Are carbon fibre caravans the way of the future?

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Zone RV carbon fibre caravan
The Zone RV Summit Series range is made from carbon fibre.

With grey nomads and other caravanners constantly looking for ways to reduce the weight of their rigs while not compromising on strength, some in the industry are hailing carbon fibre as the next big thing.

Sunshine Coast company, Zone RV, certainly sees it as the way forward and has just sold what is believed to be Australia’s most expensive caravan at a whopping $220,000.

Four one-piece fibreglass composite panels make up the floor, roof and side walls and state-of-the-art bonding technology means there are no screws, rivets or fasteners.

The Weekly Times newspaper says that the van – complete with remote controlled airbag self-levelling function, lithum-ion battery fed by a 1kW solar system, and a smart wiring system which can control lights and all functions via an iPad – is the Rolls-Royce of rigs.

“We see more and more people coming to us and saying ‘I paid 80 or 90 grand for a caravan and it fell apart’,” Zone RV director Matt Johns told. “There are some young families … the majority is the retiring Baby Boomer that are going to buy a van to live in and that’s justification of the price tag.”

At this stage, Zone RV is believed to be the only caravan manufacturer in the world building with carbon fibre.

“Everyone has been building the same type of caravan for 60 years,” Mr Johns told the Weekly Times. “The industry hasn’t evolved and people have got to a point and are spending their money and going ‘I actually want something better than that’.”

Next year, Zone RV will produce about 150 bespoke caravans with an average price of $145,000 – including 12 of the carbon fibre Summit Series.

  • How do you get the balance right between getting a high-quality van and not busting your budget? Comment below.

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12 Responses to Are carbon fibre caravans the way of the future?

  1. Can that front window be opened without rolling out the awning?

  2. We travel full time in our 22 year old van and Toyota 80 series Land Cruiser. We may not have all the luxuries but we didn’t spend the equivalent of half a house to hit the road. Funny thing is, nearly every caravanner with a big flash caravan I see at a park uses park facilities and their toilet/shower for storage….go figure.

  3. Too rich for our blood will stay with our trusty and reliable motorhome.

  4. I’d have to sell the house, wife, kids and dog to afford that!

  5. They sound and look a really nice unit so will put one on order. Should have enough in the wallet 🙁

  6. I purchased a DIY kit for a 21 ft van of these guys in Jan 2015.
    They supplied the fibreglass panels, cut to my design, sourced the windows and doors and supplied the moulded nose cone. The kit came with all extrusions and adhesives to build my own van.
    Their service was fantastic. The vans they are now building are QUALITY and are defiantly work a look, if quality is important.
    I have seen the vans they are now building and am really impressed.
    My experience with Zone RV has been outstanding.
    I would recommend that they are considered if you are looking for a quality van.

  7. With a price tag of $220,000, their is no mention of improving the aerodynamics to the back of the van to reduce the drag on the flat back.
    Their are products like AIRTABS that reduce the vacuum.
    For that money all the bells and whistles need to be included.

  8. Certainly carbon fibre is very strong and light and could definitely have a future in caravan construction.
    However, it is not without its problems either, and I will be looking on with interest on how these first vans go before making judgement.
    A major hurdle is the cost. It is not a cheap material to work with and to be done properly, really needs an autoclave to take full advantage of its properties. It is not a simple layup job like fibreglass unless you want a half baked effort. An autoclave of a size to make panels this size is expensive and also costly to run so probably why the finished cost is so high.

  9. Its a bit like me and the cook, just sold our luxury waterfront home on the ocean with all the bells and whistles because we are more happy in our 2006 golf and old 100 series on some creek bank with a couple of other like minded people.Its not the car or caravan that makes any difference its the company and the way you look at things.Money does not buy happiness. Stevo.

  10. We just love our 100 series cruiser and coromal princeton van, especially since we changed the l shape dining to 2 swivel / recliner chairs.
    The van has all the mod cons but of course it does not display the modern interior decor as the new vans.
    Johnnie

    • Hi Johnnie, Could you possibly PM me about how you did this as We also would love swivel chairs. How do you fix the holes from previous lounge and what about the flooring under lounge etc. Thanks mate Laurie

  11. Does not impress me.
    Fangle dangle carbon fibre wahoo technology huge price tag
    It will still fall apart.
    Anything modern and hi tech these days falls apart quicker than anything built 20 30 or 40 years ago.

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