Having been associated with the RV industry for a number of years, there is often a tendency towards the somewhat smug thought that I’ve seen it all before. This, of course, is not correct and occasionally something comes along to disprove the thought entirely.
Take this Regal Pure Indulgence caravan for instance. Looks fairly normal from the outside, apart from the longer length, does it not? Inside, it’s mostly normal too, having a full-width rear bathroom, front bedroom layout. Except, that is, for the rather large wardrobe in the bedroom. Well actually, as Queensland Regal’s Ryan Hodges rather gleefully pointed out, it’s not a wardrobe at all; rather, it’s a second toilet cubicle. Yes folks, this is a two-toilet van.
Why you might want a second toilet is a good question, but as Ryan Hodges says, “The customer is always right.” And if nothing else, it’s certainly an interesting demonstration of Regal’s custom building capabilities.
This rig, while very spacious (assisted by the mid-offside slide-out), comes with a few towing considerations. At 9.86m (32ft 4in) long with a triple axle, it’s not a short van, and with an ATM of 4500kg it requires a substantial tow vehicle. Something along the lines of a Chevrolet Silverado if comfort is a major factor, or a light truck if it’s not, would do the trick. (The Chev just fits into the standard car licence category). It should also be pointed out that the van’s size means that there are going to be quite a few caravan parks that will not be able to accommodate it.
KEEPING WITH TRADITION
With all of that said, the Pure Indulgence is quite a conventionally built van. Underpinning it all is a 150x50mm (6in x 2in) DuraGal chassis, which rides on the aforementioned triple axles that are fitted with leaf spring suspension. Fitted between the chassis rails are five (yes five!) 80L water tanks. When they’re full these will be a weight consideration, but the payload of 600kg allows for 200kg of travel gear – assuming you travel with each tank filled to the brim.
Up front, the drawbar sensibly comes with a Trail-A-Mate jack rather than a conventional jockey wheel, plus two 9kg gas cylinders. Also at the front of the van are two jerry can holders and two substantial grab handles. Two spare wheels are mounted on the bumper bar at the rear. The body itself is conventional, too: timber frame, insulated and aluminium-clad with tinted hopper windows and two Camec security doors!
Naturally there is a front boot, but there are also several external bins on both sides. One of the bins on the nearside contains a slide-out barbecue, while another houses a Waeco drawer-style drinks fridge.
Those familiar with Regal vans might also note the multitude (and I mean multitude) of external fluorescent lights fitted all round!
In this design, the front door is for the bedroom area and the rear door opens into the living and kitchen areas. Of course, both are connected by an internal doorway, as is the bathroom in the rear.
The light hued timber look for most of the cabinetry dominates the décor. Starting at the front, the bedroom has an east-west innerspring mattress bed that measures at the decent size of 1.96x1.55m (6ft 5in x 5ft 1in), with the bedhead against the nearside wall. The bedhead consists of cabinets on both sides and three overhead lockers. There is no need for the usual side wardrobes because the entire front wall is devoted to wardrobe space with mirrored doors and drawers lower down.
Taking up a chunk of space in the corner of the bedroom opposite the entry door is the ensuite toilet cubicle. This second convenience contains a Thetford cassette toilet and a small washbasin. A fan hatch and small window provide ventilation and the door comes fitted with towel rails. Both this and the rear toilet are fitted with grab handles.
Outside the toilet cubicle, the foot-of-bed corner is taken up by a set of diagonal cupboards and a flatscreen TV.
THE KITCHEN SINK
In a van of this size, you’d expect a substantial kitchen bench, and that is exactly what you get. It has enough space for the usual items – twin tub stainless steel sink avec drainer, Swift four-burner cooktop/grill/oven and LG microwave in the overhead locker area. Additionally, there is an under-bench Fisher & Paykel dishwasher and a Waeco wine cooler. That still leaves room for plenty of benchtop working area – about the size of a small aircraft carrier with a substantial amount of storage space – and cupboards and overhead lockers. There is not a huge number of drawers, though...
On the opposite side of the van two cupboards forward of the dinette have full-height wire basket pantries which, together with the dinette, occupy the slide-out. The space on the rear side of the dinette is occupied by the final kitchen item, a Vitrifrigo 230L fridge.
Undoubtedly, the items of interest at the café-style leather-upholstered dinette are the tri-fold table and the hinged foot rests at the end of the seats. In a van that doesn’t really have a lounge area, these items are most welcome. The flatscreen TV located at the rear of the kitchen bench can be seen from both seats.
WASHING AND DRYING
Filling the rear of the van very well, the bathroom has an asymmetrical shape that allows for a rear offside shower cubicle and the other Thetford cassette toilet directly in front. This setup provides space on the other side for a front-loading washing machine and dryer above. The mid-rear wall space is occupied by a vanity cabinet complete with a washbasin, wall mirror and cupboards above and below.
There are plenty of fluorescent and LED light fittings throughout the van. Three 120W solar panels on the roof keep the house batteries charged, an Aircommand Cormorant air-conditioner keeps the air cool when needed and an Eberspecher diesel-fired heater does the opposite in winter time. Although not shown in the pics, this van also comes with a 2.65kVA generator mounted on the rear bumper – definitely an essential given that this van is bound for some free camping.
THE BOTTOM LINE
There is no doubt that this is a van and a half in all respects. It comes fitted with just about everything you might want, including a very generous internal living area. Although not for everyone, it certainly gives a very good idea of what is available on the Australian RV market these days.
WORDS AND PICS Malcolm Street
REGAL PURE INDULGENCE
Overall length: 11.66m (38ft 3in)
External length: 9.86m (32ft 4in)
External width: 2.39m (7ft 10in)
Interior height: 2m (6ft 7in)
Nameplate ATM: 4500kg
Nameplate Tare: 3900kg
Suspension: Al-Ko leaf spring
Price as shown: $180,000 (tow-away, Qld)
Queensland Regal Caravans, Nambour, Qld, 4560, (07) 5453 8555.
Source: Caravan World Nov 2010