AL-KO's Best Aussie Vans 2017: Roadstar Voyager Review

By: Michael Borg, Peter Quilty, Ron Moon, Malcolm Street


Deep within the details is where the Roadstar Voyager really shines.

Roadstar is an industry icon, having produced top quality vans in Australia for more than 38 years. Built with alloy frames and employing CNC machinery, Roadstar vans have stood the test of time. The Voyager presented at Best Aussie Vans is aimed at seasoned travellers who are seeking luxury appointments and a bit of rough road grunt without the premium price tag.

But does it have the touring credentials to impress the judges? Read on.

DETAILS, DETAILS

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The Voyager is just a great overall travelling package. It’s all upon an Australian-made SupaGal chassis and comes complete with AL-KO’s full offroad suspension, so you know the backbone is nice and strong right from the get-go. When compared to its direct competition, the AusRV Byfield model, it’s slightly lighter and a foot shorter, which could help give it a slight leg-up in the eyes of some. The Voyager is marketed as a semi offroad model, and while it’ll do its job with relative ease I would have liked to see less bits and bobs left vulnerable underneath the caravan and the addition of an offroad coupling as standard. In saying that, I was lucky enough to tow the Voyager extensively, and I was very impressed with how stable it felt on the road.

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Internally, you can feel the quality and see the attention to detail from the moment you step inside. The aesthetics are quite appealing, and the quality of the cabinetry is second to none. To me, it’s the sort of the van you could take exploring down the odd dirt road, and still have a really comfortable living space when you pull up at camp.  

A STRONG BASE

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With an internal length of 21-foot this Roadstar Voyager is just one of about 13 floorplans you can choose from in the Voyager range.

A full offroad design, 3mm aluminium clad composite panels make up the walls, and the front wall, roof and rear wall are built around a fully-welded alloy frame. The body rides on a fully galvanised chassis gusseted in places for even more strength, while the suspension is an AL-KO independent coil suspension with two shocks per wheel. It is rated at 3.5 tonne and the 16in alloy wheels are fitted with 12in brakes and offroad tyres.

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Inside the van, the cabinetry comprises a premium acrylic finish over a lightweight ply giving it a very classy look. The dinette and kitchen area are centrally located in this particular model with a four-burner stove and full-size oven and a 184L Thetford fridge amongst other high-end appliances. A good size ensuite takes up the back end of the van while a queen-size bed is found down the other end. Entertainment-wise there's a 24in HD TV along with a fusion stereo system.  

For when you are away from facilities the Voyager comes with a fair line up for off-the-grid living with a single 150W solar panel and a single 120Ah battery along with a couple of 95L tanks. This well made and presented van will have you living in comfort for days on end as you travel around the continent.

ATTAINABLE LUXURY

For those who desire a Roadstar caravan but don’t quite have the $130,000+ budget for the marque's flagship 'Sirius', the Voyager looks to be a good prospect.

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In fact, the van enjoys the same design philosophy, with a familiar front island bed, full width rear bathroom layout, as well as luxuries like metal-sided, soft closing drawers and lightweight ply cabinetry work.

The Voyager also offers a reasonable payload/Tare mass rating, not to mention rough road ability with its AL-KO Enduro suspension and good ground clearance. The battery/solar panel capacity doesn’t offer long term remote stay ability but short-term sojourns really aren’t going to be a problem at all.

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Inside, the kitchen bench area is well sized and not only offers all the expected cooking/washing up facilities but also a good benchtop area and drawer/cupboard space. The same can be said for the bathroom, which includes a shower and toilet facilities and a top loading washing machine.

BON VOYAGER

Roadstar Caravans’ semi-offroad Voyager is the consummate integration of a tough-as-nails armour with a smooth-as-butter interior.

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In terms of its external wrapping, the Voyager blends structurally strong Dibond panelling with a welded aluminium frame.

Sitting proudly under its sheathing are reliable underpinnings such as AL-KO Outback independent suspension, a SupaGal chassis made from premium BHP steel and heavy-duty offroad tyres. It certainly towed smoothly both on the road and over dirt tracks.

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On the inside, the Voyager blends ritzy elements like the premium acrylic finish to doors and drawers with architectural-style flick mixer taps. Not to mention soft-closing metal drawers to the kitchen, brushed aluminium premium griplock door and drawer handles, and brushed stainless powerpoints and switch covers.

I also appreciated the CNC designed and cut furniture with heavy-duty adjustable-cup hinges, and the all-ply cabinetry. Equally, I liked the glossy contrast between the woodgrain coloured overhead cupboards and beige doors.And then there’s the exclusivity of the flexible, instantly binding MS polymer adhesive sealant from Belgium, which increases the van’s resilience. Indeed, the end result is a flawless amalgamation of high attention to detail.

But the voyage (oops, Voyager) is only beginning…

You’d have to be ‘blind in one eye and not see out of the other’ to miss added touches – inside and out – like the 6ft 4in mattress (no need for a bolster), large front tunnel boot with lights, plus window protector and high-checkerplate at the front.

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And you can throw in large external access doors, marine hatches to all outside storage compartments, round-style recessed horizontal taillights, and an external entertainment box lined with marine carpet for good measure.

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Meanwhile, there are all the necessary mod cons in the bathroom and galley (I must say the commercial grade acrylic splashback is striking), and plenty of natural light and ventilation provided by a good-size hatch in both the kitchen and above the bed.

In-house entertainment is provided by a 24in HD LED TV, with built-in DVD player, and a Fusion stereo. And I did admire the dual brightness LED in the kitchen and vanity, 25mm-thick ply table and benchtops, and pull-down mesh screens and block-out blinds.

Bon Voyager…

Weights and measures

  • Overall length 8.55m (28ft 1in)
  • External body length 6.6m (21ft 8in)
  • External body width 2.5m (8ft 2in)
  • Travel height 3m (9ft 10in)
  • Internal height 1.94m (6ft 4in)
  • Tare 2580kg
  • ATM 3050kg
  • Ball weight 180kg

Price as shown

$85,780

The full feature appeared in Caravan World #570. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!