REVIEW: BILLABONG GROVE 186 MODA


We test and rate the Billabong Grove 186 Moda mid-range caravan as part of Caravan World's Best Caravans test.

Read the full Best Aussie Vans feature

The Billabong Grove 186 Moda is contemporary and stylish, with bold interior highlights and a fairly conventional layout. Billabong’s specialty is customisation, so if the internal red splashes, for example, aren’t your cup of tea, they’ll have something that is. Read the review below and be sure to check out the Billabong Grove caravan photo gallery for an indepth look at the caravan.

BILLABONG GROVE CARAVAN 

BILLABONG GROVE 186 MODA RATING CARD

VALUE FOR MONEY

Enquire about this caravanAt $64,000, it’s more than $10K dearer than the Concept Innovation, though it does include some features that were missing in its rival, such as a satellite dish.

TOWABILITY

Like the Innovation, the Billabong Grove 186 Moda requires a mid-weight 4WD for safe and legal towing. Having said that, it’s a fairly smooth performer on the blacktop.

SETTING UP AND HITCHING UP

Setting up the Grove is very straightforward. There are no impediments or difficulties in this department. Likewise when it’s time to hitch up – just lower the coupling onto the ball, connect the trailer plug and safety chains, etc., and you’re good to go.

SUITABILITY FOR INTENDED TOURING

Overall, this is a good package in terms of specifications and space that would suit a touring couple nicely. It would be most at home on sealed roads, though towed with care it should handle undulations and some dirt tracks.

LAYOUT

This van has a conventional layout: front bedroom, rear bathroom, and everything else in between, though with the bed’s bolster extended walk-around space is somewhat limited. Food-prep space in the kitchen is minimal, too. The interior is visually appealing, however, and there’s a good amount of storage on offer.

QUALITY OF FINISH

Internally, the finish is quite acceptable. Everything fits together like it should.

BUILD QUALITY

Structurally, the Billabong is very sound. It’s certainly built to handle Australia’s highways and inland routes.

CREATURE COMFORTS

The van does well in this department, with everything from an onboard satellite dish to a washing machine. It is indeed a comfortable caravan that will leave you wanting for very little as you tour the country.

INNOVATION

Like its rival, the Concept Innovation, the Billabong Grove doesn’t employ technology with which we’re unfamiliar, or that’s not readily available on the aftermarket. That’s not to say, however, that the Grove lacks X-Factor…

X-FACTOR

The Billabong is a handsome rig, that’s for sure. Viewed from any angle, it’s hard not to be impressed by the contemporary colour scheme, which is, for the most part, well thought out and executed. But not everybody likes the trendy look. So if bright reds that contrast with charcoal cabinetry and white walls aren’t your thing, Billabong has a range of options that are bound to be more pleasing to your eye.

THE CARAVAN WORLD VERDICT

For its price point, the Billabong Grove 186 Moda has all the bases covered and a couple more. The layout is open, spacious and visually appealing in a trendy kind of way. It’s bound to do you proud on extended tours of Australia.

 

Here's the Billabong Grove 186 Moda final score.Billabong Grove 186 results

This story was adapted from Caravan World Issue 520. Why not subscribe today!

 

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