Caravan Review: Great Escape Caravans Maximus

With the cost of fuel and living on the increase, we explore a van by Great Escape Caravans that is packed with goodies and not too heavy, while offering a genuine off-grid lifestyle.


Anthony Neumann created his dream on paper, built it and then went touring in it! That dream was this Great Escape Caravans Magnum CD 15ft 6in Maximus offroader, and Anthony is the owner of the company. His trip became the ultimate shakedown for the van, leaving Anthony and his fiancée, Anna, rapt with the result. According to Anthony, this experience means subsequent models will be better again.

great escape caravansAs the reviewer, as well as getting the low-down on their shakedown, I was keen to explore the details behind the van’s offroad breeding and, more importantly, the van’s claims to be truly off-grid-capable.


Having the ability to run air-con and other 240V appliances while camped in the Aussie heat without needing mains power is a relatively new thing, becoming commonplace within the last five to 10 years. Advancements in lithium technology, solar panels, inverters and chargers have truly changed the game. While these add to the cost of the build, the reward is seriously comfortable off-grid touring.

great escape caravans
Running a coffee machine off-grid thanks to the impressive 12V system.

The van’s 12V heart is based around two 200Ah lithium batteries. Charging these batteries can be done via four 200W solar panels, via a DC/DC charger and, of course, from 240V power via a mains connection or, in this case, the Mickey Blue 3.5kVA generator included in the price. A 3000W Victron Multi Plus Inverter/Charger (with a 60A solar controller) allows for charging and running appliances.

Anthony told me about how he ran the Ibis 4 air-con at 21 degrees nearly all night along with two Sirocco II fans. He then switched the air-con off, fired up the 240V coffee machine and made coffee. When he checked the batteries, they were still about half full and between driving the next day and solar charging, they were full again by mid-morning.

More extensive systems are available; however I’m impressed by this 12V system. In my world, I don’t need to be watching TV, making a cuppa, baking a fruit cake in the microwave and cooling the inside of the van down while the other half uses the hair dryer and the washing machine is running in the background. I’m happy with just half that!

great escape caravansOn top of that, there is enough electrical grunt to run all the LED lighting inside and out of this van, the Fusion entertainment system, 24in smart TV, Sphere microwave, water pump and more for days on end.

The significant advantage of this small package is its inside-outside living design. Stepping into the van, on the immediate left is an east-west bed with an innerspring mattress. There are plenty of overhead cupboards for storage and the electrical system is found underneath. The windows provide plenty of natural light and air while Sirocco II fans are at the head and foot of the bed, not to mention a hatch in the roof. The TV is also mounted at the foot of the bed.

great escape caravansThe kitchen runs across the offside wall to the ensuite. Despite the van’s compact interior, the kitchen is quite functional. Great Escape Caravans has given it as many cupboards, drawers and storage solutions as possible around the major appliances, which include a Swift cooktop with griller, an under-bench Dometic 110L fridge, and a Sphere microwave. A sizeable black sink with flick mixer contrasts with the smooth grey interior colours.

The combo bathroom also comes with black fittings. The bathroom is fitted with a Thetford toilet and a mirror, and while it’s not massive space, the bathroom is pretty roomy once you’re through the door.

great escape caravansImmediately on the right through the van’s door is a club lounge with tri-fold table, storage lockers under the seat, and a large window on the wall. Two Sirocco II fans add to the air movement. It’s a neat and practical design for couples.

Across the rear, from the nearside wall to the bathroom, are some great storage spaces. There is a large wardrobe near the ensuite that, when opened up, reveals an NCE 2.5kg top-loading washing machine. Great Escape Caravans offers several choices of washing machines, too. Overall, it’s an impressive interior package.

The exterior living package is equally impressive and designed to take in the great outdoors. A picnic table allows plenty of space for the 240V coffee machine, while a slide-out on the front-nearside hosts an Engel 35L fridge – perfect for keeping the beer, bubbles and other drinks cold while travelling, while the main fridge keeps everything else chilled.

great escape caravansWhen opened, a second slide-out towards the front reveals a three-burner gas stove and a sink for washing up. A small shelf at the end has enough space to work from while also being able to handle the Weber Baby Q stored in the front storage box on the A-frame. An external shower and extra storage is included as standard. Add a fold-out table and a couple of chairs and it’s a cosy little camp setup.


The Great Escape Caravans Magnum CD 15ft 6in Maximus is built atop a Road Runner hammertone-finished chassis. Other chassis finishes will be available in newer models as well. The independent suspension system will pretty much go anywhere it can be towed with plenty of ground clearance for the rougher stuff.

great escape caravansTwelve-inch offroad drum brakes handle the stopping while the flashy alloy rims are shod with 265/75R15 MPC-24 Adventure A/T tyres. Add a DO35 coupling and Dexter DSC sway control, and this van will handle some serious touring. Oh, and depending on the tow vehicle, Great Escape Caravans is happy to provide matching rims!

The cladding is aluminium composite and plenty of checkerplate over meranti timber, creating a flashy exterior. Double-glazed windows, a picnic table, and a rear bar with twin jerry can holders and spare wheels add to the rugged offroad look. The combination of blacks, oranges, and silver provides a classy impression of a cosy van.


It’s not often I say I liked a van so much that I’d buy it. However, in all its glory, this Maximus is a van I’d consider replacing my camper with.

great escape caravansI’m not a huge fan of east-west beds, yet I might be willing to compromise on this for the manoeuvrability and offroad ability, not to mention everything else on offer in a van that sits just over 2000kg Tare.

The interior and exterior living package is pretty cool, and again, as our review model came in under $90,000, it’s surprisingly good value. I reckon this is a van worth looking at!


FIT AND FINISH 4.5 out of 5 stars

LAYOUT 4.5 out of 5 stars

INNOVATION 4.5 out of 5 stars


  • Storage space and fit and finish
  • The amount of standard equipment
  • The range of available options
  • I would add a rubber grommet where the wiring runs into the RHS A-frame steel in case the protection already there proves insufficient over the long term


External body length: 4.8m

Overall length: 7m

External width: 2.45m

Travel height: 3.2m

Internal height: 2m

Tare: 2140kg (approx)

GTM: 2477kg

ATM: 2700kg

Unladen ball weight: 223kg (approx)

Group axle capacity: 2700kg

Frame: Meranti timber

Cladding: Aluminium composite and 900mm-high checkerplate

Coupling: DO35

Chassis: Road Runner with hammertone finish

Suspension: Independent

Brakes: 12in off road

Wheels: Alloy 265/75R15 MPC-24 Adventure A/T

Fresh water: 2x95L

Grey water: 1x100L

Awning: Sunburst Classic ATRv

Battery: 2x200Ah lithium with DC/DC charger ; 3.5kVA Mickey Blue generator included

Solar: 4x200W with 60A solar controller

Reversing camera: Yes

Inverter: 3000W Victron Multi Plus

Air-conditioner: Dometic Ibis 4

Gas: 2x9kg

Sway control: Dexter DSC

Cooking: Swift cooktop with griller

Refrigeration: Dometic 110L (internal); Engel 35L (external)

Microwave: Sphere

Bathroom: Combined shower/Thetford cassette toilet

Washing machine: NCE 2.5kg

Lighting: LED

Hot water: Suburban instant 

Entertainment: 24in smart TV; NCE double-DIN sound system

As this van is a custom build, the options list is extensive

Base price: starts from $68,000, ranging to $94,900 (ex-Melbourne)