Kedron AT5: Review

By: Malcolm Street, Photography by: Malcolm Street


The Kedron AT5 has serious offroad credentials and perfectly adds a touch of class to your next rough track adventure.

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Kedron’s AT5 is a van built for the serious offroad stuff, there’s no doubt about that. For a start, it is in the heavyweight league with a Tare mass of 3065kg and an ATM of 3500kg. That also puts it straight into heavy tow vehicle capacity (like an LC70) so there’s no doubts about what sort of tow vehicle to purchase. Incidentally you can get an ATM upgrade to 3990kg on the load-sharing air-bag suspension option, but that will require a tow vehicle not so readily available as a Land Cruiser.

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At 6.4m (21ft) in length, the AT5 is not a particularly long van, but for a serious offroad van, I don’t see that as a disadvantage. It’s enough to be comfortable in, but not a difficult towing proposition.

CONSTRUCTION

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Kedron’s AT5 is built in the same style as all their vans, with a hot dipped galvanised chassis that has 150mm x 50mm (6in x 2in) drawbar and chassis rails. The chassis is fitted with independent air bag suspension and the poly moulded water tanks are fitted between the chassis rails. As you might expect there’s plenty of ground clearance. Under the alloy cladding, the van body is supported by an interlocked aluminium frame that is held together with high tensile steel punch pins.

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A look at the drawbar area reveals it’s very busy looking. In addition to the gas cylinders and jerry can holders, there’s also a large storage box built to include a generator slide and the fuel tank for the diesel heater. On this particular van, one of the options fitted is a bike rack atop the storage box. Within the van body itself, a tunnel storage runs across the front. It does not run right through though, because the offside area is taken up by the electrics. This includes the battery management system and the air bag controls.

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INTERIOR

It’s clear from a look inside the AT5 that the Kedron team have been doing a little bit of work on their interiors. The basics have not changed in the rear door entry van, with a front island bed, rear bathroom and mid area kitchen and dinette. However, the overall colour scheme including the use of a few contrasting colours and different materials has given the inside  a bit of impact. That includes a bit of semi concealed mood lighting that adds to the overall atmosphere even in daylight.

DINING

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I reckon it’s the cafe style dinette that draws the attention in this van, not only because of the classy looking upholstery job but more importantly because it looks a great place to sit down and relax. Both seats have end footrests and they are long enough to be able to stretch out a bit.  Above the multi fold table are both 12V and 240V outlets and also, the Eberspacher diesel heater controls. No need to move from your seat if feeling a bit cool. For storage, there are the usual overhead lockers which, like the kitchen ones, are side not top hinged. Additionally under the rear seat there’s an inwards facing drawer whilst behind the front seat and facing into the bedroom is a handy three door cupboard, complete with a bit of bench space above.

KITCHEN

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Across the way, the kitchen bench area is quite spacious. It does come with all the usual features – microwave oven, four burner cooktop/grill/oven and a sink/drainer. The latter item is a little different to the usual stainless steel unit and does have a touch of class about it.

A point of note is the drawer and cupboard space, of which there is no shortage. Like the rest of the van, these had piano hinges and marine style latches for the doors and metal sides for the drawers. One of the middle overhead lockers is where the water tanks gauges, service switches and radio/CD player are to be found. A flat screen TV is mounted at the forward end of the kitchen and therefore can be seen from both the dinette and the bed up front. Between the dinette and the bathroom in the rear, both a Waeco 218L fridge and a multi shelf pantry are fitted in, thus ensuring a good food supply warehouse.

BEDROOM

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In the bedroom area, instead of large windows on either side, Kedron has opted for tiered smaller ones. There are a couple of advantages here. They still allow the same level of light and ventilation and are less easy to break into than the larger sized frames. At night time, for safety reasons, just the top windows could be left open.

Under the 1.88m x 1.52m (6ft 2in x 5ft) bed, there is the usual storage area, still reasonably sized, despite the tunnel storage. I have to admit the generous array of cupboards and drawers does look quite impressive in its metallic silver finish. Both bed occupants get a 240V power point and 5V USB charger outlets.

BATHROOM

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Across the rear, the shower/toilet area is quite spacious. Certainly the shower cubicle is larger than usual and given the rectangular shape of the bathroom, there’s enough space for the cassette toilet to have cupboards all around. There is also still room for the vanity basin, mirror and a wall mounted Daewoo washing machine, which is all very classy.

THE BOTTOM LINE

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Certainly Kedron’s AT5 is a serious offroad caravan contender. It does require a heavy duty tow vehicle and it’s built in a way that demonstrates the Gall Boys bush travelling experience, yet in a style that has both class and comfort.

HITS AND MISSES

Pros...

  • Stylish interior
  • Large bathroom
  • External storage capacity
  • Decent sized kitchen bench area
  • Designed for extended remote travel

Cons...

  • Heavy weight tow vehicle required
  • Tow ball mass might be an issue,
  • ie care with loading
  • Not cheap

Weights and measures

  • Overall length 9m (29ft 5in)
  • External body length 6.4m (21ft)
  • External body width 2.46m (8ft)
  • Travel height with air bag On road ride height – 3m (60mm clearance from bump stops), air bag on bump stops – 2.99m, air bags at full height 3m
  • (for comparison)
  • AT5 with coil suspension 3m
  • Internal height 1.98m (6ft 4in)
  • Tare 3065kg
  • ATM 3500kg (upgrade ATM to 3990kg, subject to tow vehicle)
  • Payload 435kg
  • Ball weight 225kg

Price as shown

$137,120 (on road, Qld)

The full feature appeared in Caravan World #569. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!