Winjana Kalbarri 690: Review
The Winjana Kalbarri 690 is the perfect companion for Aussie utes.
Structure wise, the Winjana Kalbarri 690HC body is built on a purpose-built powder-coated steel chassis. Unlike many RVs in the industry, the Winjana is built using Canadian spruce for both the frame and the 20mm marine ply floor.
According to proprietor Andrew Brennen, the Canadian spruce is stronger, lighter and cheaper than the more commonly used meranti, so why not? Aluminium cladding finishes off the exterior, which comes with a Camec security door and Aussie Traveller windows. Along the nearside, the ‘under awning’ fittings include a picnic table and the adjacent 240V, 12V and gas bayonet outlets.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
Up front, the external hitch mounting frame is also used for two 9kg gas cylinders, the spare wheel (above the hitch point) and the aforementioned storage rack. This has been designed to carry items like jerry cans and wet hoses, but also for collecting firewood along the road – make sure to carry a tie strap or two.
Hitching and unhitching is easy, with most of the time taken up by the raising and lowering of the front jacks. Winjana’s tip is to take an 18V cordless drill with a suitable sized bit to make this process even faster. A definite advantage of fifth wheelers is the ability to see the tow hitch out of the rear window. I should point out that the price of this rig includes supply and fitting of a hitch.
The 690HC, with a Tare weight of 2200kg and an ATM of 3000kg, has a very good load capacity. In recent times, there has been a bit of a fuss made over the 3500kg towing capacity of a number of ute-sized vehicles, Isuzu included. Reading the manufacturer’s fine print reveals that figure is reduced somewhat by whatever load is carried by the tow vehicle.
The Gross Combined Mass (GCM) figure is what really counts and, in the case of the current Isuzu dual cab, it has a GCM of 5950kg. Since it also has a GVM of 2950kg, even if you managed to load the Winjana to its ATM of 3000kg, it’s all quite legal.
HITS & MISSES
- A fifth wheeler suitable for Aussie utes
- Island bed at floor level
- Excellent storage and load capacity
- Nice-looking timber benches
- Good-sized drawers in kitchen
- General workmanship
- High microwave
- External rack and spare wheel are a fair height off the ground
WINJANA KALBARRI 690HC SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall body length 7.53m (24ft 8in)
- External body width 2.43m (8ft)
- Travel height 3.05m (10ft)
- Internal height 1.96m (6ft 5in)
- Tare 2200kg
- ATM 3000kg
- Pin weight 360kg
- Frame Canadian spruce
- Cladding Aluminium
- Chassis Powder-coated steel
- Suspension Al-Ko torsion
- Brakes 10in electric
- Wheels 16in
- Water 1x160L (fresh); 1x110L (grey)
- Battery 2x110Ah
- Solar 2x150W
- Air-conditioner Dometic
- Gas 2x9kg
- Sway control n/a
- Cooking Thetford four-burner and grill
- Fridge Evakool 12V compressor 210L
- Microwave Sphere
- Toilet Dometic cassette
- Shower Separate cubicle
- Lighting 12V LED
- Hot water Truma gas/electric 14L
Price as shown
- $79,185 (on-road, Qld)
The full test appears in Caravan World #544 November 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!