Evernew E900i Series Video Review
All Evernew caravans are tough, but the respected Melbourne caravan maker’s first smooth-sided offroader in 53 years is even tougher.
The 5.3m (17ft 4in) E900i Series single-axle van that we sampled was the first production van that Evernew has built in 53 years that has smooth, aluminium exterior cladding over a Meranti timber frame, whereas ribbed aluminium has been applied to all previous models.
Nothing new here, you might think. Modern caravans now come in many colours and cladding types. However, to meet Evernew’s demanding 30-year standard, the aluminium outer skin of the composite that Evernew uses is 4mm thick, making it an important strengthening feature of this offroader, compared with the more common 3mm aluminium.
The composite sheets are also joined no more than 3m apart to allow for expansion. The result is a weight penalty of around 30kg on the review van over ribbed aluminium, but that is arguably inconsequential in a caravan weighing 2t.
Evernew is reluctant to call its new composite walls stronger, or longer lasting than traditional ribbed cladding, instead acknowledging that many of today’s buyers prefer the smooth, more modern look, and that the company is catering for these buyers in a very ‘Evernew’ way.
But don’t expect to see bright yellow, red or blue Evernews any day soon. Satin silver and white are the only two composite colours currently on offer.
In addition to the hail-resistant cladding, beefier underpinnings and standard big brakes, wheels and Cruisemaster suspension, Evernew has also added additional stone protection to its new offroader.
It starts up front with a truck-mesh stone shield ahead of the van’s twin gas cylinders and jerry cans. For practical reasons, the shield is attached to its tubular steel frame by special fasteners, allowing it to be easily removed for cleaning or replacement after a hard offroad trip.
The front of the Evernew is also well protected from any stones that get past this first line of defence by checkerplate that covers the van’s flat front panel while further back additional checkerplate protects the A-frame tap, the aluminium drop-down step, the drop jacks and the rear under-floor plumbing.
In lieu of a front boot, the van has a huge full tunnel storage area – one of the largest and most useable I have ever seen on a caravan. It fits in well with Evernew’s philosophy of giving its customers a minimum of 600kg of payload, conscious that many will spend weeks or months on or off the road and will, therefore, need to carry more gear.
However, I did notice some black overspray on the inside of the nearside hatch cover, while the checkerplate shield for the tap had an unacceptably sharp edge.
Evernew E900i Series Specs
Weights and measures
- Overall length 7.31m (24ft)
- External body length 5.3m (17ft 4in)
- External body width 2.4m (7ft 10in)
- Travel height 2.92m (9ft 7in)
- Internal height 1.96m (6ft 5in)
- Tare 1960kg
- ATM 2600kg
- Ball weight 170kg
- Frame Meranti (front, rear and sides); Oregon (roof)
- Cladding Heavy-duty 4mm aluminium composite panel
- Chassis 150x50mm G&S hot-dipped galvanised
- Suspension Cruisemaster XT
- Brakes 12in electric drum
- Wheels 16in alloy with 265/75 R16 General Grabber tyres
- Water 2x95L
- Battery 1x120Ah deep cycle
- Solar 1x150W monocrystalline
- Air-conditioner Aircommand Ibis 3 reverse-cycle
- Gas 2x9kg
- Sway control Dexter Sway Control
- Cooking Swift 500 Series four-burner cooktop with grill
- Fridge 190L Dometic RMD8551
- Microwave Camec 800W
- Toilet Thetford C263 china bowl and cassette
- Shower Full-height moulded fibreglass
- Lighting LED
- Hot water Swift gas/electric (stainless steel tank)
- Hitch-Ezy 5t offroad coupling ($300)
Price as shown
The full test appears in Caravan World #555 October 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!