639 - 649 Springvale Road
Springvale South Vic 3172
Ph (03) 9546-9822 Fx (03) 9547-4803
allarat's Pat and Adrian Hine are hitting the road in style. Setting off for a nice little jaunt to Perth for a family wedding will be part of the 'bedding in' of the brand spanking new Pedigree '21 footer' they've taken delivery of from Melbourne's Caravan Court, home of the Pedigree nameplate.
The pair, a couple of happy, enthusiastic 50-somethings, have leased out their farm near Ballarat, packed up their gear and are off along their own yellow brick road in a tailor-made caravan that reflects all their dreams for a great life as travellers.
The rear lounge/dinette is set up for comfort,
and there's room for the cook to move
Pat and Adrian are no strangers to caravanning, nor are they strangers to the Pedigree brand. About five and a half years ago the couple started patrolling the caravan show circuit and perusing the pages of Caravan World, carrying out research to identify the most suitable unit for their needs. After four months, having absorbed a trillion ideas and the contents of brochures and floor plans too numerous to count, they settled on a 5.8 metre Pedigree.
In a 'trial retirement' Pat and Adrian dipped their toes into the caravanning lifestyle and set off on a good long trip they enjoyed a lot. It also served to tell them exactly what they wanted out of caravanning.
Long time between shopping
trips: the domestic sized
Adrian likes to play the share market, so his first van came with a workstation for his PC plus a data link to his mobile. He told CW, "With our first van, a full-on PC was the go and it worked well, but in the new unit I will use my laptop which won't take up as much space."
Space is a big issue with the Hines: they have made great use of it in their new 6.3 metre Pedigree. Serious caravanners, the pair have worked up a design that will support their new mobile lifestyle. The rear lounge is a pleasant adjunct to the dinette. The kitchen area has been 'sorted' nicely; it's centrally placed, with a lot of benchspace flanking the sink on the offside of the unit that backs up onto the dinette.
On the nearside, just for'ard of the door, there's more benchspace supporting the Electrolux Spin-fib Caprice cooktop and oven beneath an array of overhead cupboards that also accommodates another Electrolux favourite, the nifty little rangehood. A Black and Decker microwave oven lives in the overheads on the opposite, offside of the van.
The bed is set across the van's front;
mirrored wardrobes add to spaciousness.
A full sized 220 litre Westinghouse 12 volt fridge looks after long distance victualling and is 'snugged' into well tailored cabinetry. The Hines' Pedigree bristles with drawers, with no less than 20 of them throughout the unit. The living and cooking areas are separated from the bedroom by a Lotus concertina door. The double bed, featuring an innerspring mattress, has its head on the offside, and although of domestic size it doesn't crowd the space.
The reason for this is that Adrian and Pat chose not to include a shower-loo in their specification. Their rationale for this move is clear and sensible. Adrian told CW, "We regard ourselves as very youthful mid-agers, we are active, involved and we love staying at tourist parks.
"Standards of these parks have improved out of sight in recent times and we love the social aspects of meeting up with other travellers.
"The facilities in today's tourist parks are excellent, we have found, and by not having the shower and toilet included in the spec, we've gained an amazing amount of space inside the van," he said.
Nowhere is this claim more obvious than with the wardrobe array. It features double hanging spaces on either side of a domestic sized mirror that sits under a pair of overhead lockers, and above drawers and cupboards that form the base of an adult sized dressing table. The wardrobe doors are mirrored, and the effect of all of this 'reflection' is an added impression of space and light.
A concertina door separates the sleeping quarters
from the kitchen and living area.
Between the bed and the bulkhead that separates living and sleeping quarters there's a bedside table. Across the van, there's a handy vanity beneath a mirror that provides a good 'shaving station' for Adrian, and once again, without shower/toilet in what is the standard 'big 20 ft 6 in' format, there's a heap of useable space.
The Hines, with their decision not to have ensuite facilities, have cracked the code to efficient reassignment of space.
The truth is that while many caravanners include a shower in their custom designs, the majority of tourist parks do provide very good facilities. Many feature ensuite units, and the amenities blocks are, in the main, excellent.
Adrian and Pat Hine have a nice, neat big unit and in taking the step to leave out the 'ablutions' equipment from the specification of their new Pedigree have won new pockets of efficiency, space and convenience for their own style of caravanning.
The Pedigree's ball weight
came in at 190 kg according
to the handy ADK scales.
With a tare weight of 1900 kg and a notional all-up weight of 2300 kg, the unit's ball weight of 190 kg makes it a manageable concept for towing.
One thing is for sure: as the Hines travel the country in their new Pedigree, the shower-less, loo-less unit will attract a whole lot of interest among caravanners.
Source: Caravan World and Outdoor Life May 2001