Van Cruiser Bumble Bee: Video Review
Bright, bold and pushing the limits, Van Cruiser’s Bumble Bee is a show stopper with room to move.
Ferrari red, bright blue, sunny yellow and copper caravans have given Van Cruiser a reputation for pushing the boundaries of conventional caravan design. But as their new Bumble Bee van attests, they offer a lot more than just striking looks.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
The Bumble Bee, which was Van Cruiser’s jaw-dropper at last year’s Leisurefest show in Melbourne, is based on one of Van Cruiser’s best-selling models, the single-axle Interceptor. With a Tare weight of 2260kg and an ATM of 2660kg, it’s an excellent size and weight for all-terrain Australian touring.
The Alucobond aluminium composite used to clad the vans sits over a conventional meranti timber frame. It’s a high-visibility, industrial building material and doesn’t come in sheet sizes to span the full-length of the van. So there are joins above the Bumble Bee’s centre door, between the upper and lower body, and across its rear, windowless tail panel that few people will notice.
Towing the Bumble Bee is easy work for any medium or full-size 4WD and, on this van, the task is made safer by the fitting of Dexter Sway Control (DSC) as standard. The caravan tracks well unaided, thanks to the correct positioning of its single axle, and gusty side winds and the sometimes unexpected vacuum of passing B-doubles left it unflustered, with the Dexter system uniquely cutting in to brake only one wheel at a time to bring it back on line.
Despite its ‘look-at-me’ exterior, the interior of the Bumble Bee – like most Van Cruisers, unless changed by customers – is much more conventional and subdued. White, silver and black dominate the landscape here, with the interior laid out along popular lines, with a front bed, rear full-width ensuite with separate shower and toilet, and a central galley and lounge. To save space, as is common in most compact caravans, the lounge is L-shaped, but tastefully finished in black leather.
HITS & MISSES
- Daring to be different
- Excellent use of space
- Stone shielding
- Standard DSC
I would have liked...
- Storage box on A-frame instead of jerry cans
- Cover for electrics in front boot
- Battery under lounge instead of bed
VAN CRUISER BUMBLE BEE SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 7.58m (24ft 10in)
- External body length 5.53m (18ft 2in)
- External body width 2.3m (7ft 7in)
- Travel height 3.2m (10ft 6in)
- Internal height 2.04m (6ft 8in)
- Tare 2260kg
- ATM 2660kg
- Ball weight 180kg
- Frame Meranti timber
- Cladding Alucobond aluminium flat composite wall panels
- Chassis G&S 150mm with 50mm riser
- Suspension Control Rider 2500kg independent with coil springs and single shock absorbers per wheel
- Brakes 12in electric
- Wheels Alloy with 245/75R16 tyres
- Water 2x95L
- Battery 2x105Ah deep-cycle
- Solar 2x100W
- Air conditioner Truma reverse-cycle
- Gas 2x9kg
- Stability Control Dexter DSC
- Cooking Smev combo four-burner, grill, oven
- Fridge Waeco 175L 12V compressor
- Microwave dLuxx
- Toilet Dometic cassette
- Shower Full-height one-piece moulded fibreglass
- Lighting Second Generation High Brightness LED
- Hot water Suburban 24L Gas/Elec
240V heater above door; leather upholstery; external weatherproof speakers; external shower; three jerry can holders on the A-frame; Sphere 3kg top-loader washing machine; reverse camera
Price as shown
- $62,990 (base price $57,990) (Vic)
The full test appears in Caravan World #537 May 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!