These Rugged and Feature-Filled Travel Trailers Are a Wise Choice for Couples and Families

Essential Range Unit (FC-15D) 24 photos
Photo: Fantasy Caravan
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If there's one country in this world that's known for crafting the most amazingly capable mobile habitats around, it's Australia. It's here that we find Fantasy Caravan and its Essential Range, a grouping of just two travel trailers that offer precisely what their description implies. However, "essential" means something else entirely out in Aussieland, so hang onto your hats for this one folks.
Now, if the name Fantasy Caravan (FC) sounds familiar, it's because we've covered their works on several occasions. One of the first we brought to light is their "ultra-cheap" Mystic 12, a hardshell unit designed to get you moving around the bush today. Another was FC's rugged and Bruder-like GT Series, that tank-like machine you see in the image gallery.

However, the Essential Series seems to be a mix of the two previously mentioned lineups. For instance, it's designed to be a rugged and off-road machine, while still offering a habitat worthy of long-term travel on a rather decent budget. But, be sure to take note that this range hits a home run with pop-top units.

Overall, just two available floorplans are available. The FC-15A and FC-15D, both of which start off at $54K Australian, which is roughly $36K American. What I can say about this price is that there aren't enough North American manufacturers that can offer such a machine for such a rate.

Essential Range Unit \(FC\-15D\)
Photo: Fantasy Caravan
So, to get a feel for what this lineup has to offer, let's kick back for a moment and picture yourself rolling down the highway in your 4x4 or 6x6 with a 15A or 15D rolling along behind you. Suddenly, you spot a rouge trail in the distance and start to ready yourself for it. Don't worry; a hot-dipped galvanized frame and independent coil suspension with four shock absorbers total will make light work of whatever you encounter along the way. DO35 coupling from Cruisemaster is also in place.

After you've made it to your destination, wherever that may be, the first thing you should do, if the weather permits, is simply step out of your truck, huddle around with your significant other or family, and just take in the sights and sounds of a world devoid of mankind's influence; you'd better clean up after yourselves.

Now, with souls refreshed and ready to literally live off the land for the next few days, let's turn our faces to the unit and prepare our campsite. Here's where we start to see all that Fantasy Caravan is all about and why you should at least find one of these in your area and take a step inside.

What's important to note here is that the product page states that these units are only designed to accommodate two guests, but the images in the gallery show off so much more than that. I was able to also spot a dinette and bunk bedding, so clearly, two guests is a bit of an understatement.

Essential Range Unit \(FC\-15D\)
Photo: Fantasy Caravan
Coming back to the god stuff, once we're ready to start preparing our unit for living, you'll want to pop that top, but then, you'll be required to activate the unit's one and only habitat slide-out. At the rear of your camper, FC adds a slide-out bedroom, and once activated, it shifts the bed out of the way of the rest of the unit, offering an expansive interior fitted with all the creature comforts you can think of.

We can see entertainment centers, dinettes with modular tables, control panels for electrical and plumbing systems,  wonderful use of LED lighting, complete gelly blocks, and even ensuite bathrooms. In short, if the weather outside forces you to move inside for a few hours, even days, you're still set. But, my favorite part of Australian mobile living is the inclination toward outdoor living. With that in mind, allow me to take us back outside for a moment to explore the rest of what an Essential Range unit can achieve.

Aside from all the exterior storage bays tattered all over the unit, some of which hide tools, gear, toys, and essential systems, there's also an outdoor galley block that slides out from the unit's body. A four-burner top, sink, and fridge are found there. Oh, and let's not forget the outdoor shower with annex, awnings, and whatever else you ask FC to throw in.

Essential Range Unit \(FC\-15D\)
Photo: Fantasy Caravan
Oh, and we're clearly not done with these babies. Since off-grid living is the name of the game, FC also goes to great lengths to ensure you have all you need to keep moving in a land where nearly everything is out to kill. This includes a 40 A DC-DC charger from Renogy, 400 W of solar panel power, 270 Ah of battery array, a 2,000 W inverter, and clearly a BMS, just to name a few.

Then you've got 240 liters (63 gals) of fresh water, two 20 l jerry cans, water filter, pumps, gauges... what else do you need? AC units? Heaters? Come now, this is a unit designed to keep its occupants alive in some of the world's harshest conditions; of course, those features are also in place. Not to mention that the only option the manufacturer's website shows us is a diesel-driven heater.

Fantasy Caravan calls this the Essential Range, but as we can see, it's so much more than that; it's a complete turnkey solution to getting out on the road ASAP. Just a little something-something to consider.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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