Crusader Family bunk caravans

Crusader Family caravan

Crusader Family bunk caravans

Crusader Family bunk caravans offer each family the opportunity to create precious moments that live forever. Opulently appointed and designed for the family, the Crusaders Family range of caravans have a huge range of features including innerspring mattresses on all beds, a bathroom and a large kitchen, loads of storage space and so many luxuries to leave you contented and relaxed after each memorable day

Each Crusader Caravan model offers a range of different floor plans and extras to make sure your van is perfect for your style of holidaying. Compare the details of each model within this range to see which one best fits your needs.

The Family Castle offers a spacious and luxuriously equipped caravan for the whole family.

Crusader family bunk caravansCrusader family bunk caravansCrusader family bunk caravans

The Family Palace offers enough style and room for every member of the family to feel like royalty.

Crusader family bunk caravans

Crusader is proud of its Family range of caravans. The self titled Family Bunkie is well and truly a hit with the family market as it offers everything that a family is looking for in a bunk caravan – well built, two bunks as standard, a bathroom, air conditioning, a large awning, a well equipped kitchen, DVD radio and CD entertainment systems, loads of storage and of course, comfortable beds all with innerspring mattresses, even the bunks.

Crusader family bunk caravans

First look: Crusader Musketeer Aramis

Crusader Caravans

 

First look: Crusader Musketeer Aramis

Crusader goes down full gloss route with its popular touring caravan

To the casual observer, Crusader caravans don’t really stand out from others in the mainstream crowd.

Yet on every road trip I’ve done recently in the eastern half of Australia, I’ve been amazed by the number of Crusaders of all models that we’ve seen. What’s the secret behind their popularity?

It’s not price, because while good value, the $68,990 recommended price of the 20ft Musketeer Aramis see here is not exceptional, even when discounted to $66.990 at shows, or maybe even less with some arm-twisting at the dealership.

That’s with Crusader’s own thick composite walls and floor – a little less if you specify ‘old school’ ribbed aluminium wall cladding.It’s not really about their equipment either, as the Aramis, while well-equipped with every wanted feature, is not exceptional in this area. To be competitive in this segment today, your standard items need to include a 150mm diameter galvanised chassis, twin fresh water tanks, at least a 100Ah deep cycle battery, around 150 Watts of solar on the roof, a big fridge, a separate shower and toilet bathroom with a washing machine, and an entertainment system with a multi-speaker radio and a good-sized TV.

Crusader Caravans

Composite clad

That brings us to the way Crusaders are built and here I found some clues.

While many of the caravans in the $60,000 bracket still feature ‘stick and tin’ construction, Crusaders for the past 18 months or so have moved on.

While you can still save a few dollars by ordering your Crusader with corrugated aluminium cladding, most are now built with an industry-leading 30mm thick composite, hail and leak-resistant one-piece roof, a rigid, one-piece 42mm thick insulated floor with a unique fibreglass lower under-surface to further insulate the van and protect against stone and road debris damage, and thick aluminium composite smooth walls laid over insulated stud walls, with batons only 250mm apart.

Crusader Caravans

This form of construction not only offers insulation and strength benefits, but also helps keep the empty weight (Tare) of the Aramis down to 2126kg, which means you can legally tow it with a later model Ford Territory, a Mitsubishi Pajero, or every Toyota Prado up to the latest model and still have capacity to spare for clothing and full water tanks.

For non-technical types, that means they build a strong, well-insulated modern caravan that’s designed to travel and last.

However, Crusader also offers customers variable ATMs (laden weight) and our Aramis review van with its conventional eye-to-eye tandem axle leaf spring suspension, was built with an ATM of 2900kg, which meant it could legally carry a payload of more than 700kg, albeit behind a 3000kg or higher-rated tow vehicle if you load it to its capacity.

Crusader Caravans

Tall roofline

There are some other interesting things about Crusaders. For example, their interiors have a massive 2032cm (7ft 6in) ceiling height, so your lofty friends won’t bump their heads. And you can also have the bed fitted with a longer 6ft 4in innerspring mattress if you wish, to avoid lanky legs hanging over the end.

Inside, all the cupboards have one-piece glazed and laser-cut doors – not MDF – while they come with full-width piano hinges for extra rigidity and are fitted with sturdy torsion-type hinges.

Then go through the included items and in most cases,  you’ll find better-than-usual products for a caravan in this price bracket – certainly not the cheapest.

Crusader Caravans

For example, the Dometic RMDX25 fridge-freezer is a large 190 litre premium model. A three-way 12v/240v/gas model is standard, but you can specify a compressor model at no extra cost.

Some caravans in this price bracket have a 2.5kg capacity washing machine, but the one fitted to the Aramis is a 3.5kg capacity NCE.; the TV is a 24-inch NCE unit (not the usual 22in screen that most manufacturers seem to offer) and the wiring is all 8mm diameter and includes a circuit breaker.

All small details, but overall, they add up to an impressive package.

Crusader Caravans

Mainstream styling

Outside, the Crusader Musketeer Aramis is attractive, if not outstanding in any particular way.

There’s no front or rear window, something I’m comfortable with, as they’re both potential areas for dust or water ingress, but there are handy towel rails at both ends – something that was introduced on Evernew caravans many years ago. They’re ideal for airing beach and bathroom towels and it’s surprising that many other makers don’t fit them.

There’s no front boot either, with the room it would have taken up added to the interior space, while in its place there’s a large full tunnel boot, which is just as well, as there’s no other exterior storage.

Crusader Caravans

Underneath, the Aramis’s twin 95-litre fresh water tanks are both mounted ahead of the front axle, ensuring that there’s still a reasonable ball weight, although at just 112kg it’s very light for a caravan of its length.

Yet despite both water tanks being empty for our test and the van‘s single 205/70-15 spare wheel hanging out the back on the twin adjustable-arm back bumper, the Aramis towed very well behind the Land Drover Discovery 3 and felt light, agile and stable at posted highway speeds, with only minimal reaction to passing B-Doubles. This suggests that Crusader and its chassis supplier have done their homework properly with the under 2500kg towing market primarily in mind.

Crusader Caravans

The forward location of the water tanks exposes the stone-resistant fibreglass lining of the thick composite floor to stones, but so tough is this lining that they should just bounce off.

The plastic rear waste pipe won’t be so lucky and some simple foam or carpet lagging would be ideal to ward off missiles. Similarly, a simple stone-shield would help protect the A-frame’s exterior water tap, which otherwise is located in the flight path of stones thrown up by the tow car.

Crusader Caravans

Conventional layout

Inside, there’s also no surprise in the layout of the 20ft Aramis, which follows what most Australian caravanners want. The rear entry door leads you either into the bathroom to the right, or left into the kitchen and its opposing café dinette lounge, with the island north-south bed at the front.

There’s a good sense of space here, aided by the van’s large windows and two people should be able to get on together fine on a trip.

Crusader Caravans

If storage space is limited outside, the flipside is true inside the Aramis. I counted no fewer than 23 separate cupboards and drawers in the bedroom and living area, plus a large divided storage area under the queen bed.

Then, there were a further four large storage cupboards in the rear bathroom – plenty to store all the towels and linen you might need on the lengthy touring trip that this caravan is built for.

Crusader Caravans

One final mention here needs to go to Hinterland Caravans, Crusader’s Gold Coast dealer based at Burleigh Heads.

After they sell a caravan and deliver the standard two-hour customer briefing, Hinterland books the new owners into a local tourist park for two nights and encourages them to try out every feature of their new van. If there are any problems, they send their dedicated handover product specialist to the park to explain, or solve the issue.

Crusader Caravans

Verdict

Judging by this 20ft couple’s van, there are a number of good reasons why you see so many Crusaders plying Australia’s main travel routes: they’re built tough for touring and offer value for money in terms of their construction and included features.

2018 Crusader Musketeer Aramis 20ft 

Travel length: 8230mm
External body length: 6320mm
External body width: 2340mm
Travel height: 2850mm
Tare: 290kg
ATM: 2126kg
Payload: 774kg
Ball weight (Tare): 112kg
Body: Aluminium clad composite walls, 30mm one-piece fibreglass composite roof and 42mm composite floor.
Chassis: 150mm x 50mm Duragal 3mm box section chassis and A-frame
Suspension: Eye-to-eye tandem leaf spring
Brakes: 10-in electric drums
Wheels: 15in alloy with 205/70-15 tyres
Fresh water: 2 x 95 litre
Battery: 1 x 100Ah deep cycle
Solar: 1 x 150W roof-mounted panel
Gas: 2 x 9kg
Cooking: 4 burner (3 gas + I electric) Swift 500-Series cooktop, plus grill and dLuxx microwave oven
Fridge: 190l Dometic 3-way
Bathroom: Separate shower, toilet and vanity
Washing machine: NCE 3.5kg top-loading
Lighting: LED throughout                                                                                              Price: $66,990
Supplied by: Hinterland Caravans, Burleigh Heads, Qld 
More info: Crusader Caravans

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Introducing Willow RV

Houlihans Caravan and RV Centre are proud to announce we will be dealers for Willow RV.

Willow RV Background

Willow RV crafts campers and caravans that satisfy our customers needs and enhance their lifestyle for many years to come. We are a 100% Australian owned company, located in Pakenham, Victoria, and wherever possible we support the national manufacturing industry by using local products.

The Willow RV brand is backed by 45 years of combined experience in the research, development and production of recreation vehicles. We are committed to delivering RV’s to the highest quality standards, built for Australian conditions using the latest manufacturing and design techniques.

Design & Manufacturing RV products that satisfy the life style of the Australian user and offering the nationwide product support. Our entire range is compliant with all Australian Design standards and regulations, as well as industry guidelines

Range

The conifer range has 5 layouts to choose from, all with options to change your seating arrangement, or bed layout. If you want to see more of the outback, they also offer their Adventure pack upgrade to give you that little extra toughness.

Caravans not for you, the choose from the camper range with 5 layouts to choose from, even and ensuite.

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Expertise

The Willow RV range has been developed by our team of experienced design engineers. When creating a design, we use Solid Edge, the latest 3D computer technology that can fully assess the model for ergonomics, stress points and feasibility before proceeding to a prototype build. The contemporary modular design gives customers an extensive choice of feature options.

Crusader Caravans Build Quality Part II

The side walls sit on top of the floor

Crusader Caravans walls are manufactured from strong Meranti timber but Crusader goes one better and provides supports of 40mm by 21mm timber every 250mm along the length of the caravan and install corner blocks to take the stress of each opening. The walls are also fully insulated and rather than attaching the walls to the side of the floor as is common, Crusader locates each wall into slots on the top of the floor and then the walls support the roof. Why is this important? The thick floor and the 6” chassis takes the weight of both the walls and roof and they move together whilst travelling whereas by attaching walls directly to the chassis, vibration and flexing can loosen over time causing distortion throughout the caravan.

Higher 80” ceilings for that spacious feeling

If you have ever wondered why a Crusader caravan feels that much more spacious well the secret is in the ceiling. Whilst finished in a gloss white to reflect the available lighting from the numerous LED lights and very large windows, Crusader builds each caravan to a standard ceiling height of 80” whereas most of our competitors stay at the traditional 78” height. Two inches might not sound much in itself but it does make a rather dramatic difference to the livability of the caravan inside and even more so if you yourself are tall.

Strong Duratech 6″ box steel chassis

Australian chassis manufacturers understand the tough road conditions that Australia has to offer and engineer an extensive range of caravan chassis to suit our customer’s needs. We only used chassis that are manufactured in Australia and the type of chassis fitted to all 2017 Crusader caravans are the thicker, stronger Duragal chassis with 6” chassis rails and cross members coupled to a similarly manufactured 6” drawbar. Despite this, when the thicker composite floor and roof are taken into account, our caravans, whilst stronger than before, are lighter than ever. Our chassis are of a box section design, manufactured from Australian blue steel meaning that each metal component is a full “box” shape and obviously far stronger than the often used C section chassis. All chassis are compliant with Australian Design Rules and industry codes of practice and are fully rust protected.

Crusader Caravans

Suspension

Crusader caravans are strong and are designed to cope with the many different road surfaces found throughout Australia. The suspension is matched to each model with particular attention given to axle load, tare weight and brake size to provide more carrying capacity than the average caravan on the market today. Crusader commonly adopts Eye to Eye or Roller Rocker suspension to the range and for journeys on paved roads, rougher development roads or indeed graded dirt roads, our standard suspension in conjunction with light truck wheels and tyres is more than suitable. If you so desire you can opt to include shock absorbers or go even further into a fully independent coil spring suspension such as Cruisemaster CRS, Tuff Ride, Control Rider or Cruisemaster XT.

Crusader CaravansCrusader Caravans

Crusader Caravans furniture

Crusader Caravans structural partitions are built into every caravan to provide further structural support. Cupboards are screwed to the wall from the outside thus creating a structure that will take an extreme amount of weight and the stress and strain of road movement. There is no MDF in a Crusader caravan. Each cupboard door is of quality ply and is laminated with acrylic material chosen from a wide range of colours. To compliment the doors, soft closing struts are provided on each overhead together with full width piano hinges for greater rigidity and will never requiring adjustment. Internally, the cupboard openings are finished with rounded moldings which is indicative of the lengths Crusader will go to present a quality caravan for sale.

Crusader Caravans

Electrical systems are grouped together

Crusader Caravans electrical controls are grouped together in an internal overhead cabinet, items such as the solar panel controller, the fuse box, water pump switch and the internal hot water system cutoff switch. This grouping of equipment is uncommon in the caravan industry and is a great feature when needing to easily access these controls. 12v and 240v electrical systems are a critical component of any caravan as well as ensuring the safety of the occupants by safeguarding against overload situations. The push button fuse reset mechanism and the inclusion of a master circuit breaker takes the worry out of everything electric. Crusader exceeds industry specification by using thicker wiring throughout the caravan and offers segregated circuits rather than a system of one main circuit and minimal switches.

Your Safety is important

Every Crusader Caravan is engineered to perform well on the road assuming a proper distribution of the load occurs and it is properly attached to the tow vehicle. The breakaway feature on every Crusader Caravan will cut in should the caravan somehow detach itself from your tow vehicle, a highly unlikely occurrence generally caused by incorrect coupling in the first place. The breakaway system will immediately apply the brakes and stop the caravan from rolling any further – a great safety feature. Your caravan is provided with a fire extinguisher and smoke alarm for your safety and a four point locking security door that offers you security and at the same time allows great air ventilation on those hot and humid nights.

Houliahns Crusader