Billabong Grove 22x: Review
Billabong's 10th anniversary Grove 22x is all class, with a stylish interior and a plethora of luxurious optional fittings.
The Campbellfield, Vic, manufacturer launched its 10th anniversary model – the Grove 22x – at the Victorian Caravan, Camping and Touring Supershow in late February.
Built off a base of the popular Grove range, the commemorative 7.23m (23ft 9in) Grove 22x comprises an extended ensuite, a large central club lounge and a modern kitchen. New LED strip lighting also gives the van an updated internal finish, ridding it of outdated wall-mounted lighting.
Indeed, the cutting-edge Grove 22x delivers a massive dose of luxury, and Billabong has pushed the boat out with a myriad of options fitted to the anniversary van.
Anyone who likes a bit of privacy will appreciate the concertina doors that close off the bedroom and ensuite. In contrast, Billabong has maximised open plan living in the dining area, which features an eye-catching white leather club lounge that’s sure to polarise opinions.
It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and I reckon it will set tongues wagging. But, needless to say, it has a dash of elegance. Keeping it clean will be the difficult part!
I was impressed with the well-positioned LED strip lighting throughout the van – above the bed, kitchen sink and club lounge, and in the ensuite. And an array of round downlights throughout the van completes the interior lighting suite.
Externally, the Grove 22x is just as contemporary as the interior. Its white aluminium composite armour looks great and, in addition to the larger external AV box, there’s a host of attributes on its exterior that enhance the travelling experience.
The extended A-frame has a Hyland hitch, a handy toolbox with a jerry can holder either side and two 9kg gas cylinders mounted ahead of the toolbox. The front window has a great stone shield for protection but, while they’re not always a feature on blacktop vans, I thought a stoneguard at the front would be a worthwhile inclusion from a safety perspective.
Additional external storage is provided by a full-width tunnel boot and outdoor entertainment comes via the marine-grade external speakers. There are also the requisite water tanks (two 95L with tank protectors), a Winegard digital antenna and a gas bayonet. At the rear is a straight, two-arm bumper bar mounted with the spare tyre. On the nearside, the 18in Dometic awning with black hardware blends nicely with the aesthetics of the blue and black decals.
Adjacent the lounge is a 184L Dometic three-way fridge-freezer and a full pantry with fixed shelves. Both ensure you won’t have to detour too often for supplies while journeying along the bitumen.
Directly opposite is a fully-equipped kitchen containing a Swift combo four-burner and gas oven, black glass rangehood and a Swift DLuxx microwave. Not only are the cupboards, with self-locking square handles and concealed Blum hinges, visually appealing in an opaque grey, they also offer abundant storage. And the small pull-out pantry is ideal for smaller food items.
There’s also a decent-sized sink with flick mixer tap and a ‘Winter Storm’ splashback that adds panache. And I really liked the effect created by the marble-look laminated benchtops.
The kitchen also has a mounted 24in TV with built-in DVD player, which can be viewed from the lounge area and complements another 24in TV/DVD combo mounted on the wall in the bedroom.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Billabong Grove 22x is an up-to-the-minute onroad tourer worth rejoicing.
Okay, it’ll set you back $85K… but it’s jam-packed full of options and oozes class with a capital ‘C’.
HITS AND MISSES
- Extended shower and ensuite
- Large AV box
- Upgraded cladding
- Elegant ‘white’ leather lounge
- No stone protector
- Cleaning the lounge
BILLABONG GROVE 22X SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 9.55m (31ft 4in)
- External body length 7.23m (23ft 9in)
- External body width 2.36m (7ft 9in)
- Travel height 3.1m (10ft 2in)
- Internal height 2.1m (6ft 11in)
- Tare 2801kg
- ATM 3201kg
- Ball weight 188kg
- Frame Meranti
- Cladding Aluminium composite
- Chassis G&S SupaGal 6in
- Suspension Leaf spring
- Brakes Al-Ko electric 12in
- Wheels Grabber AT2 265 and 16in Trooper Blue rims
- Water 2x95L
- Battery 1x120Ah AGM
- Solar 2x120W
- Air-conditioner Aircommand Ibis 3
- Gas 2x9kg
- Sway control Al-Ko ESC
- Cooking Swift four-burner combo and gas oven
- Fridge Dometic 184L three-way
- Microwave Swift Dluxx
- Toilet Thetford ceramic bowl
- Shower Fibreglass
- Lighting LED
- Hot water Suburban gas/electric 28L
- Extended A-frame
- Toolbox with two jerry can holders
- Hyland hitch
- Trooper Blue rims
- Blue/black decals
- 240V point
- TV point and 12V point in TV box
- White composite cladding with black checkerplate
- 2x120W solar panels with ProStar regulator
- Al-Ko ESC
- New Style furniture
- Black vinyl floor
- Concealed Blum hinges
- Leather upholstery
- Concertina door to bedroom and ensuite
- Full mirror in ensuite
- Two towel rails
- Full-height cupboard in bedroom
- Full oven
- Black glass rangehood
- Two 24in TVs with built-in DVD players;
- Larger shower
- LED strip lighting above bed, kitchen sink and club lounge, and in ensuite
- Drifter control panel
- Black glass powerpoints
Price as shown
- $85,000 (on-road, Vic)
The full test appears in Caravan World #554 October 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!