The Glass House Mountains of Queensland boasts a good variety of terrain and road conditions to test out the Sunfinder where the typical owner may take it. I got a good feeling for the van, as well as the type of after sales service you could expect as Jon from Majestic tagged along for the ride.
The Sunfinder range is built and supported by Majestic which has been in the caravan business for more than 20 years and supplies its vans through its Australia wide dealer network. This means that the people you talk with have direct contact with the factory and the reputation of both the van and the dealer are interdependent, which is a positive for the purchaser.
As Majestic has been building vans for more than 20 years, the Sunfinder has a combination of what has worked well over that time as well as innovations that will inevitably occur over two decades. This can be seen in the wall construction which includes a meranti timber frame to which composite walls are attached. Some say timber framing will rot, however, if the timber gets wet. To safeguard the frame, a one-piece fibreglass insulated roof is used and composite cladding on the walls prevent the ingress of water. Use of marine ply on the floor and cabinetry also combines to provide a solid construction that will last for years.
The drawer bar made of six-inch rectangular steel tube continues past the wheels with a four-inch DuraGal chassis raiser welded above the drawer bar providing an excellent base for a strong van. This is the same super strong chassis as used in the Majestic Navigator which is aimed at the heavy-duty off-grid purchaser.
The van sits on a single axle Torflex suspension providing good dampening for predictable suspension while touring. Ten-inch electric brakes supply the stopping power on each of the four wheels with an option for 12-inch brakes available.
LETTING THE LIGHT IN
At 18ft 6in, the Sunfinder is a good size for the travelling couple. It’s not a huge van to tow but still feels roomy inside. This van would be perfect for first-time towing in both size and cost as you dip your toe into the nomadic life.
On either side of the 6ft 2in bed are two large, double-glazed windows which bring the outside in with loads of natural light. They have insect and privacy screens, perfect for when you’re parked too close to the neighbours or mozzies are about. The white walls and tall 6ft 6in ceiling help the light bounce through the van, giving it a large and airy feeling. The grey trim offers some nice contrast while still keep the aesthetic light and warm.
The kitchen is a good size, with all the necessary features, including a filtered water tap within the mixer tap. The large bench includes the gas stove which has a glass cover when not being used. Below the cooktop is the gas grill, and above the sink is a microwave for when 240V is connected.
There is plenty of space for food, crockery and pots/pans below the bench and sink. Further storage can be found above the dinette, and of course, even more around and above the bed.
PLENTY OF POWER OPTIONS
There are numerous USB outlets hidden in the stem lights conveniently located around the van to supply power for our multiple electronic devices. There also many 240V outlets which will supply power when connected to an external power source when in caravan parks. Both 12V and 240V outlets are available externally as well as USB and TV points. A digital TV antenna is mounted on the roof.
The BMPRO battery management system is lithium compatible if you want to add these at any point. The control centre for everything electric is easily accessible above the lounge and has an excellent monochrome display for monitoring the 170W of solar onboard, AGM battery or the level of water tanks. The fridge is a three-way powered fridge so will operate when off the grid.
There is an external hot/cold shower on the back of the van for those times you need an outdoor wash. Heading inside, there is a roomy shower in the rear full width ensuite. Water can be provided by a town connection or by utilising the 190L of freshwater on board in two tanks. A 95L grey water tank will store that water after your shower.
The ensuite is large enough to be comfortable with exhaust hatches to let the light in and the steam out. A washing machine is tucked away under the bench next to the vanity basin. The ensuite’s storage cabinet is a good size and perfect for towels and other larger items, while the usual toiletries can be stored in the vanity’s drawers.
Above the basin and bench is a large mirror which helps make the ensuite feel nice and bright, as does the opaque shower door, which lets light in from the skylight above. The cassette toilet is opposite the shower with the basin, bench and mirror in between. A sliding door separates the ensuite from the rest of the van.
KEEP YOUR COOL
Four roof hatches will aid in moving hot air out and the multiple large windows and screened door will catch the breeze and provide great flow-through ventilation. The insulated fibreglass roof is the first defence against heating up on those summer days. And then there is always the roof mounted air conditioner to cool you down when you have external power connected.
A TV mount is provided on the wall at the foot of the bed and a screen can be connected to the rooftop digital TV antenna, allowing you to watch to your heart’s content while staying cool inside. An external antenna and power points are also available above the drop-down picnic table. The large roll-out awning will provide shade from the summer sun while keep you dry if it starts to rain.
It would be possible to stay off-grid for a limited time if you are mindful of how much water you have and the fact you only have one battery. A generator and some well-timed sunny days would increase the amount of time you could stay away from connected power and water. The standard 50mm ball hitch may also limit its ability to go on rougher tracks. The handy 95L grey water tank will allow you to have showers in national parks or at a music festival.
With an ATM of 2700kg the Sunfinder is relatively light considering the amount of comfort and size of the van. We towed it on freeways, windy mountain roads and on some bumpy gravel roads. The van towed very well behind the Ranger with the single axle Torflex suspension soaked up the bumps nicely.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Sunfinder is aimed at the customer who wants comfort at a good price. It is a fully Australian made van, backed by a company in the business for more than 20 years. Its construction is the same as more expensive Majestic vans intended for extended off-grid use. In its tested configuration, it will suit a couple looking to travel the highways of Australia who stay in caravan parks much of the time. It would also suit the first-time caravan owners as its shorter overall length will be more manageable than a larger van.
HITS AND MISSES
- Well priced for the included comforts
- All Australian made
- Good to tow
- Lacks an external storage box
- Battery sits below the chassis
SUNFINDER ALL TERRAIN 18.6 RATINGS
VALUE FOR MONEY
The Sunfinder is good value for money at $69,990 on road
Relatively light and does tow well
SUITABILITY FOR INTENDED TOURING
Best suited for tarmac with the occasional dirt roads
Very good level of build from a manufacturer that has been in the business 20 years
Very good standard features for a very comfortable van
Suitable for short off-grid stays
A good customer focused approach
Some good innovations
Great looking colour scheme
SUNFINDER ALL TERRAIN 18.6 SPECS
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
|Overall length||8.15m (26ft 8in)|
|External body length||5.65m (18ft 6in)|
|External body width||2.45m (8ft)|
|Travel height||3m (9ft 10in)|
|Internal height||1.98m (6ft 6in)|
|Ball to tare ratio||6%|
|Frame Cladding||Engineered one piece fibreglass insulated roof, white composite walls with meranti timber frame marine ply floor|
|Chassis||DuraGal chassis (4in chassis with raiser). Extended A-frame (6in back to wheel point)|
|Couplings||50mm ball coupling|
|Water||2 x 95L freshwater, 1 x 95L grey water|
|Battery||Chassis mounted AGM battery|
|Solar||170W solar panel|
|Air-conditioner||Reverse cycle air conditioner|
|Gas||2 x 9kg gas bottles|
|Cooking||Four-burner cooktop with grill|
|Bathroom||Separate shower and toilet ensuite|
|Washing machine||Aussie Traveller 3.5kg top loader|
|Hot water||Gas/electric hot water system|
Sunfinder All Terrain 18.6 price as shown: $69,990.00
THE NEXT STEP
The sellers will be happy to help and answer any inquiries you may have about the products advertised for sale.