Review: New Age Caravans Road Owl

The Road Owl pop-top is the latest addition to the New Age Caravans range. We wasted no time to hitch it up to see if you should give a hoot about this rig.


In late 2018, New Age Caravans was bought by Walkinshaw Automotive Group, the same company behind HSV.

In that time, New Age has incorporated some of Walkinshaw’s automotive technology, beginning with the Walkinshaw-designed and engineered chassis that sits underneath every New Age Caravan.

The New Age Caravans Road Owl pop-top is the latest addition to the range. It’s available in 16ft and 18ft variants. The 16-footer is a couple’s van, while the 18-footer is geared towards families. Both have a bathroom.

New Age CaravansWe had planned a few a few days away at Paradise Valley, an amazing campground in Glenmaggie, Vic, but just needed a suitable van. What better time to hitch up the Road Owl RP18BE? 


Other than the Gecko, this Road Owl is the only family pop-top available in the New Age range. It can be purchased in a standard format, which includes most basic features, but you’d want to consider either the Comfort Pack or semi-offroad Adventurer Pack.

In standard format, the Road Owl misses out on items such as a battery (provision only in standard format), external speakers, a solar panel, etc. 

New Age CaravansThe Adventurer Pack, which was fitted to our van, incorporates all Comfort Pack features, including solar, battery and external speakers, and adds Cruisemaster CRS2, external shower, reversing camera, an external shower, a straight black bumper bar, 6in main chassis members with a 2in raiser, a tray in the A-frame, 16in wheels (15in wheels are standard), and more.

The frame of the New Age Caravans Road Owl is high moisture-resistant meranti timber, which is clad with high profile, silver stucco aluminium and a 600mm lower waist of protective Raven Coat in lieu of traditional checkerplate. The roof is a one-piece fibreglass structure.

New Age CaravansExternal storage is limited to the reasonably spacious tunnel boot up front, which is accessible from either side of the van. 

The New Age Caravans Road Owl uses a number of BMPRO devices: the Trailsafe break-away braking system, which has Bluetooth and wired connectivity options for in-vehicle monitors, and also works off the van’s battery (no additional battery required); the BMPRO SwayControl system; and there’s a BMPRO Trek digital display inside, which gives real-time information on the van’s levels, from water to battery charge, among other functions.

New Age CaravansUnderneath, the Road Owl was fitted with two 110L water tanks, fore and aft of the axle group. Only one water tank is standard – a second tank is part of the Comfort/Adventurer Pack.

Now, while the underside of the van is quite ‘clean’ and well thought out, the outlets for the water tank seem a bit exposed. Perhaps I’m being overly cautious, but since it’s equipped for semi-offroad travels, a bit of protection here might be a good idea. The same goes for the fresh water tap on the A-frame.

New Age CaravansOn the offside, you’ll find a hot/cold external shower, always a welcome feature, and a reversing camera at the rear. Both are fitted as part of the Adventurer Pack.

The 6in drawbar, which runs back to the sports a recessed ball coupling, a centre-mounted jockey wheel, and dual gas cylinders (a second cylinder is provided as part of the upgrade pack). I would consider adding a stoneguard to the A-frame, though.

Weighing 2200kg Tare, and with an ATM of 2800kg, our Road Owl provided a payload capacity of 600kg, which seems perfectly acceptable to me. On the open highway, and along the winding country roads en route to Paradise Valley, I experienced no difficulty with its towing performance. It was quite manoeuvrable around the campsite, too.


Inside, the New Age Caravans Road Owl presented as somehow more spacious than other 18-footers I’ve looked at. With an east-west bed up front, an amidships kitchen and dinette, and rear bunks and bathroom, the layout comes together in a sensible and cohesive way. 

New Age CaravansThe fact New Age managed to include a separate bathroom, which itself contains a separate shower cubicle, into this layout, still surprises me.

There is nothing unusual about how the Road Owl sets up. Simply release the four corner over-centre catches that secure the roof, set the awning to ‘open’, and use the levers inside to raise the roof. Easy.

New Age CaravansUndoubtedly, the orientation of the bed is the big space-saver – every caravan layout requires compromise, but I think it’s worth it. At the head of the bed, New Age Caravans has incorporated a couple of lockers, and a 12V and 240V point either side of the bed, while at the foot of the bed (the nearside), is the mounting point for the 24in smart TV that comes as part of the Comfort/Adventurer Pack.

The kitchen is equipped with a Thetford four-burner cooktop with griller, while a microwave is set into the cabinetry underneath. Now, kitchen bench space is very limited (another trade-off), but you’ve got the nearby dinette table to use if needs be.

New Age CaravansInterestingly, the dinette table is hinged longitudinally, allowing the quarter of the table nearest the kitchen to drop down, creating more walkthrough space if required. Speaking of the dinette, there are reading lights here, a 240V point near the door, but no 12V points.

Each of the two rear bunks is equipped with a 12V and 240V power point and a reading light, while the rear wall is fitted with a mirror and storage cabinet. There’s a not a copious amount of storage space for the kids here, true, but I think you would manage.

New Age CaravansThe bathroom, though, is quite impressive. It contains all the items you’d expect – cassette toilet, a washbasin, some storage space – combined with a separate shower. Again, that’s not bad considering the compact nature of this van.

Throughout, the fit and finish is of quite a high standard, too. There were no sharp or unfinished edges, poor joinery, or anything that looked obviously sub-standard to be found. New Age has lived up to its reputation in this respect.


The 18ft New Age Caravans Road Owl was a good and faithful companion for our trip. While I think some of the items found in the upgrade packs, especially the battery, would be better fitted as standard, there is a lot of appeal here.

New Age CaravansIn fact, a couple of other caravanners at Paradise Valley poked their noses through and were thoroughly impressed by what they saw.

I can’t say I blame them, really. For parents and a couple of kids, the Road Owl would be quite comfortable. It makes a fine addition to the manufacturer’s line-up.


FIT AND FINISH – 4 out of 5 stars

LAYOUT – 4 out of 5 stars

INNOVATION – 3.5 out of 5 stars


  • Great fit and finish throughout
  • Excellent layout and use of space
  • With Adventurer Pack fitted, this is a well-rounded and capable pop-top
  • I’d like a 12V point or two at the dinette
  • I’d like a few items from the Comfort Pack added instead to the list of standard equipment


Overall length: 7.85m

External width: 2.5m

Internal height: 2.03m (roof up)

Travel height: 2.65m

Tare: 2200kg

GTM: 2630kg

ATM: 2800kg

Group axle rating: 3150kg

Unladen ball weight: 170kg

Frame: Meranti high moisture-resistant

Cladding: High profile, silver stucco aluminium

Coupling: 50mm ball

Chassis: Wallkinshaw 6in galvanised

Suspension: Cruisemaster CRS2

Brakes: 12in electric

Wheels: 16in alloy

Fresh water: 2x110L

Grey water: No

Awning: Roll-out

Battery: 1x100Ah deep-cycle

Solar: 150W

Air-conditioner: Under-bed air-conditioner

Gas: 2x9kg

Sway control: BMPRO SwayControl

Cooking: Thetford four-burner cooktop with griller

Refrigeration: 164L three-way

Microwave: Yes

Toilet: Cassette

Shower: Separate cubicle

Washing machine: No

Lighting: 12V LED

Hot water: Gas/electric

Adventurer Pack: 6in chassis and 2in raiser; recessed coupling; Cruisemaster CRS2 independent suspension; 16in wheels and tyres; A-frame tray; silver stucco aluminium; external shower; reversing camera; straight black bumper; pull-out step; higher side trimming; wheel spats.

All Comfort Pack features: Air-conditioner; 150W solar panel; 2x9kg gas cylinders; 2x110L water tanks; 1x110Ah AGM battery; digital display unit; external speakers; 24in smart TV; Winegard antenna; Raven Coat protection; picnic table; gloss doors

$60,990 (with Adventure Pack)

Staring price: $47,990