Compare touring by camper to touring by caravan. Sure, getting about Australia with a 24-footer with onboard chandelier and spa would appeal to some, but give me a camper any day.
I’m also in favour of packing only what’s needed for the trip. Leave the kitchen sink where it is, put back the pizza oven. Each to their own, as long as the towing setup is legal, but weight has a direct impact on fuel consumption. I’d prefer to go without the portable massage chair if it meant saving a few bucks. Perhaps my wife is right and I am a cheapskate.
In any event, when I received word that A’van had taken another look at the venerable Cruiseliner and developed the optional Adventure Plus package, I jumped into Ruby, my 80 Series Cruiser, and headed off. As part of the Adventure Plus package, the Cruiseliner now has a certain offroad cred. According to A’van, at least. We’d see about that.
Design & Construction
Let’s be honest, if you want a continent of living space, the Cruiseliner isn’t for you. That’s not a criticism; rather, it’s an acknowledgment that these campers are made for a certain type of holidaymaker, one who likes comforts, but doesn’t require an onboard bathroom, and is happy to be cosy with their travel partner. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
The overall finish inside is hard to fault. The joinery is precise and the attention to detail is evident. Another thing about A’van’s “’liner” vans: head room is darn impressive, at least in the centre, where it counts.
The Cruiseliner measures 2.45m floor to apex, which serves to make the camper feel roomier than you’d believe. Either end of the camper, head room obviously tapers off, but given these areas are filled with the dinette and east-west bed, it doesn’t seem a problem.
The offside kitchen is fitted with a two-burner Smev cooktop, 90L Thetford fridge, and 800W Panasonic microwave. The nearside, meanwhile, gets a cabinet with two drawers and one floor-level locker.
The east-west configuration of the bed (1300x1900mm) means the person sleeping closer to the rear wall will have to climb over their partner in order to get up during the night, but that is certainly not unique to this camper.
Beneath the bed, A’van has fitted a ducted air-conditioner, the house battery, hot water service, water pump, 240V power lead, and DC-DC Projecta battery charger, as well as the regulator for the 80W roof-mounted solar panel.
The dinette, at the front of the camper, is a versatile space indeed. It will seat a couple of people for meals or, within seconds, it will transform into a second bed (800x1900mm), ideal for one of the grandkids. Just lower the table to create a base for the middle of the bed, and fill in the space using the two backrests of the main seats.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Aesthetically, the Cruiseliner is an attractive unit. Packed down and under tow, it looked the goods behind my tow vehicle, and skilfully handled undulating terrain and winding roads in high winds.
It basically lives up to its promise of fuss-free touring, and though, by design, it’s short on living space, it makes the most of what it has, with a good handful of features and comforts thrown in for good measure.
Hits & Misses
- Rock-solid towing performance
- Fit and finish throughout
- Storage options for such a compact van
I would have liked…
- Brackets that secured one pipe beneath the van to have been screwed in place — an easy fix
- A tap on the A-frame
Check out the full feature in issue #87 April 2015 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.