NextGen Greyline: Review

By: Malcolm Street, Photography by: Malcolm Street


With a design that incorporates a few compromises, the NextGen Greyline is a compact family van that packs in everything you need.

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When it comes to new caravans, things that are out of the ordinary catch your attention. In the RV world where the standard colour is white (often for good reasons), the NextGen Greyline I noticed at a show was, despite the name, bright green.

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On a practical level, it came to my attention because it was both a single-axle caravan and a bunk bed-fitted van. Which is very interesting in a van with an external length of just 4.95m (16ft 3in). That is something that might challenge the layout designers, not to mention the van’s users!

However, taking a look around the outside, a look under the caravan reveals a very solid-looking chassis indeed – 150mm (6in) drawbar and 100mm (4in) rails, along with 50mm (2in) cross members and similarly sized raisers. Independent suspension with trailing arms, coil springs and twin shock absorbers are fitted to the 16in alloy wheels.

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Both the fresh water tanks are fitted between the chassis rails forward of the axle, whilst the grey tank sits above and behind the wheels. Standing out somewhat because of the bright green colour (matching with the front and rear walls) are the scrub bars fitted to either. On the drawbar, two 9kg gas cylinders sit beside an alloy checkerplate storage box that could be used for something like a generator.

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In addition to the front storage box, there is both a conventional front boot and two tunnel storage bins (one right through) built into the aluminium composite body. In short, there’s no lack of capacity for all those camping essentials and this is definitely useful in a family van. The front boot in particular scores quite well because it contains the battery, charger, fuse panel and breakaway power supply but is still spacious.

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Double-glazed acrylic windows are fitted all around and the security screen door is a Camec item triple locker. For use under the Dometic awning, there’s a picnic table, two efficient LED external lights and two external speakers for the sound system.

LAYOUT

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So how does a layout designer get a family layout into a van this length? With a little bit of imagination and that other time honoured word in the caravan industry, compromise. The beds fit in by having the double bed across the front and the double bunk beds in the rear offside corner. That leaves space in the opposite corner by the entry door for a full-height wardrobe. Along the offside, the kitchen bench fits in between the shower cubicle, which butts up against the bunk beds and the front bed. On the opposite side the sideways-facing lounge and table fills the mid-wall area.

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General storage is going to be of interest to a family with four and there are storage cupboards and drawers fitted in all the appropriate places. Overhead lockers run right around the front bed area. The general colour scheme is very much the contemporary look in black, white and some grey. Roman blinds are fitted to all windows.

BEDROOM

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Getting out the tape measure reveals that the front east-west bed measures 1.88x1.53m (6ft 2in x 5ft) and the bunks each measure 1.83x0.66m (6ft x 2ft 2in), which should be adequate. If the adults wanted a longer bed, then a special order would see the storage compartment at the base of the bed removed and a longer mattress fitted. In keeping with modern trends, the bunks each come with their own window, powerpoint, 12V outlet and reading light.

KITCHEN

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To get everything into a van this size, the kitchen and lounge/dining area has to be compacted as much as possible. In the case of the kitchen, the three-burner cooktop, stainless steel sink and microwave oven are all of a standard size. However, the downsized item is the under-bench Dometic fridge. At 78L it’s going to contain the essentials, but a second fridge in the tow vehicle for cool drinks during summer might be a consideration. Seating at the dinette might be a bit of a trick for four people and a couple of small folding stools might be useful.

BATHROOM

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A combo bathroom in a van this size should not be a surprise at all. It comes complete with Thetford cassette toilet, flexible-hose shower and a small corner washbasin.

TOWING

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Certainly the Greyline was an easy towing van and the Holden Colorado ute I used had no trouble with the tow combination at all, both on freeway and bush track towing. A quick glance at the weight figures would suggest a Toyota Prado could be used with a fairly lightly loaded van. However, given the van’s payload of 300kg, there might be a temptation to load heavier items into the tow vehicle, which may well be fine but may also affect the vehicle GVM or tow combination GCM. Just a little something to keep in mind when selecting a tow vehicle.

THE BOTTOM LINE

With this van, the modern family is going to have to learn about confined space. At the same time though, this NextGen Greyline van has been designed for remote travel, so finding a few wide open spaces to run off energy should not be an issue.

Undoubtedly the benefit of a smaller bunk van is that, with a bit of careful loading, it may not require such a heavyweight tow vehicle. For a van with an external body length of 4.95m (16ft 3in), it’s quite impressive what has been fitted in and that includes the bunk beds.

HITS AND MISSES

Pros...

  • Family bunk van in a relatively short external length
  • Single axle for easier manoeuvrability
  • External storage capacity
  • Space usage
  • Internal overhead locker capacity

Cons...

  • Small dining area
  • Low capacity fridge
  • Limited payload for a family van
  • Scrub bar mounting bolts a bit minimal

Weights and measures

  • Overall length 7.29m (23ft 11in)
  • External body length 4.95m (16ft 3in)
  • External body width 2.44m (8ft)
  • Travel height 2.94m (9ft 8in)
  • Internal height 1.98m (6ft 6in)
  • Tare 2203kg
  • ATM 2503kg
  • Payload 300kg
  • Ball weight 50kg

Price as shown

$69,990 (tow away, Qld)

The full feature appeared in Caravan World #568. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!