Adding to its already comprehensive range, Crusader has introduced the Weekend Warrior and I dare you to limit yourself to just using it on a Saturday or Sunday.

By Andrew Kennedy

Over our time we’ve had swags, tents, camper-trailers and rounding off with a couple of vans. As we ventured into the world of caravans quite a few years ago, our budget only extended so far so a new van was out of the question, until now.

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Crusader has introduced its Weekend Warrior aimed at first timers, although I reckon some of us ‘older’ caravanners would like this 18-ft (5.5m) van parked under our carport. Stepping up to a full-size caravan, although this one isn’t overly huge, would be easy. This a basic van with some well-appointed creature comforts that you obviously wouldn’t have in your tent or camper-trailer.

The simple fact that this van is designed and manufactured here in Australia, gives it a big tick for me. You have to love that it is built tough for our conditions, and having a factory backed warranty certainly helps. The van has a tare of 1880kg and an ATM of 2500kg, giving it an amazing payload for all our goodies and essentials as well as some additions down the track. Speaking of additions, this van doesn’t come with solar, however, the upside is that it is wired ready to whack one on top.

So let’s look at what it does come with.

Outside

You’ll see tandem axles with 15in alloy rims and light truck tyres, roll-out awning with black struts, 9kg gas bottle, 95-litre water tank topped off with LED lighting. There’s a pretty big tunnel boot that also houses a 100 AH battery. A roof-mounted reverse cycle air-conditioner is a nice addition with a roof-mounted TV antenna to top it off. The windows are tinted and double glazed, with flyscreens fitted all round to keep uninvited guests of the insect variety from joining you for tea.

Crusader Caravans has a fairly healthy attitude to engineering and safety requirements, the van not only looks strong, but I reckon it’s also manufactured strong. It was suggested to me when asked to look at it, that is was supposed to be a basic van; what you see is what you get kind of get up, although it really does have some luxurious elements.

Inside

Number one feature, no pun intended, would be the full-size ensuite with separate toilet, shower and ceramic vanity. C’mon lets face it, as campers we generally start out without a toilet and shower, unless it’s the porta-potti and solar bag in a spring up tent – the kind that usually takes forever to collapse. Moving up to van and having a roomy ensuite on board, and a nice one at that, you’ll never look back.

The cabinetry was well dressed and comes with easy glide drawer runners, not to mention a variety of designer colour schemes to chose from. There’s plenty of storage on-board with overhead cupboards fitted with soft operating door struts. I also like the fact that the cupboards are fitted with full width piano hinges, giving them extra strength.

The entertainment system includes an LCD TV and DVD combo as well as a Bluetooth CD/radio and there are 240V power points installed at convenient locations. LED lighting is fitted throughout, with a 12V socket at the table. Speaking of, the table is one of my favourites, with a café style setting. The four burner cooktop offers three gas hotplates and one electric, complete with grill, microwave, range hood and a 150-litre fridge/freezer.

Moving into the bedroom, there’s a comfy queen sized bed with an innerspring mattress, and I do mean comfy as I never pass up doing a mattress test. There is also a 10in bolster, extending the overall length of the bed, which does keep the ‘day’ area use down. When fully set up, the bed does make the floor area a little squeezy, but the overall comfort compensates for that.

Another nifty feature is the pigeon holes located at the bottom of the wardrobes. The addition provides an extra area for holding glasses, both the vision and the beverage variety, there’s even a 12V socket to charge your phone or other devices.

Now down to the important part, the price. The Weekend Warrior is a fairly priced unit at around $45,000 plus on road costs, each state will vary. Crusader have a lot of models to choose from, but I’d recommend looking at this one first.

Verdict

If it’s what you see is what you get, then I see something pretty good, in fact, very good. It handled well when towing and would suit not only folks that are starting out, but anyone that has been around for a while … even Weekend Warriors like me!

Pros

  • Tows well
  • Good size and features for the price

Cons

  • Limited room around bed when extended
  • Additions are limited, to keep overall price down

Specs

Interior length: 18-ft (5.5m)
Tare Weight: 1880kg
ATM: 2500kg
100 AH deep-cycle battery with 25W battery charger and solar panel provision
Front-mounted 9kg LPG bottle
95-litre water tank with electric water pump
One-piece hail resistant fibreglass roof
Fully insulated walls with checker plate cladded sides
80″ (2032mm) ceiling
Full ensuite with separate shower and ceramic bowl toilet
Reverse-cycle remote controlled Ibis air-conditioning
150-litre fridge/freezer with AES, cooktop and grill and microwave

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