Nova Caravans Metrolink: Test
With its lightweight design, the Nova Metrolink is ideal for smaller tow vehicles.
The Metrolink comes with all the essentials you need to get on the road and should be a great little traveller.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
The Metrolink I tested was a single-axle rig with an external length of 7.19m (23ft 7in) and weighed in with a Tare of 1844kg – so it was a relatively light rig. I should point out that the ATM of 2244kg means that the van just squeezes in under the towing capacity of a Ford Falcon or Territory (without the Territory’s heavy-duty tow pack).
Built very much in the modern Nova style, the Metrolink comes with leaf spring suspension fitted to the galvanised chassis. Although this is mostly a blacktop tourer, it comes with 150mm (6in) main rails and a 100mm (4in) drawbar that extends back to the suspension mounts.
The square cross members are 50mm (2in), fitted in the usual fashion. The two 80L water tanks, protected with galvanised sheeting, are fitted either side of the axle.
The Metrolink is built along traditional lines, with a meranti timber frame, aluminium cladding, Euro-style acrylic windows and a Camec security door. Under the Dometic awning, the picnic table is fitted with 240V and 12V sockets, as well as a TV antenna connection. And, across the front, the tunnel boot should hold most of the camping essentials.
I’m always intrigued by the way caravan designers manage to fit the current layout of choice, (full-width rear bathroom and front island bed) into vans of different lengths. I reckon this van’s body length is one of the shortest you could get away with and still feature this layout without it being impractical.
The Metrolink has all the necessary features, including a two-door 184L Thetford fridge and microwave, stainless steel sink/drainer and a four-burner cooktop/grill without a flush top. Storage is a bit minimalist, with two drawers and three cupboards, but one of those is largely taken up by the water heater and the other by the wheel arch.
On the subject of electricals, powerpoints are located at either end of the kitchen bench and the forward end is home to the flatscreen TV mounting with the associated connections.
There are no surprises in the bedroom, with the 1.88x1.55m (6ft 2in x 5ft 1in) bed fitting in very neatly.
Walk-around room at the foot of the bed is a bit tight but that is to be expected, but all the expected bedhead items have been built in.
Lifting the posture slatted bed base gives access to the storage area underneath. It’s free of any partitions but offers less space than the length of the bed because of the tunnel boot.
THE BOTTOM LINE
A van of this length and weight, having the layout it does, is going to come with a few compromises but, if they are acceptable (and I certainly think they are), then there’s nothing wrong with the design. As I noted in my introduction, it’s been designed with city-centric (read: smaller) tow vehicles in mind and that has certainly been achieved. A smaller, diesel-powered tow vehicle would make an ideal towing package.
HITS & MISSES
- Light towing weight of van
- Relatively open interior layout
- Simple but effective LED lighting setup
- Decent length bed
- Streamlined look at front
I would have liked…
- Drawer or floor locker door under the seat
- More kitchen storage
- Electricals more centrally located
- Better protection for water tank connections
The full test appeared in Caravan World #532 December 2014. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!