Driftaway is a small manufacturer located in Victoria that has been custom designing and selling vans for about 30 years. It produces a good range of small to large caravans and pop-tops. The Condor is a small pop-top designed for a couple (or single) to head out into the great open roads of Australia.
We towed the Condor with a Falcon station wagon. The car really never even knew the Condor was behind it. The Condor was light and very easy to manoeuvre. We took the van along the Kangaroo Valley road, which is not recommended for caravans, but the Condor was never a worry at all. The Condor was nice and easy for my wife Robin to tow.
The Condor is a straightforward tourer designed for short-term touring. With a more than reasonable price tag, the Condor really has a lot to offer. With full DuraGal steel chassis, smooth aluminium clad sides and Galaxy windows, the Condor has nice street appeal.
On the rear is a bumper bar with spare mounted upon it. The front has a padded stone guard including the boot and front protector shade. There are twin gas bottles on the A-frame, and water tanks with galvanised protector plates.
The all-important rollout awning has been included on the door side and is large enough to set up a table and chairs plus a BBQ without getting wet when it rains. There is also the external grab-handle light at the door and the awning light is 12V. All the clearance lights are LED, which is a must on today’s modern van. For a small van and a small price tag, the Condor has a great list of features.
The legs are drop jacks for extra stability and the caravan features a triple-lock security flyscreen door. The pop-top incorporates gas struts on the sides and scissor lifts front and rear. Combined with easy lifters in the ceiling as well, they really make the roof very easy to lift and retract.
We spent a lovely day in Kangaroo Valley with the van, and found it very comfortable for two.
Chassis: G&S DuraGal box
Frame construction: Meranti timber
Windows: Galaxy tinted acrylic
Insulation: Batts – roof and walls
Corner jacks: Drop down
Waste water common outlet: Yes
Water tanks: 1 x 60L
Water tank covers: Yes
Suspension: Leaf spring
Wheels: Mag wheels 14in
Tyres: Radial 195/R14
Awning: A&E 8300
Boot(s): Front boot
Stone guard: Vinyl-padded stone guard
Gas cylinder size/s: 2x4kg
Door: Tri-Lock security flyscreen door
Tap on A-Frame: Yes
The Condor is simple and clean on the inside. The timber work is a lovely redwood colour and the décor is blue with beige curtains, and it all matches in very nicely. The décor is very pleasing to the eye and not fussy at all.
In the kitchen, the Condor has a huge 121L fridge. There is a nicesized bench including stainless sink and plenty of cupboards. The cook has a lovely four-burner grill with one electric element. This is a great little touring van. The rangehood is 12V and there is a hand pump and a mains pressure tap. Beside the door is a very large pantry that should hold more than enough food for two. Under the grill are two pot drawers and plenty of storage under the benches.
The bench tops are high-gloss laminex with timber edging with gloss stain and the splashbacks are brushed aluminium. It’s all very sleek and stylish.
All internal and external lighting is 12V and gives off great light. For those who want to add a battery in the future this would be very easy, or operating off the car overnight the lights will be very efficient.
There are plenty of windows bringing light and fresh air into the van and additional ventilation is provided from the large pop-top vents.
In all the cupboards I inspected the finish of the internal timberwork and some surfaces were a bit rough. I’d prefer to see the time was taken ensure you won’t get splinters when you get the van home, and that the ply linings are finished off well.
All the cupboards have a combination of chrome handles and pushbutton catches. They proved to be both functional and stylish.
The Condor has all the important things for touring and also includes a CD/radio for entertainment. The bed is an island double bed with plenty of room to get down the sides and into the bedroom wardrobes. The bed lifts up on gas struts providing easy access to the under-bed storage.
Fridge: Dometic RM2453 121L
Music system: CD/radio
Cooking equipment: Spinflo four-burner and grill (one electric)
Microwave: Sharp Carousel
Lighting: 12V fluoro and halogens
Smoke alarms: Yes
Cupboard finishes: Timber
Type of latches: Pushbutton
Lounge configuration: L-shaped
Seating capacity: Three
Sink: Stainless steel
Sleeping configuration: Double bed
Bed size(s): 6ft 2in x 4ft 6in
Under bed storage: Yes, gas struts
Privacy screens: No
Towel racks: No
Value for money: 3/5
Like all things in life, you get what you pay for. If you buy a budget-priced van, you can’t expect the best of everything. That said, there’s nothing wrong with this little pop-top. If you are a couple looking for a small tourer, then the Driftaway Condor is a great little unit and should be on the must-see list.
Make/model: Driftaway Condor
Chassis number: DW014
External body length: 5.1m (16ft 9in)
External Width: 2.2m (7ft 3in)
Vin Tare Weight: 1280kg
Ball Weight: 100kg
NB: length and width are external measurements of the vehicle shell (and awning) only
Contact person: David Carlon
Name: Carlon Caravans
Address: 105–107 Princes Highway, Unanderra NSW 2527
Phone: (02) 4272 6000
Please Note: Prices were correct at time of review
WORDS BY PAUL HUTCHINSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRETT SHEARER AND TOMMY SALMON