I should admit that I am a great fan of camper trailers. Maybe it’s the feeling of being close to nature or the simpler approach to travelling that they bring.
A camper’s relatively small size and weight make them a good choice for those with smaller vehicles or limited storage space at home and they have the added advantage of getting into those nooks and crannies that a big van would find a squeeze.
And as I found with the new Goldstream Storm on test, it’s not always a case of having to compromise on room because I found it has more beds than most medium and many full size caravans.
With the optional Adventure Pack the Storm can cope with rough roads and is better equipped for independent stays away from civilization. These two aspects are becoming more important for buyers who want to experience those more remote locations and follow roads less traveled.
To see how the restyled Storm performed we set off from Goldstream headquarters in Pakenham with a plan to combine highway travel to one of our favourite test locations near Maffra with some dirt roads and finally a maze of rough farm tracks west of Lake Glenmaggie. All up it was a round trip of some 450km.
This latest Storm has a number of new features that not only make it look even better but also improve life on board. In keeping with the rest of the Goldstream camper and caravan range the exterior cladding is now a composite ultra smooth panel that gives the vans a clean and contemporary look while also bringing improved insulation and strength.
Combined with new style furniture inside, the camper has a distinctive modern feel and an impeccable finish. Goldstream use their new CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) cutting machines for exact sizing of components so they fit together perfectly every time.
The Storm is the largest in a range of five poptop campers and there are four different layouts to give various options of seating and inclusions. Our test camper was based on the standard model’s new design but with the addition of an Adventure Pack that included a list of popular options at a favourable price.
Included in the pack are eye-to-eye 1800kg rated leaf springs with a single shock absorber each side, 15” steel wheels and off-road tyres as well as upgraded electric 12” drum brakes. On the electrical side there’s an 80ah deep-cycle battery, with a Projector charger to replenish power from the tow vehicle or a 240v outlet. For even more independence you could add either a fixed or portable solar panel.
An advantage of this poptop style camper is the low travel height that brings the centre of gravity closer to the ground, reduces windage and makes it easier to get into confined areas under low branches. Erecting the camper is a five minute job and involves undoing four corner latches, winding the top up with a handle stored in the front boot, sliding out the bed ends and setting the simple bed supports. You then unfold the step and position the top section of the entry door, which is located under the roof for travel.
Outside storage includes a deep front boot and a hatch ahead of the door, while on the A-frame there’s a single 9kg gas bottle, a removable trailer jack and a standard 50mm ball hitch for simplicity. Our test camper was fitted with an optional Fiamma F45S full-length awning that added only a few centimetres of width to watch out for but was worth the effort with the additional cover for BBQs and relaxing.
A 4”x2” Duragal chassis and A-frame support the camper and underneath the van all wiring and lines are carried high and out of harm’s way. Because of the van’s semi off road capability there’s an aluminium bash plate over the water tank for protection.
The back of the camper is covered in an ASA plastic moulding that is both strong and has enhanced UV resistance. The spare is mounted on a bar and is neatly recessed into the moulding, while either side are bright LED lights.
Those stepping inside the Storm for the first time will be impressed with the abundance of room on board. This is of course due to the beds at each end extending past the camper body, but just the same it’s uncanny to have so much space available in the 5.6m body length.
Windows in the canvas extend along the sides and with more light coming from the bed areas the van feels very airy and open with views of your surroundings from every corner. Clear covers over the fly screens seal the van from weather and for privacy at night there are three-pass curtains that move freely on smooth runners.
Goldstream uses quality Australian made canvas and it comes in five sections to eliminate shrinkage and also to allow easy replacement in the event of accidental damage. In another display of attention to detail in the Goldstream, these canvas sides are attached to the body on sail tracks rather than being riveted on, as is often seen in cheaper campers.
The bed at the front of the van is a queen and down the back it’s a double. Both are 100mm high-density foam, which I found supremely comfortable but you can order an innerspring mattress if you prefer.
Between the beds it’s all living space and plenty of preparation area for the cook to spread out. Around the perimeter there are benches with generous storage cupboards below, which is important because pop-tops lack any overhead cupboard space.
All cabinets are finished in a light Sumatra Teak laminate while the benches are topped in Sonara White Granite with flush-fit, matt white doors and brushed stainless steel shell handles. All screws are capped, the doors are edge banded and the inside of the cupboards have a clean white lining. It all looks refined and modern and with the joinery from strong but lightweight ply it should be very durable.
Towards the front the galley runs either side of the van so there are loads of preparation space and flow-through ventilation. On the kerb side a stainless steel sink is set into a bench with a microwave down low, which should be the safest place for it to avoid spills of hot food. A 12v pump feeds fresh water from the 59L plastic water tank slung under the camper.
On the other side is the main part of the cooking area where a wide L-shaped bench runs along to a return where the dinette begins. Four gas burners and a separate grill will take care of indoor cooking and the 93L Thetford three-way fridge should hold enough for a small family.
All Goldstream products are fully compliant with Australian Design Rules so you can be confident that the gas and electrical systems have been correctly installed. So too, there’s a smoke alarm and a roof hatch over the stove to allow gases to escape for times when the windows are closed.
I liked the abundance of large drawers and a slide-out pantry, making it easier to pack things away more efficiently than in cupboards.
Further back the club lounge is big enough to allow five adults to dine in comfort around a large rectangular table. For extra accommodation the lounge converts to a 900mm king single by lowering the table and rearranging the cushions. With the bench on the kerb side having power and a TV point it would also be a great place to spread out and watch the cricket on a long afternoon.
Power outlets are conveniently placed in the galley and on both sides of the camper at the dinette and there is efficient LED lighting in the roof and at the head of both beds.
Rather than being a radical departure from the well-established Storm, the new model is a sensible refinement to bring some modern aesthetics and subtle improvements.
The Adventure pack may not give you licence to drag the camper to the top of Cape York the hard way, but it will handle corrugations and rough bush tracks. Along the highways it towed smoothly without pitch or sway and across the dirt there were no bangs or complaints. Maneuvering into tight corners and backing up was easy and it was light enough to move around by hand when we needed to change positions for photography.
It’s often the little things that go to make a difference and the new Storm demonstrates an attention to detail that will count in the long run. It tows well, is easy to set up and has room for a growing family.
Pricing ex Melbourne starts at a very reasonable $32,660 including registration and with the addition of a Fiama awning and tent flies the test van was an additional $2,050.
Goldstream is a well-established builder with a reliable and enthusiastic workforce who has been producing quality products for years. They have a wide distribution network around the country, which is reassuring should an owner need help when travelling.
Manufacturer: Goldstream RV
Country of manufacture: Australia
Overall length: (includes drawbar) 6.17m
Travel height: 1.57m
Tare weight: 1240kg
Ball weight: 140kg
Price from: $30,990
Price as reviewed: $32,900 incl bed fly ends and awning
Find Out More
Goldstream Recreational Vehicles
Address: 75 Bald Hills Rd, Pakenham Vic 3810
Phone: 03 5941 5571