Prime Edge Caravans are a relatively new name in the Australian caravan industry but the owners, Nick and Vlad Suplinovski, are not. Initially beginning by making benchtops for caravans, the brothers moved to building Red Centre Caravans for a third party. Now, they are building the Prime Edge range under their own name.
Except for the TourX, all the Prime Edge vans are built for offroad use. That includes the topline Odyssey ATX 21ft, my review van, organised through the Sunshine Coast dealer Caravan World. When I arrived, the van was hitched up and ready to go, and I was soon on my way to my photography location, Kenilworth Camping, a charming location on the Mary River in Queensland.
First impressions can mean a lot, and the Odyssey ATX’s gold and black colour scheme certainly catches attention. Under the bodywork is an aluminium frame, which is all hydraulic rivetted. The sides, front and rear are all sandwich panel construction, and the roof is one-piece fibreglass. Mostly out of sight, the floor is also a one-piece, a honeycomb structure.
There’s a generous amount of external storage built into the Odyssey. In addition to the front tunnel storage and rear offside bin, two checkerplate storage bins are mounted on the drawbar. Fitted with extra drawers and slide-outs, there is space for a barbecue and a generator. In addition to a spare wheel, two jerry cans and a pole carrier are mounted on the rear bumper.
Prime Edge offers a two-year warranty on factory workmanship, five years on the chassis, structure and water ingress and 12 months on OEM components.
The ARV-built chassis is a truss design. It looks much like a standard box section design, except that certain sections of the chassis have been removed to save weight, yet without losing any strength. It’s built using Australian steel, galvanised to AS/NZS 2312.2, and then treated to a LINE-X protective coating. The arty design touch is the laser-cut engraving of the Prime Edge name. And to handle the towing load, there’s a Cruisemaster DO45 fitted.
There’s a fitness-for-purpose look about the sub-chassis area. The water tanks all have alloy checkerplate protection and all the pipework and cabling is fully protected and strapped up well out of the way. Unusually, that includes the grey water piping which is fully enclosed by corrugated PVC tubing.
ARV’s top-of-the-line airbag suspension is highly impressive with Pedder’s dual shock absorbers. It’s designed to ensure a smooth ride under any load. The suspension system includes a 12V compressor, air tank and tyre inflation kit. The self-levelling system has full and semi-automatic controls. The suspension comes with a five-year warranty. The caravan package includes 16in alloy wheels fitted with Mickey Thompson 265/75R16 tyres. Instead of drum brakes, the wheels are fitted with disc brakes that have an AL-KO iQ7 hydraulic actuator. That’s necessary for power-assisted braking with no time lag.
The tow vehicle
Being built as an offroad caravan, the Odyssey ATX isn’t a lightweight. It has a tare mass of 3050kg and an ATM of 4200kg, which results in a payload of 1150kg. However, that does push the van into Chevrolet Silverado or RAM towing territory. Travellers who are very careful with loading and stay under 3500kg can use something like a LandCruiser or get the Toyota’s towing capacity upgraded. Any of the 3500kg rated utes are not suitable.
On the road, the Odyssey towed well behind the LandCruiser. It’s a big van, but it was quite stable on the bitumen and the few bush tracks I found during the tow test. I liked the disk brakes; they provided plenty of stopping power when required.
There’s little doubt the power system has been designed for extended off-grid living. Two 300Ah Enerdrive lithium LiFePO4 batteries are the backbone, and they connect to four 210W solar panels via a 40A MPPT solar regulator.
An Enerdrive ePRO Combi 12/3000-120 is the system’s heart, a combi inverter/charger with a 2600W inverter and 120A charger. Instead of being inside the van, all of the electrical gear is located in an external cabinet on the offside of the van. Apart from anything else, it makes it all easily accessible, particularly for checking and testing. Inside the van, the remaining controls, like the water heater, tank gauges and even the Fusion radio, are in an overhead locker above the lounge.
There are two 9kg gas cylinders for the cooker, water heater and external gas bayonet — but Prime Edge can fit enough battery capacity for a fully electric van.
In addition to the two 95L freshwater and single 100L grey water tanks, there’s an extra 62L of drinking water to ensure extended travel ability. The hot water comes from a Girard instantaneous heater.
Just like the outside, the interior creates an excellent first impression. There’s a good feel to the fit-out and finish. The final effect is very understated. All the cabinetry is CNC machine cut and interlocked to ensure a solid finish. The door catches are minimalist in the case of the cupboard and drawers and are hidden for the overhead lockers. I like the rolled bench edge — to me, it is classier and more practical. Touch switches mostly control the downlights and reading lights in a well-appointed lighting system.
Prime Edge has opted for a tried and trusted layout. It’s a rear door entry van with a front island bed, nearside kitchen, offside dining area and a rear full ensuite. The window space is quite generous, offering plenty of blue sky views and natural light, the latter of which is somewhat assisted by the glossy white ceiling.
Catering and dining
For those who would like to practise their culinary skills, this spacious kitchen has a good benchtop area. There’s plenty of storage space, mostly drawers, cupboards, and overhead lockers. In addition to that, there’s a wire basket pantry adjacent to the 224L compressor fridge on the opposite side. A Hawk four-burner cooktop, grill and oven handles everything from making soup to a Sunday roast. In addition, there’s the usual microwave oven fitted in among the overhead lockers.
Facing the kitchen bench, the club lounge oozes comfort, especially with the hinged footrests on each end seat. The table isn’t huge but being on a Nuova Mapa mounting, it’s height-adjustable and means the lounge can be used to make up a bed if needed. A reading light, mains power point, and a USB charger hub are on the wall at each end of the lounge.
Up front is a bedroom with plenty of space. The bed is a standard queen (1.83m x 1.53m/6ft 2in x 5ft) pillowtop mattress and there’s a surprising amount of walk-around room, even with the small diagonal cupboards on both sides. As well as the usual overhead lockers, there are shelved cupboards on both sides, each with a pillow cubby. Lifting the bed frame gives easy access to the underbed storage. There isn’t a hatch above the bed; that’s where the CaraFan dust extractor is. However, there are good-sized windows on either side and two Sirocco 12V wall fans.
In keeping with the rest of the van, the rear bathroom has a high level of appointment. The vanity cabinet has a generous number of drawers, cupboard space and overhead lockers. All while leaving enough area for a wash basin and top-loading washing machine. The remaining space is occupied by the offside Thetford cassette toilet and the shower cubicle in the opposite corner. Ventilation is assured by two roof fan hatches and a small window.
The bottom line
Prime Edge might be a relatively new name in the caravan manufacturing business but there’s plenty of experience to show in the Odyssey design and layout. The Odyssey has much to offer for a couple who want a van designed for some rough road driving, while still being entirely comfortable with all the conveniences.
In the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, there’s a great little camping spot on the Mary River: Kenilworth Camping. It’s actually a working dairy farm and yes you can make friends with the cows, but it’s also a great camping spot which I have used a few times. As it happens it’s also excellent for taking review photos! See kenilworthcamping.net.au to find out more.
HITS AND MISSES
- Good-looking van
- A layout with room to move
- Excellent fit and finish
- Exterior storage
- Needs heavy tow vehicle
PRIME EDGE ODYSSEY ATX 21FT RATINGS
VALUE FOR MONEY
Compared to some similarly built vans, this one is well-priced
Quite stable on the road but does require a heavy-duty tow vehicle
SUITABILITY FOR INTENDED TOURING
Clearly built for offroad use
The fit and finish are great, both up top and underneath
Being 6.4m (21ft) long, the interior is quite spacious
With 600Ah of lithium battery and solar panels with a capacity of 840W, off-grid travel is assured, especially with the extra drinking water tank
Two years manufacturing and five years on the chassis, structural and water ingress
It’s not totally new, but the accessible external electrics cabinet
A good-looking van
PRIME EDGE ODYSSEY ATX 21FT SPECS
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
|External body length
|9.07m (29ft 9in)
|Width (incl. awn)
|2.46m (8ft 1in)
|Height (incl. AC)
|3.18m (10ft 5in)
|Ball weight at tare
|Aluminium (hydraulic riveted front, rear and side walls)
|Sandwich panel construction walls, one-piece sandwich fibreglass composite roof, one-piece honeycomb composite floor
|SupaGal truss with LINE-X coating
|ARV airbag with remote operation – level four
|Disc with AL-KO iQ7 hydraulic actuator
|16in alloy with Mickey Thompson 265/75R16 tyres
|2 x 95L freshwater, 1 x 100L grey water, 1 x 62L drinking water
|2 x 300Ah Enerdrive lithium
|4 x 210W
|Dometic Ibis 4
|2 x 9kg
|Hawk 600 four-burner cooktop, grill and oven
|Dometic RUC 8408X, 224L, 12V compressor
|Thetford cassette toilet and separate shower cubicle
Prime Edge Odyssey ATX 21ft price from $164,990
645 Chevallum Road
Chevallum Qld 4555
P: 07 5445 2215
THE NEXT STEP
If you need help choosing your first caravan or are considering upgrading your existing one, check out the Prime Edge Caravans models available on TradeRVs today.
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