Caravan review: Vision RV VH hybrid series
Article from RV Daily. A brand-new range of off-road hybrids debuted recently, and we went along to review the Vision RV VH hybrid series caravans in their element; off-road. It is not very often that …
Article from RV Daily.
A brand-new range of off-road hybrids debuted recently, and we went along to review the Vision RV VH hybrid series caravans in their element; off-road.
It is not very often that a van manufacturer will launch its new range at a 4X4 park. The manufacturer would have to have supreme confidence in its vans and their ability to handle some very demanding tracks and tests. This is exactly what Vision RV did recently. And not only did it take one van, it showed off three.
Vision RV is an off-road adventure brand that Sunseeker Caravans has added to its line-up. The first phase of the Vision line is the VH Hybrid Series, which includes 12-, 14- and 16-footers. All these were on show at Landcruiser Mountain Park, north of Brisbane; for those who know the park, it has some pretty crazy tracks.
The crew at Vision know the tracks well and kept off Telecom Hill and Camp Road, which have seen plenty of carnage to vehicles not towing anything. That said, we tackled some pretty challenging terrain. Check out the video for a brief glimpse.
Manufactured in SE Queensland, the hot-dipped galvanised chassis is shipped down from Toowoomba to the factory on the Sunshine Coast. To keep the unsprung weight down, which is extremely important on rough roads and corrugations, Vision builds its own independent twin shock suspension with heavy-duty bearings.
To top it off, it adds tough airbag suspension as standard across the VH Hybrid Series. Rather than offer it as an expensive add-on, Vision RV has kept things simple, efficient and extremely effective. The airbags are manually operated via a switch in an external panel on the passenger side of the van. This move keeps the cost down by keeping is simple but also makes it easily serviceable in remote locations – both benefits in my books.
Large off-road tyres and wheels (285 75/R17) with stud patterns matched to most towing vehicles keep the Vision rolling. However, when you need to stop, there are ventilated disc brakes. To see a large vehicle and van pull up straight and quick on a gravel road at speed is certainly a sight to behold. The video shows just how quick.
Keeping it clean
In the vein of keeping it simple, placing water and gas plumbing in the front box also minimises the number of holes required to be cut into the body. Not only does this decision reduce potential dust/water ingress but also makes valves and switches easily accessible. The front box also has space for two jerry cans, a generator, the outdoor shower and is the location for the onboard compressor for the air suspension and air outlet for tyre inflation. Wood for your campfire or bicycles can be carried on top of the front box.
Insulated from the elements
The sides and roof of the body are constructed from thick composite panels which provide strength, reduced weight and give insulation. The day we tested the vans was dry and dusty and over 30 degrees. Sitting in the van was so much more comfortable than being outside, and was a good indication of how well the insulation properties are on the roof and walls. The two Sirocco fans that come standard moved the air around the van adding to the more comfortable temperature inside than out.
There are different layouts for the different length vans, but all are light, airy, functional and look great. The kitchen drawers, with double locking latches, are made of powder-coated aluminium and provide plenty of storage in each of the van configurations.
The pillow top, box spring mattress is either king or queen depending on your choice, with the queen-size providing extra storage along the side of the bed. The 16-foot is available with bunks as an option. The 12-foot version has a mattress that easily folds a third of the way down so that more sitting room than expected is available.
All vans have an internal shower and toilet, and here is where the Vision RVs are different to most in that they have composting toilets, which have effective ways of venting and disposal that are said to be more pleasant the chemical toilets. This type of toilet reduces water use leaving more of your precious water for drinking and showering. There is a 270-litre drinking water capacity as well as an 85-litre grey water tank.
Kitchen your way
There are fridges, as well as cooking options, inside and out. Due to the large 150 amp hour (optional 300 AH) lithium batteries supplied by 450W of solar panels on the roof, a portable induction cooktop makes cooking inside easy and provides more bench space while not in use.
Outside, an easy swing-out gourmet kitchen with a three-burner stove and stainless-steel sink also offer plenty of preparation area. There is a large fridge slide that will accommodate most portable fridges out there if you already have one or an ARB fridge can be supplied.
There is a lot to like about the new Vision RV hybrid line. The off-road ability is nothing short of excellent, while the build is very well designed and manufactured. The inclusions appointed as standard are many features that would be options on most brands. By rethinking the systems that go into an off-road van and keeping them simple, but efficient, the price is very keen as well.
- Extremely capable off-road
- Plenty of water and power
- Well ventilated with an electric pop-top roof
- Superb engineering
- Ground clearance means small portable steps required
Vision RV VH-16Length: 7300mm (coupling to rear tyres)Width: 2070 mmHeight: 2500mm (to top of awning)Approx Tare Weight: 2150kgATM: 2800KgPRICE $84,990
Vision RV VH-14Length: 6680mm (coupling to rear tyres)Width: 2070 mmHeight: 2500mm (to top of awning)Approx Tare Weight: 2050kgATM: 2800KgPRICE $79,990
Vision RV VH-12Length: 6060mm (coupling to rear tyres)Width: 2070 mmHeight: 2500mm (to top of awning)Approx Tare Weight: 1800kgATM: 2800KgPRICE: $74,990
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Words and images Gary Tischer.