LUXURY - QUALITY - STRENGTH
Top of the range the Groundbreaker has the lot.
G&S hot dipped galvanised chassis, aluminium composite walls, under body armour, Control Rider twin shock suspension, 6" extended A frame & H support, 6" chassis, 8" raiser, heavy duty 4 arm bumper bar, 2 x spare wheels and lots more.
Internally the comforts of home are apparent, from the waterfall benchtops, gas/electric cooktop, grill & oven, Fusion 750 series entertainment system, washing machine and reverse cycle air conditioning, just to name a few.
Floor plans from 17'6" to 24', the Groundbreaker stands out from the crowd, leading the way with it's stylish but rugged looks, this van is perfect for those extended trips.
The body of the van has a machine riveted aluminium frame. It’s all insulated, of course, and the outside cladding is aluminium composite.
The van is fitted with a Dometic glass insert style entry door, and external lighting is certainly a feature of the Groundbreaker, with not only the normal lighting on the nearside but two big LED bars back and front, as well as a strip light on the offside.
The external lighting isn’t only convenient; it’s also great for security.
External storage is another feature of the Groundbreaker with tunnel boots front and rear, along with a large alloy checkerplate storage bin on the drawbar.
Some of it is dedicated for items like the external slide-out kitchen at the front but there’s plenty of capacity. I must give my usual caveat here, though – even though the 21'6" van has a load capacity of 500kg, it would be wise to keep an eye on both the loaded weight and the ball weight once you’re packed up and ready to hit the road.
Outside living under the awning really isn’t a problem with the slide-out kitchen being well-equipped with sink, cooktop and barbecue. There’s the requisite fold-out picnic table plus an entertainment unit with TV mounting and external speakers along the wall.
Electrically, this is a very well-equipped van. Two 120Ah batteries, charged by a RedArc Red Vision 30amp Battery Charger and two 160W Solar Panels.
One of the products of this layout is the large split kitchen which has benches on both sides. The nearside is a semi-L-shape, with a stainless steel sink/drainer and space for a coffee maker. The bathroom wall space is used for a microwave oven in the overhead locker area and a 32in flat screen TV below.
Both the 224ltr Compressor fridge and Swift four-burner cooktop/grill/oven are fitted on the opposite side. What this kitchen layout allows for is plenty of cupboard, drawer and overhead locker space. Cooks who like to travel with plenty of food will have no problems here.
The overhead locker space is used for other functions, as well as storage.
Above the cooktop is the electrical control panel while the radio sits above the sink. Like the rest of the van, all the drawers have metal sides and the doors have piano hinges.
Bathroom space isn’t really an issue, with the split bathroom having a good-sized shower cubicle on the nearside and toilet/washroom and laundry on the offside. It’s all very well-appointed with a ceramic washbasin, good-sized towel rails, powerpoints, vent hatches and a window, at least for the toilet side.
If needs be, the bathroom can be closed off from both sides.
Caravans are, by their nature, usually pretty solid objects to start with, but what sets the Groundbreaker apart from many in the crowd is its tough shape and purposeful air. It looks beefy and strong right off the bat; it has a waistline of black alloy checkerplate, common in many offroad vans; it comes with very sturdy nudge bars, Mickey Thompson tyres (including two spares on the rear bumper) and an impressive black, white and burgundy colour scheme. And that’s not to mention the other offroad essentials like the DO35 hitch, mesh stoneguard at the front and jerry can holders at the rear.
So does the Groundbreaker live up to its name? As always with such vans, I started with what lies underneath. And due to its high ride height as an offroad van, it was quite easy to delve underneath. The 150x50mm (6x2in) RHS rails used for the drawbar and dual chassis rails are pretty standard for this type of van and the G&S independent trailing arm suspension with coil springs and shock absorbers fitted inside the coil springs looks the park.
What I did notice about the chassis, apart from the large, shiny Legend logo attached to the front rails on both sides, is that it’s very clean. By that I mean that everything – floor, piping/cabling and water tanks – is enclosed by alloy checkerplate cladding. Apart from having a protective function, it also looks good – something really only appreciated by those who have a penchant for inspecting the sub-chassis – like me! There are three concealed water tanks – 2x95L (fresh) and 1x110L (grey).