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A'van Aliner

A'van Aliner

1, 1D, 2B, 3, 3C and 4A
4.0 from 25 reviews

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Good Design but cheap materials and poor workmanship

Easy to two, Reasonably easy to erect but seals do not provide full seal. Had to have all replaced after 8 years. Water unit broke and Avan do not sell the part. You have to buy a complete unit, and it is not like the original. Interior beading all came loose. No thought given to the interior. Lights when folded down, scrape. No latches for doors on the clothing cupboards. Leaked through the interior light fitting in a storm. After sales service is OK in customer service but goods and parts very expensive

Purchased in November 2018.

Value for Money
Cleaning & Maintenance
Mileage 5,000 km
Car ModelToyota HiLux MK7.III (2011-2015)
Exterior Build Quality
Interior Build Quality
Off-roading Performance

Love the Avan idea BUT!!

Love the idea and ease of setting up but extremely disappointed in the quality of some aspects of van and the absolute lack of support from dealer at first and the continued lack of support from Avan headquarters. Maiden trip woke to heavy smell of rotten egg gas and then spent last 6weeks trying to get sorted. The venting for battery is higher than battery box so gas escapes from box rather than out vent because the gas is heavier than air but Avan refuse to show no interest in problem. There is also pipe work underneath that runs on chassis and wires dangling. On a brighter note than van tows like a dream and is quick to set up and extremely comfortable

Floor PlanAdventure plus off road model

Disinterested Service from Avan

Being a solo female owner of an Avan Aliner 1D, I ask myself why is Avan's service record shockingly deficient? No response to several requests for help, as I have experienced in several of their agencies. This disinterest will eventually come back to bite them! I certainly will never recommend them what their service record is concerned and warn people on consumer feedback forums like this one. I have shared with others and they agree. Just basing their business on sales and neglecting service is poor company practice! Come on Avan, you can do better than that!

Floor PlanAliner 1D

Aliner - take your tool kit and bandaids!

Purchased a second hand 2010 1D Aliner from a Caravan re-seller which appeared to have done very little work and apart from replacement LED tailights and an internal LED strip was in original order. we have previously been minimalist campers but wanted to have a change from grovelling on the ground. I knew from reading reviews that I would have some modifications and repairs to make. The re-seller agreed to supply the replacement side hinges which had already begun to fracture and the missing hand-nut from a top vent. The replacement hinge is steel and should last longer than the aluminium. They are easy to replace as long as you don't overtighten. I did them in sections so at no time was the side completely unhinged!
The Avan is a great design and is all the things owners claim - simple quick and easy to erect and pack up compared to other designs, no wet or flapping canvas, plenty of storage options, good internal head room, tows well, etc; but think twice if you have mobility issues as all storage is low and erection requires some height and good shoulders. Also, you must be able to make running repairs.
We continually get the impression that we have the first prototype model made all those 25 years ago! Bandaids required because of cuts from sharp edges are not the only issue. The quality of fit and finish is pathetic in this modern world and in my opinion a sad testament to Australian caravan manufacturing standards. A good example here are the flimsy teflon strips which act as the main slides for the back roof section, glued over a shaped timber block and pop riveted to the aluminium extrusion. One of my teflon strips was completely shredded from having to slide over the roughly cut and oversize slot for the side catch. I hand manufactured and fitted a solid teflon block to replace the entire slide, reduced the hole size and filed away the rough edges on the catch slot; something Avan should have been doing years ago.
The hinged cupboard door under the sink (microwave space in some) has poor quality short strut arms held by short screws which pull out of the plywood. Bolts, nuts and washers are needed here.
The hinged covers over the front storage bins use butterfly hinges with removable pins which come out in transit and get lost making the covers useless.
The external 62 litre plastic water tank is retained by 4 nyloc nuts over thin gal steel straps. Washers were inexplicably under the bolt head going through the thicker chassis! No wonder some owners have reported losing their entire water tank down the road! A heavier washer reinforcement is required here.
The hand brake mechanism is archaic and dangerous, and requires the strength of a rugby team to operate sufficiently to stop the van from moving on any slope. The cables are directed over sharp chassis edges which doesn't help.
The standard ALKO jockey wheel has insufficient swing down height making it almost impossible to disconnect the van on irregular sites. I have shortened mine by 22mm.
The 12 volt electrics are pathetic with no protective fuse at the battery terminal and a minimalist 240v battery charger for the auxillary battery capacity. The wiring from the front mounted merit plug to the fridge for on road vehicle supplied 12v is also too light. The location of the 240v GPO and 12v power socket on the double bed side of the island cupboard is continually fouled by bedding when lifting the bed.
The lock levers on the full size opening roof windows open in transit leaving the perspex roof top vunerable.
I don't believe we are the first or only ones to experience these issues which could have been addressed by the manufacturer with minimal expense years ago. Some may have been corrected on later models.
Overall, we are happy with our Avan but for the money and the extra time we have had to spend to make our Avan workable I would only give them an average rating.

Floor Plan1D
I forgot to mention the 3 way Dometic fridge which opens in transit and spills the fridge contents over the floor. Despite what the sales guys tell you the door lock is not adequate. I fitted a clip strap across ours to keep the door secure when travelling. The fridge works very well on 240V and gas. The 12v option when travelling and connected to your vehicles power outlet barely maintains the fridge temp but is sufficient in normal o'night stop touring.Also .... we discovered that our fridge had never been run on gas and when I fired it up for the first time is started to smell like burning or melting plastic. No smoke. Apparently, after a mad online search, this is normal and is caused by new materials and maybe some insulation / installation debris in the metal flue. It's a good idea to run them on gas for a few hours so the smell settles down. Keep the side window above the outside fridge vent closed so it does not draw the smell inside the van. It is fine now.Update Feb, 2018. Thought I had fixed the intermittently knuckle jarring, slipping and jamming window winders by drilling out the pop rivets, removing, bending back the light gauge metal housing which had ballooned allowing the flexible link strut to slip on the winding cog, re-greased and replaced. Not so. Poor design here means these throw away winders will forever be a source of frustration without a better solution. I have now done a quick fix by inserting a light gauge (approx 1.2mm thick, 15 x 15 x 200mm long (available from Aldi in 1000mm lengths, every blue moon!)) metal angle inside the gap between the outside housing and base, and installing the entire winding unit with 3/16" gutter bolts, with oversize washers and nyloc nuts on the outside which I then siliconed to seal against any moisture ingress. We'll see how that works. Initial signs are promising.

Second A'van

Our original A'van purchased in 1998 served us extremely well over 17 years and we have just updated to a new one. The build quality is good but I fear the quality of the actual chassis will not live as long(Chinese steel) Think this is general across the industry now. We had a double bed but advancing years made it difficult during the night!! Now with singles, much better. Water tap on the front draw bar good idea and the hot water system for the round bowl sink is a great improvement. Annoyingly I, a 162 cm female,was able to easily put up the roof on our previous model, yet I could not lift the new one (and this is from one day to the next) - must be weightier in the construction.

Floor Plan2 single beds (at either end)

A nice van to Tow and comfotable to use.

We have had our van for a yr now and find it easy to tow and to put up and down but the annex can be difficult to put up. Not recommended if you just staying over night but good on long stays. We rebuilt the bed and replaced the folding panels under the bed with one solid shed of 5 ply and fitted gas struts. We added an egg shell mattress on top of the existing foam mattress that came with the van, it seems comfortable enough. We also took the table out to give more room and as we set up a table under the annex we didn't need on inside, It also allowed for storage of gear in that space. Hope this helps those who have an Avan Aliner Kel .

Really loved travelling in our Avan Aliner 2006.

We traveled over east from Perth and just loved the ease of towing (even the wife shared the driving). Want a cup of coffee pull over anywhere, pop up avan in 30 seconds, turn on the gas & kettle on all within 60 seconds. Pop it down and off you go. Its like towing a trailor. We ended up purchasing a Avan Cruiseliner with single beds, only because it annoyed me (double bed) having husband climb over top of me to go to toilet during the night, my only complaint. We also found buying the earlier model a lot me solid built, hinges stainless less (new vans aluminium) floor a lot more solid as well.

Storage ,quality

Had great times with my cruiseliner off road model 2003 .problem
The large springs on the corners of lids have all dropped or moved towards the centre of the van ,this jams the sides when l lift them .Anyone else have this problem ? And what can be done .Note have done 100,000ks not much off road stuff only on well maintained gravel.
Recommend to store roof locked down ? Or up ,when stored ?

The only way to explore Australia

We bought our Avan Aliner after taking a year to research what fitted us. We started thinking about a Toyota Hiace and this grew to a Daf 4 tonne truck but luckily we narrowed it down to between an Avan Aliner and a Jayco Swan the Avan won. It has no wet canvas to repack or to blow in the breeze and the Avan is fully insulated and can be put up by my wife in 3 minutes. After 16 years and over 100000K and having slept in it for over a year we still love going away in it.

Done five trips. Update.

I put in a reverse cycle air conditioner - saphir. Good cooling. Useless heating as doesn't work if it's colder than 7. Make sure you've got a small heater as well. Blew the circuit breaker with a device overload. My fault I think. Easily fixed with a switch throw. You do need an annex with an A'van. They are just too small otherwise. Cooking in them is a bad idea. We cook in the annex. You may not therefor need the gas bottles. Im going to take them off and try putting the mountain bikes there. So far have left them behind. No room in Prado or Avan. Won't put them on roof - windage and damage - or at back where they can fall off unknown. The annex is hard to put up. True. It does get easier but. And you cannot do without it. Repeat. You cannot do without it. Get one with Walls, two windows, door, guys, pegs and floor. Practice putting it up. Think about it. Relax. You dont need to add Walls and floor on first day. Using large water container instead of tank or mains to give more space in Avan. Excellent. So far.

Still good. Keep gas.More trips done. Still good but: Battery issues. Previous owner said it was a new maintenance free battery. That's also what it says on it. Nonesense! You have to top it up with distilled water and ensure its has a charge in it. Then it will function nicely while hooked up to mains. Lesson learnt. I have genuinely maintenance free batteries in my boat and thought this was one. It isn't.Still good. Put on a fold down external table. Excellent idea (also superbly executed, hum!). Bought ten dollar four way wheel brace at pawn shop. Also good. Still small, but still good.

Small Vent Lids a major issue.

I have a 2012 Cruiseliner and so far the 14 inch Heng-Jensen lids have been replaced 5 times.
A Van are less than helpful. Experience has certainly put me off Caravaning and A Vans.
Suggest you buy Jayco.

First time caravaner, happy so far

We have a 2009 Aliner, it is easy to tow, and to erect, in fact it is quicker to set up than our tent. Has all the necessary items for free camping, solar, fridge, stove, hot water and sink. Be restrictive interior but some discipline in packing and storage eventually overcomes this issue. As mentioned by other reviews, after sales is a bit wanting, not at all supportive at times, so unless you are a bit of a handyman, it's up to yourself to deal with issues.
Would still buy one, but latter off road model.

Great little van,, easy to tow and setup.

I have a 98 Aliner Offroad and I love it.! I've made a few improvements like electric water pumping, a hot tap and aircon. Compact and easy to handle. Possibly not for the vanners who like to travel in a mobile Taj Mahal. Storage discipline is required. Have recently viewed the new models and they are the same great design but upgraded to smooth sides and modern appliances. They look very nice with their woodgrain interiors instead of the old grey laminate. There isn't a lot of room for improvement for such a great design. Sadly they are still put together with ordinary steel screws which in time can look a bit sad. I replaced almost all of mine with stainless steel which looks far better and cost me about 50 bucks. That would have cost Avan about 5 and I don't know why they don't use them. The current floors are now marine ply which should hold up better than the old chipboard. The chipboard floors need good and current undersealing. Possibly the ply could use a good thick bitumen coat over their quick black spray job too if you want it to last, The only complaint I'd have about the new models is that the main side hinges are now galvanised steel instead of aluminium. This not only looks cheap when it is bright and shiny but it will look like rubbish once the inevitable inside van condensation starts to oxidise it. These hinges are inside and very visible. Apart from that concern, I would recommend this van to anyone.. Cheers, Geoff.

2000 Sportliner

Good little camper , well designed use of internal space with 30 second set up of hardtop although setting up of annex takes longer should have been designed better. Light & tows really well behind my Suzuki Grand Vitara. Good as a short stay van but cramped for longer stay.
Easy tow, hardly know its there, Quick set up and pack up. Handy solar lighting. Easy to push by hand. Reliable.
Too small for long stay unless you have annex for more space.

Looked at the A Van but went for a ChaletRV 1935. Bigger, stronger, more storage and more featues including a shower toilet combo. Better priceHi Gr Holl thanks for your you great review, we are please to see your are happy with your Sports liner and hope it gives you many happy adventures in the future.

Concept A plus - Service C Minus

There are so many great things about the Avan (eg easy to tow, no canvas, easy to set up, space can be used efficiently etc). However, it is sadly let down by atrocious after sales service. The manufacturer simply doesn't care and dealer support is totally dependent on who you happen to be dealing with. Do not buy an Avan unless you are willing to attend to issues yourself. It's an absolute shame. If there was a competitor that offered a similar product with a reasonable amount of service, the Aliner would be dead. Would I buy another one or recommend one to anyone else? It would only be on the basis that you went into the deal with your eyes wide open.

The van itself is a 4 out of 5 (only let down by quality control). Service is 1 out 5. To me, service is critical, hence my rating of 2 out 5.
Easy to tow, space efficient, light and airy, waterproof, quick to set up, available space can be well utilised with some simple additions.
They're not cheap, quality issues encountered, zero care factor in after sales service, roof panels are light and easy to damage, needs a fair bit of strength to pop it up particularly with an annex attached.

We thought we would love our van but after 39 faults 5 which were defects with the RMS and two CTTT hearings and 10 visits to get repairs we dont love our van anymore. Avan has been ordered to return our full purchase price.Would be interested to know if Avan actually complied and refunded your purchase price. My guess is, you are still waiting.

Concept A plus, Quality B minus, Service D minus

Love this little van. We upgraded from a tent style camper trailer and it is SO much better. It is so quick to put up and tow and roomy. We've made efficient use of all available storage (no microwave for us and make sure you get extra baggage doors). I don't have a real gripe about the quality. Sure more things have gone wrong with it than they should have but I would been accepting of the issues if they had been rectified efficiently. But it's the absolute abysmal service from Avan and the Sydney based dealer that get me. I don't think I have experienced anything like it in my life. I've had a number of things go wrong and it's been a continual struggle to get things fixed. To give them some credit, the dealer has shown some attempts to right their ways but you certainly couldn't call it satisfactory or consistent. What really gets me is the lack of customer service ethos from Avan itself. I would go as far as saying they simply don't care. Avan is very fortunate there is no direct competitor for their camper range. If you go into an Aliner with your eyes open about the after sales service and are happy to attend to any quality fixes yourself, you'll find a good concept. Would I buy any of the other Avan products where there are alternatives.? Absolutely not.
Easy to tow. Great concept. Space efficient.
Not cheap. Some quality issues. Zero service and care.


We are contemplating getting another Aliner. Have tried a larger caravan that needed a larger vehicle and now with a Forester the Aliner is the best match.
Excellent unit for two people. We found storage not a problem and ample for our needs.The extra space under double bed most useful. We had ours from 1998 to 2004
covering trips tp Queensland, prospecting in WA - being towed by our then Liberty waggon proved an excellent combination
The condensation from roof joint, mostly overcome with vents slightly open

Great concept let down by poor quality control

We have had our van for 10 years now and love it. It has taken us over most roads in Australia - a fair percentage of the 250,000 kms travelled have been over unmade roads. It has performed reasonably well and even in the hotter parts of our country, the lack of an air conditioner has not really bothered us. With all windows and the high vents open, the chimney effect works extremely well and keeps the interior habitable. Another plus is the views from windows on all sides of the van - it eliminates the claustrophobic feel associated with most of the other shipping container styled caravans on the market. I feel that to get the best from your Aliner, it pays to be a little practical. I consider myself to be reasonably handy with tools and perform all maintenance and repairs - brakes, bearings, electricals, seals, suspension etc as well as repairing any wear and tear items and damage. I installed an 80 watt solar panel and 300 watt inverter that has been great for the occasions when we have camped in such places as Lawn Hill and Karajini National Parks to mention just a couple. We would recommend this style of van to anyone, but at the same time make them aware of the manufacturers' short comings. I am sure many van manufacturers suffer from poor quality control, but this doesn't mean that we should just accept it. For items that cost, in many cases, much more than a car, caravan manufacturers seem to escape the same press scrutiny and criticism leveled at poor quality cars.
Great views from all the windows - if you have them. Excellent ventilation - particularly if all windows are openable. Easy to tow and very quick to set up and fold down. Being light, it is easy to manoeuvre around a camp site.
When delivered, we had a couple problems: the microwave had been omitted and when later installed, had no means of restraining it in position; the tow chains were too short to connect to the car – we had to purchase additional shackles to get the van home; the galvanised chains had large, sharp spikes of zinc (galvanising metal) that tore into flesh; the rubber mounting seal was not installed on the stove and hence the unit moved around and damaged its locating clamps; screws were missing in the hinges along each side; the same hinges, being aluminium cracked and broke – I replaced with stainless steel; an over-tightened hose clip cut through the sink drain hose (the microwave had to be removed to repair it); no cabinet work had seen a piece of sandpaper and some areas were badly splintered; the sink / refrigerator cupboard unit became unattached from its fixings; blackened window screws had all rusted within 3 weeks of delivery ( I replaced with stainless steel); a wall panel locking lever fell off on the second night of our first trip – the screw was too short to engage the nyloc nut; the next night, the rubber buffer on the hinged wall fell off. I recorded all of these difficulties and wrote to the manufacturer but never received a reply. Later, the powder coating on the window frames began to peel off (the surface had not been etched correctly – according to a report from a large powder coating company. Avan refused to admit liability or indeed that any problem existed even though their dealers said otherwise. They finally repainted the frames, but predictably, the surface continues to peel as the underlying problem was not addressed. Dealing with their management was difficult and frustrating which is in stark contrast with the attitude of Jayco. Having said all this, we love our van and it continues to get us around this wonderful country of ours.

Hmm, the comments above seem familiar, I had to remove the microwave from its cabinet, we had travelled about 4km from dealer to a caravan park for the night and on opening up, found the microwave just hanging, it wasn't retained....it doesn't fall out now - but no thanks to Avan Aust. The paint is also peeling around the turretts, but it won't be fixed by Avan Aust. The Caravan dealer organised an auto electrician to fit the brake controller, at the same time said we should have a cable put through for the fridge to run (on 12v) while the engine was running......we are planning for a new car, now I have found that the fridge line is a hot wire, doesn't switch off and the corresponding conductor on Avan is not connected to anything, so after 5 years I'm pretty sure the fridge can't work while on the road. I've had no answers from either the dealer or Avan regarding a decent Manual for the van including a wiring diagram.....guess what! no answer.We bought a 2004 AVan Aliner Cruiser second hand last year (our first caravan) for $17,500& REALLY enjoyed it.Can anyone please tell me what towing system is required for the 2001 Avan? I have been quoted around $2000 that includes an electric braking system. Does it have an electric system? I suspect not because of the weight....

14 years with an Avan

We purchased our Aliner when there were few on the road and have never looked back. Taken it lots of places around Australia. Its a joy to pull, light enough to be pushed by hand if need be and there is actually lots of storage space for 2 people (although we have grandson with us at times). We only put up the annex when we stop for more than a day and have only put up the sides twice. Because the van is light and nimble it is very convenient so we can store it easily in our place. People criticise the van for being so small until they come inside and realise the advantages of good design including excellent ventilationdue to its high roof. With our solar panel and inverter we can free camp anywhere for long periods - and have. We stow a porta potti (just in case) and have an outside pop up shower powered by the battery. What more do you want. It even comes with a kitchen sink!!
Everything in a neat compact package for 2 people to go camping. Goes up in 5 seconds too.
Too many people want to load it up with too many extras they really don't need. Like a sewing machine!!

We bought a 2004 aliner 2010 and have towered and lived in it since then great to tow and back wheels set back what we are after is a fly screen doori have one velco from one of the cheap shops magnetic close is great.

Great for two..

We have a 2004 CruiseLiner with many extras and find it an excellent proposition after a Jayco Freedom .. The Avan is easier to tow and much more sensibly designed. The only drawback compared is the annexe assembly but once you become familiar with the routine it adds just a few more minutes to dropping the awning. Allup a fantastic unit!!!
Towing ease, sensible storage
Annexe assembly V rollout awning

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Questions & Answers

New owner of a used Aline 1D model. I have been looking at the 'load' advice on many forums and am now confused! My hitch ball load is around 85Kgs unloaded so am I OK to put weight behind the axle in the centre bay. Witha 60L water storage (60Kgs) on 'drivers side' do I need to balance this out with weight on the 'passenger side' of the van, as this would I have peripheral weight which all the experts say will cause 'sway' when towing? Can anyone please suggest a good storage plan for towing. Thanks. DaveR WA
2 answers
Hi Dave. Some good common sense helps here. One of the best things about the standard Aliner is it's natural low centre of gravity. They normally tow very well and sway is not a problem unless you do something really silly. There are load inventories out there but you really need to weigh the stuff you wish to take in your van. You will be surprised how quickly you can reach the 1100kg limit (300 kg of extra stuff) I was always taught to place as much stuff as is practical and safe in your tow vehicle. That way if you experience an emergency the control vehicle has the mass of the momentum rather than the attachment. Hope that makes sense. So for example, if you have outside furniture, BBQ, heavy tool box, extra water, groceries and heavier objects etc try and carry them in your vehicle boot. I actually carry a tool box behind and under the drivers seat. Also, don't take stuff you will not use. Eg: microwave and TV (if standalone) and electrical appliances if you are free camping. A full water tank if you know you have mains water supply. Every % weight saved also helps fuel economy. The water tank in the Aliner is positioned fairly centrally, but battery, HWS, fridge etc are on the same side, so you can balance things a bit using the left side storage compartments. Hope this helps!Many thanks 'Davew' for the great answer! I understand the ' load the towing vehicle' concept and it makes a lot of sense, thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to respond and the speed of your reply!

2001 ALINER all my power points work , but my light won't work 12volt an240volt ?
2 answers
Hi Michael. I take it you mean the interior lights and maybe the outside door light. They are all 12 volt and rely on your on-board 12v battery being charged and connected. You either have a dead 12v battery, dead bulbs, faulty switches or wiring issue. Your on-board battery charger should charge your onboard battery when connected to the mains 240V power. Check and make sure it is plugged in and on also. If you do not have and are not handy with a multimeter, it is a job for an auto electrician.It doesn't work on 240 volts either but all power points working

2001 Aliner all my power points work ,but my lights don't work 12volt an 240volt ?
No answers


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