If you’re looking for a new escape machine, here’s a highlights tour of the Provincial Senator 22-foot off-road caravan.
Apartment living! While many Melbournians have possibly had enough of apartment living in the truest sense, Melbourne City Caravans is taking things a step further with its Provincial Senator model.
It’s got all the features that you’d expect in a domestic apartment situation but with the obvious advantage of taking it wherever you like. The Senator is an off-road van, primarily aimed at couples, be that a young family or older travellers where either group might need extra bed options as opposed to fixed as standard. There’s extra room by converting the club lounge!
And standard inclusions is where Provincial has endowed the caravan with as much as it can – with very few options required. In fact, that’s the Provincial benchmark, feature-packed, attention to detail, and quality – as standard.
So let’s have a flying tour of the Provincial Senator to see what that standard list extends to.
As an off-road van in 22-foot length and a GTM of 3250kg, you require strong underpinnings, and the Senator rides on an Australian 450-grade Supagal chassis. There is judicious use of checker plate to protect not only the lower body but the undercarriage as well, and that’s great for increased surety. Plus with water tank shielding – two fresh, one grey – a stone guard and front-end mudflaps the worst of the track debris is kept off the van. The suspension is one of the options you can make.
Both systems are rated to 3.5-tons and are independent, heavy-duty set-ups: Alpha Components X-Treme or Tuff Ride DRS, with both upgradeable to airbags, and both utilise twin shocks. Twin spare wheels out back compliment the 265/75/R16 all-terrain tyres used. A Camec Sway Control (CSC) system is another standard feature.
There’s a ton of storage options around the exterior bodywork, with twin tunnel boots and dual slide-outs. The first slide-out can hold a Weber Q 2000 BBQ, while the gennie slide-out can accommodate a Briggs & Stratton 2.4Kva or a Honda version up to 3.0Kva. There are another pair of slimline toolboxes on the chassis.
So, back to the apartment. As we said, as a couple’s van, the Senator creates living spaces that can be separated so that either or both of the occupants can make great use of the 22-foot van. It’s a rear-door entry that leads straight into a club lounge, while the bedroom is up the front end and separated by a sliding door. Outside that door, and beyond the kitchen, is the ensuite. The ensuite is centrally located and, as an option can also be split to separate further the toilet area if you wish. Otherwise, it’s one room.
Having these levels of separation means that the two usual travellers can spend time in the lounge or the bedroom if one or the other wants to read, stay up late and watch TV or read or indeed sleep in if you’ve had a long day or a late night. Plus, if you do use the lounge as guest accommodation, the main queen bedroom is a private option.
Now, while there’s only one model of Senator, you can personalise the fixtures and fittings in terms of colours and materials, etc. You can choose black or chrome tapware as a no-cost option and whether you have matte, gloss or anti-fingerprint cupboard finishes, while woodgrain and black elsewhere is an upgrade. The lounge is leather.
The kitchen and its multitude of storage options provide the backdrop as you pass through the van, with everything falling neatly to hand like the stereo head unit just above your eye line over the benchtop, a nice touch.
A full oven, microwave, sliding pantry, washing machine, choice of two or three-way Dometic fridge, rangehood and Harrier Lite roof-mounted aircon are just some of the convenience and comfort features installed. Two 120 Ah AGM house batteries handle the 12v power under the control of a Redarc Manager 30 BMS and twin 170-watt solar panels on the roof are standard items, too.
As we mentioned, there are few options above the plentiful standard lists, but the biggest option is quite significant. You can specify the Senator in either a composite panel build or traditional aluminium exterior and either an angled leading profile or again, a more traditional shape.
And that’s the highlights tour. There is plenty on offer in this Provincial Senator, and it’s quite a swag when you look at the price of $84,500. As some of the cost options are in the ‘nice to have’ category, as opposed to essentials, then that price is not going to change too much.
Provincial terms its range of vans as ‘affordable luxury’ so if the Senator ticks your boxes, then you’ll have to pop along or online to Melbourne City Caravans to see how it meets your budget.
Body length: 6860mm
Travel length: 9300mm
Internal height: 1990mm
Travel height: 3100mm
External width: 2350mm
Towball weight: 250kg
Warranty: Five years nationwide, three-tier warranty; 0ne-year manufacturer warranty followed by one-year structural warranty plus extended warranty.
For more information about Melbourne City Caravans and the range, click here