Super Family Tourer
There is a growing need for family vans where one or two kids go on holidays with their parents or perhaps grandparents needing a van for when the grandkids visit. With this in mind, Billabong have created the Wanderer 19 with bunk beds for two.
Billabong has manufactured the Wanderer 19 to be elegant, full of comfort and so that when people walk inside, they go wow! I know I did. This van’s interior is pretty swisho and the bunks allow for families to travel together.
We were lucky enough to have Nick Salce, Marketing Manager for Billabong with us on this review and he was very enlightening when it came to explaining Billabong’s heritage and the very high standard to which they adhere, with real attention paid to the way the vans are designed and put together.
This was evident with the Wanderer 19 as Nick explained further that there are variations within each model in regards to layout as well as options that allow customers to create a van to really suit their needs.
Without further ado let’s wander around the Wanderer!
A white aluminium and chrome chequer plate body is wrapped around the meranti timber frame and is accented with black windows and black framing around the triple lock door and edging. Black decals further that magpie theme and create a very neat look to this van.
The body comes complete with a large galvanised front boot which houses the electricals, an awning, picnic table and a full width boot towards the front of the van. Up on the roof are hatches, a reverse cycle AC unit and an aerial for TV reception. LED lighting is used around the body and a grab handle next to the door helps with access.
The body is mounted securely to a G&S chassis with a 4-inch main chassis rail and a 2-inch raiser to add a little body height. Mechanicals on the chassis include a 6-leaf roller rocker suspension system, tandem axles with 10-inch electrical brakes and black and chrome alloy rims which look flashy and sport 15-inch tyres.
Under the van are four black, yes black, drop down stabilising legs, a couple of 95 litre water tanks with protectors and some very neat plumbing work. Twin 9kg gas bottles are perched on the A-frame along with a mesh floor to store wet gear and a chrome tap to access water outside the van.
A rear bumper houses the spare wheel and an optional bike rack is fitted to the rear wall.
On the Inside
While the outside looks neat and very smart, the inside of the Billabong looks a treat and is again trimmed in contrasting colours starting with the old white and black. The door is mounted towards the middle of the van up front.
A queen side bed is mounted island style off the front wall to the left as you enter with wardrobes either side, and storage above and below. This is a neat space however my one concern was for the person who slept on the passenger side of the bed. With the door closed it leaves a foot well that a person could fall into at night.
Nick was very quick to point out that in these cases where space is tight they have a fitted board that fills the hole so no-one could possibly fall into it – what a great idea!
Mounted in the middle of the van is an L-shaped dinette on the driver’s side while opposite is the kitchen. These spaces offer plenty of storage, are easy to access and they are practical.
Appliances include a cook top and grill, rangehood, microwave, a good sized sink and a 2-door large fridge is mounted between the dinette and the ensuite which runs to the back of the van.
The ensuite is a combo unit and again is very practical for a family saving on space. It features a shower, toilet and a basin, has independent lighting and a fan/hatch and is just big enough to be practical.
Opposite the ensuite are the bunks complete with their own entertainment system, lights and windows. On the back wall between the ensuite and the bunks is a great wardrobe and drawer system to pack plenty of gear for an extended road trip.
There has been a lot of attention to detail with the way this van has been put together. Piano hinges are used everywhere they can be, the flat timber has contrasting chrome handles that look pretty flash and with plenty of curved timber used around the bunks there is a nice blend of textures to attract the eye.
Bench space is at a premium however when you consider everything that has been jammed into this van, I think people will work around that. Aside from that I couldn’t find too much to pick on. It is a very neat package.
On The Road
I towed this Wanderer over a variety of roads from the factory in Campbellfield around the back of Melbourne Airport and towards Sunbury. It just sat quietly behind the Cruiser. The tare weight is 2150kgs and with an ATM at 2550kgs this van will suit a range of vehicles.
It was an easy tow for the Cruiser up at highway speeds and through some of the hills and secondary roads we travelled on. The braking was smooth and while this van is not a big van in reality, it just looks big, it managed our run with aplomb.
I really liked the way the Wanderer was laid out for two or four people. In a van with a 19 foot body it is certainly jam packed full of handy touring stuff.
The Wanderer 19 range starts at just under 60Gs while our review model came with a price tag at $63Gs which provides a solid base for some serious fun!
Manufacturer: Billabong Caravans
Model: Wanderer 19
Internal Length: 5.79m (19ft)
Internal width: 2.135m (7ft)
Tare weight: 2150kg
Ball weight: 170kg
Price: $63,000.00 as reviewed, drive away ex Melbourne
Find Out More
1551 Sydney Road Campbellfield Vic 3061
03 9359 6313