Caravan Review: Deluxe Caravans Riptide Off-Road 22ft

Get a load of this rig! Towed by an Isuzu NPS 300 4x4, this 22ft Deluxe Riptide Off-Road is bound to be the envy of the entire van park…


Sometimes, when you see a particular tow vehicle and caravan combination, you just have to tip your hat in respect. That’s how I felt when I saw this beast arrive at our prearranged location. Towed by an Isuzu NPS 300 4×4 truck, the 22t Deluxe Riptide Off-Road looked pretty special. On closer inspection, I saw just how special it was… and how special it was to its new owners, Brodie Risco and his partner, Heidi Mcinnes.

deluxe caravansDeluxe Caravans is a boutique builder in Victoria. The company limits production to one van per week, keeping production low in order to focus on quality. Brodie and Heidi discovered Deluxe online, and before long they had placed their order. We caught up with them on the day of handover. In fact, meeting us to show off their van was their first stop in what will surely be decades of adventures.


The Deluxe Caravans Riptide is built on a special 12in Raptor-coated truss chassis with a new suspension system that is only just becoming available: TerraGlide. This system was designed and built by automotive development company Premcar.

deluxe caravansIn short, TerraGlide, which is available with or without airbags, offers an impressive 230mm of travel, it’s fitted with an anti-roll bar, uses a special brake drum to fit heavy-duty bearings designed to require no maintenance or replacement for hundreds of thousands of kilometres, and more. It’s a very promising suspension system and for Brodie and Heidi, fitting the airbag variant was a no-brainer.

The van is framed in meranti timber and clad with composite aluminium and X-plate on the sides, while the roof is fibreglass.

deluxe caravansOn the A-frame, Deluxe Caravans has fitted a custom storage box fabricated from powder-coated aluminium rather than black checker plate – it’s a much more attractive look. Each side has a slide-out tray behind their gull-wing doors; Brodie and Heidi use the nearside tray for their Weber, while there’s also a slide-out stainless steel kitchen in the tunnel boot. Now, the couple intentionally omitted the standard sink from this kitchen. Their reasoning: they already had a sink inside the van for washing up, and by omitting one from their external kitchen, they’re reducing its length, thereby creating additional storage space in the tunnel boot on the offside.

On the offside, in the space behind the internal fridge, Deluxe Caravans has created a 12V Enerdrive ‘nerve centre’. This cupboard, which is lined in marine carpet, is home to a 3000W 100A inverter/charger, two 50A MPPT solar controllers, and a 40A DC-DC charger. The locker door uses compression seals and the vent is filtered – an excellent setup.

deluxe caravansAs you might have guessed, this van is no slouch in the 12V department. It has 400Ah worth of lithium batteries, while on the roof, Deluxe has fitted an impressive six 200W Enerdrive solar panels for a combined total of 1200W. An external Anderson plug is provided, too, allowing the couple to plug in a portable panel if necessary.

As you can see, Brodie and Heidi really wanted their new pride and joy to be capable off-grid. But what about water? Well, the Deluxe Caravans Riptide comes with three 95L fresh water tanks and a single 110L grey water tank mounted towards the rear. Each water tank is properly protected, though the grey water spout is a bit exposed – I’d wrap that up in some carpet or other protective material before hitting long stretches of gravel.

deluxe caravansBut that said, the external features list is impressive. There’s a firewood box up front, a reversing camera, midge-proof insect screens, a bike rack… the list goes on. It’s a well-built, high-riding van, with a completely flat floor with no wheel-arch intrusions. And with those airbags fully inflated in order to level the van out on-site, I was glad there was a double fold-out step to get inside!


Inside, it really is a beautiful finish, with a layout that simply makes sense. In fact, this layout is brand new to Deluxe Caravans. Though this was only the second 22ft Riptide Off-Road the company had built, it was the first time it had used this layout, and it’s a winner. Three bunks stretch across the width of the van in the back, each with their own 12V Sirocco II fan and reading light with in-built USB point. The cupboard storage space in this rear bedroom is brilliant, too, though one cupboard does hide a front-loader washing machine.

deluxe caravansNow, when having this van built, Brodie and Heidi thought ahead. They don’t have kids now but want them in the future – so why not get a bunk van now? Also, they want to travel with other family members, so a van with such a quality bunk setup simply made sense.

A surprisingly spacious split bathroom separates the kids’ room from the main living quarters, complete with a cassette toilet and washbasin on the offside and a shower on the nearside.

deluxe caravansIn the kitchen, you’ll find a large Dometic compressor fridge and a four-burner cooktop and griller recessed into the benchtop. Brodie and Heidi intentionally omitted an oven, preferring cupboard space instead.

Up front, there’s a north-south queen-size bed surrounded by lockers and wardrobes. Each wardrobe has a niche, naturally, with 240V and 12V powerpoints inside. There are even bedside tables – not necessarily a given. The space beneath the mattress, however, is somewhat taken up by the tunnel boot; however, you’d still fit some gear there. 

deluxe caravansWith its CNC-routed furniture, its sensible use of space, quality components, and a fantastic layout, the interior of the Riptide Off-Road is immensely appealing. 


In the Deluxe Riptide Off-Road, I see a van that will not only serve Brodie and Heidi very well now, as they hit the road and begin exploring the country together, but one they will grow into as their family expands.

Yes, it’s not the lightest van in the caravan park at 3120kg Tare, and fully loaded it can weigh up to 4500kg. But Brodie and Heidi aren’t concerned. They have their Isuzu truck, which they also say does reasonably well on diesel. Brodie has even fitted a Shocker Hitch to reduce feedback through the truck’s chassis.

The bottom line: it’s one heck of a long-term touring setup.


  • TerraGlide suspension
  • Brilliant layout, especially the rear bunks and split bathroom
  • Solid build quality
  • Not relevant – this is Brodie and Heidi’s personal van built to their needs and budget, and we wish them the best of luck on their travels!


Overall length: 9.2m

External body length: 6.7m

External width: 2.5m

Travel height: 3.2m

Internal height: 2m

Tare: 3120kg

GTM: 4220kg

ATM: 4500kg

Group axle capacity: 4500kg

Unladen ball weight: 280kg

Frame: Meranti timber

Cladding: Composite aluminium with X-plate; fibreglass roof 

Coupling: DO45

Chassis: 12in Raptor-coated Rhino truss chassis

Suspension: 4500kg-rated TerraGlide airbag

Brakes: 12in electric

Wheels: 16in alloy

Fresh water: 3x95L

Grey water: 1x110L

Shower: Yes

Awning: Manual roll-out

Battery: 400Ah Enerdrive B-Tec lithium with 3000W 100A inverter/charger, two 50A MPPT solar controllers, and a 40A DC-DC charger

Solar: 6x200W Enerdrive panels

Air-conditioner: Dometic reverse-cycle

Gas: 2x9kg

Bike rack: Yes

Sway control: No

Cooking: Four-burner cooktop with griller

Refrigeration: 224L Dometic compressor

Microwave: Yes

Shower: Hand-held

Heating: Optional

Toilet: Cassette

Washing machine: 3.5kg front-loader

Lighting: LED

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

TerraGlide airbag suspension

Larger A-frame storage box

Additional solar panels

Lithium battery upgrade

Extra fresh water tank

Dometic Dust Reduction System

RRP: $139,000

Base price: $98,900