This Galaxy Nemesis is rugged and good looking with plenty of hidden attributes as well!
Words & images Mark Allen
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Having a good strong mate, buddy or friend tagging along while travelling our great brown land provides security, companionship and safety in more ways than one.
Hitching a Nemesis off-road caravan by Galaxy Caravans to your tow tug is one sure way of feeling all those positive effects of having a reliable partner along for the ride. The Nemesis is a ‘ground-up’ dedicated off-roader that should get you there and back with plenty of comfort thrown in. I hitched this 22-footer up to my own Troopcarrier to tow it to our photographic destination, and while it wasn’t thousands of kays along vehicle-destroying corrugated back tracks, the very first thing I noticed about it was the lack of ‘lurching’ that some other independently-sprung caravans (and camper-trailers, for that matter) exhibit.
Not swaying, not pitching or yawing… but lurching – left and right side of van tilting up and down while travelling in a straight line. This effect is almost always caused by ineffective shock absorbers (type or positioning) failing to do their job of controlling the suspension.
Given this van has coil springs, that shock absorber or dampening job is absolutely paramount compared to the lesser needs of leaf springs that have inherent dampening effects with interleaf rubbing. My excited and eager-to-inspect dive under the Nemesis revealed the impressively-designed and manufactured G&S Chassis, to which was attached its own version of tandem, independent, coil, trailing-arm suspension – the Control Rider system which (amongst other attributes) features almost-upright dual shock absorbers.
Now, this one design feature goes a long way to helping those poor shockies do their job successfully, rather than angling them over to such a degree that they simply can’t work effectively with subsequent caravan ‘lurching’. Full marks, G&S. I love your work!
Combining suspension greasing points, camber adjustment and lower shock mounting positions devoid of low-hanging Mother Earth catching components, plus massive 12-inch electric drum brakes, and a dedicated high-strength Supergal chassis with a six-inch A-frame with Vehicle Components DO35 (3.5-tonne) off-road coupling and (potentially) life-saving Dexter sway control. I reckon this chassis/suspension/hitch/brake combo is top-notch and would perform well following any tow vehicle.
Casting your peepers around this van you simply can’t help but be impressed by the ‘Pimp My Ride’ look with the use of black checker plate, grey Stucco aluminium cladding and blue-coloured highlights on mudguard extensions and signage; along with black alloy rims with chunky off-road LT265/75R16 rubber. No, the ‘looks’ don’t make the van perform better; they just make the whole package look damn cool and stand it apart from the chock-a-block ‘white with black highlights’ mob. Even utilising front and rear high-mounted LED lightbars to help illuminate reversing manoeuvres and tool box scrounging is a great addition and a change from the norm.
My only negative thoughts on the exterior concern the width (or rather lack of width) of the front stone guard; it’s simply not wide enough to deflect errant stones from tow vehicle wheels to the outer edges of the van. Sure, it protects the dual 9kg LPG bottles and the front-mounted black aluminium storage box, but there is at least two hand spans of unprotected caravan (on each side) just waiting for a beating on your first dirt track encounter.
Another nice colour-coded touch is the black-framed, silver-topped material side awning under which there are Euro-style double-glazed dark tinted windows rounding out a very modern, tough and go-get-’em appearance.
A Dexter sway control unit helps keep unwanted oscillations (from side winds, overtaking trucks or poor road conditions) from getting out of control. Systems such as this make for a potentially safer travelling experience for all concerned.
Stepping inside the Galaxy Nemesis, everything turns from butch to soft in the blink of an eye – so much so that it’s akin to swapping from swillin’ on a VB can to popping a champagne bottle. Gentle blue hues on the kitchen splashback, crisp whites and creams on walls and ceiling, combined with chocolate cabinetry doors… chocolate goes with beer and champagne, doesn’t it?
While my colour descriptions may be a little off, the insides of this Nemesis van create an opulent home on wheels that’ll see even the most discerning occupant relaxing regardless of the outside environment: In the middle of the harsh scrub, perched on a sand dune along the coast or even in the freezing conditions of Tassie.
Having a fully-insulated van with the Belair reverse-cycle air-conditioner combined with a ‘four seasons’ hatch, plus microwave, full oven and cooktop, allows for comfort few can improve on. Lazing on the leather lounge or the inner-spring mattress will deliver a well-deserved respite from the hard slog you’ve undertaken to get to your remote off-grid location.
Once you’ve rested, there’s the option of a hot shower and even throwing your dirty laundry into the built-in 4kg Camec washing machine, as well as selecting cold food and drinks from the large upright Waeco 12/24/240-volt compressor-driven fridge. Having two 95-litre water tanks, separate grey water tank, three 120-Amp AGM batteries, three 150-Watt solar panels, a 28-litre gas hot water system, and two 9kg LPG bottles, you can be assured of a comfortable and lengthy trackside stop without external power input… especially with those large solar panels doing their thing to keep reserve levels topped up.
Plenty of storage drawers, cupboards and underbed compartments allow for your gear to be safely stowed, plus the fold-down oven top/bench lid returns a little extra table top area should you not be using the oven or cooktop; otherwise bench space is a little lacking if that cooking service is in use. A huge roll-out pantry slides out next to the fridge and is a beaut system to easily access a heap of food.
Keeping check of all your van’s vitals (power and water levels) is achieved via a bank of gauges inside one of the higher mounted doors just next to the all-encompassing stereo system which pumps out the tunes for the radio and TV (both inside and out, with the waterproof marine speakers mounted up high). While we’re jabbering on about electrics, Galaxy has taken it upon itself to ensure no-one is left in the dark with its Nemesis van: Front, side and rear mounted LED bar and strip lights should allow for one hell of a light area outside, while the inside is fully covered via ceiling, under-cabinet and bedside reading lamps – I reckon you can never have too many lights while out camping!
All up, the Galaxy Nemesis returns an excellent combination of tough good looks and practical mechanicals with an excellent suspension system – along with a superbly comfortable interior built for two to allow for travel wherever your whims dictate. As for the external colour combination… while that’s a personal thing, I reckon it looks the goods and it’s something I’d be comfortable with, without being too lary.
The Nemesis offers excellent off-road abilities via its real-deal suspension while returning pure comfort and extended off-grid living. Thumbs up for the colour coding, but that’s all personal taste…
Body length: Internal cabin 21’ or 6.4m; external cabin length 22’ or 6.7m.
Body width: 7’8” or 2.34m (not including roll-out awning).
Tare weight: 2866kg
Price as tested: $78,900
- G&S Comfort Ride coil spring suspension.
- Dexter sway control.
- DO35 off-road hitch.
- Large triple battery bank.
- Large triple solar panel system.
- Luxurious interior.
- Front stone guard is not wide enough to protect front of van – an easy fix.
- Front storage boot could be made much wider.