This 2010 Paramount Classic proved itself a comfortable and trustworthy touring companion.
Paramount’s 2010 Classic is a comfortable touring van
There’s nothing like coastal caravanning. The ocean battering the cliffs and rocks, the white spray of the crashing waves, the cobalt sky. It’s just you and the road.
So when the opportunity to head off for a couple of days in this 2010 Paramount Classic, a couple’s van (though I was to sleep in it alone – my wife had other commitments), I decided to head straight down Victoria’s stunning west coast.
Van hitched up, I towed it along Melbourne’s Monash Freeway (always a stop-start affair), through the Domain Tunnel and over the West Gate Bridge. From there, it was an exceptionally smooth ride along the Geelong Freeway – and once I was accustomed to the weight behind the HiLux, at times it was like the Classic wasn’t there at all.
Our 2010 Paramount Classic was a 5.95m (19ft 6in) van sans bathroom. Because we were park-hopping along the Great Ocean Road, this was not a problem. In fact, I was glad to have the extra space and storage the lack of a bathroom affords. And in this Classic, storage is a highlight. The layout consists of a forward dinette, mid offside kitchen facing a tall bench on the nearside, and a rear bedroom.
Let’s start at the dinette. It’s comfortable and would easily seat four for dinner around the swivel table. Under the dinette lounge are six individual storage compartments. It’s worth noting that the individual high-density-foam seat cushions have their own solid base, so when you remove the cushion, you’ve immediate access to the cavity beneath. No more fiddling around with hinged ply bases.
There are a couple of multidirectional reading lights at the dinette, too, as well as a shelf along the front of the van. The dining area is surrounded by overhead lockers: three along the front, two either side. The forward lockers have tasteful, translucent inserts but no internal dividers (which is something I like to have, if only to keep my gear ordered). But these three lockers do have sturdy piano hinges for the doors. Curiously, they are the only ones in the entire van that have them.
The kitchen is set up with three drawers (without stoppers, so be careful when opening them) and one floor-level locker beneath them. There’s a deep cupboard under the sink which also hides the offside wheelbox, one drawer under the Spinflo cooktop and griller, as well as a small, three-shelf cupboard at the rear of the kitchen. A locker above the stainless steel rangehood is home to the powerpoint for the Daewoo microwave, which is fitted into the woodwork of the kitchen’s overhead cabinetry alongside a water-level indicator and a JVC stereo/DVD/MP3 player that’s connected to four DNA speakers.
Meal-prep room is limited to the closed cover of the cooktop or, if you’re happy to stoop a bit, the dinette table. Because of its height, the nearside bench isn’t suitable for making up a meal.
This bench stands 1.28m from the one-piece ply floor, due to the fact that a tall, 121L three-way Dometic fridge is built in, atop a floor locker. Along the wall, above this bench, is a shelf which, if you’re on the tall side, would be a handy place to keep your coffee mugs, etc. A Winegard jack, DVD point and powerpoint are also in this area.
Paramount has made complete use of the bench cabinet by fitting an array of deep cupboards with shelves. A final word on the nearside bench: rounded corners rather than the current square corners might be better, especially considering their height.
A timber bulkhead ‘separates’ the bedroom from the living areas (if you’re tall, watch your noggin!) and I can speak from experience that the innerspring mattress, which rests on a slatted timber base and measures 1.5x1.88m (5ft x 6ft 2in), is mighty comfortable. The storage space underneath is divided into a couple of compartments, the forward one with its own access door at the end of the bed. The bed itself is surrounded by overhead lockers, wardrobes with excellent hanging space, and bedside tables,
“Once I was accustomed to the weight behind the HiLux, at times it was like the Classic wasn’t there at all”
each with a drawer and cupboard. The ever-present diagonal cupboards at the foot of each side of the bed have three shelves.
The tinted windows each have timber pelmets, netting and full curtains. Lighting throughout comes via the aforementioned reading lights, three dome lights, and dedicated kitchen-bench lights. A couple of hatches (with pull-across flyscreen and block- out blind) do a good job of aiding natural light and ventilation, and the Dometic air-conditioner keeps things cool.
In terms of power, a switch on the offside wall allows you to toggle between 12V and 240V power.
The fully-insulated Classic is built on a 4in SupaGal chassis that has a 2in riser at the axles. The frame is meranti timber clad with aluminium. A padded vinyl
a short skirt of aluminium checkerplate runs the length of both sides. The alloy wheels of this dual-axle protected by galvanised sheet metal.
Other external items include the spare wheel THE BOTTOM LINE coastal and hinterland caravanning. You could and owners would be happiest within cooee of some form of civilisation. comfortable travelling companion.
Words Pics Max Taylor Stuart Grant
Above: Our 2010 Classic was a comfortable home-awayfrom-home. Right: Storage is a kitchen highlight.
The dinette will comfortably seat four for dinner; the 1.5x1.88m bed is very comfortable; bench space is somewhat limited but it’s a practical and functional kitchen. Clockwise from top:
Above: The Classic towed nicely behind the