Caboolture-based Sunland Caravans has always been innovative in its approach to caravan design – adopting everything from a composite chassis design to sophisticated electrics over the years.
The layout of Sunland caravans have generally been conventional, though, often using a front island bed/rear bathroom configuration, but the new Sunland Longreach Adventure takes a step in a very different direction.
The Longreach has an external body length of 5.63m (18ft 6in) and a Tare of 2610kg. Its healthy payload of 890kg, though, puts it well and truly into 3500kg ATM category, for which you’ll need a large tow vehicle.
It was the interior layout of the Longreach Adventure that captured my attention. Essential to this layout is the forward entry door. Stepping in leads straight into the kitchen, with the fridge to the left of the door and the kitchen bench opposite. In a subtle difference from other designs, the bench is not against an external wall but almost in the middle of the van.
The space between the kitchen and offside wall is fully occupied by the bathroom, which creates a very clear separation between the front lounge/dining and the rear bedroom. That also means the bathroom, being accessed from the bedroom, is quite separate from the rest of the van.
Another very interesting feature of the Longreach Adventure is that, because of its available power, it has no internal gas appliances. This allows the van to be completely sealed with no gas vents needed, reducing avenues for dust ingress, and perfect for offroading.
Up front, the traditional cafe-style dinette has had a rework. Part of this area includes the fridge cabinet, which also has a two-tier slide-out pantry and a floor locker underneath.
A rear-facing seat runs across the front of the van with a forward-facing seat fitted to the offside wall to create the dinette. There is a folding table in between.
In the nearside corner, the area behind the fridge has been set up as a small office, complete with desk, power outlets and a flatscreen TV which is perfect for those of us who need to catch up on a little work while on the road. While you can watch the TV from the dinette, you can also use it as an alternative screen for a laptop!
The L-shaped kitchen bench has a round stainless steel sink, overhead lockers, rangehood, and microwave with the fridge making up the third point of the kitchen work triangle.
The cooker isn’t the common four-burner setup, nor the less-common diesel-fired option but a plug-in Ecoheat Slimline. It uses induction technology for heating and can be run off the inverter-fed mains supply. It’s an interesting alternative to the more usual cooking methods, however, it only has one element. All is not lost if you want to cook up a storm, though, just wait until you step outside!
A Daewoo Mini washing machine sits under the bench, as it doesn’t fit in the combo bathroom.
The rear bedroom features a caravan-queensize island bed flanked by side wardrobes and overhead lockers. Centre stage, the wall unit with cupboard space is the mounting point for a very large flatscreen TV. There are also both mains and 12V power outlets here.
The shelf underneath isn’t particularly wide but it will take smaller tablets and smart phones without a problem.
The combo bathroom is, admittedly, a compromise from the more common full-width designs in most modern vans but I think it shows some innovative thinking. The bench-style cassette toilet and fold-down washbasin are right at the rear of the bathroom. This leaves the space next to the bathroom door for the shower.
Being a Sunland caravan, the Longreach is built on the manufacturer-developed composite aluminium chassis, complete with galvanised steel drawbar rails and suspension mounts. The van rides on Vehicle Components ATX 3500kg-rated independent suspension, which comes with coil springs and one shock absorber with a piggy back reservoir per wheel. The box section style aluminium framing is covered by resin core fibreglass cladding.
A gull-wing toolbox sits on the front drawbar, which also happens to be where the single nine kilogram gas cylinder is located. Extra gas is not needed, due to the induction cooking facilities and diesel heating.
Part of the front tunnel boot is available for general storage but part of it is taken by the impressive slide-out kitchen.
Just in case you feel the single burner internal cooking facilities feel limited, the stainless steel slide-out kitchen has a sink and a three-burner cooker. The kitchen is plumbed with hot and cold water, along with a gas supply. It’s a welcome addition on a van in this price point and will enhance any caravanner’s offroad experience! Who doesn’t love cooking under the stars?
THE BOTTOM LINE
I find it fascinating when a manufacturer steps away from conventional into something new and a different.
Those who like a very open plan layout in their caravan might not be so keen on the Longreach Adventure but anyone who likes innovation and clever thinking will not be disappointed. And travellers who want a small office area to keep up with current affairs, or to keep the books balanced on the road, will really appreciate the office.
HITS AND MISSES
- Unique and stylish layout
- Very self-sufficient design
- High capacity electrical system
- External kitchen
- Layout is not open plan
- Lack of gas cooker may be an issue for some
Weights and measures
- Overall length 7.56m (24ft 10in)
- External body length 5.63m (18ft 6in)
- External body width 2.48m (8ft 2in)
- Travel height 3.12m (10ft 3in)
- Internal height 1.96m (6ft 5in)
- Tare 2610kg
- ATM 3500kg
- Payload 890kg
- Ball weight 218kg
- Frame Aluminium box-section welded
- Cladding Resin core fibreglass
- Chassis Composite aluminium with HDG drawbar
- Suspension Vehicle Components ATX 3.5T independent
- Coupling Vehicle Components DO35
- Brakes 12in disc
- Wheels 16in steel
- Water 190L, 60L drinking; 130L grey
- Battery Lithium 600A Li-Fe
- Solar 8x180W
- Air-conditioner Ducted
- Gas 1x9kg
- Kitchen Slide-out with induction cooktop and induction pots
Price as shown
$139,990 (on road, Qld)
The full feature appeared in Caravan World #567. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!