Queensland-based Sunland Caravans is known for its well-appointed range of offroad caravans but, up until late last year, none of the models included a slide-out. That has now changed with the addition of an SEL-X complete with an offside slide-out to the Patriot range.
LAYOUT & DESIGN
Patriot caravans generally feature a front bedroom (with either a double or two single beds), a full-width rear bathroom and a mid-area kitchen and dinette. While this layout has been retained to a degree in this latest SEL-X, the slide-out allows for a larger club lounge in place of the more common cafe-style dinette, and also allows more features to be incorporated throughout.
While the addition of a slide-out will always add space, the Sunland slide-out adds a bit more than that. The club lounge in the slide-out provides greater seating comfort, while still incorporating a decent-sized table. To give you an idea of the size of the club lounge, when the slide-out is closed up, it actually butts up against the kitchen bench! The lounge also converts into a bed and, to make this process easy, the table has a very steady but collapsible single leg that can easily be pushed down to lower the table.
BEDROOM & STORAGE
The bedroom features a good-sized 2.05x1.53m (6ft 9in x 5ft) island bed, which maintains decent walk around space, and characteristic Sunland ‘double tier’ windows fitted on either side. Under the bed the compartmented storage area includes two wire basket drawers.
The location of the fridge is a little unusual. Instead of sitting right back into the slide-out the fridge doors are almost, but not quite, parallel with the inside edge of the seats. Not only does it mean the fridge is closer to the kitchen bench but also the area behind it can be used for storage. In this case there is a benchtop and an extension of the overhead lockers. Given the table location, it’s slightly awkward to get at, but after pondering the use of the space for a while, I thought it would make quite a good book shelf, or maybe a charging location for your small devices – assuming, of course, the necessary 240V/12V/5V sockets were fitted.
In a van this length, especially with the space offered by the slide-out, there is very little compromise required in the layout. For instance, the kitchen has plenty of room for a good array of cupboards and drawers, all soft close with metal runners. In addition, there’s the Sunland moulded sink and drainer plus a four-burner cooktop with grill and separate oven, all neatly fitted. The microwave sits above the sink, slightly lower than the adjoining overhead lockers and at a much more practical height.
Like the kitchen sink, the bathroom wash basin is a Sunland moulding and both are designed so the drain pipe does not occupy precious cupboard/drawer space. The Sunland shower cubicle has also been designed specifically to more effectively drain the shower water. There’s also a cassette toilet, top-loading washing machine and plenty of drawer and cupboard space in the bathroom – all finished in a sparkling, glossy white.
THE BOTTOM LINE
This is one of the most expensive caravans I have tested and it reflects the Sunland approach to things. Everything – from the hybrid alloy/steel chassis to the technology of the electrics – demonstrates Sunland’s desire for a better built and lighter weight caravan. And there’s a host of modern appliances and devices included.
With the addition of the slide-out into its tried and true Patriot layout, buyers now have the choice of whether they want that extra living space or not.
But whichever model they choose, they can be sure they will be getting a very comfortable and well fitted-out caravan.
HITS & MISSES
- Slide-out with club lounge
- Nicely engineered van
- Spacious interior
- Electrically well set up
- Hybrid chassis design
- External bin capacity
- Pricey, especially when a tow vehicle is added
- Little else