Family life in a van can be so comfortable

Good genes run in the family, so they say, and the iconic Winnebago brand can be proud of its new Aussie-built stunner.

By Carla Adams

Named after one of Australia’s natural beauties, the Mossman C from Winnebago certainly cuts an eye-catching figure on the road.

At 6.8m (22ft), the Mossman’s got the length required to fit a family of 4-6 travellers in comfort, but the dual AL-KO independent axles and 10-inch drum electric brakes keep the caravan steady.

Mossman’s got the length required to fit a family of 4-6 travellers in comfort

Inside, a completely modern interior is sure to please the caterers, cleaners and even the clutter-bugs in your travelling group.

The kitchen is apartment-worthy. There’s plenty of space in the 190-litre fridge, which runs off three power sources, ensuring it’s always cold; an electric/gas combination cooktop; and grill and oven capable of baking a roast or whipping up a batch of muffins. The water filter accessory is a great touch for Australian road trips with kids and the dinette really does seat five at not too much of a squeeze – we checked. It also converts to a single bed at night.

The ensuite is one of the biggest I’ve seen in a caravan, including a decent shower even my 1.82m husband felt comfortable in, swivel toilet, and 2.5kg top loader washing machine as standard.

But it was the generous storage that won my heart – with drawers, cupboards and nifty shelves and racks cleverly positioned inside and out. The queen bed is surrounded by cupboards and drawers, and the frame easily lifts to reveal a large storage space. A lot of thought has gone into this interior design, and a family of four could travel comfortably and clutter-free for weeks or even months.

Abundant light floods in through large windows and two skylights, and the fly and shade or privacy screens offer you a choice of lifting or lowering, depending on where the sun (or your neighbour) is positioned at the time.

Gadget lovers will rejoice – dedicated USB and car-charger ports are conveniently located next to the queen bed to keep smart devices at the ready. As well, the 22” high definition TV/DVD cleverly tunes itself to local channels as soon as you put your antenna up, and is complemented by a marine quality Bluetooth stereo and speakers. For energy efficiency, a 150W solar panel comes standard.

Taking your children and pets on the road has never been so comfortable

Now for the kids: the Mossman C comes standard with two bunks and the option of a third, comfortably fitted out with thick foam mattresses, two long windows allowing plenty of light, and easy access to the ensuite for night toilet trips.

Outside, an impressive 4.8m awning winds out almost the entire width of the caravan and shades a dedicated BBQ area and fold-down picnic table.

On the technical side, Winnebago’s new ‘create your weight’ option allows buyers to pick and choose features to match the payload to their needs and towing capacity. The Mossman C payload ranges between 440-890kg with an ATM of between 2500-2950kg depending on inclusions. This puts it on the skinny side of Australian family caravans, a bonus for fuel usage and overall wear and tear on your tow vehicle.

We loved: smart features include the oven and cooktop, which won’t operate unless the rangehood is switched on; a crim-safe screen door; access hatch underneath the lower bunk to an exterior storage compartment; self-tuning aerial for multi-channel TV viewing; glow lights on switchboard for night-time use; and display panels for solar power, water tanks and water temperature.

Could improve: the retractable concertina door to the ensuite is flimsy and a bit tricky to attach, especially if younger children are using it.

Retailing at: $68,490 – $74,990

KEY DETAILS

  • Berths: Five.
  • Kitchen features: 190-litre fridge, stainless steel double sink, water filter tap, 25-litre microwave, double gas burner with electric hotplate, grill and oven, and rangehood.
  • Bathroom: Separate shower, hand basin, swivel cassette toilet with electric flush.
  • Air conditioning: Reverse cycle 3.6kW with heating element.
  • Total length (including drawbar): 8.4m.
  • ATM weight: 2500, 2700 or 2950 options.
  • Fresh water storage: 164 litres.
  • Gas: 2x 9kg mounted bottles.
  • Battery: 100Ah deep cycle, plus 25amp charger.
  • Solar: 150W.
  • More information: At the Winnebago site.