Mobile Living Made Easy Australia Issue 12 - Page 9

FEATURE — FIT FOR DUTY
PRESSURE HATCHES
Dust ingress is the bane of the offroad caravanner ’ s life . Towing along gravel tracks will almost inevitably invite dust inside the van . Or will it ?
Any offroad caravan worth its salt will be fitted with a pressure hatch . Effectively , a pressure hatch allows outside air to enter the van from the roof to pressurise the caravan when it ’ s under tow , thereby preventing road-dust particles from entering through the van ’ s various nooks and crannies .
These hatches , in my experiences work quite well . But Dometic has improved on the concept with the Dust Reduction System . Not only does it provide positive pressure inside the caravan to keep dust out , it has a special filter designed to capture dust and pollen particles below 10 microns – noticeably improving the air quality inside the van .
The system will also stop rain from entering , meaning you can use the Dust Reduction System regardless of the weather – that ’ s not something a generic pressure hatch can claim . Well , you could use a generic hatch in the rain … but you ’ d better have a few towels handy !
What ’ s more , the Dust Reduction System is barely noticeable inside the van , and it ’ s quite easy to change the filter , too .
WARRANTY
There are many things to consider when it comes to offroad caravans . We could also talk about the tyres , the frame and the cladding . However , a big red flag , in my opinion , can be found in the fine print . What does the manufacturer of the caravan say , in black and white , regarding where you can take your caravan ? A true offroader will be warranted to travel on any gazetted road in Australia . Better yet , it will have no limitations on where it can be towed – if the tow vehicle can handle the conditions , so too should the caravan . Conditions like maintaining correct tyre pressures seem fair and reasonable , but beware of language that prevents the owner from towing their caravan on certain types of terrain .
Check the fine print of your warranty before heading offroad .
Mobile living made easy . — 09