Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations


Family caravans have become increasing­ly popular of late but in many cases, the size of the vans has been increasing too. Malcolm Street looks at a practical, innovative downsized alternativ­e.


Available through Nationwide RV in New Zealand, your first look at Titan Caravan’s Blackhawk 490 Bunk doesn’t really give much of a hint of being a family caravan. Stepping aboard, we get a look at what I reckon is quite a different sort of layout. First up, the 490 Bunk has a rear door entry. To the right of the door, as you enter is a kitchen bench, including the fridge across the rear wall. Across the front of the van is a transverse double bed. That leaves the space in the middle for double bunks on the offside, and a parallel lounge seat with a table on the opposite side.

Colour, lighting and ventilatio­n play a big part in the perception of space in a van interior like this one, and that’s done quite well. A light colour scheme helps, as do the large windows and a well-sized, centrally located roof hatch.

Across the front is a raised 2100mmx 1530mm double bed with windows on either side and a set of overhead lockers across the front wall. With a length of 1900mm, the bunk beds certainly have plenty of stretch-out room. Both beds have relatively large windows and both have a vent hole in the dividing partition.

Having the lower bunk double as a seat means it meshes in well with the opposite side seat and table in between. Mounted on a Lagun arm, the table can be pushed out of the way (or lifted out entirely) when not needed for dining.

The kitchen has a four-burner hob/grill alongside a square stainless steel sink. A Thetford 150 litre 12V compressor fridge certainly provides enough food capacity and there’s also a microwave oven fitted underneath the grill. The general storage space isn’t too bad, with three cupboards overhead and a couple of drawers below.

For a van with a length of just 4900mm, the bathroom is a little bigger than expected. It’s large enough to contain a Thetford bench-style cassette toilet, a vanity cabinet and shower.

A good bonus with Titan’s 490 Bunk van is that with a GVM of 2800kg, the Titan does not require a heavy-duty tow vehicle. A family van of this length really isn’t going to be practical for extended long-term trips but it doesn’t pretend to be either. It’s more like a mobile accommodat­ion base for a family that’s out enjoying the countrysid­e, especially those areas that are off the beaten track. Find out more at nationwide­

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