Legend status is only afforded to the best of the best in any walk of life.
Based in Campbellfield, Vic, Legend Caravans is aware that great reputations aren’t handed out on a plate, so is already developing its own star status. It has built a reputation for manufacturing excellence and quality, and significant points of difference with its convoy of caravans.
The Legend fleet has a distinct personality, with offroad wunderkinds such as the Groundbreaker Ultimate, which turned heads in the $85K-$100K category during Best Aussie Vans 2016.
An on-road touring family van, the 6.58m (21ft 7in) Wild Native is a completely different proposition, but it exhibits many Legend Caravans hallmarks. Some of these traits include an insect-treated, laminated poplar frame, aluminium roof, insulation batts in the roof cavity, exclusive Italian handles on the screwed-in cabinetry, rubber-lined acrylic cupboard doors with positive lock catches, and a fuel-efficient aerodynamic front.
I tugged the Wild Native along with an updated single cab Toyota LandCruiser 79, and it passed our tow test with flying colours. It was assisted by the LC’s 3500kg tow capacity but the Wild Native’s Tare of 2200kg, G&S 4in SupaGal chassis with 3in riser and 6in A-frame, and leaf-spring suspension also helped!
Externally, the Wild Native has a modern look courtesy of its aluminium composite cladding. I also liked the panoramic Dometic double-glazed windows, particularly in the bedroom, and large skylight hatches. It also has a Dometic rollout awning, drop-down picnic table, gas bayonet for a barbecue, and twin 9kg gas cylinders on the drawbar.
But that’s where it ends on the outside, and I thought it could benefit (as far as on-road family touring is concerned) from an external kitchen for alfresco dining while camping. This is an optional extra, however. There was also no provision for outdoor entertainment, and I reckon any caravan needs a little more storage than just a tunnel boot. A grey water tank, and a stone shield to protect the gas cylinders and the van’s front wouldn’t go astray, either.
Internally, the Wild Native gleams. I loved the colour contrast between the shimmering overhead lockers and the lower cupboards in the fully-equipped angled kitchen, which is an effective use of space.
It comprises a Swift 500 Series four-burner cooktop, grill and oven, 184L Dometic two-door fridge/freezer, Sphere 900W microwave (which I thought was positioned a little too high – a common problem in many vans!), 12V rangehood, and sink with drainer. Under the sink is a drop-down compartment for washing up items (sponge, dishwashing liquid etc.), and there’s a drawer underneath and a cupboard above the drainer.
The spacious living zone, directly opposite the kitchen, is lavishly appointed. A classy fabric L-shaped lounge allows you to kick back and relax, and the drop-down table doesn’t encroach on leg room. The double-glazed window brings the outdoors indoors and provides plenty of ventilation when open. Two reading lights at either end of the lounge also invite bookworms to enjoy their favourite novel, or you can also just catch up on the latest events with a newspaper in hand.
A Finch RV CD/MP3 player provides internal entertainment, and above are water level indicators, a water pump switch, and a hot water switch – all in a lift-up compartment. There’s also plenty of storage courtesy of four good-size overhead lockers. A Legend-inscribed coat hanger is affixed on the end of the lounge wall, and there’s an internal padded headboard over the door entry.
Immediately to the left of entry is a swish front bedroom, which will keep any travelling parent satisfied. The caravan-queen-size bed slots neatly into a recessed bedhead and gives a real sense of space, and there’s more than adequate storage courtesy of the robes and dressers, three overhead lockers, and also under the bed where the battery is located. There’s also a corner cupboard at the front of the bed on the offside.
The boudoir has plenty of lighting, provided by four downlights, two reading lights and an overhead hatch, and the windows either side are a good size. I also liked the robe cut-outs, which are ideal for keeping your mobile phone, wallet, jewellery etc. at close range.
But it’s the rear ensuite/dual bunks area where a sense of family really rises to the fore. It’s a practical layout, with bunks to the left of entry and the Thetford C200 cassette toilet and fibreglass shower cubicle with shower rail both on the right. And in the middle is plenty of storage space and a concealed Camec front-loading washing machine – always a welcome inclusion when the kids come along for the ride!
THE BOTTOM LINE
A family of three or four will enjoy many memorable moments travelling in the Wild Native as it certainly invites adventure and fun.
The family van market is a budding segment and I think there’s a lot to be said for a caravan with a bunk layout that places family first while travelling.
The Wild Native is really only capable of shorter stays off-grid but, in essence, it’s badged as an on-road tourer that will intrinsically appeal to the caravan park set.
HITS AND MISSES
- Spacious ensuite
- Family friendly layout
- Large, comfortable lounge
- Panoramic windows
- External kitchen is optional
- Shortage of external storage
- DVD players would be welcomed in the bunks
- No exterior shower – handy for kiddies!
Weights and measures
- Overall length 8.41m (27ft 7in)
- External body length 6.58m (21ft 7in)
- External body width 2.35m (7ft 9in)
- Travel height 2.9m (9ft 6in)
- Internal height 1.96m (6ft 5in)
- Tare 2200kg
- ATM 2700kg
- Payload 500kg
- Ball weight 141kg
Price as shown
$62,540 (on-road, Vic)
The full review apprears in Caravan World #562. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!