Olympic Marathon: Video Review
Spacious and thoughtfully constructed, the Olympic Marathon offers simplicity at its finest.
Olympic is an Australian caravan manufacturer of long-standing and, here, we are testing its latest luxury tandem-axle van, the Marathon. This van is only available in the one body size (6.3m) and with one layout choice – the island bed, cafe dinette and rear bathroom setup.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
An Al-Ko 50mm hitch is attached to the 4in A-frame on which two 9kg gas cylinders are housed. The jockey wheel is centrally-mounted on a cross beam that links the A-frame. This allows for better placement of weight distribution hitch torsion bar brackets, without the fiddly problem of extricating the jockey wheel from a position on the A-frame side rail.
The external tap mounted on the A-frame is not protected as such, but is mounted relatively high up behind one of the gas cylinder mounts. The gas cylinder (if in place in its bracket) would do a lot to protect the tap from stone damage. While the A-frame does have tubular bracing underneath the frame lengths, it lacks the mesh plate between the frame lengths that some vans have for firewood or storing bulky items.
The A-frame runs to just before the wheelset and is welded to the 4in chassis members. A 2in riser is used from the wheelset to the rear of the van. C-channel supports run across the van and also along the length of the van body within the chassis frame lengths.
The suspension is the familiar live-axle, roller-rocker tandem leaf spring arrangement, attached to drum brakes and 14in alloy wheels. At the rear of the van, a steel bumper is bolted to the chassis and serves as the mounting point for the (alloy) spare wheel. An Al-Ko drop-down stabiliser leg is found at each of the four corners of the van.
Access to the van’s interior is via a rear door which combines an exterior flat-sheet door with a detachable security door that locks and comes with a flyscreen.
No fold-down step is required; the body is lower at this point, so you walk straight in and up a step inside the van. Here, you are presented with the walk-in bathroom on the right (at the rear of the caravan) and the living and sleeping quarters on your left (towards the front).
Moving out into the living area, there’s a pair of coat hooks and magazine pockets on the entry wall. A padded section is fitted just above the entry door to take the pain out of bumping your head on the egress if you’re particularly tall.
HITS & MISSES
- Large storage under bed
- Large shower recess
- Good kitchen bench provision
I would have liked...
- Better wiring placement underneath
- More cohesive décor
OLYMPIC MARATHON SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 6.47m (21ft 2in)
- External body length 6.30m (20ft 8in)
- External body width 2.31m (7ft 7in)
- Travel height 2.9m (9ft 6in)
- Internal height 1.95m (6ft 4in)
- Tare 1960kg
- ATM 2360kg
- Ball weight 140-230kg
- Frame Meranti timber
- Cladding Aluminium sheet
- Chassis 4in plus 2in riser
- Suspension Leaf-spring roller rocker tandem-axle
- Brakes 10in electric drum brakes
- Wheels 14in alloy with 195R14 Dunlop tyres
- Water 2x62L
- Battery 1x100Ah AGM deep-cycle
- Solar No (provision only)
- Air-conditioner Aircommand Ibis
- Gas 2x9kg
- Sway control No
- Cooking Swift 500 Series four-burner cooktop, grill, oven
- Fridge Dometic AES 184L
- Microwave Camec
- Toilet Thetford cassette
- Shower Separate fibreglass
- Lighting LED
- Hot water Suburban 14L
Price as shown
- $52,990 (on-road, NSW)
The full test appears in Caravan World #537 May 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!