With a clever 12V setup, solid and close-fitting cabinetry, and strong chassis and suspension, this van should give years – decades – of dependable touring.
Layout & Design
The Australis Great Southern Land 19FT Front Ensuite (to use its complete moniker) was released at this year’s Victorian Caravan Show.
This van is based on the smaller Goldstream Cutaway series, which feature sharp upward-sweeping tails to prevent damage when traversing tricky terrain. Trouble was, many potential Cutaway customers wanted a full ensuite, rather than the standard corner combo.
The solution: the longer Australis offroader, which retains its little brother’s decent departure angle by placing the bathroom at the front of the van, the bed fitting over the section where the angled rear slightly encroaches into the main cabin. The van as tested wears quite a number of options, from solar to leather seats, but there’s still good value to be found.
Chassis & Suspension
The body sits on a SupaGal Austrail chassis sporting 6in main rails, with 6in box-section steel also used for the drawbar and cutaway rear. The cross members are 2in box-section. Overall, the van’s underbelly is a thing of beauty: the floor is completely protected by a zinc-aluminium sheet, while the brake wiring is fully sheathed and retained with steel P clips (with rubber inserts), rather than cable ties.
Goldstream has opted for 3.5t-rated Cruisemaster XT suspension with dual shock absorbers on each control arm, which performed well during our test.
Kitchen & Storage
The offside kitchen gets a Thetford Caprice Mk III cooktop with oven and grill. The sink is fitted with a filtered drinking water tap and there are plenty of storage options on offer, with all drawers opening and closing on ball-bearing runners. Bench space is adequate rather than ample.
The TV, which is mounted at the rear of the kitchen bench, sports a built-in DVD player and is linked to a Fusion RV-CD80 entertainment unit.
Opposite, the dinette’s twin seats wear genuine leather, with snap-up footrests adding to the comfort factor. There’s a 12V point nearby, and we’re told a USB charging point is on the agenda. The drawers for accessing the storage space beneath the lounges were appreciated.
Other features throughout include Dometic’s B3000 air-conditioner, a Heki hatch, 190L Dometic three-way fridge with touch control panel, and a Daewoo microwave.
THE BOTTOM LINE
There are few brands that combine form and function as well as Goldstream RV. The company hasn’t rested on its laurels; rather, it’s exploited 20-plus years of manufacturing and touring experience in developing its current range, and the Australis does justice to a hard-won reputation.
- Redarc battery management system
- Overhauled design and fit and finish
- Inclusion of the front ensuite
I would have liked...
- Window in the ensuite
- Solar as standard, given the inclusion of the Redarc BMS
The full test appears in Caravan World #534, February 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!