New Frontline Factory
2016 was an extremely busy year for Frontline with the launch of a larger factory at Brookvale in July. This new area allows us to have a greater number of vans on the production floor at any one time. This investment has improved efficiency due to larger work space, more parts storage and general modernisation of space and equipment. This area also offers a bright fresh factory for our great team of builders.
New Frontline Showroom
September 2016 was the opening of a larger showroom in Brookvale. This area was previously used for manufacturing all frontlines. This has now been converted to a great display area 3 times larger than the previous showroom. This gives customers an all-weather under cover area to view our great Frontline products. With additional space we are able to display up to 14 new campers inside ready for purchase, additionally we are able to display awnings, attachable rooms and a range of colours and accessories to make your knowledge of our products greater. Both our sales staff are trade qualified and have previous experience building the frontline product. This means the passion and product knowledge is second to none. During your visit we will show you through the product range carefully explaining the benefits and features of the frontline campers. While here, we will take notes and present a detailed quote for you to take away and consider your next step. We respect the fact that you may be considering other types of products or companies, so this process is handled without pressure hoping you will make a return visit and purchase.
So if a new Toyota Hiace or VW T6 campervan is on your mind, why not make a visit, we have the best display in the country.
Showroom trading hours 8 – 4.30pm Monday to Thurs, Friday 8 – 3.30pm
For your convenience we are open most Saturdays from 9am-2pm.
Closed some Saturdays during trade shows and long weekends.
When Leonardo da Vinci penned, ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’ 500 years ago, could he have had the foresight to be referring to Frontline’s 2015 Toyota Hiace campervan?
Probably not. But Frontline has well and truly weaved its customised magic to make the latest Hiace conversion shine. The Sydney company that has been specialising in Hiace conversions since 1987 has turned the 2015 Hiace into something beautiful in its simplicity, but well beyond a standard camper.
The fuel injected 2.7 litre petrol engine never misses a beat. On the open freeway, the Toyota sat comfortably on the 110 km/h speed limit urging me to put the foot down even further. When I took the back road to the hinterland, the Hiace came into its own. The light yet powerful vehicle loved the challenging winding roads.
The responsive motor is tucked into such a simple yet comfortable driving setup so I thought I was throwing a standard vehicle
around those bends, rather than a four and a half metre long van. It left me pondering what was capable of the optional three litre diesel model or the 2015 six-speed auto petrol model.
When it was time for a rest, setting up for camping mode couldn’t have been easier. In no time at all I chose a pleasant riverside spot and got to work. The simplicity of the side awning and the rear tail gate offers plenty of shade and weather protection. The optional canvas/flyscreen room to suit the standard Fiamma awning instantly doubled the size of my lodgings; mozzie-proof, sun proof and waterproof.
The kitchen setup is also straight forward. The two-burner stove is removable for alfresco cooking or cleaning and the sink and ample cupboard and storage spaces that are well thought out. The 80 litre fridge/freezer and the optional microwave oven are perfectly slotted into the kitchen, offering ample cooking space.
My only regret at this point was not having a few friends with me to enjoy the generous seating arrangements of the versatile four seater. The compact dining table offers convenience and ease of setup allowing for the comfortable option of a fully prepared meal.
In all Frontline offers six clever options for the internal layout of the new Hiace, so there’s certain to be one to suit most buyer’s needs.
The electrics of the 2015 Hiace are fool proof. The auxiliary battery is kept charged by the vehicle’s engine or plugged into 240-volt mains. The battery can run the vehicle’s numerous appliances for up to two days without charge. There is also a solar powered backup option for more remote trips.
The Hiace stereo was up to speed with modern connections available for my iPod. Nothing too fancy, but safe. The sweet tunes led to me effortlessly setting up the comfy double bed for a quick energy recharging afternoon siesta. Plenty of room and plenty of ventilation for a good night’s sleep. The internal height with the top-popped offered 1910mm head height – reasonable for even a lanky traveller. The option of a roof bed in this space is perfect for an extra bed for a teenager or two kids.
Talking to a Frontline Hiace camper owner who turned up at the campsite later in the day and was only too willing to sing its praises really convinced me of their value and versatility.
“Mate, I can fit my surfboards in easily, load up my wife and her artwork and we can disappear down the coast for a few days trouble free. All the modern cons,” he said with a smile. “And on the way home, we can park easily around town and stop in to do some errands. Cleaning the van after a road trip is a breeze.”
Over the years Frontline has converted thousands of campervans and the 2015 Toyota Hiace conversion comes with a good list of standard inclusions. Better still, the optional extras are also reasonably priced, making it affordable to put together a package that meets your needs but won’t cost you and arm and a leg.
In summary, the Frontline 2015 Hiace Campervan is an excellent RV. Smart, simple and when you look at the base price for a Hiace van alone, it’s exceptional value for money.
The sophistication this vehicle embraces through simplicity, reliability and comfort is everything the weekender or extended tourer expects in a campervan, plus a lot more.
Body length: 4695mm
Body width: 1695mm
Body height: 2040mm Internal height: 1910mm
Tare weight: 2000 approx
Dual air bags,
Central door locking,
Power windows and mirrors,
Fuel tank 70L,
Rear wheel drive,
3 year 100kms warranty,
Steering wheel controls,
Pull out cup holders,
Centre console box.
2.7L petrol VVT-i inline DOHC,
6 speed auto also available,
111Kw 241Nm @ 3800rpm,
3L diesel turbo intercooler, 16 valve DOHC,
100kW 300Nm @ 1200 – 1600rpm.
The great escape vehicle
Since the advent of the original VW Kombi, having a camper van as a second vehicle has been the dream of many Aussie families. And why not? You get the luxury of a reserve set of wheels in the garage and a great escape vehicle for holidays and weekends away.
Tried and Tested Frontline Adventurer Review and photos by Paddy McCann
Of course, the downside in the past has been the bulk of the van. Fine for leisure trips, but not very zippy or much fun for a quick dash across town.
But times have changed. The Powerful 132kw diesel engine in the latest VW T5 drives so well, you have to pinch yourself to remember you’re actually getting around town in holiday garb. Frontline Camper Conversion’s Peter Farrugia and and Jeffery Verhagen have been designing and building camper conversions in Sydney since 1987. Today they focus on three base vehicles the Toyota Hiace, Landcruiser and VW. The VW T5 is more “car like” due to the out front engine and this translates to a vehicle that is just a little bit nicer on the road. It also has a walk through cab which is brilliant and the front passenger seat also swivels to face the rear, adding to the usable space in the vehicle when camping. Frontline offer four different layouts in the VW T5, the Freedom, the Adventurer, the Vacationer and the Avalon.
The Adventurer is one of their best sellers due to the addition of a rear bench seat and the fact that the vehicle is fitted with four seat belts, making it popular with families. Frontline Camper Conversions point of difference begins in the back of the vehicle and their approach to fitting the vans pop-top roof. From their very first pop-top campers back in the 1980s through to the current 2014 iteration, not a lot has changed in Frontline’s approach which is to create a robust, highly usable, value packed camper that is as affordable as possible without sacrificing quality. For example, Frontline still opt for the full pop-top rather than the tilt style of many European vans and in the T5, the top is completely seamless with the look of the van underpinnings right down to an exact match on the paint. (not sure what underpinnings are?) Frontline even takes the trouble to disassemble and colour match paint the Fiama awning that they optionally offer with all Frontline campers. This attention to detail is typical of Peter and his teams commitment to quality and there is no denying that the final finish reflects the extra effort. Our test vehicle took the custom camper look a step further with a black and orange colour scheme, extending to the custom wheels and chunky all terrain tyres. Around the vehicle, the air ventilation grills, 240v power plug and even the water inlet have been painted a gloss black. The overall look is very striking and it makes you realise how sophisticated Frontline production technology has become in recent years. This vehicle looks like it came in one piece straight from the VW factory. In the back, the general layout to around the van’s midway point is consistent throughout the Frontline T5 range. There is a sink plus bench space directly behind the driving seat with a compressor driven two-way (12v / 240v) fridge below.
Out the back
Behind the passenger seat, there is a swing out cupboard which houses an ever-reliable mentholated spirits cooker. Peter says they moved away from LPG cookers and gas lit refrigerators several years ago with the gain of more space, reliability and safety. “The fridge, lighting and pump will run for around two days with the included camping battery but it can be extended to 7-8 days with an optional solar booster or four days running simply by adding an extra battery”. From the midpoint back, the Frontline VW T5 design varies slightly depending on your chosen layout. In the T5 Adventurer, it has row of perfectly fitted cupboards extending down the drivers side ending with a cabinet containing a retractable shower that can be accessed by opening the rear door of the camper. The shower is pump fed and the flow is excellent. The 55 litre water storage is more than enough for a few quick showers and it’s also perfect for washing off sandy feet or hosing down a mucky dog. When the shower is fully retracted, there is no sink or catch tray to protect the cabinetry from drips, although the internal construction of all cupboards is a lightweight plywood covered in a high pressure laminate similar to a kitchen worktop. This makes for a very tough interior and a couple of drips of water will not hurt it. Next to the row of cupboards and rear shower is one half of the double bed with the bench seat in front. During the day, the bench seat is comfortable seating for two. At night, the rear bench seat is folded flat to join up with the cushioned area directly behind it forming a large double bed. There are even convenient cubby drawers under the bench seat, one of which provides storage for the optional Porta- Potti which was fitted to our test vehicle. On our road test, the cab was remarkably quite with very few rattles and creaks. Invariably, campervans and motorhomes do get noisier as they start to cover more kilometres but it’s hard to imagine the quality of the Frontline fit out giving much slack over time. Every cabinet is precision milled using Frontline’s computerised routing machine and then screwed together by talented craftsmen. Peter himself is a cabinet builder by trade so quality cabinetry is part of the company culture.
The Frontline Adventurer is a practical and well put together vehicle which also offers good value for money. When you consider the price of a base model VW Transporter van is around $50,000 and the price of a baseline Frontline T5 Campervan is around $64,800 (or $76,740 as tested which included 120w solar amongst other premium goodies), tried + tested | camper review there is not really that much in it. For travellers who like to travel a little fast or people who want to take weekend getaways at every opportunity, this camper van has great appeal. Not only can you get an adventure vehicle that will take you almost anywhere under your own steam (Frontline even offer an all wheel drive model), you also get incredibly low depreciation – enough even to keen an accountant happy.