Great Aussie Caravans Xplora 206 reviewed at Caravan of the Year 2024 presented by MSA 4x4 Accessories

Great Aussie Caravans Xplora 206 reviewed at Caravan of the Year 2024 presented by MSA 4x4 Accessories

The Great Aussie Caravans Xplora 206 has an opulent interior wrapped up in a tough checkerplate and camouflage exterior and its timber-free design was a standout.


Build quality

Great Aussie Caravans added to its versatile building methods when it brought the Xplora 206 to COTY, showcasing its FIBRETECH timber-free composite construction that complements Great Aussie’s timber and aluminium framed versions. 

The walls are formed from CNC cut sheets of a recycled polyester material that’s fire retardant and lightweight. An aluminium frame then goes over the roof and the exterior is clad in single sheets of fibreglass. An exterior moulding then covers the edge joins for an enduring seal of the van so that it is weatherproof.

The interior furniture is also made from interlocking polyester panels and while there were some issues of fit and finish around the cupboards, the overall impact is very impressive, especially with the high-quality upholstery and choice of accessories. 

The van is a top-of-the-line Xplora version, so it’s designed as an offroader with heavy duty underpinnings. The chassis is a laminated beam of two 100mm x 50mm x 4mm RHS sections of Australian DuraGal steel, so it’s immensely strong and rigid. The 150mm x 50mm x 4mm extended A-frame supports a large checkerplate toolbox with two jerry can holders, twin 9kg gas bottles and a stoneguard. Connection to the tow vehicle is via a Cruisemaster DO35 hitch.

Installation under the van is neat; all the water and electrical lines are high and out of the way and the three 95L freshwater tanks are protected by metal shields. In keeping with the Xplora’s offroad intent, the suspension is Cruisemaster’s XT setup with airbags and 12in disc brakes. The airbags are remotely operated from a side control panel or an app.


The use of the composite FIBRETECH in the build is the standout innovative feature in the Great Aussie. All up, there is a weight saving of 150kg which is a big deal for extra payload or simply not carrying around the excess weight. A CNC table cuts the polyboard sheets into the shape of the walls and rectangular sections, cut out to reduce weight, are filled with insulating XPS sheets. Having a durable timber-free construction adds to the value of the new material and being recyclable at both ends of its life appeals to a growing generation of buyers.

The van has what these days is a mid-level solar and battery system, but it is powerful enough to run kitchen appliances on electric power. This means the compact induction cooktop inside leaves lots of space on the benchtop and brings a spacious and uncluttered impression to the interior living space. 

I like some of the smart thinking in the storage options, like the cupboards to the right at the entry, drawers under the dinette seats and the full-height pantry that gives more storage space than a slide-out version. So too, the colour scheme of white sinks and gold tapware gave the interior of the van a real lift.



We pulled the Xplora 206 with an older Mitsubishi Triton and it did it well. It proved you don’t need to spend $70,000 to tow a 2800kg van. Out on our tow loop, the Great Aussie Xplora 206 was, well, great. It didn’t push the Mitsubishi around even with its stiff, upgraded suspension.

Would I recommend this tow vehicle — I’m on the fence as I like modern cars for their fuel efficiency, safety tech and things like CarPlay. I reckon an Isuzu MU-X  would be a great fit for the Xplora but I wouldn’t discount an older LandCruiser or Patrol either. 

On the van itself, it towed well on Cruisemaster Level 3 XT airbags. Airbags on XT suspension is uncommon, normally you’d expect to see Cruisemaster’s ATX but XT is lighter and a lot cheaper than ATX. With this setup you get the ease of levelling with airbags plus a holding tank to air up the tyres without the cost outlay or weight penalty of ATX, which is perfect for a relatively light van with a 2790kg tare.


The Xplora 206 lives up to its name with a decent setup. The cassette toilet aside, the power system and water capacities should allow for about a week away from civilisation.

The bones of the power system beat from an Enerdrive supplied RV80 board which houses a 40A MPPT regulator, a 40A DC charger, a 40A AC charger and a 2600W inverter. Power is supplied from the 400A Projecta lithium battery which has its own 300A shunt built in as well as the 800W of solar panels installed on the roof of the van.



The Great Aussie has a tried and tested rear-door layout with mid kitchen, forward north–south island bed and a rear ensuite. The kitchen has all the usual suspects — a cafe dinette with fold-out table, 224L compressor fridge, microwave and overhead air-conditioner. There’s a double induction Thetford cooktop and this — combined with the fact there’s no oven or griller — creates an enormous amount of bench and cupboard space. The storage options continue into the bedroom, where there are overhead cupboards above the pillowtop mattress, side wardrobes with USB and 240V points, drawers, and a small amount of under-bed storage. The ensuite has a Dometic cassette toilet, a wall-mounted front load washing machine, a separate shower and a smart vanity.

Outside, there’s a slide-out kitchen with gas cooker, plumbed sink and extendable table, TV point, and a large picnic table with a storage niche, which is handy for things like sunscreen, insect repellent and barbecue tools. There’s a slide-out cavity for a barbecue on the front toolbox and a full-width compartment for storing long camping gear like fold-up tables and chairs and the jockey wheel. The other side of the toolbox has a generator slide, shallow draw for leads or hoses and a jerry can holder. There’s an additional small storage hatch on the far-side corner, as well as an outdoor shower and instant-gas hot water, which means your water will be hot for as long as the tanks hold out.

Customer care

Great Aussie has a comprehensive 25-page warranty document. Inside, you’ll find details about what is covered, as well as a handy pre-travel checklist and five-year servicing log. The Xplora 206 has a five-year structural warranty and two-year material and parts warranty, with a maximum repair cost of $5000 per claim. All warranty claims go through the dealer where the caravan was purchased. 

The warranty document contains the supplier name and contact details for each of the components not covered by the Great Aussie warranty, which will help facilitate the repair/replacement of things like the water pump or washing machine. The document also includes a travel logbook and detailed service history slips, which are to be signed and returned to the manufacturer after each scheduled service. This is a great system for heading off any claims disputes arising from a customer’s failed duty of care.


“The perfect van is one that looks like a tank outside and a penthouse inside,” Great Aussie managing director John Cullen commented at COTY. And he’s on the money with the Xplora 206, which has an opulent interior wrapped up in a tough checkerplate and camouflage exterior.

I really love the designer aesthetic and feel of this van — from the soft strip lighting and timber-look herringbone vinyl floors to the gold tapware and catches, which really pop against the white colour scheme. The white cabinetry does need some finessing to withstand Australia’s tough and grubby outdoor conditions, but I do commend Great Aussie for pioneering recycled materials in its build. It was a unique element that stood out at this year’s competition.

The Xplora is wonderfully light and bright, and I like the addition of a wall of storage cupboards at the entrance. These are really handy for storing items for quick access both inside and outside the caravan. My favourite feature is the ensuite vanity with its symmetrical rows of white drawers with gold catches, topped by a backlit touch-on mirror. It’s a really stylish showpiece that draws the eye, but unfortunately, the magnified makeup inset is just too low for practical use.


Value for money

Great Aussie Caravans turned up at Caravan of the Year 2024 with something a bit new: a caravan with a FIBRETECH frame. It’s something of a continuing development at Great Aussie because it’s in addition to two other frame choices: timber or aluminium. The principal idea behind the FIBRETECH concept is that it uses eco-friendly recyclable materials. It gets a mention here because it adds about $20,000 to the cost of a van using an aluminium frame. This is something to consider if looking for a timber-free van. 

For $159,558, you get a van with all the features expected in a contemporary offroad caravan, including Cruisemaster XT airbag suspension. The Xplora 206’s very spacious interior includes a comfortable dinette and a decent-sized kitchen. In addition to the internal kitchen, there’s an external one as well. Being an offroad van, the off-grid package is good. That includes the 400Ah lithium LiFePO4 battery and 800W of solar power. 

Value for money should include the cost of a tow vehicle, which can sometimes be an expensive addition. With a tare mass of 2790kg, the Great Aussie Xplora 206 can be towed with a ute if relatively lightly loaded, but if it is more fully loaded then it’s more likely a Land Rover Discovery or Toyota LandCruiser will be necessary. 

Suitability for intended touring

Great Aussie’s Xplora 206 ticks quite a few boxes regarding suitability for intended touring. Its RHS box section chassis has the requisite amount of steelwork that all offroad caravan manufacturers use. The tandem axle independent airbag suspension can handle all the rough stuff, and the Cruisemaster DO35 hitch is standard fare for a van of this size.

There’s plenty of storage capacity inside and out, which makes it good that there’s a payload of 710kg. The three 95L freshwater tanks will absorb some of that, but there’s still plenty of capacity for other gear. Like the water capacity, the electrics for off-grid use are well set up. 

Having an internal and external kitchen does add to the lifestyle choice and there’s much to be said for exterior catering in an offroad caravan. For inside living, the Xplora 206 offers a very practical interior with a full kit of appointments. The gold tapware added an interesting touch, as did the bedhead upholstery that matched the dinette. On the dinette, it was good to see wall cushions and hinged footrests. Adjacent to the habitation door, the cupboards against the bathroom wall are in a handy location. This is a van well suited to a couple who wants to spend time in the back blocks of Australia.



Overall length 8.85m (29ft)
External body length 6.3m (20ft 8in)
Internal body length 6.25m (20ft 6in)
External body width 2.34m (7ft 7in)
Travel height 3.15m (10ft 3in)
Internal height 2m (6ft 6in)
Tare 2790kg
ATM 3500kg
Payload 710kg (calculated)
Ball weight 200kg
Ball weight at tare 7.2% (calculated)


Frame FIBRETECH recycled polyester material
Cladding Raptor coat/powder, honeycomb floor and fibreglass roof
Chassis 150mm x 50mm (6in x 2in) DuraGal chassis and extended A-frame
Suspension Cruisemaster XT Level 3 remote airbag suspension with twin shock
Coupling Cruisemaster DO35
Brakes 12in ventilated disc brakes
Wheels 285/75R16 Mickey Thompson M/T
Water 3 x 95L freshwater
Battery Enerdrive RV80 and 1 x 400A Projecta lithium LiFePO4
Inverter Enerdrive 2600W
Solar 4 x 200W
Air-conditioner Dometic FreshJet reverse cycle
Gas 2 x 9kg
Sway control N/A
Cooking Slide-out kitchen with gas cooktop, sink and extended table


Cooking Thetford two-burner induction cooktop
Microwave 25L Sphere
Fridge 224L compressor 12V/240V
Bathroom Dometic cassette toilet, separate shower, smart vanity
Washing machine Premium front loader 3.5kg
Hot water Suburban instant

Great Aussie Caravans Xplora 206 price from $133,160


  • Internal Pack
  • External Pack
  • Electrical Pack
  • External kitchen
  • Superbox

Great Aussie Caravans Xplora 206 price as seen $159,558


Great Aussie Caravans
88–106 Kyabram Street
Coolaroo Vic 3048
P: 03 9308 8511


If you need help choosing your first caravan or are considering upgrading your existing one, check out the Great Aussie Caravans models available on TradeRVs today.

The sellers will be happy to help and answer any inquiries you may have about the products advertised for sale.


Great Aussie Caravans Striker reviewed at Australia's Best Hybrids 2024 presented by Tough Dog 4WD Accessories

Caravan review: Great Aussie Caravans Tonka 21ft 6in

Great Aussie Caravans Gravity reviewed at Caravan of the Year 2023