Elite Palliser Review

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: Bill Savidan


With the Elite Palliser, the options for customising are endless – but that’s only one of the caravan’s many attractions, discovers Bill Savidan

DSCF4220.jpg

The Elite Palliser is not a pretty caravan. It’s not meant to be. Rather, it is practical, rugged, honest and built with rough road or no road situations in mind. But not at the expense of creature comfort. And it is colourful. Not many caravans come in schoolboy blazer blue with charcoal checkerplate lower panels like those found on the Palliser.

In their brochure, Elite say they build ‘luxury custom’ and ‘off-road’ caravans, but the Palliser seems to be luxury, custom and off-road rolled into one.

elite palliser wardrobe
This wardrobe replaces the overhead lockers in the bedroom

Two separate slide-outs are its significant point of difference. A slide-out housing the bed extends 900mm from the rear of the caravan, while the club lounge slide-out extends 630mm from the driver’s side wall. These extensions don’t sound like much, but they make a huge difference to the usability of the caravan.

Separating the bedroom from the lounge/kitchen is an en suite arrangement of the toilet/vanity (driver’s side) and the shower stall (kerbside). This separation, made possible by the location of the twin slide-outs, will appeal to those who value their privacy. This privacy is reinforced by the solid wood sliding doors that close off the washroom from the lounge one side and the bedroom the other.

It’s worth noting that with both slide-outs retracted inboard, the caravan is still usable. There is still room to move through the lounge/kitchen without scraping your shins. The slide-out switches are conveniently located right beside the entrance.

Entry

As with all caravans built with off-road use in mind, the floor of the Palliser is high off the ground. Having a solid handrail and an electrically powered external double-step certainly makes it easier to get aboard. The two-piece habitation door features an inner Crimsafe insect screen door and a solid outer door.

Kitchen

L-shaped and full width across the front of the caravan, the kitchen is very large by RV standards. Crisply modern in appearance, it has black cabinetry below the benchtop, a predominantly white benchtop, black sink and tap against a backdrop of royal blue walls and pale grey overhead lockers.

Quite a different look

On its own at the front of the caravan, it is an extremely user-friendly kitchen. The 188-litre fridge-freezer in the corner may draw a bit of traffic during happy hour, but that shouldn’t interfere with the cook. Buyers can choose the fridge style they prefer, either three-way or compressor.

The Palliser features the ‘Black Pack’ option that has a black finish on the kitchen sink, the kitchen and washroom taps, the shower mixer, the shower hand-piece and hose. Both the handbasin and shower tray remain white.

In a move from the past, the benchtop covers the stove. A hinged section lifts clear when the four-hob cooktop is put to work. The stove, an Australian Swift brand, has a full-size oven and a separate grill.

A Swift LPG/230-volt powered 20-litre water heater supplies the hot water. It heats a tank-full from cold in around 20 minutes.

Lounge/dinette

Opposite the entrance, the ‘club seat’ (an Australian term, referred to in New Zealand as U-shaped) lounge offers generous seating for four. Upholstered with black faux leather, the seat backs are decorated with precise diamond pattern stitching. A dining table with a compression pedestal leg is permanently mounted in the ‘U’. The tabletop moves in all directions and can be locked in place. It forms the bed base when the dinette is converted to a bed.

elite palliser dinette
The club lounge offers comfortable seating for both dining and entertaining

A wide window beside the dinette enables diners to keep an eye on activities outside. A wall-mounted Sirocco three-speed 12- volt fan keeps the air moving in the heat of the day. There is a second Sirocco in the bedroom.

Beside the entrance is a bench-high cabinet that is home to the microwave and a clothes washer, as well as a pair of cupboards, a locker and a wine rack. However, I’m not sure how the bottles stay in the rack while the caravan is under way.

Entertainment is provided by a 24- inch smart TV and a radio/USB/AUX/ Bluetooth with four speakers, two inside and two out.

Washroom

Situated amidships, the washroom has the shower kerbside and the toilet/vanity opposite. Between is space su cient for use as a dressing room. Good storage options are available in the twin overhead lockers above the handbasin and the cupboards and shelves below. Placing the window high on the wall above the toilet retains privacy and security while providing both light and ventilation.

elite palliser bathroom
The mirror makes the spacious washroom look even bigger

Closing off the shower is a triple screen sliding door that sits on a very low sill. Tripping mishaps getting into and out of showers are not uncommon and this low sill should reduce the problem. Inside it ticks off all the important boxes. There’s room for showering manoeuvres, and shelves for soap, shampoo and other pampering products.

elite palliser shower
A tri-panel sliding door and very low sill provide easy access to the shower

Bedroom

With the slide-out retracted, it is difficult to get past the end of the queen-size bed. Extended, there is around a metre of clear space available. With a window on each wall and a hatch above, daytime light and ventilation are not a problem.

elite palliser bedroom
Extended, the slide-out creates a lot more room in the bedroom

Each side of the bed has its own ‘cuppa tea’ shelf along with a double power point, reading light and downlight. Although there are no overhead lockers, there is a floor-to-ceiling corner cupboard at the foot of the bed by way of compensation. If you need more space just lift the bed; there is quite a lot more underneath.

Out front and under

The truss-style hot dip galvanised steel chassis is very strong. Putting twin axles under it does raise the floor height. 16-inch alloy wheels with six-stud wheel spats are fitted to the running wheels. The spare is a steel wheel. Suspension is roller-rocker with shock absorbers and the brakes are 12-inch drum, electrically powered. A standard breakaway system is fitted. The 50mm ball hitch has a maximum ball load of 280kg. There is no rear bumper and the spare wheel is underslung between the chassis members at the rear of the RV.

elite palliser storage
An external rear hatch gives access to the space under the bed

Exterior

A tunnel locker across the front suits long items; fishing gear and poles. There is an external LPG/barbecue fitting adjacent. Under the awning are three exterior lights, and the grab handle has an internal blue LED light. Mounted in an alloy sleeve on the front of the caravan is a diesel tank for the heater. There’s an external cold water tap on the front chassis. A hot/cold shower is fitted on the driver's side rear, complete with an exterior light. Kerbside is a 5.7-metre long awning.

Elite palliser hitch
The heavy-duty ‘A’ frame has a standard 50mm hitch

Palliser wall and roof frames are built of meranti timber, a durable Australian hardwood. The roof cover is a single sheet of GRP and the wall cladding is a smooth, durable aluminium composite panel. The Palliser is ‘colour customisable’, meaning buyers choose their own exterior colour from 13-plus options available.

Set up to freedom camp

Two 170-watt solar panels feed 2 x 100a/h AGM batteries that supply the 2500-watt inverter along with the 12-volt power appliances. There is sufficient unused real estate on the roof to add up to four more 170-watt panels.

All power points in the Palliser run inverter power when the caravan is disconnected from the ‘grid’ and, when reconnected, switch back to grid power automatically. Two 95-litre fresh water tanks and one 95-litre grey water tank are standard and more can be added. Longer stays off-grid may require an additional toilet tank.

Palliser twin axel
Poised on twin axles and a single jockey wheel, the Palliser is a striking looking caravan

Options

The myriad ways you can customise your Elite Palliser Twin Slide caravan include: suspension, brake controllers, water tanks, entry steps, house batteries, battery management, inverter, front window protector, checker plate colour, exterior cladding, insulated floor, hatches, additional exterior lights, car trailer plug, solar panels, stove, fridge, entertainment centre, television and antenna, heater, 230-volt and USB points, hot water system, tapware and basins, colours inside and out, upholstery, mattress, front toolbox, outdoor kitchen, bike rack.

Elite palliser corners
Four sturdy corner steadies stabilise the Palliser when it is parked up

Summary

With its twin slide-outs, the Palliser is an extremely impressive caravan. Settled onsite with the slide-outs expanded, it provides the interior space of an extrawide 7.5-metre long caravan in a compact towed unit 6.55 metres in body length.

It has a practical layout that will find a ready audience among those who like private space when camping. And the variety of its option list should satisfy the most fastidious of buyers.

It doesn’t come cheap but then, as the Elite brochure says, "When it is simply luxury you want..."

Elite Palliser Floor plan.jpg

Elite Palliser specifications

Body length 

6550mm

Travel length 

8600mm

Width

2450mm

Height

2900mm

Side/rear slide-out movement mm 

630/900mm

Fresh/grey water 

2 x 95L/1 x 95L

GVW 

3500kg

Tare

2900kg*

Payload

600kg

*Adding to the Tare weight diminishes the payload by an equal amount

Price as reviewed: From $155,000

 

Pros

  • The slide-outs provide that extra room where it is needed. >
  • The layout allows for a separate bedroom.
  • The comprehensive range of options.
  • The great big kitchen.

Cons

  • None

For more information go to insideoutrv.co.nz

Find motorhomes, caravans and RVs for sale in NZ 

Keep up to date with news by signing up to nzmcd.co.nz's free newsletter or by liking us on Facebook