Regent Cruiser 22 Review

CRUISING IN STYLE

Living space in any caravan or motorhome has its restrictions, but Malcolm Street discovers that a slide-out fitted into a caravan, like a Regent Cruiser adds a whole new dimension to the layout.

Here in New Zealand, slide-out fitted caravans and motorhomes are not as commonplace as, say, the USA, where rigs with two or even three slide-outs are often seen. So it was with interest that I reviewed a Regent Cruiser 22ft. Imported into New Zealand by Vanari Caravans, there are three different models in Regent’s Cruiser range, all with slide-outs, the 22ft being the longest.

From the outside, the Cruiser 22ft is a slick looking caravan indeed – but I’ll get to that in a moment. Stepping aboard through the front habitation door reveals a spacious layout, even with the slide-out closed up. It’s tempting to sit down in the front club lounge and relax, but locating the switch to open the slide-out means the layout can be better appreciated.

LAYOUT

The general layout splits neatly into four. The first section holds the front lounge, the second a split kitchen, the third the bedroom area with the bedhead firmly fitted into the slide-out, and the fourth area a full width bathroom across the rear of the caravan. The slide-out has to be open, at least partially, to gain access to the bathroom. The layout is nicely proportioned and the bedroom and bathroom can be curtained off from the rest of the caravan.

The general colour scheme is mostly glossy white and grey with a few touches of black here and there. The solid cabinetry is manufactured from solid plywood, CNC machine cut, and generally speaking, it all fits together very nicely.

RELAX

As I noted above, the leather upholstered front club lounge is a great place to chill out. With the multi movement table in position, four people can sit comfortably but for only two there’s plenty of room to stretch out. If needed the table can easily be dropped down and the lounge turned into a bed.

Overhead lockers are fitted all round, and the clam shell handles are easy to use. Plenty of windows give a great view of the happenings outside and with the big roof hatch above, there’s no shortage of light and ventilation. When evening comes, there’s no lessening of available light either. In fact, it’s multiple choice – a strip light under the overhead lockers, two reading lights, two ceiling lights and the inbuilt lighting of the roof hatch. Lighting for all occasions – and that’s just the club lounge!

The lounge has plenty of windows, making for a very relaxing space to wind down

EAT & DRINK

Split across the aisle, the nearside bench is fitted out with a Mobicool four burner hob, grill and oven that’s adjacent to a fairly large square sink. The hob does come with a flush lid, which helps since there isn’t a great deal of benchtop space otherwise. In addition to the three overhead lockers, there are a couple of cupboards and a cutlery drawer.

On the opposite side, the second kitchen bench has a generous array of drawers and it’s also the location for an under-bench NCE microwave oven, Regent obviously opting for that rather than the often height-challenging overhead locker area. Adjacent to the bench is a full height pantry with a triple array of slide-out wire baskets; next to that is the final kitchen essential, a Dometic RUA6408X 188 litre three- way fridge. A two-door model, there’s plenty of fridge and freezer capacity. Not really a kitchen item but useful for the cook, a Smart TV is mounted on the pantry cabinet which can also easily be seen from the front club lounge.

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The kitchen bench area is relatively small but well-appointed and tidy

DREAMTIME

Using the slide-out for the 1850mm x 1530mm bed is an idea that works well. A caravan queen-sized bed like this definitely takes up space, but there’s easy access from both sides, and the walk around area at the base of the bed is good too. Each bed occupant gets a reading light, double 230V power point and USB socket. Three overhead lockers make this storage area slightly awkward to get at; however I did like the little storage compartments with hinged lids on either side at pillow level.

Facing the bed is a waist-high cabinet with four cupboards; on either side of that is a narrow wardrobe with a set of three drawers below. There’s certainly no shortage of general storage nor shelf space. Windows on either side of the caravan give a good cross flow of air.


ENSUITE

The Cruiser caravan is currently the flagship of the Regent range, and that shows everywhere, including the rear bathroom which has the expected features like the shower cubicle, Dometic cassette toilet and a classy looking vanity cabinet with its pedestal wash basin, cupboards, overhead lockers and mirror door cabinets where the mirror usually is. Like the rest of the caravan, the low-level lighting under the cabinets not only looks good but it’s very handy for night time trips to the loo!

EXTERIOR

Although imported to New Zealand from Australia, the Regent range is mostly built in China. The little clue is the narrower than usual width of 2400mm so that the vehicle can fit in a container. Composite walls with an integrated welded aluminium frame are used for the overall structure. The offside slide-out is the feature that requires a bit more strength in the offside wall. The roof, walls (32mm) and the floor (42mm) are all single piece items, thus having the dual effect of strength and minimising water leaks. The fibreglass mouldings that are used back and front create a stylish overall look, and the front window stone shield neatly integrates into the body line rather than looking like an add-on. Blum cantilever style hinges are used for the “bus door” on the front boot – an elegant feature that not only works well but looks good too.

In addition to the boot, there’s also a front tunnel storage. Fitted between the drawbar rails rather than mounted on them, the gas cylinders have a separate moulded cover which makes the cylinders easy to get on and off as required. The end result of all that is a very streamlined look to the front area.

The electric awning is standard, as is the external entertainment box and the picnic table. At the rear, the spare wheel mounting is integrated into the body moulding, rather than hanging off the rear bumper: a nice aesthetic touch. All the windows are double glazed acrylics, and the habitation door is very stylish, with an egg timer glass insert.

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Under the caravan, the 150mm RHS steel used for the drawbar and 100mm RHS steel for the main rails and the steel chassis have a Raptor coating for all round protection. AL-KO Independent Rubber Suspension (IRS) is fitted to the tandem axles. Alloy chequer plate-protected 95 litre water tanks are fitted on either side of the axles, and the slightly larger 100 litre grey tank is fitted towards the rear. Overall, the sub chassis area of the van looks clean, with all the pipework and cabling strapped up out of the way.

POWER AND WATER

In the electrical department, the Cruiser is fitted with a single 100AH lithium battery along with a 170W solar panel. If a second battery is required, there is a second battery box attached to the offside main rail. For monitoring and controlling the 12V power, there’s a Projecta PM300 battery management system. Inside, USB charger points are located everywhere, both in reading light mountings and some GPOs. For television viewers, a Smart TV and automatic satellite are supplied as standard. Those who enjoy extended remote stays will appreciate a minimal 12V load – lights, fan and portable device chargers and the three-way fridge on LP gas. There’s no hot water tank because the Fogatti LP gas heater is instantaneous.

HITTING THE ROAD

Vanari Caravans will supply the caravan ready to roll; that includes all the necessary power leads, water hoses, all on-road costs (three year WOF and one year rego), as well as the necessary certification like a Self-Containment Certificate and a New Zealand electrical WOF.

Having an external length of 7770mm, a tare mass of 2970kg and an ATM of 3500kg, the Cruiser 22ft is not small nor lightweight, so something like a Toyota LandCruiser would be the vehicle of choice. Double cab utes, despite having a 3500kg tow rating, also have a restrictive Gross Combined Mass (GCM) of circa 6000kg, so really aren’t in the picture for this sort of caravan. Generally speaking, the unladen van towed quite well and it was quite a relaxing drive, but it was occasionally twitchy in some undulating road conditions. When reversing, the 270-degree wireless camera is a very handy feature indeed, especially with a longer van.

SUMMARY

The Regent Cruiser is an impressive looking van, inside and out. It’s very striking, and the slide-out makes a considerable difference to the living. space. It also results in a very user-friendly layout that offers all the comforts of home in a very neat package.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Make & model: Regent Cruiser 22ft
  • Axles/suspension Tandem/AL-KO Independent Rubber

    FLOORPLAN
  • Berths 2
  • External length 7770mm
  • External width 2950mm
  • External height 2950mm
  • Fresh/grey water 2 x 95litre/100litre
  • LPG 2 x 9.0kg
  • Tare Mass 2970kg
  • Tow Ball Mass (at tare) 215kg
  • GVM 3500kg
  • Price (on road) NZ$110,000

 

 

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