Opalite Karinya 610
Karinya means a peaceful home, and that’s what I found when I stepped into this caravan. I was quite impressed when I met the team from Opalite. In life we sometimes suffer misgivings and misinformation, but my expectations were soon exceeded and I came away with facts that put my mind at ease.
What do McDonald’s and Opalite Caravans have in common? Opalite Industries has been in manufacturing since the 1980s and still supplies moulded plastic display signage to leading multinational companies – such as McDonald’s, plastic moulded parts for the police paddy wagons, and moulded parts used on aircraft for supply to defence forces around the world.
John and Lorraine Middleton are the backbone to this innovative company. Some three years ago, they decided to put their production expertise to the caravan industry, and the vans have come a long way from the original prototype.
All the frames and cupboards are built as modules in their own factory overseas, to strict Australian guidelines, and then the van is finished here. They are now preparing their first camper trailers and will have them for release shortly.
Their new ‘Jelly Bean’ camper will be constructed with a tough plastic moulded body that is virtually indestructible. We towed the Karinya with a Lexus 5.7L V8 that never knew there was anything behind. The unit sat very smoothly on the road and was a pleasure to tow.
On the outside, the Karinya is stylish yet unassuming. The colours of the decals, low-profile windows and the smooth sides all make for a very crisp, clean unit.
I was impressed by the aluminium frame, which had a lot more substance than many others. All the panels are filled with polystyrene and the fibreglass lining is attached at the end.
The chassis has a 6in main member and 6in A-frame leading back to the spring hangers, with plenty of longitudinal beams. The easy-lift boot lid is a nice touch and gives easier access into the storage area. You can certainly tell there has been a lot of thought and time put into these vans.
Chassis: 150mm x 50mm hot-dipped galvanised
Frame construction: Aluminium interlocked pop riveted
Windows: Dometic double glazed with built-in flyscreen and blockout blinds
Insulation: Polystyrene foam
Corner jacks: Drop down
Waste water common outlet: No
Water tanks: 2 x 68L tanks
Water tank covers: Yes
Coupling: Standard ball
Suspension: Safety ride leaf spring suspension
Clearance: Standard with off-road available
Brakes: Electric on four wheels, 10in hubs
Wheels: 15x6in chrome steel Sunraysia
Tyres: 195 R15
Awning: Dometic A&E8300 16ft
Boots(s): Unique design fi breglass lift-up boot
Stone guard: Chequerplate under boot
Gas cylinder size/s: 2 x 9kg
Hot water: Suburban gas and electric
Battery: 105Ah deep cycle
Battery charger: 6A
Solar panels: 1 x 90W
Entrance door: Aussie Traveller triple-lock screen door
Tap on A-Frame: Yes
The layout was uncluttered with the bedroom at the front, centre lounge, and kitchen plus an ensuite across the rear. There was plenty of space for everything, and I really liked the ice bucket and garbage bin at the door. The LCD TV swivels to bedroom or lounge, and the microwave had a handy shelf in front to allow easy lifting of hot items.
All the cupboards are coated ply in a choice of mahogany or beech. The bench tops are a resin composite that is very smooth and is easy to clean.
The cupboard doors are curved, which is very unusual and reminiscent of the ’60s. When Lorraine designed the cupboards, John said that she had gone too far out of the square, but the customers love it, and as they say, the proof is in the pudding.
The kitchen had sufficient bench space to accommodate meals for four and the large fridge is a great treat. There were even three pullout pantries. The lounge seat was covered in leather, which was a very nice touch, but the bases where a bit short in depth to relax.
The ensuite was unique and the influence of the plastic mouldings was very evident. This made the ensuite very clean and fresh, but didn’t show off its strength as much as I would have liked. The plastic shower screen swivels around, and it rattled and banged loudly every time I hit it with my arms (as if I were in a shower). I think it would become very annoying; however, John tells me this is now being rectified.
The timberwork inside the cupboards was all well sanded. In fact, they had gone the extra mile as they inserted timber mouldings along each edge. All the cupboard doors were on piano hinges for extra strength and they used an unusual catch that seemed to work really well.
Fridge: Dometic RM2553 150L
Television: Flat screen LCD 19in
Music system: CD/DVD/MP3/FM/AM radio
Cooking equipment: Four-burner Thetford, three gas, one electric with grill
Microwave: Whirlpool 20L
Heating/cooling: Dometic B3300
Rangehood: RM585SS Stainless steel 12V
Lighting: LED 12V
Smoke alarms: Yes
Gas leakage detector: No
Cupboard finishes: Mahogany or beech. Unique design furniture with curved doors
Latches: Silver matt finish pushbutton
Lounge configuration: Wrap around or L-shape conversion to foldout slat bed
Seating capacity: 4
Upholstery: Fabric or leather option
Sink: Fully moulded in sink, granite look-a-like bench tops
Sleeping configuration: Queen size or single beds
Bed sizes(s): 6ft 5in x 5ft
Under bed storage: Lift-up gas strut slat base
Privacy screens: No
Bathroom configuration: Fully moulded ensuite
Privacy door: Concertina
Toilet: Thetford cassette C200CS
Toilet roll holder: Yes
Shower head: Flexible head
Washing machine: No
Clothes dryer: No
Towel racks: Yes
Value for money: 4/5
If you like clever design, well-thoughtout layouts and an innovative approach, then you will enjoy the Opalite Karinya 610 without a doubt. It does move outside the square, but not that far that you lose sight of what it really is – a peaceful home.
Make/model: Opalite Karinya 610
Chassis number: OC8225
External body height: 6.1m (20ft)
External body length: 2.44m (8ft)
Vin Tare Weight: 2320kg
Ball Weight: 180kg
NB: length and width are external measurements of the vehicle shell (and awning) only
Contact person: Sales Team
Company name: Opalite Caravans
Address: 2 Arunga Drive, Holmwood Business Park, Beresfield NSW 2322
Phone: (02) 4964 3333
Fax: (02) 4964 3366
Please note: Price was correct at time of review