Atlantic Caravans is an unpretentious manufacturer based in regional Melbourne. It’s been building caravans for more than a decade and offers a range of on-road, family and offroad models.
The latter, a High Terrain, caught my attention at a caravan show not long ago - mostly, I should confess, because of the bright orange colour on the front and rear walls. It was also a coincidence that I was looking for a smaller van. Indeed, the High Terrain had an external length of just 4.93m (16ft 2in). Colour isn’t everything, I know, but something that stands out in the crowd of contemporary Australian-built caravans has something going for it.
Parravans Caravan World at Windsor, north-west of Sydney, is my local Atlantic dealer, and Josh Edwards set me up with the High Terrain and a Mazda BT-50 tow vehicle. It’s a good match. The BT-50 isn’t a big offroader, but it’s built for 4WD use. The High Terrain has a tare mass of 2380kg and an ATM of 2940kg. So, there isn’t the usual problem of the dual cab tow rating of 3500kg and GCM of 6000kg not being suitable for the caravan behind.
Indeed, the three-litre 140kw/450Nm turbo diesel of the Mazda is powerful enough to tow the High Terrain, and on one of the few dirt roads I found, there was no indication of any towing abnormalities.
UNDER THE COLOURED PANELS
Apart from the rather striking end panels, the High Terrain has more conventional silvery grey side walls, all being made from aluminium composite panels. Being an offroad caravan, there’s also a lower waistline of black alloy checkerplate on the side and rear walls with a higher plate area on the front wall. Much of the fit-out around the caravan body is relatively standard, with a Dometic security door, Mobicool awning windows and a Dometic awning. Also fitted to the nearside wall are LED strip lights, external speakers and a picnic table. Under the exterior cladding is a meranti timber frame.
An option on this model is the Swift Alfresco barbecue with stainless steel sink, which was fitted to my review van. It does take up part of the front tunnel storage, but for those who enjoy the outdoor lifestyle and like to keep some cooking smells outside, it’s a winner.
UNDER THE BODYWORK
Built by Roadrunner, the box section chassis with 150mm (6in) rails and drawbar has a Hammertone finish. As usual, the freshwater tanks are mounted between the rails on either side of the suspension, with the grey water tank further to the rear. At the back of the van, the bumper bar with the spare wheel mounting is extended slightly to include a firewood box.
All of the pipework and cabling was strapped up out of the way and nothing was dangling in a vulnerable position. The battery box, welded to the front offside rail contains the two house batteries. Other chassis fittings include the two taps at the front nearside, Anderson plug by the battery box and the mains pressure hose fitting behind the rear offside wheel.
OZ Trekker independent suspension, rated at 2700kg, is a standard fitting and comes with coil springs, trailing arms and two shock absorbers per wheel. The wheels are 16in alloys fitted with All Terrain tyres.
In addition to towing essentials – Cruisemaster DO35 hitch, jockey wheel and handbrake, on the drawbar is a stoneguard, two 9kg gas cylinders and an alloy checkerplate storage box. It’s quite spacious with two compartments, accessible from either side and the top. Jerry can holders are fitted to both the side doors of the storage box. A caveat here: keep an eye on the tow ball mass if loading anything particularly weighty.
Given that this is an offroad caravan, it’s not surprising that it’s well-kitted for remote travel. Two 105Ah batteries are kept up to charge by two 190W solar panels and a BMPRO HA 35A battery management system. All the water tanks, fresh and grey, have a 95-litre capacity.
In a van this length, the internal layout does have a few limitations, but all the essentials are there, and it has a forward door, maximizing the interior space. Across the rear, there’s a full-width bathroom and taking up the front space is an east-west bed. Just a few colour notes for those who like to indulge in such things, the bench tops are Togo Oak, the splashback is Opal 069, the upholstery is Eastwood Taupe, and the cupboard doors are New Artic (a glossy white). In other words, a contemporary look that’s easy on the eye!
In the bathroom, the cabinetry looks quite stylish, and some pains have been taken to tone down the square look. There’s a generous amount of storage, including overhead lockers, a cupboard and open shelves on either side of the cupboard. Taking up the rear wall space is a large mirror and a mini front loader washing machine. All the other bathroom necessities are included – shower cubicle, Dometic cassette toilet and wash basin. There’s enough space to turn around, two ceiling fans, and a window supply adequate ventilation.
Although this is a relatively small van, the kitchen bench is well-sized. Even though there’s both a four-burner cooktop/grill and a stainless-steel sink/drainer fitted in, there’s still a moderate amount of benchtop space. General storage space scores quite well too with a good selection of overhead lockers, cupboards and drawers. The Sphere microwave oven is located above the cooker and the Dometic three-way 173-litre fridge butts up neatly against the bathroom wall. The fridge is mounted off the floor at a user-friendly height.
Opposite the kitchen, the lounge seat and dining table will suit two people admirably and the L-shaped style gives easy access from either side. The table mounting allows for effortless positioning – something helpful when tuning the radio that’s located in the overhead locker above the seat.
Offset slightly to the right, the bed measures 1.85m x 1.45m (6ft 1in x 4ft 9in). There’s enough space at the foot of the bed to allow the inner occupant to get in and out without disturbing the other partner. In the front nearside corner, a conventional bedside cabinet with wardrobe and lower cupboard fits in neatly. There’s even a pillow cubbie, not that it’s anywhere near the pillow. Design constraints mean the windows on either side are pretty small, but there’s a wall-mounted Sirocco fan on the wall the pillow end and the big roof hatch is almost above the bed.
THE BOTTOM LINE
For those who like to explore the back blocks of Australia with a caravan that isn’t overly large, the High Terrain 16ft 2in has much to offer. The compromise is a smaller interior space but apart from that, the van has just about everything needed for rough road travel but done in style.
HITS AND MISSES
- Tare Mass of 2380kg
- Well-proportioned layout
- Good sized kitchen
- Electrical setup
- East-west bed
- Small bed windows
- High microwave oven
ATLANTIC HIGH TERRAIN 16FT 2IN RATINGS
VALUE FOR MONEY
Not a budget price but an offroad caravan with plenty of extras
With an ATM under 3000kg, it doesn’t necessarily need a heavy-duty tow vehicle
SUITABILITY FOR INTENDED TOURING
Has all the necessary offroad essentials
A well fitted out caravan
Relatively practical layout with room to move
Two 105Ah batteries and two 190W solar panels will keep the 12V electrics up to charge
Atlantic offers a three-year structural warranty and five years on the chassis. Components as per the OEM
Offroad van that’s been downsized a bit
The colour was eye-catching but the shorter length good for offroad travellers
ATLANTIC HIGH TERRAIN 16FT 2IN SPECS
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
|4.93m (16ft 2in)
|7.89m (25ft 10in)
|3.01m (9ft 10in)
|SupaGal with Hammertone finish
|OZ Trekker© 2700kg independent
|2 x 95L
|1 x 95L
|2 x 105Ah
|2 x 190W
|Dometic Ibis 4
|2 x 9kg
|Mobicool 4 burner with grill
|Dometic RMD10.5SX 173L 3 way
|Dometic cassette toilet and separate shower cubicle
|Swift 28L, LPG/240V
Atlantic High Terrain 16ft 2in price from $91,900.00
- External Shower
- Swift slide-out kitchen
Atlantic High Terrain 16ft 2in price as shown $123,090.00
THE NEXT STEP
The sellers will be happy to help and answer any inquiries you may have about the products advertised for sale.