Review: New Age Big Red BR22CL

By: Cameron Officer, Photography by: Cameron Officer


big red New Age’s mid-range Big Red BR22CL big red
kitchen Plenty of bench space in the kitchenette kitchen
lounge seater Club lounge setting comfy and convenient lounge seater
digital organisation Digital organisation for every facility onboard digital organisation
bathroom Bathroom is bigger than you’d expect bathroom
bedroom Big Red’s bedroom is a quiet retreat bedroom
sleeping quarters His and hers wardrobes feature in the sleeping quarters sleeping quarters
box More storage in the form of a tread-plated tough box box
stairs Fold-away stairs ease access stairs
tough exterior This robust stone deflector is standard on the BR22CL tough exterior
IMG 3809 If you're a proud kiwi, these kangaroo stickers might make you uneasy IMG 3809

Space and practical features aplenty are on show in the New Age Big Red, more Kiwi caravanners should be hopping in its direction

Okay, let’s address the kangaroo in the corner—the big-boned boxing enthusiasts are all over the exterior panels of New Age’s mid-range Big Red BR22CL… in graphic form at least.

This 8.7m-long model from Australia’s prime mover in the caravan industry leaves you in no doubt as to its country of origin.

On this side of the Tassie, Auckland Motorhomes is continuing its representation run with the brand, based on an impressive start to the manufacturer’s foray into the Kiwi market.

While the Big Red is indeed big, it isn’t the biggest New Age tow-behind
on offer. It does, however, boast plenty of internal space, helped immeasurably by this particular 22-footer’s club lounge configuration.

But as far as practicality goes, the Big Red has plenty more tricks in the pouch so to speak.

Storage, storage, storage

IMG_3792

I can’t recall seeing so many individual storage cubbies in a caravan before. The amount of space behind cupboard doors in the New Age Big Red BR22CL is genuinely eyebrow-raising.

Just when you think you’ve spied every mini door, you find another, and then another.

In addition to the multitude of cubbies at head-height around the club lounge dining area (which can convert into a second sleeping area if required), the double bed up front is also surrounded by wardrobe space, augmented with further cupboards and drawers surrounding the fridge back outside the partition door that separates the kitchen and living room from the bed and bath spaces.

There are more cubbies in the bathroom, along with traditional vanity storage and open shelves as well. It’s in here that another of New Age’s selling-points—a clever wall-mounted front-loader washing machine designed exclusively for the manufacturer—sits out of the way, too.

In fact, having the washing machine on the wall illustrates nicely just how roomy everything is. You’re in no danger of banging a head or shoulder into the machine, despite
its location in the ‘smallest’ room in the caravan.

I haven’t even got to the kitchen yet, which features plenty of cupboard and drawer space, as you would expect, along with gas hob, microwave and a decently-proportioned fridge.

LED lighting (including tasteful recessed lights) throughout the living spaces enlivens a functional interior as well as providing an illumination outside.

Tough build

There is no such thing as a New Age caravan under-equipped for the rough stuff. The company prides itself on building living spaces atop chassis engineered for the sorts of terrain most Kiwis would baulk at the idea of travelling through with a caravan on the tow ball.Still, that great Aussie tradition of hardy off-road-ready product works well here, too, albeit with less dust and dingoes.

The winner of the 2016 CTIAV Business Awards ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ gong kits out the Big Red range with a durable extended A-frame, sharp-looking 15-inch alloy wheels, rocker-roller suspension, and a spare wheel mounted high up and out of the way of ground obstacles on an integrated rear light bar.

At the front is a roomy tread-plated tough box protected by a steel and mesh stone deflector. True off-road capable IRS suspension is available on larger New Age models.

Exterior features

IMG_3814

Unlike Australian market New Age caravans, the Kiwi distributor has dispensed with the corrugated wall effect for the exterior, opting for smooth sides instead, which play to the crowd on our side of the ditch.

We’ve heard that the Kiwi market move proved so popular, New Age’s domestic dealer network over in Oz has started asking when they can get a consignment of smooth-sided caravans from the factory, too.

Other exterior features include an integrated picnic table, double-glazed European-designed windows, external speakers for the audio system, an entry door equipped with a Holland Blind and, yes, of course, more storage cubbies.

As far as practical enhancements like these go, the Big Red BR22CL is designed more in the manner of a motorhome than a caravan.

Verdict

IMG_3813

New Age offers some serious caravanning options. The company’s name might be New Age but there’s nothing airy-fairy about their products. Engineered to withstand everything the Great Southern Land can throw at them, New Age caravans are starting to find homes in New Zealand, too.

The manufacturer’s robust dual axle XL-sized caravans appear to be uniformly of merit. And with its club lounge configuration and more storage cubbies than a community swimming pool changing room, the Big Red BR22CL definitely brings to market the metal to fit the mantle.

Big Red BR22CL specifications

Berths: 2-4 

Approx. overall length: 8775mm

Approx. overall height: 2820mm

Approx. overall width: 2500mm

Freshwater capacity: 140L

Grey water capacity: 110L

GTM: 3070kg

Price: $95,995 (as reviewed)

Pluses

  • Club lounge provides for fantastic extra living space
  • More storage space than you’ll conceivably know what to do with
  • Robust underbody will cope with any goat track you venture down

Minuses

  • Exterior kangaroo graphics might take a bit of getting used to if you’re a particularly proud Kiwi

For more information, call 09 294 6500 or visit here.

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