THE SUNSEEKER DESERT STORM
The time had come for us to upgrade our caravan. Coming from a 20ft9 caravan and a BT-50 to a new Land Cruiser, meant we had a bigger payload and towing capacity to upgrade to a Sunseeker.
We had been looking into them for around 18 months and asking others along the way their thoughts on owning and touring in a Sunseeker. We were pleased with the reviews & the capability of them so we decided to head into the show room on the Sunshine Coast and the rest is history!
Our caravan is a 21’6” Sunseeker Desert Storm with triple bunks and we were so impressed with the layout, build quality and its modern interior. We made a few changes below to the already standard layout.
1. Making the bunks a little wider to accomodate our growing children
2. A pull out bin
3. A laundry hamper
4. The ‘black pack’ meaning black sinks and taps
5. Cruisemaster ATX Suspension, Automatic air suspension & hydraulic disc brakes
6. An extra water tank – 4 x 85 litre tanks & 1 x grey water tank
7. A dust reduction system – Carafan Sahara
8. ‘Trip In A Van’ 400AMP Pro Series Off-grid battery system from Enerdrive
9. Bike Rack by Fiama
10. King off road Wheels & Cooper S/T Maxx tyres. Wheels and tyres optioned to be the same size, offset and stud pattern as the Land Cruiser so they are interchangeable. (17×9” +35 offset rims & 287/70/17 tyres)
A Few Specs
Our Desert Storm has an ATM of 4.5 tonne giving us over 1500kg of payload
We have a waterfall effect bench top (meaning it continues down the side of cabinet) and the woodgrain is called Wilsonart Natural Arlighton Oak.
Cupboards are a charcoal smudge proof matte called Urban Republic NX622 – Slate Matte.
Flooring is a vinyl with a polished concrete look, the name is Signature Odin 596.
Splashback is in colour Zenolite Arctic
We opted to have no oven, but still have a grill and stovetop. Any of our oven type cooking we do in the Weber. We chase the sun, so cooking outside is never an issue. If we do encounter bad weather we cook on the stovetop. We also have an induction cooktop that lives in the canopy of our ute, which we can bring inside and cook on too.
Not having an oven gave us a large drawer underneath to store pots, pans, kettle etc.
The black pack includes, sink, tap ware, shower head, taps and frame + cupboard handles. We don’t have a drying area for dishes, which we didn’t want. I prefer the bench space and we put down a drying mat and always use a dishes rack too. We have lots of dishes!
The upholstery being the lounge and leather pockets are Black in Vegas Volcano.
Sirocco fans. 1 in each bunk and 2 over our Queen bed.
Bunks are a standard single and will fit an adult no worries.
Washing Machine is a 2kg Mini Daewoo (if you can get bigger and mount lower, do it). When mounted up high it has a tendency to shake the van a little on the spin cycle – not a huge issue to us but might be to others.
We have no hanging space in cupboards, we have 3 shelves in each side cupboard. The kids have 1 large draw each as that is all they need.
We added in shelving to the cupboards above the lounge. This is our pantry, we have 2 with an added shelf and 1 without to stand up larger items such as olive oil and sauces.
HERE’S AN INTERNAL TOUR OF OUR DESERT STORM BUNK VAN
THE UNDERCARRIAGE OF THE DESERT STORM IS FITTED OUT WITH CRUISEMASTER ATX FULL AIR SUSPENSION
The engineering department at Cruisemaster has gone all out on this one, opting for all the best bits. Off-road race specification monotube dampers, bigger bearings and a 63mm stub axle!
The long travel Cruisemaster ATX suspension comes in either Coil or Air spring configuration that can be changed at any time with a simple adaptor system. Not only is ATX a rugged suspension but it also provides unparalleled ride and handling characteristics.
Where did we start??
We first fittted Cruisemaster suspension on our second caravan. It was called CRS which was more of a dirt road capable suspension and we really put it to the test by taking it a lot of places we probably shouldn’t have gone. Hells Gate to Boroloola comes to mind….. Worst dirt road ever!! In saying that, it performed brilliantly. You can watch that video here…
Our next van we upgraded to Cruisemaster XT which is a beefed up version of the CRS. Independent trailing arm with more travel, big bore shocks & king springs that took us to some amazing off road free camps in 2019. Here’s a video of some of our favourites..
And now we have hit the extreme. ATX full air suspension!! All of this results in the biggest, baddest Cruisemaster suspension ever made. Can’t wait to see where we can get to with this new setup!!
The outside of this van is ready to tackle anything. An extended drawbar to mount the front storage box and stoneguard, high sided checker plate for protection and a rear bar rated to 370kg that mounts the spare wheel and the folding boat trailer.
The front toolbox houses 2 jerry can holders, a generator slide and a storage compartment that we use for firewood and hoses etc…
We run 2 x 4.5 kg gas bottles instead of 9kg bottles because we use a compressor fridge that runs off the battery system and the only gas we use is for the hot water system cooktop and bbq. We have never run out of gas.
Underneath we have 4 x 85litre freshwater tanks and 1 x grey water tank fitted. There is also an alloy air tank that runs the airbag suspension and is handy for airing up they tyres after rough tracks.
HERE’S AN EXTERIOR WALKAROUND OF OUR DESERT STORM
15% OFF NAVIGATOR GEAR
BIG LAP BUDGET
FUNDING OUR TRIP
How we funded our trip and tips for you to do the same
OFF-GRID BATTERY SET-UP
THE ULTIMATE IN FREE CAMPING POWER