Time to Roam Magazine Issue 12 - December/January 2015 - Page 28

| tried + tested caravan review BATTLE OF THE BUDGET BEATERS Competition at the entry level for compact caravans with ensuites is hotting up with the arrival of the Coromal Appeal Pros • Price • Build Quality • Simple clean design • Reputable company • Plenty of internal storage for the size of the caravan Cons • Potential lack of directional lighting inside • All exterior lights use incandescent bulbs. We could make all sorts of puns about the Coromal Appeal “appealing” to wider market. The fact is the latest compact ensuite caravan from the WA-based manufacturer really does inject a new level of competition in this already fiercely competitive part of the market. The Appeal is available in just three layouts; the largest a 21’ family van with bunks. With all three models in the range available for under $50,000 this pits it head-to-head with the hugely successful Jaycos Starcraft Series. At 18 feet in length, the AP554s is the smallest in the Appeal range. This single axle fixed roof caravan comes complete with a generous sized ensuite, queen bed, café dinette and reasonable kitchen area. Coromal has done a great job making use of a small space. Coromal Caravans have been around since the late 1970s and have been part of Fleetwood Corporation since 1999, the company also behind Windsor Caravans and Camec. Designed and manufactured on the west coast in the Perth suburb of Forrestfield, Coromal caravans have developed a good reputation for being one of the most stable and safe caravans to tow. The Appeal is no exception. Fully independent leaf spring suspension or “knee suspension” comes standard throughout the whole range. This limits the movement of the wheels, improves stability and minimises sway. Thanks to the fact that there is no through axle with this type of suspension, the Appeal gains a slightly higher ground clearance than similar caravans fitted with straight beam axles. In addition to the knee suspension, the AP554s is also fitted with 12 inch brake drums – giving the van greater braking capabilities than most other vans of this size which usually come with 10 inch drums. Still on the outside, the Appeal AP554s supports one 9kg gas bottle upon its four inch supagal A-frame. Looking underneath, the caravan is well supported by two six inch main chassis rails which run the full length of the body. The body of the Appeal gains its strength from its extruded aluminium frame together with its trademark ‘”Coromal Grey”cladded exterior. It’s important to note that unlike most other manufacturers, Coromal also bonds and rivets their internal wall and roof linings to the aluminium frame during construction. The front of the caravan is protected by a 600mm high black vinyl pebble guard. The front boot is a bit on the small side – to be expected though in a van of this size. It is lined with aluminium sheeting for increased durability. The Appeal AP554s also comes with a Carefree rollout awning and two 60L water tanks. I was a little surprised to find none of the external lights are LEDs. Not > continuead on page 30 Review by James Field Tried and Tested Coromal Appeal AP554s RRP $41,500 28 timetoroam.com.au