Free Spirit Caravans has come up with a novel way for vanners to carry water in their vans, doing away with traditional water tanks.
Thanks to a one-piece corrosive-resistant, marine-grade aluminium chassis, hundreds of litres of water can be stored inside the chassis rails themselves. The upshot is reduced caravan weight and increased water storage capacity without adding tanks
The idea is a radical departure from the usual water storage arrangements and it’s a design feature that makes traditional caravan water tanks optional extras.
Free Spirit’s aluminium chassis design is tough and far lighter than a similar-sized steel chassis, with the aluminium chassis rails around one-third the weight of equivalent steel rails. While the anti-corrosive nature of these rails allows for water storage, other storage options are also possible
Owners of this Free Spirit (pictured above), John and Annette, opted for a mix of water storage with 200L inside the rear bumper and chassis, plus a dedicated 95L tank for drinking water and a 95L grey water tank.
While storing water in the chassis rails solves one problem, it does raise the question about the potential effect of water sloshing along the length of the chassis rails, as the chassis storage has no baffles. On my observation, the van showed no tendency to nod or sway when towed; however, our maiden voyage didn’t provide the opportunity for solid offroading.
For a full review of this custom 20ft Free Spirit van, grab the next issue of Caravan World, on-sale September 3.