Nova Pride Platinum 21-17F: Review
Once again, Nova Caravans do not disappoint, and their latest offering - the Pride Platinum 21-17F - is the epitome of style and luxury.
Melbourne’s Nova Caravans is very proud of its history in an industry where reputation and longevity are highly valued assets.
That’s why its 2016 caravan range, marking Nova’s 10th anniversary, is so important. It’s a statement of not only how far the company has come in this relatively short time, but where it sits today and where it’s going.
In this respect, Nova has led from the top in its new six-model range of touring and offroad caravans, and the latest Pride Platinum exemplifies what Nova wants to showcase about its products and its future.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
The first thing that struck me about the Pride Platinum is that it looks to be a bigger caravan than its actual dimensions. This is partly due to the external styling, seen on several of Nova’s models, which comprise striking horizontal bands along the vans’ flanks to make them look longer and lower.
All 2016 Pride Platinums embrace this theme, with lower black checkerplate stone protection along each side that contrasts with the white composite walls and fibreglass end panels. The black flashes along the vans’ sides incorporate the double-glazed side windows and the black acrylic front window stone shield.
While we have seen similar treatments on other vans, the Platinum manages to remain distinctive due, in part, to its tapered roofline and high-riding body, which sits high enough on its meaty 150x50mm galvanised Preston chassis to enhance its ability to travel off the beaten track, when required.
Probably the biggest surprise with the Pride Platinum is that, apart from its galvanised steel sheet-lined front boot, there’s very little other exterior storage space. The boot shares its space with the van’s two 100Ah batteries, but it might be better if these batteries were stored in a separate box that could be hung off the side of the chassis, as there is plenty of room forward of the tandem wheel-set for this.
There are external compartments either side of the offside slide-out, but the front one is fully occupied by the van’s Truma combined hot water and central heating system, while the other vented, galvanised locker at the rear is designed to house a generator – something many long-distance Pride travellers would want to carry.
My only comment here is that having another 23-28kg or so in this locker at the rear would take more weight off the Pride Platinum’s ball, which is a quite low 225kg at Tare.
A small, waist-high locker on the nearside houses a swivel arm and connections for a TV, and a drop-down picnic table is standard.
Given its extensive comforts, it is inside that most Pride Platinum owners will want to spend their time. You enter up front via a double pull-out step and a solid Dometic glass and security screen door to find a roomy caravan with an L-shaped kitchen across its nose.
The press of a button and a wait of around 25 seconds sees the slide-out add around 50 per cent to the space rearward.
Plenty of cupboards overhead and underneath the bench provide kitchen good storage for long travels, but you need to stoop to see through the front window, as the upper cupboards are at eye level, even for relative ‘shorties’ like this reviewer.
Further back, the double slide-out makes way for two separate seating areas. The curved, leather L-shaped lounge with its articulated dining table to the right of the door is capable of accommodating four at a pinch, while there’s a small two-seater opposite where a couple might choose to sit to watch the smaller of the Platinum’s two TV sets, housed over the kitchen bench near the entry door.
The second, large-screen TV rises vertically at the touch of a switch from a cabinet at the end of the transverse bed, but its location makes it impossible to view from the L-shaped lounge and difficult from the two-seater, as the bedroom is separated from the living area by robes either side.
THE WRAP UP
Whichever layout you choose, several things remain the same with the latest Pride Platinum; thanks, in part, to its new Al-Ko Enduro suspension, you get a stylish, well-built and well-equipped luxury touring caravan capable of taking the rough with the smooth.
HITS AND MISSES
- Style and presence
- Unsealed road capability
- Kitchen headroom
- Tight ensuite
- Lack of exterior storage space
NOVA PRIDE PLATINUM 21-17F SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 8.97m (29ft 5in)
- External body length 6.98m (22ft 11in)
- External body width 2.48m (8ft 2in)
- Travel height 2.93m (9ft 7in)
- Internal height 1.95m (6ft 5in)
- Tare 3099kg
- ATM 3499kg
- Ball weight 225kg
- Frame Timber
- Cladding Composite
- Chassis Preston 150x50mm galvanised steel
- Suspension Al-Ko Enduro Cross Country trailing arm independent with coil springs and dual telescopic shock absorbers per wheel
- Brakes Al-Ko 10in electric drum
- Wheels 15in alloy with 235/75-15 tyres
- Water 2x95L
- Battery 2x100Ah deep-cycle
- Solar 2x150W
- Air-conditioner Truma Aventa
- Gas 2x9kg
- Sway control Al-Ko ESC
- Cooking Swift 500 Series combo four-burner cooktop, grill, oven
- Fridge 223L Dometic RM4805 three-way AES
- Microwave Sphere
- Toilet Thetford cassette
- Shower Separate fibreglass cubicle
- Lighting LED
- Hot water Truma gas/electric, with combined internal gas heater
Price as shown
- $115,000 (on-road, Vic)
The full test appears in Caravan World #553 September 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!