 12in Electric Drum
Wheels 17in Alloy
Water 2 x 100L, 1 x 65L Drinking, 60L Grey
Battery Lithium 300Ah
Solar 4 x 180W
Air conditioner Truma Aventa
Gas 2 x 9kg
Sway control AL-KO ESC
Cooking Dometic 4 Burner, Grill & Oven
Fridge Dometic 218L Compressor
Bathroom Full Ensuite
Hot water Truma Aqua Go Comfort
TE5 Front Storage Box, Air Bag Suspension with Auto Levelling , Disc Brakes, Dual Windows in Bedroom, Pocket Spring Bamboo Mattress , Full Grain Leather on Club Lounge & Nuva Mapa Adjustable Table Leg, Ceramic Toilet upgrade, Cel-Fi Smart Repeater, Aerial Camec Stainless BBQ
PRICE AS SHOWN
529 Gympie Road
Ph: (07) 3350 3333