Already constructed strongly with an aluminium body frame, heavy-duty six inch chassis and composite cladding, all it really took was having the range of suspension and components thrown at it. But telling it so simply is doing the caravan an injustice.
I have always been a big fan of sliders. Yes, if they are incorrectly aligned, lose alignment or are poorly maintained they can be a pain in the proverbial but when working seamlessly like ours, wow. The space they afford adds so much to the indoors experience. It was almost overkill, in all honesty, as for a couple, the internal dimensions are already a generous 6.7m by 2.25m with more than 2m of headroom.
Taking in the space and relating it back to the base package price was surprising. On pick up, I like to challenge myself to guess the cost of what is before me and was I way off. I started more than $10,000 above the retail price, such is the value for money in the Mossman X-Country. The van before us represents outstanding value.
Breaking down the specs and standard inclusions and the value keeps getting better. An alloy frame with single-piece insulated composite panels including a one-piece roof and front. Its 162L of water storage by way of twin plastic tanks, 150W solar panel, and 100Ah battery plus twin 9kg gas bottles should keep you going for a few days while the 6in chassis and suite of AL-KO’s finest offroad products should keep you confident in the knowledge of its reliability through strength. Inside it hides a massive – for a couple at least – 190L fridge, 2.5kg front loading washing machine and large oven/cooker combo. It even comes with a coffee machine as standard!
With AL-KO’s finest gracing the underside, knowing The Mossman X-Country was capable was a given but we had to prove as much.
Enduro independent trailing arms running single shocks (easily upgraded to twins) and coil springs meant the ride was soft with plenty of compression available for unexpected, big bumps. Getting pressures right in the all-terrain tyres took care of small road bumps and AL-KO drum brakes pulled us up easily through the electrically assisted system.
Clearance was OK but not as good as more dedicated offroad offerings. We took the X-Country through some paddocks in the hunt for some dramatic images and ended up with bottoming the underside more than capturing the images we wanted. Truth be told, it is capable on undulating gravel but when dealing with sharp drop-offs and mounds, its size and comparatively low clearance were an issue.
The chassis is an RHS hot-dipped galvanised 6in that looked well braced and is plated at key stress members and joints. Plumbing is the click-join type, not my preferred screw-together but it is easily reached should you spring a leak.
At the pointy end, one of David’s other suggestions was taken on with an AL-KO off road hitch replacing the traditional unit on his test caravan. No front bin was fitted, the two 9kg gas bottles were open to the environment but well secured in proper mounts. Wheels were 16in alloy and looked sharp with the tyres neatly tucked just inside the body for good lateral stability.
Walking around the outside, the first thing that excited me was the front hatch. Did it hide an external kitchen/barbecue? Sadly not for our test van but it is an option and will go well with the full-length electric awning over our summer months. Inside the hatch was a very well mounted single AGM battery, inverter, charger and master switch. I like to see these switch types used, especially for those of us who need to winter our caravans when full power-off is a good safety idea. Beside the map table are audio visual connections and power outlets.
The aforementioned slider does wonders for the internal space, but space without a usable layout is wasted. Our A layout featured a north-south queen bed allowing occupants the ease of getting out to the side without having to climb over each other. The bed hides a good amount of storage underneath and by not taking up space to the sides it allows for tall robes with drawers below and overhead cupboards.
Ventilation is taken care of with large side windows as well as a good sized roof hatch to help promote airflow. The layout makes for a truly relaxing area with all personal items neatly nearby.
The kitchen is a good size for a small family, more than enough for a travelling couple, with a two-burner and hotplate stove and good sized oven. I was pleased to see a large sink with water filter close to the front door. Cupboard and drawer handles are lipped for easy grabbing including the overhead ones, which are set back enough to avoid knocking your head.
The 190L fridge is on the same side as the kitchen with a microwave above as well as a feature I like, the Fusion stereo head unit. As is the norm, vital control units are found in these top cupboards as well as battery management and water level monitors.
Opposite the fridge is a large amount of storage and the standard 32in TV. It is also where the tabletop stows when underway, neatly bound to the back of the lounge when retracted. The bathroom lives to the rear with a fully moulded shower to the passenger side and a properly standalone toilet opposite. I was pleased to see space dedicated for the toilet as comfort is vital to satisfaction on the road. There’s plenty of storage in the bathroom and, of course a 2.5kg washer, though the sink was a touch small.
Back out at the lounge, feet sticking out enjoying all the space the slider affords, and we came across our only real gripe with the Mossman X-Country. The table attaches using two upright poles that in all honesty, were not up to the job. A stronger option would be appreciated. What I was impressed with though were the high number of charging ports found throughout, including around the table, and the massive storage bins behind the main backrest. They could easily swallow all additional bedding for when the lounge needs converting.
Our X-Country had the Jumback soft furnishing and White Gloss hard surface interior scheme. The faux hardwood flooring and marble benchtop contrasted well with the easy-clean leatherette and patterned seat backrests. Together, they worked well and I applaud the builder for creating easy-to-understand packages to decide from. Personalisation is important to some buyers but too often mismatched options make the final build clash, causing regret and difficulty reselling the van. Sorted packages are great.
THE BOTTOM LINE
For value for money, the Mossman in X-Country guise and with slider will be hard to beat. It is a spacious caravan with decent quality and modern construction that should offer years of corrosion-free life. With the option to create a second two-person berth in the lounge, it has the capacity to take friends and family but where it excels is in giving couples more room and amenities than they will ever need.
HITS AND MISSES
- Great value
- Plenty of space
- Well insulated
- Flimsy table
- Moderate payload
Weights and measures
- Overall length 8.4m (27ft 7in)
- External body length 6.81m (22ft 4in)
- External body width 2.49m (8ft 2in)
- Travel height 3.3m (10ft 10in)
- Internal height 2.02m (6ft 8in)
- Tare 2350kg
- ATM 3000kg
- Payload 600kg
- Ball weight 115kg
Priced as shown
$82,479 (from $79,00)
The full feature appeared in Caravan World #572. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!