The Golf Caravans name goes back many years in Australia. Built by Avan in Pakenham, Vic, the range includes vans of all types and sizes, from the Golf Bush Challenger rising-roof camper to the top-end Grand Tourer seen here.
As 2023 wound to a close, we hitched up the Golf Caravans Grand Tourer 620 for some insight into what customers could expect. While the Grand Tourer is available in seven different sizes, with different layouts, our 620 review van sat in the middle of the range. It is one of three models with a slide-out.
The 620 GT is a semi-offroad caravan, built for blacktop touring with some dirt and gravel roads thrown in to the mix. With that in mind, we towed it into the Dandenong Ranges in search of a campsite.
It’s remarkable how much additional space a slide-out provides. In the case of the Golf Caravans 620 GT, just push a button and the offside slide-out will open, creating a spacious dining area on a slightly raised platform. The leatherette club lounge has a free-standing table and classy LEDs in the overhead cabinetry. There’s a 240V point in the leg well of the dinette, but a 12V point hasn’t been included in this area. The dinette is undoubtedly the focal point of the layout – it’s large and luxurious.
A large pantry, stretching from floor to ceiling, sits just behind the dinette. It has two separate doors, meaning you don’t need to open the entire pantry each time. You’ll fit a lot of food and ingredients in this space.
The nearside kitchen runs from the rear door to the bedroom. Despite the large stainless steel sink and draining board and the four-burner cooktop (with griller), there’s still plenty of bench space. Though an oven isn’t standard, I see no reason travelling chefs won’t be happy with what’s on offer. Across the way, between the pantry and the bathroom, is a 185L compressor fridge-freezer with a microwave recessed into the cabinetry above.
In the nose of the van, you’ll find a queen-size bed surrounded by wardrobes and overhead lockers. It has been given two 12V fans, reading lights, and niches with a 12V point each, allowing you to charge your phone overnight. As expected, the bed base lifts up; however, instead of the usual storage space, you’ll find the electrical nerve centre of the van: two 200Ah lithium batteries, a 3000W inverter, and a Projecta PM300 BT battery management system. This system will allow you to run your 240V appliances when off-grid, within reason, so the fact there’s no 12V point at the dinette really isn’t a problem.
I really liked the bathroom setup. It’s spacious and bright, thanks to the inclusion of a rear window, something we don’t see a lot of in modern Australian caravans. There’s even space for a wall-mounted, front-loader washing machine, without the vanity area feeling cramped. A cassette toilet and separate fibreglass shower are included and no, a mirror hasn’t been forgotten.
Featuring Euro design elements, the interior is undeniably attractive and spacious, and naturally it comes with all the expected features: a Houghton Belair reverse-cycle air-conditioner, which can run off the inverter, a 24in TV on a swivel bracket in the bedroom, and also viewable from the dinette, an RV Wi-Fi system, a stereo system and more. It even has a Swift Ecotherm hydronic heater, which can operate on 240V or gas, draws its heat from the hot water heater and requires no external ventilation.
GOLF CARAVANS GRAND TOURER EXTERNAL FEATURES
Built on a 6in chassis with Al-Ko Enduro X independent offroad suspension, the Golf Grand Tourer range doesn’t have a frame in the traditional sense. Instead, the walls are composite aluminium, composed of outer sheets of aluminium and a core of structural foam.
As standard, it comes with two 95L water tanks, which are mounted forward of the wheels, as well as a rear-mounted grey water tank, allowing you to stay in national parks and leave no trace. On the roof are three 180W solar panels, which should be a great start towards keeping the lithium batteries charged. It also comes with a DC-DC charger to ensure you arrive with full batteries.
At the pointy end of the caravan, you’ll find an offroad ball coupling that offers full range of movement on both axes. However, I would prefer a DO35 as I generally find the offroad ball style awkward. Not a deal-breaker; just a personal preference.
A checkerplate toolbox with offside slide-out tray and two 4.5 gas cylinders are include too, along with a tap mounted on the offside rail. Just behind, in the body of the caravan, you’ll find a stainless steel slide-out kitchen. This self-supporting unit comes with a two-burner gas cooktop, a sink with hot and cold water, plenty of bench space, and even a drawer fridge at the end – perfect for keeping the steaks and beer cold. Often, impressive slide-out kitchens such as this are provided as optional extras, but the Golf Caravans Grand Tourer 620 offers it as standard.
The rear three-bike rack is also standard, as is the nearside entertainment locker, which comes complete with an adjustable mounting arm, 240V and 12V points, and antenna point. Finally, there are external speakers, a couple of awning lights, a picnic table, a full-length pull-out awning, and Al-Ko Electronic Stability Control. Golf Caravans has even included an additional Anderson plug, on the offside, so that you can plug in an auxiliary portable solar panel, if needed.
Towing this tandem-axle van through the twists and turns of the Dandenong Ranges was no challenge at all. It felt quite well weighted on the back of my MU-X and kept to heal at all times. Given the van’s size and all included features, it is perhaps lighter than expected, weighing 2475kg Tare, and can be loaded up to 3075kg ATM – there’s a range of mid-size 4WDs that could happily tow this van.
The Golf Grand Tourer 620 is designed and equipped for off-grid living for days at a time. With its decent 12V system, very comfortable interior layout and generous equipment list, this caravan would suit a retired couple wanting to do the big lap. It offers all the benefits of a large tandem-axle caravan without the need for a Land Cruiser for towing duties. It looks great, too – especially the interior!
FIT AND FINISH –
HITS & MISSES
Overall length: 8.57m
External width: 2.47m
Internal height: 1.96m
Travel height: 3m
Unladen ball weight: 255kg
Construction: Composite aluminium sandwich panel
Coupling: Offroad 50mm ball coupling
Chassis: 6in hot-dipped-galvanised
Suspension: Al-Ko Enduro X independent offroad
Brakes: 12in electric
Wheels: 16in alloy
Fresh water: 2x95L
Grey water: Yes
Air-conditioner: Houghton Belair reverse-cycle
Sway control: Al-Ko ESC
Cooking: Four-burner cooktop with griller
Refrigeration: 185L compressor fridge-freezer
Battery: 2x200Ah lithium with 3000W inverter, DC-DC charger and Projecta BMS
Washing machine: Wall-mounted front-loader
Shower: Separate cubicle, fully-moulded fibreglass
Lighting: 12V LED
Hot water: Gas-electric
TV: 24in flatscreen
Base price: $121,270