NextGen Blackline: Review
An innovative layout and good overall fit and finish makes the new NextGen Blackline a solid all-rounder.
My review caravan was the Blackline and the external colour scheme, in particular the lower waistline of black checkerplate, points to the origins of this name. A look inside the van might suggest the NextGen builders see everything in black and white, as that forms much of the colour scheme, although there are some shades of grey used and the rather unusual Roman blinds create a nice contrast.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
With a length of 6.35m (20ft 10in), there’s plenty of room inside the Blackline for the designers to play with, although the rear bathroom/front bedroom layout with a rear entry is fairly conventional is a fairly conventional approach.
Atop the chassis, the silver, high-profile aluminium cladding with its green and black striping and lower waistline of black powder-coated alloy checkerplate is very eye catching. Dometic double-glazed acrylic windows are fitted all-round and the security screen door is a Camec. For use under the Dometic awning, there’s a picnic table, two efficient LED external lights and two external speakers for the sound system.
Kitchen storage space is often at a premium in vans but, although this kitchen bench isn’t oversize, a rather novel idea has been adopted to improve pantry space without taking up too much room. The wall by the entry door, adjacent the bathroom, has been fitted with a narrow but full-height, four-door cupboard. As well as providing useful storage space, it’s a convenient location for your food.
The kitchen bench itself doesn’t miss out too badly, either, with the usual overhead lockers, plus a couple of good-sized drawers and a cupboard. Like the cabinetry in the rest of the van, the kitchen drawers and cupboards have easy to grab handles and the drawers have metal sides.
The kitchen comes with the items you’d expect, including a stainless steel sink with drainer and a four-burner cooktop with grill and oven. Opposite the entry door is the mirrored-finish dLuxx microwave atop a 190L three-way fridge.
Opposite the kitchen, the cafe-style dinette scores well in the storage and comfort departments. In the case of the latter, the leather upholstered back and side cushions make for comfortable sitting, enhanced by the headrests on the back of each seat. For stashing your gear, there are overhead lockers for larger items, a small cupboard under the tri-fold table for smaller pieces and two floor lockers to access the under-seat areas. There’s a powerpoint in the cupboard under the table but it’s fiddly to use.
THE WRAP UP
This was my first look at a NextGen van and I think, purely based on the manufacturer’s name, I was expecting something a bit different. That said, the Blackline is a good example of a front island bed, full rear bathroom layout and the van certainly came with all of the expected goodies.
HITS AND MISSES
- Interior fit and finish
- External storage capacity
- Comfortable dinette
- Roman blinds on most windows
- External colour scheme
- Washing machine and toilet in close proximity
- Powerpoint under the table is awkward to get at
- Heavy chassis
NEXTGEN BLACKLINE SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 8.25m (27ft 1in)
- External body length 6.35m (20ft 10in)
- External body width 2.42m (8ft)
- Travel height 2.9m (9ft 6in)
- Internal height 1.98m (6ft 6in)
- Tare 2325kg
- ATM 2725kg
- Ball weight 140kg
- Frame Meranti timber
- Cladding High-profile aluminium
- Chassis DuraGal
- Suspension Tandem-axle, roller rocker leaf spring
- Brakes 10in electric
- Wheels 15in alloy
- Water 2x95L
- Battery 1x100Ah
- Solar 1x80W
- Air-conditioner Aircommand Ibis 3
- Gas 2x9kg
- Sway control No
- Cooking Swift four-burner, grill and oven
- Fridge Dometic RMD 8551 190L
- Microwave Swift dLuxx convection
- Toilet Thetford cassette
- Shower Separate cubicle
- Lighting 12V LED
- Hot water Swift 28L gas/12V
- A-frame mesh; front boot and tunnel boot; gas connection; 6in A-frame and chassis with 2in raiser; external speakers and entertainment; checkerplate all-round; extra external lighting; gal step; four-arm rear bar; reversing camera; CNC-cut internal cabinetry; custom NextGen seating; metal-sided drawers; rolled edge benchtop with recessed stove
Price as shown
- $61,990 (on-road, Qld)
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The full test appears in Caravan World #552 July 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!