Masterpiece Caravans Optimum Extreme Off-Road: Caravan Review

Masterpiece Caravans put its money where its mouth is, and we tagged along to find out what the Optimum Extreme Off-Road was truly capable of…


Now and then, I come across a manufacturer for whom the word ‘innovation’ actually means something. In this case, I’m talking about Masterpiece Caravans.

If you’ve not checked out what’s happening at Masterpiece, I highly recommend you do. These vans are not slapped together – Masterpiece is a boutique luxury offroad caravan manufacturer. These vans draw upon new technology and advancements, which alone put them ahead of the curve. More importantly: Masterpiece Caravans subjects its vans to some of the harshest punishment this side of death row. I know because I’ve seen it for myself.

masterpiece caravansAs 2023 drew to a close, I rode along as Masterpiece torture-tested three of its 2024 models at the Australian Automotive Research Centre (AARC), the country’s pinnacle facility for vehicle testing. One of those vans was the subject of this review, the 20ft 8in  Optimum Extreme Off-Road. Did it fall apart? Or did it laugh in the face of water crossings, steep hill climbs and descents? Read on…


Masterpiece Caravans uses its ‘R-TECH’ construction method, which involves a 24mm one-piece floor, ‘Fibroplast’ framing material, and ‘Aircell’ insulation. Let me explain. Fibroplast is a brilliant innovation that replaces meranti timber. It is a composite fibreglass and polyurethane material that takes a screw as well as, if not better, than timber, and it’s significantly lighter. Further, it won’t deform and it will never rot – it has zero water ingress properties. I have personally tried to snap this unique framing material and couldn’t do it. 

masterpiece caravansThe Aircell insulation involves specially designed pockets of air within the wall and roof cavities. Trapped air, after all, is an excellent insulator. In fact, these vans would have to be among the best insulated vans on the market.

This innovative beast is built atop Masterpiece Caravans’ special truss chassis by Road King, which is built differently from its conventional counterparts, adding strength and durability – it looks great, too. The suspension is a relatively new system known as TerraGlide by Melbourne-based Premcar. Our Optimum was fitted with a 4.5-tonne airbag setup with wireless remote control. Aside from punishing the van itself at the AARC, we were testing this new suspension system – and it passed easily. In fact, given what we threw at the van, I’d say it excelled. Its bushes need no greasing or maintenance over the life of the system, it has 230mm of wheel travel, an anti-roll bar on each axle, specifically tuned dampeners and more. We can expect to see this system appear on more vans, industry wide, and the fact Masterpiece was one of its earliest adopters speaks to the company’s commitment to innovation.

masterpiece caravansThe van is no slouch in the energy department, either. It comes with 600Ah worth of lithium batteries, 880W of roof-mounted solar with two 50A MPPT regulators, a Victron Multiplus battery management system, a 3000W inverter, a 120A charger, and a 30A DC-DC charger. The inverter is wired to the reverse-cycle air-conditioner. The Victron battery management system is built into the offside wall, behind a sealed door. It’s hard not to be impressed – the setup is lightyears ahead of the basic 12V system you might be used to.

Underneath, you’ll find two protected 95L water tanks, a 65L tank dedicated to drinking water (with separate pump), and a 100L grey water tank.

Other external features include a Fusion sound system, five anti-insect annexe lights, a work light front and rear, with an entertainment locker (which is where you’ll also find the control panel for the airbag suspension), a neatly presented A-frame storage box complete with slide-out trays to suit a barbecue and fridge, and 9kg gas cylinders in a lockable storage box. There’s also tunnel storage with VFLEX liner giving that elegant carpet look and feel, steel skid plates, recovery points, a dual reversing camera, a shower, and even a rear firewood box.

masterpiece caravans
Masterpiece Caravans’ special truss chassis.

Externally, this Optimum Extreme Off-Road sports every bit of equipment that most caravanners could want. But more importantly, it’s done in a thoughtful, cohesive manner that’s hard to argue with.


The layout doesn’t break new ground but there’s no denying that it conveys a sense of strength and rigidity. All the features are there, from a rear ensuite to a Truma Vario gas heater, a Truma Aqua Go hot water service, Truma Aventa air-con, and a new cooktop that uses two gas burners and one electrical induction element.

masterpiece caravansA convection microwave is fitted below. While we are seeing a trend towards full induction cooktops due to the availability of high-capacity lithium batteries, which is fantastic, I think it’s a wise decision to have the gas back-up where possible.

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Beautiful bathroom inside the Masterpiece Caravans Optimum Extreme Off-Road.

Masterpiece has also given the Optimum a new, powered dust reduction system featuring two high-pressure vans that can be operated by a switch at the door. There’s a 32in smart TV, a top-loading washing machine in the ensuite, Starlink internet provision, a 12V hatch above the bed that will automatically close when it senses rain… it goes on.

masterpiece caravansThe equipment list is thorough, with nothing appearing as though it was bolted on as an afterthought. Further, I saw nothing regarding the fit and finish that made me cringe – this is a well-executed and presented caravan.


As I mentioned, the Masterpiece guys hammered this van at the AARC. The company’s owner, Remon Raffaello, took the wheel and I rode in the backseat, watching as he gleefully took on any obstacle he thought would pose a challenge.

masterpiece caravansIf anything could break on this van, he was going to find it. And… he did. Well, sort of. You see, the rear-bumper-mounted spare wheel caught the ground when exiting a steep water crossing. But it’s worth mentioning the departure angle was such that most caravanners wouldn’t even attempt it and the van’s ground clearance and rear overhang is on par with most other dedicated off-road caravans.

For Remon, though, that wasn’t good enough, and within minutes he was formulating a solution to take back to the factory. As he said, finding these physical limitations was the entire point of the AARC testing which, I’ll also point out, requires a very substantial financial investment. The use of these facilities does not come cheap. In my mind, therefore, this exercise was yet another credit to Masterpiece Caravans.

masterpiece caravansOur 20ft 8in Optimum had a Tare of 3120g, so it’s a substantial rig to haul. Having said that, were it not for factors such as the weight-saving Fibroplast framing and other measures, it would be a heavier van again. This van offers value in every kilogram.


Space precludes me from detailing every feature and comfort. Some vans you just need to check out for yourself. I would encourage you to take a factory tour as well, where you’ll see firsthand the benefits of the Fibroplast technology and the care with which these vans are built.

Yes, I have a high opinion of Masterpiece Caravans. And if you take the time to peak inside and underneath one, I think you will too.


FIT AND FINISH – 5 out of 5 stars

LAYOUT – 4 out of 5 stars

INNOVATION – 5 out of 5 stars


  • R-TECH construction
  • Excellent 12V system
  • True offroad-ability
  • Genuine innovation
  • Spare wheel impacted the ground when exiting a water crossing with a particularly steep departure angle, but this occurred in a testing environment in which the aim was to push the limits of the caravan


Overall length: 8532mm

External width: 2495mm

Internal height: 1950mm

Travel height: 3150mm

Tare: 3120kg

GTM: 3803kg

ATM: 4000kg

Unladen ball weight: 197kg

Group axle capacity: 4500kg

Frame: Fibroplast

Floor: One-piece, structural, insulated floor

Cladding: Composite aluminium

Coupling: DO45

Chassis: Masterpiece’s special SupaGal truss chassis with 6in extended drawbar by Road King

Suspension: 4500kg-rated TerraGlide stage 3 airbag

Brakes: 12in electric drum

Wheels: 17in alloy

Fresh water: 2x95L; 1x65L drinking water

Grey water: 1x100L

Awning: Roll-out

Battery: 600Ah lithium with Victron Multiplus battery management system, 3000W inverter, 120A charger, 2x50A solar regulators, and DC-DC charger

Solar: 880W

Air-conditioner: Truma reverse-cycle

Gas: 2x9kg

Sway control: No

Cooking: Two-burner gas cooktop with one electric induction element

Refrigeration: 224L compressor

Microwave: Convection

Shower: Separate cubicle, fully-moulded fibreglass

Toilet: Cassette

Washing machine: Top-loader

Lighting: 12V LED

Hot water: Truma Aqua Go

TV: 32in smart

Heating: Gas Truma Vario