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WARRIOR 18.7 – 21.7f - GET READY TO HIT THE ROAD!

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Everest Caravans Kombat Performance

February 25, 2023

Everest Caravans is a relatively young company but it’s fair to say that it has made a genuine impact on the Australian RV scene in a relatively short time.

Characterised by elegant, appealing interiors and well fitted-out exteriors, the Everest line-up appears to be the product of genuine passion for the craft.

And that line-up has just expanded with the release of the 19ft 7in Everest Caravans Kombat Performance. This is the offroad version of the mid-size tandem-axle Kombat rig and, as such, has been fitted with a range of suitable equipment.

As for the striking orange and yellow decals over the grey composite aluminium cladding… well, that was the idea of the owner of the company, who convinced the customer of this particular van that this combination of colours would look great. And I agree.

Our review van was the first Kombat Performance to roll out of the factory. We took it to one of our favourite testing grounds for a closer look.

HANDBUILT SPLASHBACK

Inside, the attention to detail is obvious. Ordinarily, a kitchen splashback would not catch my eye. However, it was hard not to be taken by what Everest had produced here. Made of a lightweight concrete material and hand-cut pieces of timber, this splashback appears to be a painstaking labour of love, rather than a mass-produced piece of acrylic.

Now, the Everest Caravans Kombat Performance is a family van. As such, the layout incorporates a separate kids’ room in the rear, next to a bathroom in the offside corner. A tall wardrobe sits in between, with a front-loading washing machine hidden behind the cupboard door. Each bunk is equipped with a 12V fan, reading light and USB charging point.

The bathroom feels reasonably spacious, and it’s undeniably classy, too. It has the usual equipment: cassette toilet, a small vanity and a separate shower. The main point of difference is the fact the splashback around the washbasin matches the kitchen splashback. 

The kitchen in the Everest Caravans Kombat Performance sits on the nearside. The faux timber laminate benchtop, which matches the dinette table, deep black sink, large drawers, full oven and cooktop/griller add up to a stylish, functional kitchen. It does not offer acres of bench space; however, the hinged lid over the cooktop compensates for that.

The L-shaped dinette is upholstered in ‘vinyl leather’ and the exposed stitching looks great. The swivel table sits atop a telescopic post and by pressing the button at the base of the post, the table can be lowered to form the base of an extra bed. The reading lights feature integrated 12V charging points. A single-outlet Truma gas space heater has been fitted under the dinette.

Between the dinette and bathroom, you’ll find a sizeable 171L three-way fridge and a 25L Sphere microwave neatly recessed into the furniture above. The control panel for the Truma heater is nearby.

An aspect of this van that really stood out to me was the wall between the east-west bed in the nose of the van and the dinette, which was fitted as an option for this van’s customer. The idea, of course, is to provide a sense of separation and privacy for the parents. It’s quite clever. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen this idea before.

On the side of the wall facing the bed, Everest Caravans has even fitted sections of decorative padded vinyl and a large storage pocket. Both sides of the bed get 240V power points, a reading light with inbuilt USB charger, and the foot of the bed is fitted with a 12V fan. Naturally, there are overhead lockers for storage, and even underneath the bed, Everest has fitted storage cupboards underneath the bed.

Personally, I found it hard to fault the interior of the Everest Caravans Kombat Performance. Obviously there are some trade-offs, but it’s important to remember that it’s designed to be a sub-20ft family caravan that offers all of the main onboard comforts – and it does this very well.

OUTSIDE THE EVEREST CARAVANS KOMBAT PERFORMANCE

Everest Caravans seems to have its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest trends in cladding. The latest example: the carbon fibre-look composite aluminium used on this Kombat Performance is stunning. And rather than spoiling the overall effect with black checkerplate, Everest has opted for X-plate, which in addition to being strong lends a classier look.

A slide-out kitchen complete with Swift barbecue, sink and hot and cold water sits in the tunnel boot, and there’s yet more storage space in a second tunnel boot just behind. 

Among the external fittings are a shower on the offside, a nearside roll-out awning, fold-down picnic table, 12V point, and a tap mounted to the A-frame, protected by a piece of checkerplate. A toolbox fabricated out of checkerplate is also mounted to the A-frame – it even has an offside slide-out tray to suit a 2kVA generator.

The 12V system comprises dual 100Ah deep-cycle batteries and dual 170W solar panels. Everything in this respect is managed by the BMPRO Genius 15-35 battery management system, which is fitted in a locker above the dinette.

The chassis and A-frame are built from 6in SupaGal RHS steel and the van gets a Cruisemaster DO35 coupling as standard. The suspension, meanwhile, is the independent trailing arm coil Oz Trekker setup.

Rated to 3.5-tonne, this suspension system is the work of Road Runner Chassis, the company that provides Everest with the chassis for the Everest Caravans Kombat Performance.

I certainly had no troubles towing this van over a range of surfaces, from the open highway at 100km/h to some undulations north of Melbourne. It felt well balanced on the towbar and didn’t pitch on the towball.