Some caravans are given interesting names that seem to come out of left field while others seem to be quite logical. I recently wasted some time mulling over the origin of a model name (was it Latin?) only to find out that the manufacturer had made it up! Others, like the Regent Weekender, are a bit more obvious. You won’t be expecting a rough and tumble offroad rig but, more likely, a van perfectly set up for a weekend escape.
LAYOUT AND DESIGN
Such is the case with the Weekender, although it could easily be taken on longer trips as it is quite comfortable and has all the essentials onboard, with a decent amount of packing space as well. There are several models available, most with a front bedroom and rear bathroom, but there are also family and single bed layouts. My review model was the 5.94m (19ft 6in) internal. It’s a tandem-axle van clearly designed for on-road use, with a Tare of 2120kg and an ATM of 2520kg, and you get a bit more bang for your buck because the external length is actually 6.4m (21ft).
Included in the body structure is a conventional front boot as well as a tunnel boot, so there is plenty of external storage. The Aussie Traveller security door and the Sunburst Eclipse awning are familiar items, but less so is the hinged picnic table with simple catches rather than keyed locks (yay, one less key!) and the acrylic, double-glazed windows which were a bit fiddly to open.
Relaxing in the dinette also allows you to determine how easy it will be to view the TV, and the position of the antenna and 12V socket at the end of the Weekender’s kitchen locker means it shouldn’t be an issue here.
Another good little test you can do from the dinette is to see how easily you can see outside. Unfortunately, in this case, the size of the window didn’t quite make the cut for me. However, this is balanced somewhat by the large windows either side of the bed. Access to the under-seat storage is also a little fiddly as you have to lift the cushions and move the ply hatches to get at them.
From the dinette, the kitchen essentials can also be observed and the essential motions of cooking can be worked through. The Weekender’s kitchen has all the basic essentials – a stainless steel sink and drainer, four-burner cooktop with grill, Thetford 184L fridge and a Swift dLuxx microwave mounted in the overhead lockers.
There is one interesting compromise in the kitchen’s design, though. The floor-to-ceiling pantry with wire basket slide-outs is a practical feature but it’s about 300mm wide, so it takes up what would be a decent amount of benchtop working space. The trade-off is obvious but which one would you prefer?
In addition to the pantry, there is the expected selection of cupboards and overhead lockers, but not many drawers. An additional, and less common, feature is the narrow cupboard against the bathroom wall by the entry door. It’s a full-height cabinet and would make either a good pantry or a useful place to stash smaller items. The floor inside would certainly be ideal for storing your shoes.
Keeping clean in the bathroom won’t be a problem as the shower cubicle is a good size. In addition, there’s a wash basin on the vanity cabinet and a top-loading washing machine fitted into the rear offside corner. That other essential, a cassette toilet, sits on the offside wall. It’s not a subject that gets mentioned often but, in many RVs, the drainage/water piping intrudes into what could otherwise be useful storage space. Here, some effort has been made to strap the piping out of the way.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Clearly, the Weekender is designed for a bit more than weekend use. It has all the essentials, is very comfortable and has enough storage, both external and internal, for longer-term travel.
On that note, if you loaded it very carefully, it could fit under the popular 2500kg limit, making it an acceptable towing proposition for a wide range of vehicles.
- Good space around the bed
- Useful cupboard by the entry door
- Electrical master switch by the door
- Full-height slide-out pantry
- LED lighting
- Keyless picnic table
- Fiddly under-seat access
- Windows are tricky to open
- No internal 12V/5V USB charger outlet
- Minimal kitchen benchtop space