Finding an adventure is about taking the journey as much as it is about arriving at the unexpected destination. With that in mind, I was keen to see if the Spinifex Xscape has all it needs to turn any adventurous journey into a wonderful memory.’
ON THE OUTSIDE
Spinifex Caravans has gained a reputation of producing sturdy products; the Xscape is no exception. From the ground up, it certainly has the stuff that a would-be caravanner should expect from a van that will take them to many of the far-flung corners of the continent.
Now, the Spinifex Caravans Xscape is an ‘entry level’ caravan. However, there is nothing entry level about it, at least not in terms of spec level or build quality. Rather, when Spinifex says this caravan is entry level, it means in terms of its range. After all Spinifex is known for building high-end caravans that have been extensively fitted out for rough-road and offroad touring.
The aluminium-framed Xscape boasts a 150mm (6in) DuraGal chassis with a 2m (extended) drawbar, with a large storage box and drop-down legs. Other features include a mesh stoneguard on the drawbar, galvanised wheel arches and Cruisemaster’s proven CRS semi offroad independent coil suspension with twin shock aborbers.
The term ‘semi off-road’ is often bandied about. However, for my money it should mean you’re towing a van that can tackle most outback roads. That includes treks along stony gibber tracks out Winton way when you’re tracking dinosaurs, or exploring the tricky sand tracks found around Queensland’s Fraser coastline when you’re looking for pristine, beautiful beaches. The Xscape ticks those boxes and more.
Spinifex Caravans has saved weight on the van where possible. One of these measures involves the lighter cladding used. Additionally, as Spinifex Caravans sales manager Mark Evans said, the company fitted 16in wheels rather than the 17in wheels fitted by some manufactures of comparable vans in order to save a little weight.
Storage-wise, the exterior has a sizeable storage box up front and, when combined with a handy front tunnel boot, means the van has a decent amount of room for tools, torches, poles and other bits and bobs.
And this brings us back to payload. With a Tare weight of 2360kg and an ATM rating of 3500kg, the Xscape offers 1140kg to account for water, food, your gear, etc.
A convenient dropdown table with TV port makes outdoor living a nice experience. Although the absence of an exterior slide-out kitchen keeps the weight and cost down, travelling outdoor chefs are likely to frown a little – unless they pack their own barbecue.
SPINIFEX CARAVANS: ON THE INSIDE
On first impressions, the Spinifex Caravans Xscape is simple, stylish, with a clean look that won’t date quickly.
Beside the dinette is a nicely appointed kitchen with a Swift gas-electric cooktop, griller and microwave. A good-size Dometic fridge, ample laminated benchtop space, and stainless-steel sink and flick mixer complete the picture.
Entertainment-wise, the Xscape has a bluetooth stereo system, twin internal speakers and twin external speakers. There is also a 24in smart TV.
The ensuite/laundry includes a 3kg top-loading washing machine, ceramic toilet and vanity with flick mixer.
As standard, the Xscape has two 83L freshwater tanks and an 83L grey water tank, with scope to upgrade the freshwater capacity by adding a couple of additional tanks. Power wise, the van is fitted with a 200Ah lithium battery, a BMPRO BatteryPlus35 battery management system, and dual 170W solar panels.
Yes, the idea of ‘entry level’ is quite subjective and the idea of an ‘entry level’ caravan priced at near $90,000 is a little incongruous. However, this is an entry-level van in a high-end range of caravans that is very well regarded by caravanners, both on-road tourers and offroad enthusiasts alike.
What’s more, Xscape is a van with a little longitude for customising. So if the price tag suits your budget, in terms of layout, style, build quality, ride height and more, the Xscape by Spinifex Caravans is certainly worth considering.
FIT AND FINISH –
HITS & MISSES
Overall length: 8.8m
External body length: 6.8m
External width: 2.49m
Internal height: 2m
Travel height: 3m
Group axle capacity: 3500Kg
Unladen ball weight: 160kg
Cladding: Aluminium sides with one-piece fibreglass roof
Coupling: Cruisemaster DO35
Chassis: 6in DuraGal with 2m extended drawbar
Suspension: Cruisemaster CRS independent coil
Wheels: 16in alloy
Fresh water: 2 x 83L
Grey water: 1x83L
Power supply: 1x200Ah Lithium battery; BMPRO BatteryPlus35 battery management system with built-in charger
Air-conditioner: Dometic reverse-cycle
Sway control: No
Cooking: Four-burner Swift cooktop with griller
Refrigeration: 188L Dometic compressor fridge
Shower: Variable height
Washing machine: 3kg top-loader
Lighting: 12V LED downlights
Entertainment: 24in smart TV; stereo with Bluetooth
Hot water: Gas/electric