Best Aussie Vans Finalist 2015 Goldstream Rhino 2300FB Test Review
Families on the hunt for a tough offroader should set their sights on the Goldstream Rhino 2300 Family Bunk van.
Endangered? Facing extinction? Dying out? Not on your life! Meet a Rhino that is not a protected species. In fact, Goldstream RV has literally grabbed the Rhino by its horn with the 2300 Family Bunk (FB) van. This hulking 6.92m (22ft 8in) serious offroader proved an imposing sight in the $80K+ category at the 2015 Best Aussie Vans event.
Yes, it boasts a tough exterior but, internally, it’s been given a much softer touch. The spacious layout comprises glossy, retro, dark oak furniture and high-density foam upholstery. It is certainly a superior finish, with a modern feel overall.
"We’re hell-bent on showing the general public that we haven’t held back on this model. We’ve gone straight to the top, with all the bells and whistles," Goldstream part-owner Shaun Noble said. "And the 20in wheels have never been done before, to my knowledge. It’s the whole box and dice, including contemporary, flush furniture with state-of-the-art concealed Grass hinges."
LAYOUT & DESIGN
This van is ideal for family travel, given the two lengthy rear bunk beds which complement the front island bed and the roomy ensuite. It’s a four-plus-one sleeping arrangement, as the L-shaped dinette can be converted to a bed, with the option of a triple bunk as well. There’s also plenty of storage space in the bedrooms and bathroom for the whole family’s goodies, along with more than adequate lighting.
This particular 2300FB van comes with an upgraded 190L three-way Dometic fridge, slide-out Swift barbecue, wi-fi hotspot, Fusion 750 sound system (CD/radio/DVD combo) with docking station, plus a toolbox, front and rear spotlights, TV entertainment hatch, marine-grade speakers, and a lithium-compatible battery management system.
The Rhino’s upgrade package didn’t include a raked rear end for extra clearance, or a laminated galvanised floor. Perhaps Goldstream was conscious of keeping its Tare weight under 2900kg to retain the impressive 610kg payload. But, nonetheless, it still gave me the impression it would have no trouble tackling some pretty treacherous landscapes.
The 2300FB’s build quality is accentuated by a meranti 42x19mm timber sub-frame with a brace every 300mm, while the front and rear profile displays precision, being cut off a CNC router. Goldstream utilises the latest in manufacturing technology which gives its custom-built furniture a flush, modern look.
All furniture is checked out and jointed, then screwed and glued using 15mm European poplar ply which is lightweight, moisture resistant and durable.
The kitchen is an impressive and practical meal preparation area. It comprises a Thetford four-burner mini grill and Camec rangehood, Dometic 190L two-door, three-way fridge-freezer with Daewoo 23L microwave above, a lift-up cupboard above the sink with the RV wi-fi module inside, four user-friendly extension slide-out drawers which slide on ball bearings (minimising movement), and additional cupboard space (all with positive locks). And the benchtops are 25mm lightweight solid ply – giving added strength.
I thought the dinette was a little tight for a family, but it had plenty of panache with the 15mm European poplar ply furniture resplendent in high gloss. And the European S7 double-glazed Dometic windows with block-out blinds look top-of-the-range.
The rear ensuite is a real highlight in this Rhino, it’s plush and has all the necessary trimmings – Thetford toilet, striking vanity and fully moulded shower (all behind a pull-out door), with wardrobes and cupboards centrally located along with a 12V fan.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Goldstream Rhino 2300 Family Bunk will get you into places you’ve yet to discover. And the Redarc battery management system, in conjunction with dual batteries and the solar system, will allow you to stay away from a powered site for as long as the sun shines.
It’s a serious offroader exuding strength, reliability and durability.
Prices start from $65,000 for this model, but the reviewed van’s fitted optional upgrades lifted its price to $93,250. But that won’t stop potential buyers hunting down this Rhino.
HITS & MISSES
- Lithium-compatible battery management system
- Rear bunk and ensuite
- High checkerplate protection
- Jerry can holders would be handy
The full test appears in Caravan World #546 January 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!