Retreat Caravans’ new Norfolk certainly epitomises the company’s motto: luxury in motion. Combining a sturdy but sleek exterior with a deluxe interior, the 6.8m (22ft 4in) tandem-axle offroader is a lovable brute, which I took to the outskirts of the Yarra Valley to test, after hitching up from the Luxury RVs dealership in Croydon, Vic.
LAYOUT & DESIGN
The 5mm-thick Alucobond panels, complemented by the 800mm checkerplate front and sides, and rear tail-light housing provide the Norfolk with plenty of aesthetic appeal – but there’s more to this van than just its looks! Alucobond is a light composite material consisting of two aluminium cover sheets and a core of polyethylene. It has a smooth surface and is designed to be weather-resistant, shock-resistant and vibration absorbent.
Making this Norfolk even more of a go-anywhere home-away-from-home are the dual 120Ah AGM batteries and battery pack, a 2000W inverter, two 150W roof-mounted solar panels, 12in electric brakes, 16in muddies, Attwood gas/electric hot water system, hydraulic jack and toolkit, and excellent water carrying capacity – two 95L fresh water tanks and one 95L grey water tank – which will make life off the grid a whole lot easier.
Other exterior highlights include Dometic S4 Euro-style windows with fly nets and blinds, a front window protector, Dometic awning, drop-down picnic table, Slimline barbecue, electric step, exterior shower, Crimsafe rounded entry door, TV entertainment hatch, two marine-grade speakers, and gal nudge bars. And one could fit everything bar the kitchen sink in the large galvanised tunnel boot, which measures 455x700mm. There’s also a good-sized hatch at the rear to access the storage space under the club lounge.
BEDROOM & STORAGE
The front bedroom has a touch of opulence, with an island bed with innerspring mattress and a large drawer compartment underneath. There are also two overhead lockers above the bedhead, reading lights and, once again, windows with a view either side.
Both robes have pigeon holes in cut-outs, which are perfect for small items with a powerpoint and LED lighting, and there is another recessed 32in TV on a side wall above the dressing table on the nearside. There’s also a Four Seasons hatch centrally located for extra light and ventilation in the bedroom.
Practicality and functionality are the fundamental aspects of the kitchen, which is to the front of the lounge. The offside houses the cooking quarters comprising a recessed Swift four-burner cooktop, grill and oven with rangehood above, plus a Swift microwave, 218L Waeco fridge, slide-out pantry and generous storage above and below.
Meal preparation is handled from the nearside, courtesy of a stainless steel sink with drainer and plenty of benchtop space. There is also a recessed 32in NCE TV on a side wall here, which can be viewed from the lounge. I thought its position above the sink area could prove awkward, though, with the potential for dirty or washed cooking utensils to hinder viewing. However, there would be those who would see this as a positive, as it ‘forces’ you to clean up in order to see the entire screen!
THE BOTTOM LINE
At a pretty hefty $121,000, as reviewed, the new Norfolk is a one-of-a-kind caravan that exudes luxury and functionality – just what you need when heading up and down rough and tough roads.
Intrinsically, it’s a five-star vacationer that will take you anywhere you want, with everything you need at your beck and call.
And if I could cough up the extra $29,000, I’d grab all the options fitted in a heartbeat!
HITS & MISSES
- Off-the-grid credentials
- Alucobond exterior finish
- Lavish interior
- Location of TV in kitchen
- Large tow vehicle required.