Caravan Review: Bellarine RV Balmoral 20ft 6in

An appealing layout, a generous features list and a touch of wow factor… let’s hitch up the 20ft 6in Balmoral by Bellarine RV.


In mid May, we had the opportunity to check out a caravan we hadn’t seen before. It was called the Balmoral – it’s a line of caravans built specifically for caravan dealership Bellarine RV, a well-established business servicing the Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula. And apparently, these Balmorals sell very well.

bellarine RVThat said, the factory builds just one of these vans a week, the idea being to focus on the quality of the build rather than volume. We took this van into the You Yangs Regional Park to take a closer look. It promised to be a comfortable caravan to suit two people, whether it was a couple in their 40s or some grey nomads whose time to hitch up and head off had finally come. So let’s climb aboard and see what the 20ft 6in Bellarine RV Balmoral has to offer.


The first thing anyone would notice when they stepped through the rear entry door would have to be the bathroom. The layout is great, incorporating a large linen cupboard and cassette toilet on the offside, a rear vanity hiding a 3kg top-loading washing machine, and a nearside shower. However, the oval-shaped mirror with LED backlighting adds a certain wow factor – it’s a great touch. The black sink and tapware is undeniably classy too.

bellarine RVThe rest of the layout, while conventional, is spacious and well-executed. The nearside dinette is upholstered in faux leather and features a bi-fold table, along with a 240V powerpoint and USB points integrated into the nearby reading lights. The kitchen, meanwhile, is fitted out with a four-burner cooktop with griller and oven. There’s loads of cupboard storage space in this part of the van too, including four separate overhead lockers, not to mention the three above the dinette. Now, the cooker is mounted forward of the sink, providing a good amount of bench space between the sink and the compressor fridge with drawer freezer. A microwave is neatly recessed into the cabinetry above the fridge.

bellarine RVI always check the entry/exit points of the plumbing under the sink – if the holes are neatly sealed, preferably finished off with a plastic or rubber grommet or collar, that’s a win. But huge mounds of silicone, while effective, always tells me the manufacturer simply wasn’t paying attention that day. In the case of this Balmoral, I discovered a very neat bead of silicone had been used to seal the holes cut through the 12mm marine ply floor. Not bad.

bellarine RVThe bedroom comes with a north-south queen-size bed, which lifts on gas struts to reveal quite a spacious storage area. Part of it is taken up by the tunnel boot, and the hot water service protrudes slightly into this space; however, it is protected within its own cabinetry complete with a service access door.  

Features here include a couple of reading lights on the padded vinyl bedhead, a Sirocco II fan, overhead storage, wardrobes and a couple of small bedside tables.

It adds up to quite a striking, functional interior, with a layout that would suit two people down to the ground. Each cupboard door is fitted with piano hinges, and they’re strong – I put all my weight on one door, virtually hanging off it, and it didn’t budge, creak or crack.

bellarine RVNaturally, there’s a reverse-cycle air-conditioner, a flatscreen TV (complete with roof-mounted omnidirectional aerial) on a swivel arm so it could be viewed from the bed or dinette, and a stereo system mounted above the microwave. While the bathroom really did capture my attention, the rest of the interior is also very neatly presented. I could happily spend a few weeks living aboard.


Built upon a 6in Silver Shine chassis with a 4in raiser, the 20ft 6in Balmoral is framed up in meranti timber; however, Bellarine RV specifies slightly closer stud centres at 280mm, and it’s clad in composite aluminium and black checkerplate.

bellarine RVWhen it comes to the suspension, there are a couple of options depending on your needs. This van can be built in an offroad format, which includes 3500kg-rated Shine XT independent coil suspension, for an ATM of 3500kg. But if you don’t foresee lots of offroad travels in your future, there’s a 3300kg-rated semi-offroad system available for $3000 less. While it’s cheaper, it reduces the van’s ATM to 3300kg.

Water-wise, the Balmoral comes as standard with two 110L water tanks, each protected by gal sheeting, along with a 110L grey water tank.

bellarine RVThe 12V system, meanwhile, begins with a 110Ah lithium battery, backed by a BMPRO BatteryPlus 35 battery management system and two 200W roof-mounted solar panels. However, if you see yourself spending a lot of time away from civilisation, the optional Offgrid Pack that’s available for this van includes a massive 600Ah worth of lithium batteries, a very generous 800W worth of solar, and a 3000W inverter – you’d barely ever need to plug the van in again.

The A-frame is home to two 9kg gas cylinders as well as a slimline storage box that would accept things like the jockey wheel or some camp chairs; however, this van doesn’t come as standard with a slide-out trays, or a stoneguard, but they might be something to consider for your purchase.

bellarine RVIn terms of weights, the Tare is what you’d expect: 2640kg, with an unladen ball weight of 160kg. With its ATM of 3500kg (thanks to the offroad suspension), that’s a whopping 860kg of payload capacity – more than enough for all you gear, provided you have the tow vehicle to handle it. As we explored the You Yangs, it was apparent that the van could handle itself on a variety of terrain and appeared to track level and true behind the Ford Ranger. 


Bellarine RV has been in business for 40 years and offers a three-year structural warranty. Should any components need repair during your travels, the dealership will authorise the closest repairer to carry out the work. For its price, this van represents excellent value for money with a lot of standard equipment.

The 20ft 6in Bellarine RV Balmoral strikes an excellent balance between form and function. It looks good – especially on the inside – and should be a faithful companion on long trips for many years to come. 


FIT AND FINISH – 4 out of 5 stars

LAYOUT – 4 out of 5 stars

INNOVATION – 3.5 out of 5 stars


  • Terrific bathroom – love the mirror backlighting
  • Good value for money and a decent features list
  • Excellent payload capacity
  • Could the drawbar be fitted with a stoneguard from factory?


Overall length: 8.5m

External body length: 6.28m

External width: 2.42m

Travel height: 3.25m

Internal height: 2m

Tare: 2640kg

GTM: 3340kg

ATM: 3500kg

Unladen ball weight: 160kg

Frame: Meranti timber with 280mm stud centres

Cladding: Composite aluminium with black checkerplate 

Coupling: DO35

Chassis: 6in Silver Shine with 4in raiser

Suspension: Shine XT 3500kg-rated independent coil

Brakes: 12in electric

Wheels: 16in alloy

Fresh water: 2x110L

Grey water: 1x110L

Shower: Yes

Awning: Manual wind-out

Battery: 110Ah lithium with BMPRO BatteryPlus 35 battery management system and Trek digital display

Solar: 400W

Air-conditioner: Houghton reverse-cycle

Gas: 2x9kg

Bike rack: Optional

Sway control: No

Cooking: Four-burner cooktop with griller and oven

Refrigeration: 175L compressor

Microwave: Yes

Shower: Hand-held

Heating: Optional

Toilet: Cassette

Washing machine: 3kg top-loader

Lighting: LED

Entertainment: 24in flatscreen smart TV; sound system with internal and external speakers

RRP: $75,990