Winjana RV started back in 2000 known as Adventure RV and initially imported Canadian-built fifth wheelers. By 2002 they were importing flat pack models and manufacturing at their Toowoomba factory. In 2006 they started building their own designs, specifically targeting Australian markets and today continue to sell factory direct from their Toowoomba site.
The Winjana Ormiston 630 is a brand-new van in their lineup. While the in-house walls built from a very light spruce Canadian timber and ply are still available, Brennen has opted to create a van from full composite StyroMAX panelling. This doesn’t mean they have gone away from their original design but is intended to advance their line-up into a more modern method of caravan construction. The composite frame brings a variety of advantages over their traditional van. Not only is it a more efficient process to build from start to finish, the 29mm thick styrofoam core panels have superior insulation qualities, waterproofing and strength which in turn makes the finished product of the Ormiston an advance over the timber equivalent. These panels also have a high quality Polydet fibreglass skin on each side which finishes the interior and exterior with a hardy white gloss coat, creating a sleek impression.
Not only has the Ormiston had a makeover on the exterior and interior walls compared to the previous model, the interior decor has also been improved drastically.
Gleaming cabinetry and quality fittings and finishes really help this distinctive caravan break away in a highly competitive market.
HITCHING MADE EASY
Hooking up a traditional caravan can be a tricky task that requires a good amount of precision to line up. Having the towball out of sight and no rear camera, it can be a slightly daunting operation — not to mention dealing with the jockey wheel and safety chains.
Hitching up one of these fifth wheelers is comparatively a breeze.
The Hayman Reese-made pinbox mounted in the tray of the vehicle takes up much of the tray’s available space, is elevated and in full view of the driver. Installation of this is included in the purchase price. The front of the van is supported by two electronically adjustable legs which can be individually powered up and down via two switches mounted to the exterior wall of the van close to the hitch, making the hitching process even easier. Once the coupling marries with the hitch they latch together. Then you simply connect the usual power plugs between the van and the vehicle, and then the locking handle is pulled and the legs retract. You’re good to go.
BITUMEN TO BUSH
With the 2.5t Winjana in tow behind an Isuzu D-MAX, we set out from the Winjana factory and made our way through Toowoomba city, traversing heavy traffic and tight turns. This isn’t an unusual setting to be in at some point in a caravanner’s travels, often seeking an adventure away from the big smoke. The Ormiston is a great caravan to do just that.
With the hitch point nearly directly over the rear axle of the vehicle — just like a semi — towing feels anchored and steady on the road. At no point did I feel any snaking or imbalance. That feeling of assurance continued when we made it to 100km/h on the main road with no need of any sway bars or stabilisers. Riding on twin axles and a Timbren Silent Ride suspension setup the Ormiston was composed and smooth — even with the challenges that lay ahead in the forestry. The nearly 2.5m width of the van did make extended side mirrors essential while changing lanes.
Once we turned off the bitumen and headed into the beautiful Hampton State Forest in the Darling Downs, the Ormiston felt just as at home on the red gravel roads as it had been on the blacktop. While the size may hinder the ability to make it around tight turns, it was able to pull through some washouts with relative ease. The Ormiston isn’t a hardcore offroader but it is more than capable on moderate offroad terrain and performed confidently on the long gravel roads. It seemed to be in its element amongst the towering pine forest and dusty tracks, feeling composed and stable. Because of the ‘Gooseneck’ design, reversing this 20-footer around obstacles is easy to control.
CAMPING IN COMFORT
Moving inside, you’ll encounter a spacious environment. The 1.96m ceiling height was enough for my 6ft stance and has a polished, modern feel. At the northern end is an elevated bed, just under queen size, that overlooks the rest of the interior with adjustable reading lamps and a small bedside table and drawer on each side.
Windows run down each side of the bed with plenty of natural light flooding in, making it a comfortable place to relax while taking in the views. At the other end sitting between three windows is a comfortable couch and a reasonably sized table that, when removed, can be converted into a second sleeping area that really would only be suitable for a short stay.
Storage won’t be an issue for those wanting to take ample clothing and essentials with a generously sized closet to hang your garments and an adequate amount of cupboard space to stow away cooking equipment, food and boardgames to take on the road. All of these stowing options do, however, limit the amount of room for an oven and take up wall space for windows. But the interior can be customised to suit your needs. The space within feels roomy and could easily host you and your significant other without having to tango too much.
The bathroom is decently sized with plenty of natural light. There's a toilet, shower and vanity with a mirrored basin cabinet for basic toiletries. A washing machine and diesel heater are options.
Your cooking options are only that of a Thetford open twin gas stovetop with exhaust fan and microwave off to the side, with a sizeable stainless steel basin and bench space for food prep. A 190L Bushman compressor fridge freezer and Dometic Ibis 4 air-con will keep you and your food cool on your travels.
OUT AND ABOUT
When stepping down via the manually retractable twin steps, you’re sheltered from the elements thanks to a well-sized rollout Dometic awning.
Walking around the Ormiston, the decals are minimal and the vast white walls, while simplistic, give the exterior a minimalist feel. Outdoor cooking options come in the form of an external bayonet fitting that can accommodate a BBQ next to an external drop-down table. This is accompanied by 240V and 12V outlets.
The external storage doesn’t provide as many options as the interior, with only a tunnel boot at the front and a small 20L stow-away space at the rear. Silicone has been used to seal piping and wiring that enter the wall panelling, although using waterproof glands may have been a more favourable choice.
On this demo model Ormiston there are no toolboxes or extra carriers attached to the rear — only a single spare wheel mounted up front and two 9kg gas bottle holders. Extra options can be mounted on to the caravan, with Winjana RV able to extend the 6x2 RHS 3mm steel chassis in the production to accommodate bike racks, toolboxes, jerry can holders etc.
The chassis is built locally in Toowoomba by Agridry which manufactures large commercial-grade food processing dryers, and makes the underpinnings of this caravan solid and strong. Winjana say they want to keep the design of the van uncomplicated and ergonomic whilst retaining reliability.
With previous Ormistons you were able to opt for the ‘Free Camp’ package, but this now comes standard. That includes three 160W solar panels and two 80Ah lead crystal batteries powering all the caravan’s electrics, and safely charged by a Redarc BCDC charger. For water storage, you get 160L with another 110L optional, plus a 110L grey water tank. Although not a groundbreaking power system, it’s enough to keep you out in the bush for those extended off-grid trips.
HOW IT ALL STACKS UP
The Winjana Ormiston 630 isn’t your run-of-the-mill caravan and is sure to catch the eye of those who want something a bit different. The huge amount of storage space inside is a big plus for those wanting to take extra goodies.
The ease of hitching up, manoeuvring, and the added stability while on the move are some unique traits of this fifth wheeler home away from home. Brennen has done well to bring the Ormiston into the present day with a modern interior that keeps a homey vibe and a simply designed exterior, greatly improving on its predecessor. Versatility with layout and added extras in all Winjana models are possible in the design process, so you can really customise it to make it your own.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
Body length 6.3m (20ft 7in)
Overall length 7.2m (23ft 7in)
Ride height 550mm (1ft 9in)
Width. 2.45m (8ft 1in)
Height 3.05m (10ft )
Ball weight 360kg
Frame StyroMAX 29mm composite panelling
Chassis 6x2 RHS steel
Suspension Timbren Silent Ride
Coupling Hayman Reese Revolution
Brakes 10in electric drums
Water 160L tank with 110L additional option
Battery 2 x 80A lead crystal
Solar 3 x 160W
Air-conditioner Dometic Ibis 4
Gas 2 x 9kg
Sway control N/A
Cooking Thetford Topline 922 Hob
Fridge 190L Bushman fridge freezer
Bathroom Separate internal shower/toilet/vanity
PRICE AS SHOWN
Demo model including Free Camp Package $95,500
All layouts and models are available in StyroMAX composite panels
Ph: (07) 4638 3576