Caravan review: Camplite 21BHS

By: Peta Stavelli

Camplite 21BHS Camplite 21BHS
Camplite 21BHS Camplite 21BHS
Camplite 21BHS Camplite 21BHS
Camplite 21BHS This leather-look lounge converts to another bed. Camplite 21BHS
Camplite 21BHS Camplite 21BHS
Camplite 21BHS Camplite 21BHS
Camplite 21BHS The six-berth 21BHS offers a generous double bed as well as bunks. Camplite 21BHS
Camplite 21BHS Neutral interiors provide a canvas for personal touches. Camplite 21BHS
Camplite 21BHS Camplite 21BHS
Camplite 21BHS Camplite 21BHS
Camplite 21BHS Camplite 21BHS

I'll make no secret of it: I love the Camplite series of ultra-lightweight caravans with their retro design and up-to-the-minute construction.

The Camplite is like no other vehicle currently on the market in New Zealand. First up, these vehicles come with a choice of up to 14 exterior colours, so you can choose from a wide range of metallic finishes, including a delightful azure blue (featured), silver, and champagne; or brights, such as yellow, red, orange, and a very cool cherry brandy. Camplite _specs

The interiors are also stylish with ultra-white ceilings, and a choice of 14 interior colours, plus the choice of maple or cherry cabinetry matched with champagne walls. I have previously voiced my preference for manufacturers to return to offering off-white walls as I believe these create easier-to-personalise-and-live-with small spaces. I also love the retro look of the Camplite's aerodynamic exterior. These look seriously old-school cool — reminiscent of the perennially-stylish Airstream.

But the benefits of owning a Camplite go way beyond the superficial. The lightweight aluminium construction is 98-percent recyclable. This is likely a claim few current manufacturers could make, and Camplite's manufacturer, LivinLite, makes a great deal of this point of difference pointing out that wood equals rot and steel equals rust.

implistic this may be, but the tubular aluminium chassis and framing used for the aluminium walls and cabinetry is both strong and extremely lightweight. And the interlocking aluminium flooring is both practical and stylish, and adds to the vehicle's overall appeal.

And far from looking or feeling like life in a tin can, the flush finish composite wood cupboards and doors look warm and inviting. I believe LivinLite has got this blend absolutely right, and predict it will have special appeal to the emerging younger demographic increasingly making up the numbers of the RV community. These are the lovers of mid-century modern, otherwise known as retro, the period of design which stretches from the 1950s to the '70s — a period that has spawned a whole new industry of shops and replicas.

It's this generation that is currently reinvigorating the RV community as they begin to introduce their families to the caravan holiday experiences they enjoyed when growing up. Let's face it — this is a generation increasingly faced with a near unattainable dream of home ownership — and for whom the option of owning a bach is therefore naturally excluded.

But who needs a bach, trapping the owner to a time and place, when the world of mobile homes offers the owner endless new horizons? Recognising this, Camplite offers the four-berth family 'van with twin bunk beds.

Gauging the appeal of the Camplite is relatively easy when you look to the parent company's status as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the United States of America. Meanwhile, Camplite was voted the number one ultra-weight travel trailer by an independent consumer guide in November 2012.

Camplite _21BHS_10


Will it enjoy the same broad appeal to Kiwi buyers? New Zealand stockists Mal and Alisha Brady, from On the Way RV, believe so. Their first limited shipment sold out quickly and they headed off to the USA on another buying mission, returning with the current new models, which include a solid-walled trailer with natty fold-down extension and vehicles with multiple floor plans from 13-foot to 21-foot. The smaller versions offer the advantage of also using more compact tow vehicles.

Many of these have slide-outs. All have bathrooms. And the dry bathroom with good-sized shower is another stand-out feature. Likewise the galley options in both the four-berth 21RBS with generous island bed and leather-look lounge which converts to another double bed. The 21BHS offers the same length, weight, and overall amenities with the bunk beds, which brings the sleeping capacity to six, with multiple storage options to match the number and diversity of the occupants. The BHS really is family friendly and the children will love having their own separate space.

These total offerings in a lightweight (2268kg), 6.4-metre 'van make for these vehicles a very tasty option for new caravan buyers looking for an easy-to-tow, self-contained vehicle, with New Zealand approved appliances and insulated walls ready for on (and off) the road for all season touring.

For more information contact On the Way RV on (07) 574 9594

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