Bushmaster Bluegum Offroad: Review
The new Bushmaster Bluegum Offroad really is a caravan with the lot.
Bushmaster has a range of models, starting from a 5.44m (17ft 10in) single-axle through to a 7.16m (23ft 6in) tandem-axle. Our review van was a 6.31m (20ft 8in) model and I could really see myself spending good, quality time with the Bluegum in a simple bush retreat.
This really is a caravan with the lot. Completely set up for free camping, this impressive offroader has a distinctive Australian flavour – with the external decals featuring national icons such as Uluru, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Oodnadatta Track, the Simpson Desert and Katherine Gorge. And Terry proudly states that the Bluegum can ‘take some punishment’, so to speak.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
The Bluegum rides on well-engineered, 4t-rated G&S Control Rider coil spring suspension, with a 6in G&S SupaGal chassis that has two 110Ah batteries either side. Hitching up is a cinch with a Hyland 50mm offroad coupling that is 3500kg-rated, and there is a breakaway system plus two Anderson plugs. The alloy wheels (five-stud with big bolts and Toyota hubs) each have a 1500kg capacity and the tyres are LC200 Series. All of this is brought to a halt by 12in offroad Al-Ko electric brakes, with Al-Ko electronic stability control keeping things cruising smoothly.
The Bluegum’s external features match the internal qualities, with a huge emphasis placed on space. On the extended A-frame is a ‘storage centre’, which I think is better-described as a ‘toolbox on steroids’. Separate compartments within the box house two chairs and a table (which come as standard), jerry cans (also standard), two 9kg gas cylinders and a massive toolbox. There’s also a full-length tunnel boot housing a 40Ah battery charger and a dedicated generator hatch.
Additional external features include two 130W solar panels and three 95L water tanks which will go a long way in keeping you camped up out bush. And while you’re out there, you can enjoy the great outdoors in style, seated under the 12V Dometic awning, next to the fold-out picnic table, and listening to your favourite tunes from the two NCE marine-grade external speakers.
It’s worth noting the Bluegum boasts a generous 12 powerpoints, including four 12V internal outlets and one 12V external outlet (beside the picnic table). There are also 13 internal ceiling lights and 5.5m of LED strip lighting under most overhead cupboards, plus four reading lights (two in the lounge and bedroom respectively). Light isn’t an issue during the day, either, as this Bushmaster has good-sized Dometic double-glazed, push-out windows with flyscreens and privacy blinds, which also provide ample ventilation.
HITS & MISSES
- Abundant water and power
- Storage and ventilation
- Accommodates extended travel
- Requires a large tow vehicle
- The bright decor may not appeal to everyone
BUSHMASTER BLUEGUM OFFROAD SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 8.8m (28ft 11in)
- External body length 6.31m (20ft 8in)
- External body width 2.4m (8ft)
- Travel height 2.95m (9ft 8in)
- Internal height 1.96m (6ft 5in)
- Tare 2740kg
- ATM 3500kg
- Ball weight 270kg
- Frame Meranti
- Cladding Aluminium
- Chassis 6in G&S SupaGal
- Suspension Control Rider tandem 4t-rated
- Brakes 12in Al-Ko offroad electric
- Wheels 16in alloy 265x75x16 AT tyres
- Water 3x95L
- Battery 4x110Ah AGM deep-cycle
- Solar 2x130W
- Air-conditioner Aircommand Ibis
- Gas 2x9kg
- Sway control Al-Ko ESC
- Cooking Swift combo four-burner cooktop with gas grill and oven
- Fridge Two-door Waeco 226L fridge/freezer
- Microwave Whirlpool Cook and Crisp with grill and jet steam cooking
- Toilet Thetford ceramic 21L tank
- Shower Fully-moulded one-piece
- Lighting LED with strip lights under overhead cupboards
- Hot Water Suburban gas/electric
Price as shown
- $79,855 (Vic)
The full test appears in Caravan World #544 December 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!