We all dream of it. The thrill of the open road. Travelling like a nomad through the wide horizons, the sizzle of summer, the colour of autumn, the brisk embrace of winter, and the vibrant freshness that is spring. That’s the caravanning life.
The trouble is finding the right van to take you on all those adventures. With that in mind, on a hot and dry summer’s day, I took a new Spinifex Nomadix Premier into Queensland’s Glass House Mountains.
ON THE OUTSIDE
Getting out and about in the great outdoors and rumbling along a bush track requires a sturdy chassis and first-rate suspension. The Spinifex Nomadix Premier’s hot-dipped-galvanised chassis with dual 75mm beams of 350-grade Australian BlueScope steel and extended A-frame provided all the reassurance needed that this was a quality chassis. This grade steel, according to BlueScope, has excellent weldability and formability. Simply put, it’s quality structural steel.
Supporting the chassis as it rolls on and offroad is Cruisemaster XT independent airbag suspension with twin heavy-duty shock absorbers. That’s good news as this suspension is among the best on the market today.
Also featured around the outside was ample exterior tunnel storage, a sturdy rear bumper sporting a twin spare wheel carrier, and up front, the generous A-frame has protective steel mesh. Then there are the details underneath – everything is well protected, and even the A-frame water tap has its own stoneguard. A roll-out Aussie Traveller Sunburst awning is fitted to the nearside, while the A-frame features twin jerry can holders and a diesel heater tank.
This rig features full interlocking aluminium wall frames and roof supporting reinforced fibreglass panels. The quality here is obvious.
Power-wise, this van featured 1245W worth of solar to charge the chassis-mounted 650Ah of lithium batteries, and let’s not forget the very generous 5000W inverter.
When it comes to services, you won’t puddle around in unwashed tweeds thanks to a top loading washing machine. There is also an incredibly generous 400L of fresh water spread across five tanks, as well as an 80L grey water tank. Naturally, there are digital water tank gauges and water filters, as well as an internal and external shower – with this van, you’ll really have no choice but to be squeaky clean inside and out.
As for towability, this rig rides on its suspension as if it were on tracks. In fact, on the day I visited, I chatted to a customer who was very happy about his purchase – a telling endorsement. To quote a colourful comment from this South Australian customer, “It tows frekin’ awesome.”
STEP INSIDE THE SPINIFEX
The interior gently whispers one phrase: “Comfort with the right touch of luxury.” The interior has that X-factor, offering the premier finish that the van’s name suggested.
This is a bespoke van, so much of the interior choices are up to the owner. Our review van showed off a neutral, tasteful palette with genuine leather upholstery, laminated benchtops, and full-height kitchen splashback.
The kitchen boasts plenty of bench space, quality drawers and overhead lockers with soft-closing drawer runners and hinges. The nomadic gourmet won’t be disappointed – this van has a flatbed microwave (better than a standard turntable microwave) and Swift stove featuring three gas burners, a single electric burner, a griller and a fan-forced oven. So when your camped by a babbling brook, fly fishing for rainbow trout, you can rest easy knowing you can bake it to perfection while sizzling chips on the top and chopping up the salad on the generously-sized benchtop.
When the meals are done, and you are too tired from fishing to think about watching the outback stars, you won’t be disappointed by the sleeping arrangement.
It’s not necessary to count too many sheep thanks to a single-sided pillowtop pocket spring bamboo mattress on a slatted lift-up bed base. The bed base provides access to further storage space that is also accessible via underbed drawers. On those frosty nights, you get to stay warm thanks to a twin outlet diesel heater.
While the test van offered a fine array of features, Spinifex is capable of offering a world of options, from rear storage boxes to electronic steps, bike carriers, pole carries, annex walls to an external kitchen and more.
FIT AND FINISH –
HITS & MISSES
Overall length: 8.983m
External width: 2.45m
Travel height: 3.1m
Internal height: 1.98m
ATM 3500kg (can be rated to 4500kg if tow vehicle is suitable)
Unladen ball weight 240kg
Group axle capacity: 4500kg
Body: Foam core 4mm fibreglass outer skin
Chassis: 6in hot-dipped-galvanised
Suspension: Cruisemaster XT airbag
Brakes: Deemaxx 12in hydraulic disk
Wheels: 17in alloy
Fresh water: 400L
Grey water: 1x80L
Awning: Aussie Traveller roll-out
Battery: 650Ah lithium with battery management system
Sway control: No
Cooking: Swift four-burner cooktop with griller and oven
Refrigeration: Bushman 230L
Shower: Separate fibreglass cubicle with external shower
Toilet: Ceramic cassette
Washing machine: 3kg top-loader
Heating: Diesel heater
Hot water: Swift gas-electric
TV: 32in smart
RRP: $205,500 (tow-away)