Over decades, sand, wind and water have sculpted the Cooloola Recreation Area on the northern fringe of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, creating high sand dunes, coloured sand cliffs, sweeping beaches and the perfect location to give the latest offering from On The Move Caravans a run for its money.
After all, if its name was anything to go by, this pop-top van promised to be just the ticket with which to explore this large and remarkable wilderness. While Rainbow Beach provided the opportunity for us to see if the Crossfire had the right stuff for the rough stuff, a shower or two and a threatening thunderstorm turned the usually pristine waters inky, the sand sticky and made the trip just a little more tricky…
LAYOUT & DESIGN
The Crossfire, in name and design, is as a clarion call to outdoors adventure. It makes that clear by providing an external slide-out kitchen (rather than an internal one) that, on the test van, included a handy Weber barbecue as well as a two-burner cooktop. The kitchen doesn’t include a plumbed sink, although it is an available option. Instead, a tub is set into the bench, with hot and cold water available nearby on the drawbar. The close proximity of the taps makes this setup a reasonably convenient solution for this simple kitchen.
There’s also an external shower with hot and cold water, perfect for cleaning off the sand after a day’s surfing or fishing.
While the Crossfire has dual 155W solar panels to feed the dual 100Ah batteries, it doesn’t have an inverter to make the most of its power arrangement – although it is available as an optional extra. In an era when increasing numbers of travellers want the freedom to bush camp, I think an inverter producing pure sine wave 240V power is a nice piece of kit to have – especially for those of us addicted to our technology. There are two USB chargers and a 12V plug, however.
BEDROOM & STORAGE
There’s a double bed up front with a small but comfortable dinette next to it with a fold-down table, which can be moved for easier access to the bed. Internal storage is adequate for short trips away and comprises an array of drawers, a shelved cupboard and under-seat storage.
Although the living space is limited, there’s a good reason. The design has sacrificed some living area for an internal combo shower-toilet ensuite. That’s a little piece of luxury you just don’t expect in a rig of this size, and it saves you from smelling like the leftovers of the bait packet you picked up on the way to the beach.
While the ensuite is a convenient luxury, it is, understandably, on the small side which means some people might find it a little tight. And, of course, there’s always the external shower – a Godsend after a hot day on the beach. Regardless, enjoying a good shower is dependent on the 124L of water storage or hooking up to town water somewhere.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Offroad hybrid vans of this type are all about keeping things simple, casting off life’s bowlines and catching the trade winds to explore, dream and discover. The unpretentious interior with its comfy bed, basic kitchen and combo ensuite has just enough of the right stuff to allow that to happen.
Perhaps the ensuite is a little small and the toolbox a little too big considering the handy tunnel boot. However, from rugged good looks to practicality, this is certainly a van worth considering for those that want to hit the wild outdoors or who, like us, find a long straight beach ripe for fishing and staying a little while.
HITS & MISSES
- Simple kitchen setup
- The general look and finish
- Easy to set up
- Bonus having an ensuite
- Large external storage capacity
- Small living area
- Small ensuite
- No internal kitchen