Winnebago Burke: Review
An iconic American brand gets an all-Australian makeover - resulting in the Winnebago Burke, which is made for exploring the great outdoors.
DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION
On first glance, where the Burke differs from its US siblings is with features such as the Dometic windows, Dometic hourglass-style door and Dometic awning. The curved front of the van does not lend itself to a conventional front boot so, instead, a tunnel boot stores all your camping goods. Up front, the drawbar is appointed with a conventional ball coupling, handbrake and two 9kg gas cylinders.
On the road, the Burke makes for a good towing package. Its ATM of 2400kg fits under the 2500kg limit of many common tow vehicles, and the Mitsubishi Triton ute that I used coped without any problems. The Burke is not an offroad caravan but I did take the opportunity to try it out on the bush tracks in the D’Aguilar National Park, north-west of Brisbane, Qld, and it tracked along very nicely behind the Triton, even though the Triton struggled a bit with the lack of weight over the rear wheels – a common issue with an unladen ute.
The Burke has a forward entry door and inside is a front bedroom, full-width rear bathroom, nearside kitchen and an offside lounge which sits in the slide-out.
Another obvious difference between Winnebago’s American vans and this local model is the interior decor. The Burke does away with the characteristic ‘American’ look and instead employs a much more contemporary Australian look – white walls and ceiling, along with faux timber cupboard doors and marble laminate on the benchtops and table. Another characteristic of the US vans are small windows but the Burke’s are much larger. Although, I would have preferred even larger windows around the bedroom and in the slide-out.
Everything in the van, except the dining table, can be used with the slide-out closed up. That means you can access the kitchen bench and bathroom without opening the slide-out at quick rest stops. Once the slide-out is open, the table, which is mounted on two poles, can be fixed in position. Both the table and supporting poles are stored behind the lounge seat when not in use. I did wonder whether a Euro-style, free-standing table might be a better alternative to this arrangement. However, one of the reasons for the removable table is so that the lounge can be turned into a second bed if needed. It measures 1.84x0.95m (6x3ft 1in) when set up, so will really only suit one person.
Up against the offside bathroom wall is a small cupboard, 22in flatscreen TV and an overhead locker. The slide-out needs to be open to see the TV and while it can be easily seen from the bed, people sitting on the lounge seats will need to sit sideways.
Electrically speaking, the Burke is quite well set up with a 100Ah battery, 150W solar panel, 25A mains charger, LED lighting in all the relevant places and 240V/12V/5V sockets similarly located.
HITS AND MISSES
- Relatively lightweight van
- Spacious interior with slide-out open
- Unusual bathroom layout
- Interior décor
- Chassis design
- Van can be used with slide-out closed
- Lounge/bed seat needs a bit more work
- Table top quite heavy and has fixed location
- Small windows up front
WINNEBAGO BURKE SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 7.4m (24ft 3in)
- External body length 5.82m (19ft 1in)
- External body width 2.49m (8ft 2in)
- Travel height 2.66m (8ft 9in)
- Internal height 2.03m (6ft 8in)
- Tare 2000kg
- ATM 2400kg
- Ball weight 120kg
- Frame n/a
- Cladding Fibreglass composite
- Chassis Hot-dipped galvanised 150mm/6in rails
- Suspension Al-Ko independent rubber
- Brakes Al-Ko 10in
- Wheels 15in alloys
- Water 2x82L
- Battery 1x100Ah
- Solar 1x150W
- Air-conditioner Dometic roof-mount
- Gas 2x9kg
- Sway Control No
- Cooking Combo three-burner cooktop,
grill and oven
- Fridge Dometic 190L three-way
- Microwave Camec
- Toilet Thetford cassette
- Shower Separate cubicle
- Lighting 12V LED
- Hot water Truma gas/electric 14L
Price as shown
- $66,490 (on-road, Qld)
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The full test appears in Caravan World #549 May 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!