The Fulchers shower van is another fine caravan from the hands of Galaxy Caravans. Galaxy Caravans commenced manufacturing in 2001, originating with two friends who both worked in the industry.
With a staff of four, initial production was 1.5 caravans a week and they only produced pop-tops. They have grown to a company that now employs over 45 people and have moved to larger premises.
In early 2007, Mark and Lessa Burns took over the company and continued to produce the Galaxy caravan range. Galaxy has combined its forces with Fulchers Caravans who have been in the industry since 1972, and Alan Fulcher has been an integral part of the business since inception.
We headed for Narrabeen and Avalon with the Fulchers behind a Nissan Navara 2.5L turbo-diesel dual cab. The Nissan never once struggled with this beauty behind; they made a great combination.
The most striking attributes of the new Fulchers Galaxy were the colours and features on the outside. The colour matching J-mould, wheel spates, front stone guard and pin striping all combined to give that special appearance.
The obvious strength of the full hotdipped galvanised chassis declared the van’s readiness to hook up and drive away. The 4in main member with 2in riser gives the van that added strength for those tough Aussie roads. This all rides on tried and tested load sharing leaf spring suspension.
The spare wheel has a cover to protect it from the sun and all wheels are alloys for function and style. The tinted acrylic windows give the van extra appeal as well as being functional, reducing the heat and glare inside the van on those hot summer days. There is also a triple-lock security door.
The rollout awning is nice and large and does not hinder any windows. The clearance lights are all LED which are so much better than the old-style lighting. There is a heavy-duty bumper bar with spare wheel across the rear.
Chassis: 4in box steel hot-dipped galvanised
Frame construction: Meranti timber
Windows: Jupiter wind-out tinted
Insulation: Polystyrene foam
Corner jacks: Drop down
Waste water common outlet: Yes
Water tanks: 2x60L
Water tank covers: Gal sheet
Suspension: Load-sharing leaf spring
Clearance: Standard with 50mm chassis block
Brakes: 10in electric
Wheels: 14in alloy
Tyres: 14in light truck
Stone guard: Padded
Gas cylinder size/s: 2x9kg
Hot water: Atwood 22L gas
Battery charger: CTEK
Tap on A-Frame: Yes
Galaxy shows itself to be well constructed and its furniture is very sturdy, giving added support to the caravan frame as a whole.
I inspected the finish of the internal timberwork in all the cupboards, and it was all sanded nicely. Although there is still room for improvement in a few areas, Galaxy has come a long way since 2001.
The kitchen works really well. There is ample cooking and preparation space with the two separate work bench areas. One located at the door has the sink inset and the other off-door side has the cooking equipment and fridge.
There is so much cupboard space you would be hard-pressed to fill them on the first trip. But we all know there is never enough storage space in a caravan as we collect more and more with each trip.
There is plenty of light streaming inside the van through the windows and doors plus the Four Seasons hatch. The colours of the van are very light, giving the Fulchers a much larger sense of space. Overall, the layout works well for its size and purpose. The combined shower and toilet is functional and there is enough room to use without feeling cramped. The lounge area is very nice and the views were hard to miss.
There was a lovely big fridge to keep the perishables nice and cold. Above this is the LCD TV that rotates into the bedroom or lounge depending on where you are relaxing. The island bed had plenty of walk space around it and no wheel arches to trip you up. The mattress was an innerspring for a comfortable night’s sleep.
The curtain pelmets added a touch of class to the Galaxy and the whole décor was perfectly matched to please even the fussiest of buyers. The van has all the comforts of home with the reverse-cycle air conditioner and the CD/DVD/radio to listen to our favourite music or play our favourite DVD.
The lighting is all 12V, with fluoro lights in the ceiling and outside, plus LED spot lights for reading. The van lights up like a Christmas tree even off the battery, so you won’t be searching for candles when you bush camp under the Southern Cross with the Fulchers Galaxy.
Fridge: Dometic RM2453 125L
Television: 19in LCD flat screen
Music system: DVD/CD/radio
Cooking equipment: Dometic four-burner grill, three gas/one electric
Heating/cooling: Dometic reverse-cycle air-con
Lighting: 12V fl uoro roof lights and LED reading lights
Smoke alarms: Yes
Cupboard finishes: Timber
Latches: Pushbutton catches with chrome handles
Lounge configuration: L-shaped dinette
Seating capacity: Five
Sink: Ultimate stainless steel
Sleeping configuration: Queen-width island bed
Bed size(s): 6ft 2in x 5ft
Under bed storage: Boxed and divided with gas struts
Privacy screens: No
Bathroom configuration: Combined shower/toilet
Privacy door: Opaque perspex
Toilet roll holder: No
Shower head: Flexible head – sliding
Towel racks: External
Value for money: 4/5
Alan Fulcher tells me the level of backup service from Galaxy is second to none. The Galaxy has so many options included as standard they are hard to go past. To see a shower van with all this for under $50,000, you have to put them on the short list. I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
Make/model: Galaxy Fulcher Grand Tourer
Chassis number: G93131
External body length: 5.77m (18ft 11in)
External width: 2.44m (8ft)
Vin Tare Weight: 1858kg
Ball Weight: 185kg
NB: length and width are external measurements of the vehicle shell (and awning) only
Contact person: Alan Fulcher
Name: Fulchers Caravans Pty Ltd
Address: 2 Ironbark Avenue South Camden NSW 2570
Phone: (02) 4655 9788
Fax: (02) 4655 9288
Please Note: Prices were correct at time of review.
WORDS BY PAUL HUTCHINSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANTHONY WARRY