As most readers will know, the local caravan industry is largely based in Melbourne. So, as one of only a couple of builders in Sydney, Millard flies the flag for NSW and continues as an industry icon with a history going back over seventy-five years.
To demonstrate the versatility of their range, Millard suggested we review two quite different units but with the same interior layout. Both are 15’6” or 1560 versions, with the Breakaway as a full offroad poptop, while the Toura is, not surprisingly, a more mainstream tourer, albeit with a dirt road suspension.
All the vans in the Millard range feature an aluminium interlocking frame with steel bracing at stress areas to make a rigid and durable structure that is impervious to rot. A single sheet of 25mm thick lightweight composite panel is used on the roof for superior insulation and waterproofing.
Externally the vans share Millard’s unique aluminium cladding that they roll themselves and which has been a recognisable brand characteristic for the last fifteen years. Ribs in the alloy sheet are closer together than most to make the sides strong and rigid. Keeping as much as possible in house, they also build their own hot dip galvanised chassis from 3mm Australian steel.
As the interiors are similar, let’s look at the outside of both vans first to get a feeling for the different roles they play. Despite being the same size they are very different in appearance. The off roader sits high on a full 6” chassis with a 4ft riser and 17” wheels and sports black checkerplate protection low on the body. Bright red powder coated brush guards front and rear of the wheels add to the Breakaway’s tougher appearance.
You can order each van in either poptop or full cabin design, and the lifting roof version of the Breakaway is said to be popular for serious off roaders who will find it easier travelling down tracks overgrown by tree branches. Of course, the lower profile will also benefit those wanting to park in garages with restricted height.
The front of the Breakaway is squared off to gain 15cm of internal space, and along with two large aluminium toolboxes with a generator slide and a full-width stone guard over the drawbar, it helps create a purposeful look. The coupling is a DO-35 off road hitch for better approach angles over rough terrain. As there are also twin gas bottles and twin jerry can holders here, it would be wise for owners to be careful about loading the big storage boxes. The ball weight is 200kg when empty so once a generator is added, there won’t be too much spare payload before getting into trouble with ball weight and load balance.
Both vans have tunnel boots rather than front storage lockers, but the Breakaway version is larger due to the bed above being lifted some 20cm specifically to gain more room. To the rear of the off-roader’s boot is a second through boot with a slide out stainless steel kitchen on the passenger side, leaving more storage opposite. Sitting on sturdy rollers, the kitchen has a twin burner gas cooktop, two cutlery drawers and a sink with cold tap and hand pump.
Under the van are two 95L water tanks and a 60L grey water tank all of which are protected by steel guards. Suspension is a Cruisemaster 2.6T off road independent trailing arm system with twin shock absorbers, while 17” alloy wheels are shod with 245×70 all terrain tyres each rated to 1360kg. Twin 100ah batteries are chassis mounted and well out of harm’s way, while the electrics and water pipes underneath seem to be routed for minimum stone damage.
Along the driver side is a central hatch containing a Waeco battery charger, Tow Scanner breakaway system and the water pump as well as a double 240v plug and there’s yet another small storage bin at the rear. Both models have a Dometic awning, tinted Camec double glazed windows and a Camec security door with flyscreen.
At the rear of the offroader, a three-post bar holds two spares, and a neat looking alloy rack up higher will store two pushbikes. In a bit of smart thinking, Millard is one of only a few builders of vans with twin spares at the back to offer a bracket for the number plate at a legal height.
With narrow silver checkerplate, less dramatic graphics and a lower stance due to a standard 4” chassis and lower profile 15” wheels, the Toura has a more mainstream but still pleasing and well-balanced appearance. The 6” A-frame houses twin 9kg gas bottles and a tap with a guard. In keeping with its touring intention, the hitch is a simple 50mm ball coupling.
While lacking the ground clearance of the Breakaway, the Toura is capable of getting off the beaten track. Cruisemaster 2.3T CRS Independent Suspension and a body built to the same specifications as the full off-roader mean it’s tough enough to tackle dirt roads and corrugations when driven to the conditions.
Included in the standard package are two 95L water tanks (split either side of the axle for balance) and a single 100ah battery charged from the tow vehicle when on the move, so, along with a three-way fridge and gas cooktop, there is scope for limited off grid camping. If you want to get more serious then it’s prewired for solar.
Both vans have an east-west bed at the front, a full-width ensuite down the back and an L shaped lounge along the driver side with a compact kitchen across the aisle. The main difference inside is the lifting roof with a vinyl skirt in the Breakaway, which has zippered windows in each panel and a sliding curtain at the ensuite.
A neat panel at the doorway houses all the displays and switches for battery condition, water tank level and circuit breakers as well as a master switch for lights. Colours inside are pleasant muted tones, and you can choose from over thirty benchtop colours, twenty for the doors and forty different fabrics.
In the kitchen, the Toura has a microwave and combination stainless steel sink and cooktop, while the poptop has a separate Swift mini grill and sink with a removable cover to create extra bench space. The more off grid Breakaway has a 100L compressor fridge while the Toura gets a 150L gas electric version.
While the interior is compact, and the east west bed is a compromise, that’s the price you pay for having an easily towed and very manoeuvrable rig that has all the features you will need for enjoyable times in the great outdoors.
Getting out of the Camden Caravans dealership in Campbelltown and into the bush for photography is now an easy task, navigating back streets and roundabouts but the 2wd Ford Ranger and my Landcruiser towed the vans effortlessly, in fact they were both overpowered for the task at hand. The more robust Breakaway is 2020kg empty so lots of medium vehicles will handle it easily, and something like the Prado will be ok if the payload stays under the 2.5T maximum.
The Toura is a lightweight at 1570kg empty and is rated to a 2100kg ATM so even many family sedans will cope. Note that the payload on both is over 400kg, which is relatively generous for a single axle unit.
It was interesting to see two vans that were so similar inside yet with completely different personalities. The Toura is a well-engineered compact van with robust suspension that should be capable of some more remote travel when required. The Breakaway, on the other hand, is a full blooded off roader small enough to traverse rough bush tracks into far away places. Unlike a lot of other 4wd capable vans, its warranty includes off road travel, so Millard is very confident of their build quality.
Given the level of equipment and considered designs the vans seem excellent value at $58,995 for the Toura and $69,995 for the Breakaway.
- Neat fit and finish
- Sturdy suspension
- Good payload
- Good value and high Millard resale price
- Great storage options
I didn’t like:
- The east/west bed
Model: Toura 1560
Overall length: 6.755m
Body length: 4.78m
Travel height: 3.025m
Tare weight: 1570kg
Ball weight: 100kg
Price as reviewed: $58,995 tow away inc ORC and registration
Find Out More
1 Frost Rd Campbelltown NSW 2560
Ph. 02 46581929
Camden Caravans has been supplying Millard caravans since the 1970s
They are a family owned and operated business, which can provide valuable input into the design of the caravans and customer purchase through their close contact with the factory. Owner Anthony has his own large Millard van which his family regularly take away on holiday.