Kedron Caravans XC2
Glen Gall was optimistic about this Kedron 19ft XC2. As anyone who has sat back and watched a Gall Boys Adventure is likely to know, Glen's optimism is contagious. However, the goal was to see if Glen's fabled optimism was justified this time.
Before us was a mini adventure with a XC2 Kedron caravan hitched to the three-door Toyota Prado. Before we set off, Glen explained that Kedron built this van with the Prado in mind. "This particular van we had set up for the three-door Prado, although the five door Prado is still fine to tow it.
"We build the Cross Country vans for Prado," he said. "When we build for the five-door, we limit the size to 16ft 6in internal/18ft body to keep the tare mass at early 2000kg and ATM at 2500kg." Glen explained that the review van was built with a few extras, and that meant it has a tare at 2350kg and that meant a 3000kg ATM. Just the same, the Prado's four-cylinder turbo diesel has the capacity to tow a medium-sized caravan and is capable of handling these weights.
Certainly, when we took it out and about north of Brisbane, there was no doubt the Prado had the chutzpah we needed and looked good to boot. That's because the LandCruiser Prado's engine provides plenty of power and has around 20% greater towing capacity than the five-door Prado.
In amongst the lush green rolling hills, we worked the combination of Toyota and Kedron RV up and down a variety of country roads. I can tell you the combo took everything we threw at them. It was thumbs up and all smiles every inch of the way.
Hitched to the Prado with a 360 degree off-road coupling, the Kedron easily handled the tightest off-road twists and turns.
As usual, Kedron has equipped the XC2 with two 9kg gas cylinders and a jerry can holder on the A-frame. This certainly gave the caravan the look that it was ready for a prolonged free-camping experience somewhere in the remote great outdoors. Combined with two 135W solar panels, this van was ready to go camping.
Add in the sort of convenient items that the Gall boys' lifetime of experience provides, and you can be sure this caravan is capable of a great camping experience no matter where you should choose to explore.
Included in the external array of features is a pullout tray from the generator hatch that makes camping beyond caravan park boundaries so much easier, as does the galvanised through-boot.
Typically of Kedron, the stylish caravan's ample stone guard provided plenty of protection when rattling along a rocky bush track. Although some might argue that leaf suspension has had its day, it's hard to resist its time-tested reputation as a simple, effective and easy to fix suspension. That was plain to see when we took the Kedron over some more difficult patches and found it towed well.
Meanwhile, the van's extended A-frame probably added a greater amount of manoeuvrability when working in tight situations.
Inside, the caravan showed off its air-conditioned comfort and simple style that makes this brand so popular. From the timber floor to the coffee-coloured leather, oatmeal curtains and maple finishing on the cupboards and lockers, this van looked a treat.
Equipment-wise, the van made camping painless with its 150L Vitrifrigo fridge, SMEV grill and oven that included three gas and one electric burner, grill/oven and stainless steel, together with a shower-toilet and washing machine.
The kitchen sits beside the shower-toilet and opposite the dinette that includes a space saving bi-fold table. Here you find a basic kitchen complete with microwave, oven-grill and adequate bench space on which to prepare the most imaginative meal.
Importantly, the kitchen drawers, like all the drawers and cupboards throughout the Kedron, are well constructed and finished to ensure that no-one needs to scrape splinters out of fingers.
That brings me to the bedroom. The bedroom boasts a very comfortable queen-sized bed. However, the van configuration has caused the bed to be placed a deal higher than usual. Having said that, it is certainly not intolerably high. Although some less mobile caravanners might find a bed this high a little hard work.
Once in bed, the van is fitted with an efficient diesel heater that is sure to keep you warm when touring during winter. On the plus side, the bedroom has plenty of storage helped, in part, by the high bed configuration, but also thanks to two robes. Overall, this caravan interior stuck true to Kedron's reliance on tried and tested design. The layout remains simple yet highly user-friendly, with tasteful colours and plenty of windows for ventilation.
There was a sense of the familiar and the traditional – both of which are sure to make you almost instantly feel comfortable.
This van benefits from the Gall boys' regular adventures testing out their products. Glen Gall's optimism is well placed in this van. Once again, Kedron has produced a van that meets their high standards of construction and design – standards only matched by Kedron's emphasis on customer service.
CHASSIS: Hot-dipped galvanised premium strength 6in beam chassis using A-Grade Blue-Scope steel
FRAME CONSTRUCTION: Aluminium interlocked wall frame using solid high-tensile steel rivets, welded aluminium roof frame
WINDOWS: Tinted wind-out
INSULATION: Roof and wall
CORNER JACKS: Yes
WASTE WATER COMMON OUTLET: Generally yes, depending on layout, otherwise connection piece can be supplied
WATER TANKS: 2 x 100L
WATER TANK COVERS: Yes
COUPLING: Hyland Coupling
SUSPENSION: Leaf suspension
BRAKES: 12in commercial brakes with flush plugs and parallel bearings
WHEELS: 16in alloy rims
TYRES: 265/75/R16 steel belt radials
AWNING: Rollout awning
BOOT(S): Three-quarter through boot
STONE GUARD: Yes
GAS CYLINDER SIZE/S: 2 x 9kg
HOT WATER: Gas hot water system
BATTERY: 2 x 120Ah maintenance-free AGM batteries, 40A three-stage float charger, solar panel provision
BATTERY CHARGER: 40A float charger
SOLAR PANELS: 2 x 130A solar panel
ENTRANCE DOOR: Camec triple-lock security door
TAP ON A-FRAME: Yes
FRIDGE: 150L Vitrifrigo
DVD/TV and wall brackets
ANTENNA: Portable satellite wiring, Marine Mount Next G aerial
MUSIC SYSTEM: Kenwood CD head unit/ (iPod-compatible units fitted upon request)
COOKING EQUIPMENT: SMEV one electric, three gas oven/grill
MICROWAVE: Sharp microwave
HEATING: Dometic diesel heater
COOLING: Air Command – remote control/reverse cycle
RANGEHOOD: S/steel Camec
LIGHTING: Customer's choice: mix of fluoro, bulb reading or
LED SMOKE ALARMS: Yes
CUPBOARD FINISHES: Tasmanian oak & pine frame structure & solid Tasmanian oak surround doors v-nailed
TYPE OF LATCHES: Marine-grade push and twist positive lock catches
LOUNGE CONFIGURATION: L-shaped
SEATING CAPACITY: Custom layouts, though generally four
UPHOLSTERY: Fabric SINK: Stainless steel
SLEEPING CONFIGURATION: Queen bed
BED SIZE(S): Queen
MATTRESS: Innerspring mattress
UNDER BED STORAGE: Yes
PRIVACY SCREENS: Dometic window upgrade & pull-up privacy screen for review van
BATHROOM CONFIGURATION: Shower/toilet
PRIVACY DOOR: Yes
TOILET: Thetford cassette
TOILET PROVISION: Yes
TOILET ROLL HOLDER: Yes
SHOWER HEAD: Flickmixer
WASHING MACHINE: Yes
CLOTHES DRYER: No
TOWEL RACKS: Generally yes – vans custom built to customer's specs
MAKE/MODEL: Kedron XC2
EXTERNAL BODY LENGTH: 5.8m (19ft)
EXTERNAL WIDTH: 2.4m (7ft 8in)
VIN TARE WEIGHT: 2350kg
BALL WEIGHT: 180kg
RRP: $89,970 on road (QLD)
NB: length and width are external measurements of the vehicle shell (and awning) only.
CONTACT PERSON: Jan McNeil
NAME: Kedron Caravans
DISPLAY CENTRE: 529 Gympie Rd, Kedron QLD 4031
FACTORY: 10 Strathwyn St, Brendale QLD 4500
PHONE: (07)3550 3333
FAX: (07) 3359 7674
MANUFACTURER: Kedron Caravans
WORDS BY DAVID GILCHRIST PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRETT SHEARER