Retreat Hamilton: Review

By: Malcolm Street, Photography by: Malcolm Street

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Spacious and comfortable, the Retreat Hamilton is the perfect getaway.

The Hamilton is a tandem-axle caravan that comes available with Semi-Offroad or Outbacker options. In this case, the customer ordered the van with as much offroad gear as possible, along with quite a few other goodies including a satellite TV, which not only increased the weight but also the price – a not inconsiderable amount given the base price for the Hamilton is $72,500 and this van gets very close to $100K!


So what do you get for your money? Well, there are no surprises underneath the van, with the 150mm (6in) railed chassis/drawbar constructed in the box section-style with enough steel to build a small bridge. Extra bits of steel are used for the battery box behind the offside wheels, the bumper bar with spare wheel and jerry can holders, and the rack under the drawbar rails. Also fitted to the drawbar rails is an alloy checkerplate toolbox and two more jerry can holders – the customer clearly has some long distance travel in mind. Underneath the chassis, in addition to the fresh and grey water tanks, all the essential pipework and electrics are strapped up well out of the way.

Above the chassis, the van is built with a meranti timber frame, aluminium cladding and alloy checkerplate for the lower waist areas. The silver and black colour scheme, with flashes of orange, gives the van a purposeful air, as do items like the 16in alloy wheels and the mesh stoneguard on the drawbar.

In addition to the drawbar toolbox, there is a front tunnel boot and two tall, narrow bins at the offside rear. The latter offer a fair degree of space and would suit camp chairs, tables and probably even folding bikes.

Given the way this van is kitted out, the roof is quite a busy place, too. In addition to the normal living area roof hatches, bathroom hatches and air-conditioner, there is also a conventional TV aerial, satellite dish and two 150W solar panels.



  • Comfortable dinette
  • Decent-sized kitchen
  • Generous storage inside and out
  • Bedside storage compartments
  • Battery and solar panel capacity
  • Large load capacity


  • Requires a large tow vehicle
  • Temptation to carry too much gear
  • Rear bins are a little awkward to use effectively


Weights and measures

  • Overall length 9.07m (29ft 9in)
  • External body length 6.6m (21ft 8in)
  • External body width 1.96m (6ft 5in)
  • Travel height 2.94m (9ft 8in)
  • Internal height 1.96m (6ft 5in)
  • Tare 2735kg
  • ATM 3500kg
  • Ball weight 230kg


  • Frame Meranti timber
  • Cladding Aluminium
  • Chassis Hot-dipped galvanised
  • box section
  • Suspension Independent coil spring
  • Brakes 12in electric
  • Wheels 16in alloys
  • Water 2x90L
  • Battery 2x120Ah
  • Solar 2x150W
  • Air-conditioner Aircommand Ibis 3
  • Gas 2x9kg
  • Sway control No


  • Cooking Swift 500 four-burner cooktop, grill and oven
  • Fridge 240L Vitrifrigo with 12V Danfoss compressor
  • Microwave Daewoo DC
  • Toilet Thetford cassette
  • Shower Separate cubicle
  • Lighting 12V LED
  • Hot water Atwood 20L

Options fitted

  • None

Price as shown

  • $99,990 (on-road, NSW)

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The full test appears in Caravan World #547 March 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!