Enjoy comforts in an easy-tow package? Design RV hits the mark with the agile Stryker 161-X Off-road
It’s amazing what manufacturers fit into a compact van these days; so many comforts, cleverly presented in beautifully-designed spaces in nimble dimensions. But being compact is only half the story when you’re glamping out of the way. Off-grid smarts and a solid, well-engineered build deliver the flexibility in changeable terrain. Checker-Plate Galore Design RV embraces that spirit in the compact and tidy Stryker 161-X with the Off Road pack, one of three exciting RVs up for grabs in OUR BIGGEST COMPETITION EVER. Measuring just 7.13m from the spare to the a-frame tip, the Stryker fits in a queen bed with access on all sides and a full-width rear bathroom into a 5.2m body. It’s teamed with a well-engineered, thoroughly protected exterior with checker-plate panelling riding high on all sides, below alucomp walls. Plus, a DO35 coupling, 2in raiser for coupling up to 4WDs and 16in mud terrains with 6-stud alloy rims.
6ft 6in Ceilings
Kitchen layouts matter to me. And in the Stryker, that bench space left of the deep sink is appealing. You can cook plenty on the four-burner cooktop and grille without impacting storage, supported by the large, 2-door fridge below a 20L NCE microwave (yes, it’s high, I’d pack a step). There’s a hot-cold mixer, filtered water and a view–thanks to the narrow window. The 6ft 6in ceilings, large windows, two skylights and a concealed NCE rangehood help open up the interior. For campsite views, take five at the two-seater dinette on the lounges that are padded on both sides, a boon in this size van. The handy hooded lights add to the charm. While up front, the padded bedhead framing the 6ft 2in queen innerspring mattress sets the tone in the bedroom, complemented with wardrobes either side and storage space all-round.
A slightly narrow bathroom allows for those luxuries in this compact package. But it is neat and full-length, with a separate porcelain toilet and shower, a large mirror, sink and high-gloss cabinetry finished with broad, matt black positive-locking door latches.
The Stryker is pretty efficient on 12V–with the LED lighting and a three-way fridge conservatively using the 2x 110Ah lithium batteries and 390W solar array. It also has a BMPro battery management system. 240V comforts include the IBIS 4 air-conditioner, which has a staged start to suit some caravanning generators. There is an option outdoors to store that in a toolbox, forward of a tunnel boot. Plus there’s two jerry can holders for the fuel and two 9kg gas bottles on the a-frame.
Water is a lifeline at camp, and quality systems can influence the length of your stay. The Design RV gets a tick for shrouding its twin 95L tanks in checker-plate. The Off Road model also has a tank for grey water storage for national park camping off-the-grid. I like how the water lines are protected with plumbing and anchored at several points.
Design RV nestles the tanks within the chassis for clearance and stability, aided further by those 16in rims and Aussie made Alpha independent, coil sprung suspension with dual shocks dampening at each wheel. The rear-view camera bolsters driver safety. All up, a great little package.