TRAVELLER PRODIGY: CARAVAN REVIEW
TRAVELLER PRODIGY: CARAVAN REVIEW
3 APRIL 2014
From the outside, the Prodigy is an impressive looking van. Not only because it is a long caravan at 7.34m (24ft) but also because Traveller has taken up the contemporary colour scheme of silver grey cladding with a lower waist of black. Instead of a front boot, there is a front tunnel boot and rear tunnel storage. The latter is under the rear lounge and is quite spacious. The van’s body construction is fairly conventional, with a timber frame underneath the exterior cladding.
On the road, the Prodigy behaved quite well behind a Toyota LandCruiser, which is exactly the sort of vehicle that is going to be needed to tow this van – it’s certainly no lightweight but it tracked along very nicely with a minimal amount of snatching and jerking.
TRAVELLER PRODIGY SPECIFICATIONS
The chassis is also quite impressive, with 150mm/6in main rails and a similarly-sized drawbar that runs back to the suspension mounts. All the normal items are found on the chassis, including the tandem-axle load sharing leaf spring suspension, but an interesting addition is the battery box for the two 105Ah house batteries, which is located behind the offside wheels. It almost looked too low but I tried a few imaginary departure angles and concluded that you’d have to be trying really hard to cause any damage. Both the water tanks are centrally located above the axles.
The two 105Ah batteries deliver all the 12V load needed and should be able to cope in remote camping spots, especially when charged up by the 130W solar panels. The main electrical switchboard is quite impressive, as it comes with the battery charger, main 12V switch, 12V fuses and solar panel regulator. Located in the middle of the rear tunnel boot, it’s not easy to get at from the outside or inside, the table and rear seat cushion have to be lifted out of the way to even see it, let along change the fuses.
One of the features of this van is the excellent storage capacity, both outside with tunnel storage back and inside with plenty of overhead locker and cupboard space. There might be a temptation to overload but the restraining factor might well be the load capacity of 400kg. Once full water tanks and gas cylinders are factored in, it cuts the capacity of any van down somewhat.
There is a very comfortable club lounge to the right of the rear entry door, which invites you to sit back, put a few snacks and drinks on the round table and relax, taking in the rest of the caravan. Apart from anything else, the interior colours are striking – everything from the black leather upholstery of the seats to the glossy, marble effect, anthracite finish and not forgetting the grey lower doors and the white walls and ceiling.
The kitchen is split across both sides of the mid-van, with the main cooking and washing up area on the nearside and the fridge on the offside. The design features an angled kitchen bench, with a sink/ drainer in the bench and a microwave in the space above. It’s a bit smoke and mirrors but it looks effective and does add a bit of benchtop space and even more cupboard area overhead. In the air space above, three overhead lockers add to the general storage. Handy powerpoints are fitted at either end of the bench along with a useful little shelf in the corner.
Kitchen storage and benchtop space is nicely complemented by the bench on the opposite side. It’s not only for kitchen use, though – hiding in the end cupboard is a front loading washing machine, while the end wall acts as a mounting point for the flatscreen TV (easily seen from the rear lounge) and the overhead locker contains the Fusion radio/iPod player.
Moving further forward, the cabinet between the offside kitchen bench and the toilet cubicle contains not only the 186L fridge but also a good selection of cupboards. Having enough storage space is not an issue in this caravan.
BATHROOM AND BEDROOM
The Traveller Prodigy has a split bathroom with the shower cubicle to the nearside and the toilet/wash basin cubicle to the offside, leaving centre stage for the island bed.
The bed mattress is 1.93×1.55m (6ft 4in x 5ft 1in), so it’s a good size for a fair chunk of the population. Even though Traveller has managed to squeeze in angled corner cupboards and a flatscreen TV beside the shower, there’s still a reasonable amount of space to walk around the bed. That’s helped greatly by the shape of the shower cubicle. Even getting to the under-bed storage space is quite easy, given there are two large drawers, instead of just an empty space.
One of the slightly subliminal effects of the rear club lounge in this Traveller Prodigy, is that it creates an almost instant feeling of luxury. Sitting back, feet up and looking through the windows certainly induces a feeling of relaxation. And there’s nothing wrong with the rest of the layout either – the van has a good-sized kitchen and relatively spacious bedroom/bathroom. All up, it’s a very nice touring package.
- Van layout
- Interior colour scheme
- Tandem kitchen benches
- Split bathroom
- Well-appointed lighting
I WOULD HAVE LIKED
- Better location/access for electrical panel
- A few minor details better finished