Future System 660 Monoblocco 2: Video Review
Future System makes a bold re-entry into the Australian caravan market with its 660 Monoblocco 2.
Every now and then you feel a fresh breeze blow through the caravan industry and, sometimes, it blows you away. That’s how I felt after meeting Frank and Josie Bottaro and reviewing their latest Future System Monoblocco 2 caravan.
From its shapely and futuristic one-piece fibreglass body to the warmth of its traditional Victorian oak-panelled interior, this caravan surprised me at every turn and left me with new hope for Australia’s crowded but unique custom caravan industry.
Designed and built by Frank Bottaro, the Monoblocco 2 (MB2) is more than just his latest Future System caravan; it’s also symbolic of the brand’s resurgence after the ravages of the global financial crisis (GFC).
Before the GFC, the Bottaros had, for many years, been producing a steady stream of their striking fibreglass caravans for eager customers around Australia from premises in Somerton, Vic. After the ravages of the GFC, Future System wound back its business and Frank sub-contracted to other survivors in the industry, who were only too happy to take full advantage of his fibreglass moulding skills and high standards.
But now, he and Josie have resurrected Future System and are building their unique caravans again from a smaller, unassuming factory in a back street of Campbellfield, Vic.
In some way it’s a win-win for a new legion of Future System customers and a delight for older ones, for they and the caravan of their dreams are getting Frank’s entire attention; he builds everything personally except the propriety items he buys from major industry suppliers, and his heart and soul is clearly in every one of his products.
Layout & design
Our first impressions of the latest Monoblocco 2 were positive. Its smooth, sculptured all-fibreglass body embodies Frank’s accumulated skills as a cabinetmaker and fibreglass moulder that date back to when he began working in Italy with his brother half a day a week, aged just 10.
Fibreglass has still more advantages: it insulates twice as effectively as conventional in-wall insulation, according to Frank, and that goes for noise as well as temperature. The floor has a 30mm double sandwich construction, providing further insulation from road heat and road rumble. It’s also very strong. To emphasise this, Frank says it’s possible for an adult to walk on the 50mm-thick roof.
So it’s strong and it looks good. There’s already a lot to like there, but inside the same homely, quality feeling continues.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The resurgent Future System, under the experienced guidance of founder Frank Bottaro, has lost none of its mojo during its post-GFC years in the wilderness.
Its latest all-fibreglass-bodied Monoblocco 2 is an appealing and very well-finished custom-built alternative to the conventional Australian caravans in the demanding $90,000-$100,000 price bracket.
- Aerodynamic and functional styling
- Innovative fibreglass construction
- High quality finish
- Personal attention to customer needs
I would have liked…
- A stay for the front boot
- Lining for the boot
- Stone protection for the A-frame water tap
Future System 660 Monoblocco 2 Specs
Weight and measures
- Overall length 8.5m (27ft 10in)
- External body length 7.1m (23ft 4in)
- External body width 2.35m (7ft 8in)
- Travel height 2.9m (9ft 6in)
- Internal height 1.93m (6ft 4in)
- Tare 2574kg
- ATM 3074kg
- Ball weight 190kg
- Frame n/a
- Cladding Double-sided fibreglass foam sandwich walls, roof and end panels
- Chassis 150x50mm galvanised steel
- Suspension Tandem independent Cruisemaster XT with trailing arms and telescopic shock absorbers
- Brakes 10in electric
- Wheels 15in with 235R15 tyres
- Water 2x100L fresh; 1x100L grey
- Battery 2x120Ah deep-cycle
- Solar 2x130W
- Air conditioner Aircommand Ibis 3
- Gas 2x9kg
- ESC Optional
- Cooking Thetford
- Fridge Dometic 190L with
- separate freezer
- Microwave Daewoo
- Toilet Thetford swivel cassette
- Shower One-piece moulded fibreglass
- Lighting LED
- Hot water Suburban 23L
Price as shown
- $100,000 (approx.)
The full test appears in Caravan World #536 April 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!