First published on Caravancampingsales.com.au
One of the aspects that sets Traveller caravans apart is the modular design of the manufacturer’s vans. It means that whether you buy a $30,000 or a $100,000 caravan, you’re getting the same essential quality. The Traveller Sensation is simply a well-built caravan with all the bells and whistles.
Beginning with a 6in drawbar and chassis designed to easily carry over three tonnes, the Traveller Sensation’s suspension is a unique system comprising twin axles mounted on independent trailing arms with coil springs. It’s dubbed the “Coil Control Rider Suspension”. Steve says customers describe the ride as gentle even on rough roads, which is notable for a twin-axle van of this size. Electric brakes and alloy wheels complete the bottom end.
Moving up the body, checkerplate is applied to the bottom of the van’s front and sides, providing good protection from stone chips. It also makes it look like the van means business.
High-mounted brake and signal lights on the rear increase visibility. Their height also helps protect them from those little bumps that are almost inevitable within the life of a long caravan. Of course, the corner bumper bars and rear-mounted spare wheel help, too.
Whether you like to hang out inside or outside when you’re holidaying, the Sensation is built with various needs in mind.
The slide-out barbecue means you can cook outside so the neighbours (or the magpies) can envy your gourmet sausages. The drop-down picnic table saves you from having to fool around with the extendable legs of a camping table, and makes a handy place to put your glass of wine.
The DVD/CD/MP3 player has speakers both inside and out, so while you’re enjoying your bangers you can bang out to Slim Dusty.
A handy pantry is located next to the barbecue, along with a door leading to storage under the nose of the caravan where I’d keep chairs and other longer gear. This is also where the external shower, for those of us who really like to commune with nature, is housed.
A double electric step leads into the caravan. Immediately to the right is the door to the bathroom with toilet and shower. The kitchen is on the offside and a stylish black leather-upholstered dinette for four with a nifty folding table is opposite.
Here’s where I get to wax lyrical about how good this caravan looks inside. Gone are the flowery drapes, the boomerang Formica countertops and faux wood interiors of yesteryear – enter lovely two-tone meranti timber throughout, stylish venetian blinds and the right quotient of black leather with a modern cut.
The living area is spacious. This van is 7.1m (23ft 6in) long and 2.5m (8ft) wide. The Dometic windows installed throughout let in plenty of light. Or pop them open to make the most of the fresh air.
The kitchen has deep benches, so you can actually pile up all of the ingredients while you’re cooking. The stove has a four-burner cooktop (three gas, one electric) above a full-size oven and grill. When you fold down the stove splashback, a section of bench also folds down, providing one long bench for use when you’re not cooking.
A Sharp 800W microwave is flush-mounted above a Dometic split freezer/fridge at the right-hand end of the kitchen. The sink is a stainless steel number with a stainless steel drainer and twin taps. Twin 95L water tanks are installed as standard, so you’re not likely to run out if you are careful with usage.
Beneath the sink is a good range of cupboards and drawers, all with push-button locks. A 19in LCD television is mounted at the end of the kitchen, positioned in such a way that you can watch it from the dinette or the bed.
Speaking of the bed, it’s an east-west queen-size unit with the conventional storage space beneath. Twin reading lights are mounted above the bed head, along with a row of overhead cupboards that run the length of the nearside.
The really special thing about this particular floorplan is the row of full mirrored wardrobes that run across the front of the van. We’ve already talked about the modern aspects of this van’s design, so we won’t mention the fact that the mirrors are right next to the bed, but they do make the van seem considerably bigger. Open them up and there is plenty of space to hang your finery, with several drawers below for smaller items.
The full ensuite is a luxury in itself. A Thetford cassette toilet is located on the offside, next to a Dometic front-loader washing machine. A large cupboard is located above the washer, and there are lots of cupboards and a drawer under the sink unit as well.
The sink is a good-sized bowl, not cramped at all, flanked by a large mirror and a pretty stainless steel set comprising cup and soap holders. There’s actually a matching holder for the toilet brush in the corner.
A couple of powerpoints and an overhead light for the mirror are also provided.
The shower is fully enclosed and features a mixer head on a fully-adjustable rail with soap dish. There is even a skylight with exhaust fan so you don’t fill the whole caravan with steam.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Traveller Sensation really is a home away from home, and at $89,900 as reviewed, it is well priced for what you get. It caters well for almost every need, and will appeal especially to travellers who like their offroad comforts – the Traveller Sensation handles itself on rutty dirt roads with aplomb.
The ball weight is 180kg, and the van’s fairly long, so you’ll need a decent tow vehicle.
All in all, the Sensation delivers value for money and a good dose of luxury.