In matrimonial idiom, a 10th wedding anniversary is traditionally celebrated with gifts of aluminium or tin. And in modern-day nuptial parlance, it’s diamond jewellery.
So there’s a touch of irony that Billabong Custom Caravans is celebrating a ‘happy marriage’ with the RV industry, with a glitzy aluminium composite offering that absolutely sparkles – inside and out!
LAYOUT AND DESIGN
The Billabong Grove 22x anniversary model has upgraded 3mm flat panel white aluminium composite cladding which, in conjunction with the van’s black checkerplate, blue striping and blue accented wheels, gives it an avant-garde external finish.
A large external AV box, complete with 32in TV and black checkerplate, adds to the all-new Grove 22x’s ultra-modern feel and appearance. The upgraded AV box, with 12V, 240V and TV points, measures 970x490mm and can store a 32in TV inside, in contrast to Billabong’s standard AV box (290x350mm), which contains a TV arm bracket but cannot store a television.
Billabong says the Grove 22x is a result of the extensive experience gained by its craftsmen during the past decade, and also takes into account the most revered features from the Billabong range, plus a few added extras.
The good-sized Dometic double-glazed windows welcome in the outside and offer excellent ventilation in combination with the roof hatches.
The Grove 22x is capable of heading well into the sunset, courtesy of a 120Ah AGM battery with charger and two roof-mounted 120W solar panels with ProStar regulator.
Tipping the scales at a beefy Tare weight of 2801kg, the Grove 22x towed brilliantly behind our Toyota SR5 4X4 double-cab pick-up around the outskirts of Gisborne, 55km north-west of Melbourne. And that’s not surprising, considering this anniversary model – armed with Al-Ko ESC – rides on a 6in G&S SupaGal chassis, leaf spring suspension, 12in Al-Ko electric brakes and Grabber AT2 265 tyres.
BEDROOM AND STORAGE
There’s even more reason to rejoice once you step inside the Grove 22x. The front bedroom is a plush affair complete with a caravan-queen-size island bed that abuts the front wall, and I was impressed with the storage capacity provided by the massive robes on both sides and the full-height corner cupboard at the foot of the bed.
Combined with the under-bed space, it’s certainly a complete bedroom-away-from-home.
Undoubtedly, the interior’s prize gem is the extended shower and ensuite, which creates a feeling of spaciousness. Billabong has added 6in to the ensuite length, which allows the installation of a larger shower (1080x630mm) compared to the standard shower (740x570mm).
Meanwhile, the glitzy extended ensuite is in accordance with the anniversary model’s flamboyance. It boasts all the necessary mod-cons, including the aforementioned extended fibreglass shower, recessed front-loading washing machine, square raised vanity with large taps, full mirror, two towel rails and Thetford ceramic bowl swivel toilet.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Billabong Custom Caravans is certainly celebrating in style with the Grove 22x. It’s an up-to-the-minute onroad tourer worth rejoicing.
Okay, it’ll set you back $85K… but it’s jam-packed full of options and oozes class with a capital ‘C’.
Here’s to the next 10 years, Billabong!
- Extended shower and ensuite
- Large AV box
- Upgraded cladding
- Elegant ‘white’ leather lounge
- No stone protector
- Cleaning the lounge
The full test appears in Caravan World #554 October 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!