We are getting to know the RT-X series at Caravan World pretty well, having reviewed the smaller (RT-X 28) and larger (RT-X 35) siblings in recent times. We have learnt that the RT stands for rugged terrain and the X designates extreme. The RT-X 30 on review sits in the middle of the range with a 5.88m (19ft 3in) body and a 2634kg tare weight.
Dani Bib, the owner of the company, joined me for the day to run through the van and share some more about the company. The decals on the van proclaiming ‘Est. 1963’ tells us Evernew Caravans has hit the 60-year anniversary milestone, and they have every right to crow about it. Dani bought the business in 2017 and has passionately worked on modernising product functionality while maintaining traditional build quality.
Doing it right
I often like to open every external hatch and internal door to get a feel for where everything is located and to see how much care the manufacturer takes with the nitty-gritty parts of the build. It was quickly apparent that the attention to detail in this van is among the best I have seen.
The internal plumbing under each sink was neatly routed which is a sign of good workmanship but more importantly means the storage space is not gobbled up like you see in some vans. The plumbing lines are a combination of copper and cross-linked polyethylene pipe with push fit fittings usually used in house builds. Evernew prefers this over regular RV plumbing because the teams find it less prone to leaks. Continuing with the house plumbing theme, the RT-X 30 featured traps under the sinks to prevent nasty smells sneaking back up the pipes from the grey water tank.
On my tour of the van, Dani pointed out more plumbing smarts for me to get excited about. The shower is not located directly against the back wall, which allowed for two very handy externally accessed storage compartments to be included in the design. Everyone loves storage space, but the cool thing is that Evernew added a small removeable panel in these storage compartments which allows easy access to the plumbing behind the shower wall if repairs are required. Brilliant.
Further poking around in cupboards reveals the Camec 3kg top loader washing machine is secured with a functional travel strap and has a drip tray underneath which drains water onto the ground if the washing machine were to have a leak.
Another feature I appreciated was mounting mirrors on the bathroom’s upper cabinet doors. This is a clever way to make the most of the van’s real estate, enabling the cupboards to be much taller for more storage space. It does add a fair bit of weight to the doors which puts more stress on the hinges when travelling on bumpy roads, but Dani assures me they have done the engineering to ensure the doors will go the distance.
Evernew has changed from a sliding door to a concertina door to separate the bathroom from the main living area. This has two advantages. Firstly, it eliminates the wall cavity used to house a sliding door, making the bathroom a smidge more spacious. And secondly — and perhaps more importantly — Dani tells me it saves 30kg.
Evernew has been using G&S chassis for a number of years and this version has a 6in A-frame and main rails. Dani is a firm believer in the hot dip gal process for the greatest corrosion protection, even though it is more expensive. To help keep weight down, the A-frame does not have a toolbox up front but features a low-profile carrying tray suitable for grey water hoses or alike. A pair of 9kg gas bottles are mounted through a simple bracket attached to the A-frame and they are protected with a classic mesh stoneguard. The rear of the chassis has recovery points complete with shackles staking its claim as a rugged terrain van.
The independent ATX suspension is the flagship offroad offering from Cruisemaster. This van sits on coil springs mated to 46mm monotube shock absorbers with piggyback reservoirs which keep shock temperatures down for extended corrugated road travel. The ATX system can be optioned with air bags instead of coil springs to vary the ride height and level out the van when parked on uneven ground.
Dexter Sway Control (DSC) takes care of sway protection. The van rolls on Cooper Discoverer 16in All Terrain tyres, so there have been no corners cut here. There is one spare wheel on the rear bumper along with a couple of jerry can holders. I think one spare wheel is better than two for most explorers as it saves roughly 40kg and probably a bit more as the rear bar mounting brackets would have to be a bit beefier to hold the extra weight. If you are worried about getting more than one flat tyre, consider carrying a tyre plugging kit. They are cheap, easy to use and will often get you out of trouble until you can get a proper tyre repair.
There are a few other points of interest under the chassis. Grey water tanks are generally mounted more or less under the bathroom as this makes installing the plumbing easier. Therefore, most grey water tanks end up at the rear of the van because that’s where the bathroom usually is. This van has the grey water tank forward of the axles as it prevents the shift of weight to the rear of the van as the grey water tank fills with water. Evernew goes to this trouble to optimise the balance of the van as most towing stability issues arise from the van being too light in the front. The water pump is mounted under the chassis which is another great move for leak protection. I would rather have water running on the ground than flooding my van any day. The pump comes with a protective cover, but it was removed for the photos. And consistent with the rest of the build, the underside plumbing was very neat and well protected against stone damage.
I visited the Evernew factory last year and can report the company runs a meranti frame with vertical studs at 300mm centres and 70mm thick roof beams for added strength. Foam insulation sheets are snuggly fitted into the frame and ‘pink batt’ style insulation is used in the roof. The team uses 4mm rather than 3mm composite panel exterior cladding as it reduces the chance of any rippling being apparent when you look down the side of the wall, but it does add some weight.
If you look closely at the aerial shot of the roof you can see it has a light curve built into it to prevent water pooling on the roof. Talking about water protection, the sealing process is comprehensive. To make a join with the wall and roof, first tar tape is applied, then silicone, then the composite panel, followed by another application of silicone, then the J mould and finally silicone is applied in the screw holes.
Classic layout with nice touches
We have another classic layout here with the plan view we publish and the interior photos showing a rear bathroom, mid galley and front bed. I love the Camec PIN-operated, keyless entry door concept — battling a bunch of keys is one of my caravanning pet hates. Running through the appliances, the Thetford 175L compressor fridge has been designed such that it does not need external venting, which means there is one less spot for dust to try and work its way in. There is a Hawker four-burner (1 x 240V, 3 x gas) grill and oven which will please the bakers because not all vans are sporting ovens these days. The NCE rangehood and 25L microwave oven are typical inclusions, as is the Swift gas/electric 25L hot water service.
The space under the bed does not have any hardware fitted in there which means it can be fully utilised for storage, and lining it with marine carpet is a nice touch on Evernew’s part. The external rear storage compartments are also carpet lined whereas the front tunnel boot is your standard utilitarian steel box. I like this setup because you can put your ‘nice stuff’ in the carpeted compartments and your other stuff in the tunnel boot.
The RT-X 30 is fitted with a high-end brand Enerdrive 200Ah lithium battery and charging system powered by two 180W solar panels. This van is not fitted with an inverter, but Evernew can customise whatever you want into your build as evidenced by the range topping gasless RT-X 35 we reviewed in September last year (issue 627). Water capacity with two 95L freshwater tanks and one 95L grey tank is pretty much the norm for most vans these days. The two jerry can holders at the rear of the van can accommodate another 40L of water if you prioritise that over fuel.
The RT-X 30 is one of the lighter twin-axle vans I have reviewed with a tare of 2634kg. The ATM of 3500kg means you can have a potential payload of 866kg, or you can pack smart and keep the weight down to something more practical for a twin cab ute such as the Nissan Navara pictured, and still get to some great destinations. We towed with van and tow vehicle unladen. On the flats and rolling hills it was all cruisy but on some of my local steep hills the Navara usually had to work a bit harder so it was a good thing the van isn’t too heavy.
Evernew rates well with a five-year structural warranty on the body and chassis. The suspension is covered for three years with an additional two-year limited warranty on parts only. Dani personally handles warranty claims so he can have a very immediate and hands-on response to any issues that may need resolving. Evernew does not have a formal service agent network but works with the customer to identify suitable providers to organise solutions for customers on the road.
The bottom line
The Evernew team have established a formula that works for them and their customers. They build with care and take their time to implement change. The result is a high-end build with very well thought-out features. The RT-X 30 is a nice sized van with a proven layout that will appeal to many couples looking to do extended touring. It has a very sensible tare weight which makes it a very practical option to pair with modern twin cab utes if you pack sensibly.
HITS AND MISSES
- High level of attention to detail and the build quality
- Lighter than most vans of this size
- Great spec chassis and suspension
- Some people might miss a front toolbox
EVERNEW RT-X 30 RATINGS
VALUE FOR MONEY
Pricing comes in under some of the competing premium Queensland brands, making it a sound investment
A light van is a good van
SUITABILITY FOR INTENDED TOURING
It has all the important stuff you need in a mid-price, light for its size van
A leader in traditional build style vans
This is a proven and functional layout with a few nice touches to make it even better
Premium brand power system with average capacity and typical water supply
The owner of the company personally takes care of warranty claims
There are no standouts but a good combination of practical and weight-saving ideas come together in this van
Sixty years in business counts for something
EVERNEW RT-X 30 SPECS
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
|Body length||5.88m (19ft 3in)|
|Overall length||8.13m (26ft 8in)|
|Width||2.49m (8ft 2in)|
|Height||3m (9ft 11in)|
|Cladding||4mm composite aluminium sheet|
|Chassis||G&S hot dip galvanised|
|Suspension||Cruisemaster ATX independent coil spring suspension|
|Brakes||12in electric drum|
|Wheels||Grid alloy rims, Cooper Discoverer ATX LT 265/75 R16 tyres|
|Water||2 x 95L freshwater, 1 x 95L grey water|
|Battery||Enerdrive 200Ah lithium|
|Solar||2 x 180W and external solar point|
|Air-conditioner||Dometic 7 Series Pro reverse cycle|
|Gas||2 x 9kg|
|Sway control||Dexter DSC|
|Cooking||Hawker four-burner (1 x 240V, 3 x gas) grill and oven|
|Fridge||Thetford 175L compressor|
|Hot water||Swift gas/electric 25L|
Evernew Caravans RT-X 30 price from $128,930
Special features included as standard
- Camec 3kg front loading washing machine
- Camec Invictus front entry door with tempered glass and keyless entry
- Savvy Level
- 2 x Sirocco Fans
- 24in Englaon Smart TV
THE NEXT STEP
The sellers will be happy to help and answer any inquiries you may have about the products advertised for sale.
Is this Australia's best value gassless caravan? Watch the Evernew RT-35 'Gasless' review now: