Rhino Kenya: Review
Lightweight and compact, the Rhino Kenya is built for adventure.
Rhino Caravans’ Kenya is built for offroad use but is only 4.86m (16ft) long and rides on a single axle. Apart from the interesting name – someone at Rhino clearly likes the African theme – Rhino caravans look a bit different to a conventional van, but they are still built in the time-honoured fashion. The Kenya has an ATM of 2600kg which puts it outside the popular Toyota Prado tow capacity of 2500kg, but with a Tare weight of 1950kg, careful loading will allow you to come in under the 2500kg mark and stay legal.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
As with many caravans, the Kenya’s chassis is hot-dipped galvanised and uses 100x50mm (4x2in) RHS steel to create a standard box-section structure behind the axle. However, forward of that, it starts to get different. For a start, the drawbar is built like a bridge, about 300mm high, and it extends back along the sides of the van to the wheel arch which also has a frame built around it. The end effect is that front section of the van body sits in a cradle of the chassis extension and the rear part of the chassis gives lower body protection.
Up front, the raised drawbar lifts the height of the mounting point for the gas cylinders and also makes the large checkerplate storage bin sit higher than usual. With this arrangement, standard weight distribution gear cannot be used. That is something for potential buyers to keep in mind but it’s not really an issue for serious offroading. On the drawbar are the standard features – the Cruisemaster DO35 offroad hitch, jockey wheel and handbrake. A close look at the brake cable reveals it’s not a standard stranded steel cable but a Bowden cable set-up, similar to that used on bicycle brakes and derailleur gears. Under the chassis are more familiar items such as the Cruisemaster independent suspension with coil springs, trailing arms and shock absorbers.
Inside the Kenya, the cabinetry work is finished in a faux timber look but it’s been done in a way that is not too overpowering. It contrasts nicely with the black leather upholstery, lighter colours of the walls and ceiling and the striking red of the bedspread. A few rounded corners would be nice to take the edge off but, otherwise, it’s a very eye-catching design.
HITS & MISSES
- Different style of chassis
- Smaller layout with all essentials
- Marine-style catches
- Well set-up electrics in the van
- Hanging wardrobes with shelf below
I would have liked...
- Interior curtains (an option)
- Less contact with the electric fence
RHINO KENYA SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 7.2m (23ft 6in)
- External body length 4.86m (16ft)
- External body width 2.3m (7ft 7in)
- Travel height 2.9m (9ft 6in)
- Internal height 1.99m (6ft 6in)
- Tare 1950kg
- ATM 2600kg
- Ball weight 180kg
- Frame n/a
- Cladding Monopan composite honeycomb
- Chassis Hot-dipped galvanised
- Suspension Cruisemaster independent coil spring
- Brakes 12in
- Wheels 16in
- Water 195L (fresh); 65L (grey)
- Battery 2x120Ah AGM
- Solar 2x150W
- Air-conditioner Aircommand Ibis 3
- Gas 2x4.5kg
- Sway Control Optional
- Cooking Thetford four-burner and grill, plus external three-burner
- Fridge Novacool 12V compressor 175L
- Microwave Sphere
- Toilet Thetford china bowl cassette
- Shower Flexible hose, variable height
- Lighting 12V LED
- Hot water Suburban 23L
- Inverter charger ePro 1600/60A
Price as shown
- $74,900 (on-road, Qld)
The full test appears in Caravan World #540 August 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!