Sunland Patriot 186

The Sunland Patriot 186 was first revealed to the public at the Sydney Caravan show in April this year. It drew a lot of attention, too, as perhaps the most serious off road caravan on the grounds. As I’ve mentioned before, Roy Wyss at Sunland builds a fair dinkum off road caravan, as we’ve seen in his Patriot series. This new 186 is indeed part of the Patriot family, but a little more compact than its bigger brothers.

The Patriot vans are not just your ordinary touring rigs. They are a genuine combination of touring luxury with the toughness of a rig designed from the wheels up as an off road caravan. The new 186 meets that tough-yet-luxurious mark and then some. Incidentally, that 186 number has nothing to do with the old Holden motor. This Patriot is 18ft 6in in length in the old money.

Like its brother Patriots, the 186 has been built tough to cope out where the rubber leaves the road. One clever Sunland innovation lies in the Patriot chassis. This is a composite construction, with steel and aluminium used in combination. One rather interesting aspect is the way the chassis members are holed in sections to save weight, yet retain their strength. This presents a significant weight saving, and the rig we looked at weighed in at 2300kg, which put it easily within the towing capabilities of my BT50.

Cruisemaster independent coil suspension is fitted, complete with eight shock absorbers. Sixteen inch alloy wheels are fitted, along with ESC compatible 10 inch brakes and Dexter Stability Control. A 190 litre water tank is standard, but this rig also had an additional 125 litre tank fitted. A rear cutaway allows for greater clearance on rocky ground, steep crossings and even steep gutters.

On the A frame is the popular DO35 hitch, providing more articulation than the more common standard ball hitch. The A frame is clean and uncluttered back to a big toolbox with gas bottle storage. The box carries Raptor coating to protect the front end from flying stones. This coating extends around the van and presents a better finish than the standard chequerplate more common on off roaders. A spare wheel is fitted between the chassis members up forward.

The Patriot frame consists of welded box section aluminium, with a moulded full fibreglass exterior and composite fibreglass floor. Insulation is applied to walls, roof and floor. Along the flanks you’ll find a forward through boot, external lights and a 15 ft Dometic awning. Across the rear is a lightweight rear bar with bright led lights and a reversing camera. Up on the roof is a pair of 155 watt solar panels, along with a Truma Saphir air conditioner and Winegard digital TV antenna.

The Patriot 186 has a mid door configuration, with the entry just forward of the axles. The bedroom is up forward, with dinette and kitchen midships, and the bathroom across the rear.

As you step inside the 186 the first thing you’ll note is the lightness and brightness of the interior. An all white interior, with 2 pack finish on the cupboards, gives the impression of a much larger van. I’ll never understand why people select dark timber and even black interior finishes in their vans. It’s like touring in a cave.

The bedroom up forward features a queen sized bed positioned north south, with flanking wardrobe, drawer and bedside table consoles. The wardrobe doors are mirrored and opening inward so the mirrors can be used.

Two large storage lockers are fitted above the bed, and personal reading lights installed above each side. The bed lifts up on gas struts to provide access to storage space. Long paired windows on either side of the bed add to the brightness of the van.

To the rear of the entry along the kerb side, the kitchen features an extensive benchtop with sink towards the rear in a slightly angled section of the bench. There is a large cupboard beneath the sink, with a microwave and narrow locker positioned above.

A four burner cooktop (three gas and one electric) is fitted forward of the sink, with a grill beneath. A pot drawer is fitted beneath the cooktop. The benchtop extends along to the entry, with three drawers beneath and a pair of wide lockers above. A TV is fitted to the wall behind the benchtop and the entire bench area is backed with a copper-finish style splashback.

Opposite the kitchen is the lounge/dinette, a spacious area with generous lounge seats flanking a trifold table. There is plenty of room here for four to dine in comfort. The dinette is backed by a large window, with a pair of lockers above.

To the rear of the dinette is the fridge console, with a two door 190 litre fridge freezer and a storage locker above.

The bathroom is positioned across the rear of the 186, which can be closed off from the main cabin via a concertina door. A Dometic toilet is fitted on the driver’s side, forward of a bench with a locker containing power systems and fuses. At centre rear is a stainless steel vanity basin flush with the benchtop, with a mirror behind and a locker beneath. Alongside the vanity is a washing machine concealed beneath the benchtop. Above this area is a pair of overhead lockers. The fibreglass shower recess is positioned in the rear kerbside corner, and is quite spacious.

The Patriot could well be called the little big van. At 18ft 6in it’s not a giant, by any means, yet there is heaps of space inside, an impression enhanced by the interior colouring. It tows well and is built like the proverbial brick outhouse underneath. It is a genuine off road caravan with a very high level of comfort and practicality inside. In short, it’s a top line off road and on road tourer.


Manufacturer: Sunland Caravans

Model: Patriot 186

Body length: 18ft 6in

Width: 7ft 9in

Tare weight: 2308kg

ATM: 2500kg to 3500kg

Base Price: $79,990

Find Out More

Sunland Caravans

1 Strathvale Court

Caboolture Qld 4510

Tel (07) 5499 2250


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