When Max Taylor’s camper trailer was stolen last year, the search began for a replacement camper suitable for his family – including wife Stacey and their three kids, Ethan, eight, Jasmine, four, and Ashton, two.
As the managing editor for CTA and sister magazine Caravan World, Max was well aware of the cross-section of innovation within the Australian RV sector but his growing family had very specific needs.
The Taylors wanted an offroad capable rig that was comfortable to tow and offered sufficient payload, storage and space for the plethora of family-related daily needs. Weight was a factor, too, with Ruby, the family’s petrol-powered 80 Series LandCruiser, already carrying a considerable load.
Bedding was also a major consideration as Max didn’t want to be assembling annexes and bunks on every overnight stop, so the ability to sleep the entire family within the camper was paramount. And, with five people, big and small, sleeping in the camper, the internal layout had to flow to avoid the frustration of constantly shuffling around people, clothes, food, iPads, toys, cooking and eating utensils.
Cooking was an important factor, with the family wanting an outdoor barbecue as well as an internal gas stove. A microwave and air-conditioner would allow the family to camp with mains power in supreme comfort while solar and generated 12V power would serve them when they ventured off the grid. Hot water is a welcome comfort on the road, but almost a necessity for an extended stay.
The search was short and sweet: Goldstream RV’s immense range appeals to many kinds of RV travellers, but it was the commitment to quality and its reputation in after-sales service that made the choice simple. With a few optional extras, the Goldstream Wing 3 Off-Road ticked every
box for the Taylors.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
I can attest to the quality of a Goldstream RV, having travelled 14,500km from Melbourne to both South Australian gulfs and north to Lorella Springs, NT, on a seven-week trip. More recently, I took a Goldstream RV to Nundooka Station, 100km north of Broken Hill, NSW, and survived 45°C heat and offroad extremes. I was skeptical about the ability of an air-conditioner to keep a soft-sided camper cool until my time at Nundooka, when the Goldstream RV became the most popular spot in camp. I wouldn’t call the optional Dometic Freshjet FJ3200 air-conditioner essential, but it’s worth its weight in gold when you need it.
Out front, we find the Anderson plug connection, a removable jockey wheel, a full-width mesh stoneguard, twin 9kg gas cylinders in lockable mounts, side handles, an aluminium checkerplate protection liner and a long storage boot. Inside the lockable boot are all the poles, steps and tools as well as the 100Ah deep cycle battery, electrical isolators, Projecta battery charger and solar regulator. Max added some clips to individually hold the poles but, to be honest, I reckon they’re a pain! But each to their own. The poles are only required if you choose to roll out the extra flies over the fold-out beds, which act like tropical roofs and offer protection in extreme rain.
We set the camper up in a jiffy with the shade of the full-length Fiamma awning completing a very attractive outside living area. Up on top, the one piece insulated roof has the optional Dometic air-conditioner and the optional 120W flexible solar panel keeping the battery charged. It is truly amazing just how much power a single battery can supply when backed up by suitable charging such as Goldstream RV provides. I never found any run-down problems in my seven weeks on the road with sensible use.
I like the convenience of a wind-up camper like the Wing 3, and can quite easily have it set up for a comfortable overnighter in a matter of minutes – alone!
Immediately to the right of the door is a counter, known as the breakfast nook. It is a handy flat surface with storage underneath. The rear-side of the brekkie nook forms the backrest for one end of the convertible dinette with its handy drop-down table that also forms a separate bed for one of Max’s littleuns. It is actually large enough for an adult to sleep comfortably, or maybe even two who really like each other, which means the Wing 3 can accommodate six, or even eight at a squeeze.
I just love the pull-out beds. I honestly sleep more soundly in them than my own bed at home. There’s a queen at the front and usually a large double at the rear, however, Max opted for the larger queen at both ends, both with privacy curtains.
Goldstream RVs have a particular air of premium quality and the Taylor family’s Wing 3 Off-Road has all the bells and whistles.
I’ve had enough experience with these units to confidently state that they are a cut above the rest and a good mate when the going gets rough.
Good choice, Max – can I borrow it next weekend?
HITS AND MISSES
- Easy set up
- Comfortable seating, bedding
- and layout
- Fiamma awning
- External barbecue
- Suspension and chassis
- Complete array of sensible accessories
- Club lounge cushions slide out of position when being used as a mattress
- Needs more water storage
Check out the full feature in issue #101 June 2016 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.