This was not a long-term test, but I was able to go out for the day with Jon from Majestic into the Glass House Mountains in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, which contains a good variety of terrain and road conditions. Not only could I get a feeling for the van, but also the type of after-sale service you could expect. It’s important that the van you buy suits you and what you intend to do with it. In fact, I met a mate of mine at the showroom who had just purchased a Majestic for his next adventures. I felt that he had made a good choice for his requirements.
These days, the company that builds and supplies the product is just as important as the product itself. You want to be confident that the company will be there if you have any issues or want to service or upgrade your van. Majestic has been in the market for more than 20 years and only supplies its vans through factory-owned and operated outlets. This means that the people you speak with will have direct contact with the factory. Additionally, the reputation of both the van and the outlet are interdependent, which is a positive for the purchaser. If you do decide to upgrade or move in a different lifestyle direction, knowing that your resale will be as high as possible based on the above will be a comforting thought.
Building vans for more than 20 years means that the Majestic Knight will have a combination of what has worked well over that time as well as innovations that will inevitably occur over time. This can be seen in the wall construction, which includes a meranti timber frame to which composite walls are attached. A criticism of timber framing is that is can rot; however, to do this it needs to get wet. This is where the latest innovations come in with a one-piece fibreglass insulation roof, composite cladding on the walls and judicious application of sealant preventing the ingress of water. Use of marine ply on the floor and cabinetry also combine to provide a solid construction that will last for years.
An extended A-frame (6in) continues past the wheels with a 4in DuraGal Chassis Raiser above it providing an excellent base for a strong van. This is the same chassis used in the Majestic Navigator series, which is aimed at the heavy-duty off-grid purchaser. The benefit is that the chassis is super strong and the suspension could be upgraded in the future, although it may be better to go for a Navigator upfront if that is your long-term intention.
The van sits on dual axle leaf springs with four shock absorbers providing good dampening for predictable suspension while touring. 10in electric brakes supply the stopping power on each of the four wheels with an option for 12in brakes available, which would upgrade the ATM to 3500kg.
Let the light in
I like big windows. Let the outside in but keep the bugs out. On either side of the innerspring mattress queen bed are two large windows that really let this happen. They have insect and privacy screens to use as the view and mozzies allow. The windows let loads of light bounce around the white walls and ceiling to create a really light and airy feeling, which is bedded down by the black contrasting trim and cushions of the side club dining lounge. The 6ft 6in ceiling adds to the feeling of space that is already present.
At 21ft, the Knight really has plenty of room for a couple to enjoy the luxury of this van. Nothing to set up or pull down when you move locations. Whether it’s enjoying a roadside lunch stop or a week at your favourite destination, this Knight certainly has shining armour inside and out. The kitchen sports a black accented tap and basin that are certainly a point of difference. The large bench alongside this hides the stove, which is recessed below and easily accessible when you want it. Below the cooktop is the gas grill and oven with a small slide-out pantry next to this. There is plenty of storage for food, crockery and pots/pans below the bench and sink, with more space above including a microwave. There is even more storage above the club lounge, and around and above the bed.
We all need access to power for our multiple electronic devices. The USB outlets are neatly hidden in the stem lights which are in multiple convenient locations around the van. There are also many 240V outlets. As this model doesn’t include an inverter, you will need to be connected to external power for these and 240V appliances to work. There are upgrades for Li batteries and inverter, but these are not necessary if you want to keep it simple or mostly stay in van parks. There is a generator slide-out included on the A-frame, so you will be able to generate your own external 240V power if you include a generator in your kit. Two jerry can holders are include on the side of the A-frame toolbox to carry generator fuel.
The control centre for everything electric is easily accessible above the lounge with an excellent monochrome display for monitoring the 170W of solar onboard, AGM batteries or the level of water tanks. The fridge is a three-way powered fridge so will operate when away from power.
Keep it clean
Should you get dirty outside, whether fishing or dirt biking, a hot/cold shower on the back of the van will get you clean and keep you warm before you head back inside. Once inside, you can enjoy the luxury of the roomy full-width en suite bathroom. Water can be a mains connection or you can utilise the 190L of freshwater on board in two tanks. A 95L grey water tank will store that water after use.
The en suite with shower and separate toilet is large enough to be comfortable with exhaust hatches to let the light in and the steam out. A washing machine is nicely stored in a cupboard next to the toilet, keeping it accessible and easy to use. Above the washing machine is a good-sized storage cabinet perfect for towels and other larger items.
Along the rear wall is the raised vanity basin, wide bench and large mirror. This helps the en suite to feel even larger than it is, as does the opaque shower door letting light in from the skylight above. So even with the en suite door closed, the space feels light and larger than it might be. Below the bench and basin is more storage area for bathroom items.
The insulated fibreglass roof is the first defence against heating up on those summer days. Four roof hatches will aid in moving hot air out and the multiple large windows and screened door will catch the breeze and provide great flow-through ventilation. Should you have external power connected and want to feel even cooler, there is always the roof mounted air-conditioner.
The Boxing Day Test or Sydney to Hobart yacht race can be watched live by utilising the rooftop digital TV antenna while staying cool inside. If it’s the footy finals or State of Origin, perhaps have a footy party and watch it outside by connecting a TV to the external antenna points. The large roll-out awning will provide cover from any rain or shade from the summer sun. The external awning lights won’t attract the insects so sunset nibbles won’t be interrupted by moth attacks.
Although not built as an off-grid van, it would be possible to stay off grid for some time if you are mindful of how much water you have. Sunny days and a generator would increase the amount of time you could stay away from connected power and water. The standard 50mm (2in) ball hitch may also limit its ability to go on rougher tracks. The grey water tank will allow you to have showers in national parks or at a music festival. The Majestic Knight would provide a lot of comfort and luxury at destinations such as these.
How does it tow?
For the test, it was being towed by the new Ford Ranger with the V6 engine, which had no difficulty. As a passenger, I forgot that we were towing a van as we traversed gravel roads and freeways. With a van this length, the turning circle is large, but the rear camera mounted on the top of the van provides vision for both reversing and touring.
The bottom line
The Majestic Knight is a solid van that provides a level of luxury at a good value price. At the same time, it is fully Australian made and backed by a company that has been in the business for more than 20 years. Its construction is the same as more expensive Majestic vans intended for extended off-grid use. In its tested configuration, it will suit a couple looking to travel in a spacious van with all the comforts you need without breaking the bank.
Hits and Misses
- Excellent price point
- All Australian made
- Loads of features as standard
- Black tends to show the dust
- Batteries sit below the chassis
Majestic Knight SLE 21 Side Club Ratings
Value for Money
The Majestic Knight represents good value for money at $86,990 on road
You’ll need more than a Prado to tow it, but it does tow well
Suitability for Intended Touring
Best suited for tarmac with the occasional dirt roads
Very good level of build from a manufacturer that has been in the business 20 years
Excellent standard features and design create a very comfortable van
Suitable for short off-grid stays
I liked the customer focused approach
Some good innovations
Majestic Knight SLE 21 Side Club Specs
Weights and Measures
|Overall length||9m (29ft 6in)|
|External body length||6.4m (21ft)|
|Travel height ||3.15m (10ft 4in)|
|Internal height||1.98m (6ft 6in)|
|Payload ||546kg (calculated)|
|Ball weight at tare ||546kg|
|Ball to tare ratio||7%|
|Frame ||Engineered one-piece fibreglass insulated roof, white composite walls with meranti timber frame, marine ply floor|
|Chassis ||DuraGal chassis (4in chassis with raiser), extended A-frame(6in back to wheel point)|
|Suspension ||Shock absorber suspension (independent available)|
|Coupling ||50mm (2in) ball coupling|
|Brakes ||10in electric|
|Wheels ||16in alloys|
|Water ||2 x 95L fresh water tanks, 1 x 95L grey water tank|
|Battery ||2 x chassis-mounted AGM batteries|
|Solar||2 x 170W solar panels|
|Air-conditioner||Reverse cycle air-conditioner|
|Gas ||2 x 9kg gas bottles|
|Sway control||No (optional)|
|Cooking ||Recessed four-burner cooktop with grill gas oven|
|Microwave ||NCE 24L|
|Fridge ||Three-way fridge|
|Bathroom ||Separate shower/toilet ensuite|
|Washing machine||Aussie Traveller 3.5kg|
|Hot water||Gas/electric hot water system|
Majestic Knight SLE 21 Side Club price from $86,990 on road
Supplied by Majestic Caravans
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