After first being introduced to the Australian public at the 2014 Victorian Caravan Show, the new Knaus by Avan Eurostar caravan is finally available for sale in Australia.
The European model, which has taken more than 18 months to arrive, was officially launched at this year's Victorian Caravan Show with a price tag of $86,000. However, the 7.9m (25ft 11in) customer version with more equipment has now gone on sale for $97,000.
The Eurostar began life two years ago as the ‘Caravisio’, a study of the caravan of the future first displayed at the world’s largest caravan and motorhome show – Caravan Salon Dusseldorf – in September 2013. Avan founder Jeff Van Baardwyk wanted it for Australia but, at that stage, there were no plans to build a version for right-hand-drive markets.
There also weren’t any other Knaus luxury models with a separate shower and toilet ensuite to borrow from. In the end, an elegant solution was found by mirroring and grafting the interior of a new model Tabbert 655DF into the Eurostar’s GRP monocoque body.
With its smooth, round-ended GRP composite panels and definitive Euro styling that is as arresting from the rear as from the front, the Eurostar is a standout.
With a Tare weight of 2230kg and an ATM of 2530kg, it is significantly lighter than many similarly-sized Australian vans.
Although elegant, the Eurostar’s specs suggest that there’s a tough shell behind its good looks. Like its British counterparts, its panels lock together in a monocoque structure that allows its chassis to be less structural and, hence, much lighter than the average Aussie van. But there’s no doubting the body strength and insulation ratings, as the vacuum-formed walls are 31mm thick, the floor is 47mm thick and the roof is a massive 58mm thick, making it very thermally efficient.
It is fully imported with an Al-Ko chassis built in Europe to Australian specifications and Al-Ko tandem rubber torsion bar suspension.
If the exterior impresses, then the interior matches the expectation. Think St Tropez, Antibes or Nice, as the theme is ‘luxury yacht’ in both style and the choice of materials – dark, beautifully-grained timber veneer, cream walls and furniture facings with chrome and brushed stainless steel trims, tastefully combined, with faux ‘plank’ flooring adding to the strong nautical flair.