Franklin X-Ception 206 R-C Review
It may be sleek and stylish from the outside, but the Franklin X-Ception 206 R-C is more than capable of handling the rougher tracks when required.
The Franklin X-Ception 206 R-C was born from customer demand for a tougher alternative to the popular Franklin Arrow, which was a 2015 Caravan World Best Aussie Vans finalist in the $50K-$65K category.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
The X-Ception’s 3.2t Cruisemaster XT independent suspension and Preston SupaGal chassis with its 150x50mm main rails, accompanied by gloss cabinetry with stylish edging, a spacious interior and liberal storage, added to the van’s appeal. This is also coupled with luxury features not found as standard in the Arrow – like genuine leather upholstery and a 4mm Perspex splashback in the kitchen.
The 6.3m (20ft 8in) X-Ception has a 2342kg Tare weight compared to the 5.44m (17ft 10in) Arrow’s 2025kg mass. But it has a generous 500kg payload – 200kg more than the Arrow.
The X-ception is fitted with one 100Ah AGM deep-cycle battery and one 135W roof-mounted Projecta solar panel with digital regulator. Despite its on-roader badge, given its strong chassis, independent suspension and tough construction, the X-Ception is quite capable of reaching endpoints off the bitumen. To that end, while its current setup is adequate for short stays away from mains power, a boost to the van’s on-board power and water reserves, plus the addition of an exterior shower and a grey water tank (both available as options) to extend its off-grid capabilities would be nice.
The X-Ception’s up-to-date, spacious interior has more than a splash of panache and vibrancy – especially the modern decor headed by the aforementioned leather upholstery and glass-look splashback, as well as a contoured bedspread and gloss cabinet doors.
The four-seater club lounge and dinette, opposite the kitchen, proudly displays the Franklin monogram on the seatbacks. Additional comfort is provided by two slide-out footrests (each with a weight rating of 130kg) that extend the seats and also come with upholstered cushions that are usable for additional seating.
There are slide-out drawers either side of the lounge base, with five good-sized lift-up lockers overhead. There’s a window behind and a Seitz overhead hatch, with two LED reading lamps aiding the already adequate overhead lighting. However, I would have liked the window to be a little larger. Also in this area is a Finch RV radio and a couple of powerpoints in the corner. Adjacent the lounge is a 184L Dometic fridge-freezer and a decent-sized lift-up cupboard.
The X-Ception’s practical kitchen is located immediately to the left as you enter the van. It’s fitted with a combo four-burner cooktop, which has a laminated lid fitted for extra bench space, a rangehood with LED lighting and a grill and oven below. The galley also contains a cutlery tray fitted to a slide-out drawer and plenty of storage, including overhead lockers above the cooktop and sink and a compartment underneath the sink. The built-in microwave is set at a user-friendly height; however, I found the small compartment above it a little hard to get at, possibly requiring a portable step to clearly see inside.
THE WRAP UP
Manufactured by Concept Caravans, the Franklin X-Ception 206 R-C is a perfect illustration of the company’s proactive philosophy, response to customer feedback and desire to produce innovative caravans with spacious interiors and luxurious features.
HITS AND MISSES
- Good lounge seating including slide-out footrests/extra seats
- Well-designed ensuite
- Spacious, quality interior
- Sleek and stylish exterior
- Power and water resources could be beefed up
FRANKLIN X-CEPTION 206 R-C SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 8.15m (26ft 9in)
- External body length 6.3m (20ft 8in)
- External body width 2.24m (7ft 4in)
- Travel height 2.95m (9ft 8in)
- Internal height 2.03m (6ft 8in)
- Tare 2342kg
- ATM 2842kg
- Ball weight 155kg
- Frame Meranti
- Cladding Aluminium
- Chassis Preston SupaGal
- Suspension 3.2t Cruisemaster with dual shocks
- Brakes 12in
- Wheels 235/75 R15 tyres with alloy wheels
- Water 2x90L
- Battery 1x100Ah deep-cycle
- Solar 1x135W
- Air-conditioner Aircommand Ibis 3
- Gas 2x9kg
- Sway control Optional
- Cooking Swift combo four-burner cooktop with grill and oven
- Fridge Dometic 184L
- Microwave LG
- Toilet Thetford china bowl
- Shower Full-height
- Lighting Narva LED touch with dimming feature
- Hot water Truma stainless steel gas/electric
- Waeco reverse camera
- with car kit; toolbox
Price as shown
- $77,990 (on-road, Vic)
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The full test appears in Caravan World #551 July 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!