Wonderland RV XTR 1906: Review

By: Malcolm Street, Photography by: Malcolm Street


Your crew will stand out from the crowd in the offroad ready Wonderland RV Xtra 1906.

Hands up all those people who can remember when with a caravan external colour scheme, you could get any colour you liked as long as it was some shade of white? Actually, older readers might well remember the earlier finish of untreated aluminium.

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Well times have changed, if the very bright lime green of Wonderland RV’s XTR 1906 is any guide! Indeed, several of the Wonderland range is available in bright colours but there are less distinctive colour schemes available.In a way, the bright colour scheme is appropriate for this van because it’s a family layout, complete with bunk beds.

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The XTR 190 has an external body length of 6.0m (19ft 8in) which gives room for everyone. Given the ATM of 3500kg and the Tare mass of 2880kg, that also gives a good payload capacity of 620kg.

CNC CONSTRUCTION

Wonderland RV uses a timber frame for its caravan construction but a little differently, not the traditional Meranti timber method where butt jointed pieces of timber are stapled/glued together and then glued to ply timber lining. According to the Wonderland RV team that introduces a weakness in which the walls flex too much, which is why 19mm plywood sheet is used. Appropriate holes cut out using a CNC machine. Also, cable "trenches" are made for the 240V and 12V cabling. Where the four walls of the ply sheeting meet, tongue and slot joints are used all the way down the corners to give rigidity to the entire frame structure. It’s all covered by the bright green Dibond aluminium composite sheeting.

At floor level, a purpose cut one-piece sheet is used for rigidity. Wonderland knows that for holding the joints together, screws are stronger than staples, so keeps staple use to a minimum. For fitting the walls and floor to the chassis, bolts are used and for glueing the Stucco cladding to the frame/insulation, polyurethane is the adhesive used.

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OFFROAD CHASSIS

Forming up the hot-dipped galvanised chassis rails are 200x50mm (8in x 2in) trusses in a box section design. Up front, the drawbar rails are 150x50mm (6in x 2in) RHS. Fitted between the chassis rails are three freshwater tanks, one 95L forward of the axles, one 60L above the axles and one 95L tank behind the axle. In addition, one 100L grey water tank is fitted righ190A7380.jpgt at the rear. All are protected by alloy checkerplate.

Sixteen alloy wheels with 12in electric brakes are fitted to the Cruisemaster 4.4T airbag suspension and the air compressor is fitted forward of the front water tank. The airbag controls are located just inside the entry door in the seat base, thus easily accessible from the outside.

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DRAWBAR

There are, of course, the expected items on the drawbar like the DO35 hitch, handbrake, centrally mounted jockey wheel and two 9kg gas cylinders protected by a mesh stoneguard. In addition, there are two storage bins on either side of the drawbar both with slide-out trays. Also attached to the nearside bin and protected alloy checkerplate, is a small diesel tank for the Webasto diesel heater.

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INTERNAL LAYOUT

Getting a family layout into a 6.0m/19ft 8in van is a bit of a trick but that’s been achieved by placing the double bed across the front of the van and also by having a forward entry door. That leaves space in the middle of the van for a nearside L-shaped dining area and an offside kitchen bench. All that makes fitting the fore and aft bunk beds and bathroom in the rear, child’s play.

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Anyone with colour matching skills might be pleased to know that the external bright green has not been used inside as well. Instead, white is the somewhat dominant colour that is offset by the nutmeg shade of the upholstery. Certainly the bright white results in a very high level of naturally reflected light.

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Up front, the main bed measures 1.85x1.53m (6ft 1in x 5ft) and the bunks have a very respectable size of 1.85m x 0.71m (6ft 1in x 2ft 4in). Although this van has triple bunks, I’m fairly sure that a double could be ordered if required. Certainly a benefit of the double is that there is more headroom. In the bed fit-out everybody gets a Sirocco fan, reading light, power point and 12V/5V outlets.

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Although in the case of the front bed, the latter items are found at the base of the bed, along with a recessed compartment in lieu of any bedside shelving.

CATERING

In a van of this length, there has to be a compromise somewhere and that happens with a smaller kitchen bench. It includes all the necessary items for a happy chef, though, with a four-burner cooker, grill and oven, along with a stainless steel sink/drainer and a 190L two-way fridge. There isn’t a microwave but there is clearly a space where one would fit if needed. Benchtop working space isn’t great but the overall storage is with four overhead lockers (one being above the fridge), four drawers and two cupboards. In addition to the expected items, there is also a full-height pantry with three shelves.

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EASY DINING

Five people around the dining table is going to be a bit of a squeeze and whilst the footrest is a tempting seat, I suspect a couple of folding chairs will provide a more practical arrangement. In addition to the normal overhead lockers, nice touches around the dinette are the reading lights, a Sirocco fan and magazine pouches on the walls. Very handy when you want to tuck stuff away at meal times.

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ADJUSTABLE ABLUTIONS

A family of five really isn’t going to fit in the bathroom area but with a separate shower cubicle, a decent sized vanity cabinet complete with washbasin and cupboards and a cassette toilet, there’s certainly enough space for two to use the facility.

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Good ventilation is assured by two ceiling hatches and a small window. Just outside the bathroom, the full height cabinet can have shelves fitted or having hanging space with drawers below or in this case a front loading washing machine.

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THE BOTTOM LINE

The XTR 190 comes equipped for offroad travel and yet isn’t too long a van, something handy when travelling along heavily undulated tracks. It is certainly fit for a family, having all the little luxuries that ensure a comfortable lifestyle on (an off) the road.

HITS AND MISSES

PROS...

  • Family layout

  • Well set-up electrically

  • External storage capacity

  • Water tank capacity

  • Airbag suspension

CONS...

  • Small kitchen

  • Large heavy duty tow vehicle required

  • Care needed with loading

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

  • Overall length 8.5m (27ft 11in)
  • External body length 6m (19ft 8in)
  • External body width 2.5m (8ft 2in)
  • Travel height 3.12m (10ft 3in)
  • Internal height 1.98m (6ft 6in)
  • Tare 2880kg
  • ATM 3500kg
  • Payload 620kg
  • Ball weight 180kg

PRICE AS SHOWN

$129,630

MORE INFORMATION

To enquire about this caravan, please visit www.fivestarcaravans.com.au or phone (02) 4947 9999

 The full feature appeared in Caravan World #577. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!