Regent Weekender Test
The right caravan to hitch up and head off with on your next trip is the single-axle Regent Weekender.
Single-axle caravans and full-size bathrooms are not items that come together very often, mostly due to design constraints. They occasionally do, such as in the Regent Weekender and the result can be impressive.
With a body length of just less than 6m (19ft 8in), an ATM of 2100kg and a compact interior exaggerated by the full-width rear bathroom. Does the Weekender have a liveable interior? The Weekender is built on an Austrail DuraGal chassis, which is robotically welded together. It’s a box-section style with 100x50mm (4x2in) main rails and similarly-sized drawbar rails that run back to the suspension mounts. Even though this is a relatively lightweight on-road van, Austrail seems to be hedging its bets with an extra section of 50x50mm (2x2in) rail laminated to the drawbar sections.
Like most other Regent caravans, this Weekender has a meranti timber frame, aluminium cladding, timber ply on the inside and aluminium cladding out the outside, with insulation in between.
Inside, you’ll find a front bedroom, full-width bathroom layout with offside kitchen and nearside dinette. One of the tricks in fitting this layout into a van of this length is to put the entry door forward of the axles.
The cabinetry is finished in a lightly-stained timber look. Large windows and a good-sized front roof hatch enhance the level of natural light. In a van of this length, it’s not surprising that the kitchen bench is quite short. There is just enough room for a stainless steel sink with drainer, plus a four-burner cooktop and grill.
Although there’s no spare bench space, there’s a reasonable amount of storage, with one drawer, three cupboards, four overhead lockers and a floor compartment. The cupboards are shelved but I thought a couple of extra drawers, instead of a cupboard, might be more practical.
Opposite the kitchen, the café-style dinette seats are fairly close together but there is enough room for a tri-fold table with a cupboard underneath. Getting to the under-seat storage areas is a little tricky as there are no floor lockers or drawers. So you need to lift off the seat cushions to access it.
Above the dinette, two of the lockers have an extra shelf and the third locker has the battery charger/12V fuse panel.
The Bottom Line
In many ways, the Weekender is an aptly named van. While it’s certainly suitable for long-term touring, some users will find it better for shorter trips because of the slightly compressed layout. Most of the compression has occurred in the dinette and kitchen, so it just depends on how you like to travel. None of this means the layout is awkward or difficult – in fact, it’s just the opposite.
And there are two additional features that make the Weekender a very attractive proposition: one is the weight, or lack thereof; and the other is always that final bottom line, the price!
Light and bright interior
Weight factor and load capacity
Wide choice of tow vehicles.
Relatively good storage space
I would have liked...
An extra rub of sandpaper inside the cupboard edges – they were a bit rough
A few more double power points (instead of all singles)
Easier access to under-seat areas
Reading lights for dinette