Vista RV Crossover XLI Review

There are a number of well-regarded names in the hybrid camper manufacturing industries. One of these is Vista RV. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this company’s rig, the Crossover, has become a staple of the offroad market. Vista has been manufacturing for over 15 years, whereas its parent company, Prompt Sheetmetal, has been manufacturing components for trailers and the RV industry since the 1980s, and is still supplying parts and components for the camper trailer industry.

The Crossover is available in a few formats – Classic, XLI and XLE – with each maintaining a compact footprint on the road. It’s all good and well to haul a large offroad caravan, but what if you can’t access the best sites because the van is too big? That’s one reason why the Crossover makes so much sense.

Vista RVIt’s your home base when exploring the Top End, or the Victorian High Country, and there’s every chance it’ll outlast your 4WD. If you are not familiar with the Vista RV Crossover, we hitched up the XLI model to help bring you up to speed on this seriously tough hybrid camper.


Vista RV makes almost all of the components for the Crossover in-house. This includes the hot-dipped-galvanised chassis, the suspension, and even the panels that comprise the body. These panels are a composite construction made up of an external 2mm skin of fibreglass, with a core of lightweight ply as well as hardwood ply, and an internal veneer. It’s hard to fault the workmanship behind these panels too.

Vista RVThe military-style suspension is an asymmetric setup offering 330mm of travel at the wheel. Again, it’s Vista RV’s own design and it’s been in use for many years. I’d trust it.

To the uninitiated, at first glance the Crossover might seem fiddly to set-up, but nothing could be further from the truth. Once it’s unhitched, it’s no more difficult than a regular pop-top caravan. In fact, it’s easier: there are only two clips to undo instead of four, and when it comes to lifting the roof, with only a short lift the gas struts take over.

Vista RV
Inside the Vista RV Crossover’s ensuite tent.

The only other thing to set-up is the ensuite tent. A rear pod containing a 215W solar panel unclips and lifts horizontally, forming the roof of the bathroom. Then, it’s just a matter of undoing a few clips and the tent section will drop into place. Simply peg it all out, and your bathroom is ready. Here, you’ll find a storage space to suit a portable toilet, and a drop-down ‘vanity’ with cold-water-only hand-pump. Vista RV can fit a permanent shower to this area as an optional extra; however, the company’s customers tend to prefer a portable shower, which Vista RV can also supply.

Externally, there is a lot to take in. Loads of storage space is a highpoint. It includes a rear pantry plus more optional pantry storage on the back of the door, storage space in the nose cone, and some lockers on the offside, not to mention the built-in jerry can holders upfront and an extra two jerry can holders behind the offside wheel. It’s quite brilliant, actually.

Vista RVBut for me, the highlight is truly the slide-out stainless steel kitchen. Like almost everything else, it’s built in-house to perfectly suit the space available. Given there’s no internal kitchen, it’s a good thing this unit is so well set-up for camping. While the gas does need to be connected separately for safety reasons – so it can never be stored with the gas connected or flames on – but it is paired with a quick-connect gas fitting. The water line is permanently connected. The sink slides out of the main kitchen assembly and the electric tap is cold-water-only, so you’d want to boil water on the gas stove separately to wash-up. Having said that, customers can option in a Webasto combo diesel hot water service/heater.

Vista RVThe stove features a wind guard and an additional aluminium shelf that sits on top which doubles as a serving tray and extra wind protection. And then there’s the individual, deep storage compartments to suit pots and plates… this self-supporting kitchen really is a winner.


The Crossover is about having genuine comfort in remote locations. Internally, you’ve got a bed in the nose, a dinette, and multiple cupboards in the rear. 

Vista RV
With the dinette set-up. To ‘unfold’ the mattress, just lower the dinette table.

But how does Vista RV fit it all? That’s the secret to this layout. About half the bed is permanently fitted in the front and on those rare occasions when conditions make it hard to eat outside, you can eat inside, with the remaining half of the mattress easily being folded back into the nose of the camper. The dinette table lifts up and, voila, you have a dinette. 

The quality of the camper can be seen in details such as the designer hinges in red that help to lift and support the roof and yes, they’re also made in-house.

The bed gets a couple of 12V fans and reading lights, and our camper had an optional diesel heater onboard, with the control in arm’s reach of the bed. When selecting this option, the diesel tank is placed in one of the jerry can holders at the front which acts as dual purpose tank with a quick-connect fitting to serve as an extra jerry can on-board.

Vista RVVista RV uses Redarc gear to manage the 12V system. The Redvision battery management system by Redarc comes standard in the Vista RV range. The Redvision display is placed conveniently within arm’s reach of the entry door. This system allows the user to keep track of the batteries’ state of charge, water levels and even control the lights and various accessories from your smartphone. There are two 105Ah AGM batteries as standard, but of course you can option up to lithium.

Vista RVAn array of cupboards is provided across the rear, along with some bench space and a sink. And in case you’re wondering, yes, the portable toilet storage box can be accessed from inside, potentially saving you from a cold walk outside should nature call during the night.

Being the XLI model, it had an internal 130L fridge, whereas the XLE has a slide-out external fridge setup. And Vista RV hasn’t forgotten to include a 240V and 12V powerpoints internally and externally.

vista rv
Pantry space is another highlight of the Vista RV Crossover.

Just as it is with the exterior, it is genuinely difficult to fault the interior of the Crossover. It is clearly the product of many years of development, refinement and customer feedback.


Weighing 1300kg Tare, and with an ATM of 1980kg, the Crossover XLI could easily be towed by a vast range of 4WDs, or even some family station wagons. Another big tick in this little weapon’s favour.

It presents as a well-sorted, well-engineered camper. If you look after it, it will more than look after you.


FIT AND FINISH – 5 out of 5 stars

LAYOUT – 4 out of 5 stars

INNOVATION – 4 out of 5 stars


  • Excellent build quality
  • Easy to set-up
  • Lightweight
  • Brilliant stainless steel external kitchen

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  • I would prefer a hard-mounted shower supplied as standard
  • I’d also prefer an electric pump in the ensuite tent rather than a hand pump


Overall length: 5.3m

External width: 1.9m

Travel height: 2.15m

Tare: 1300kg

GTM: 1980Kg

ATM: 1980kg

Unladen ball weight: 125kg

Group axle capacity: 1980kg

Construction: Composite fibreglass and ply panels

Coupling: DO35

Chassis: Hot-dipped-galvanised, built in-house by Vista RV

Suspension: Military-style asymmetric suspension

Brakes: 12in Al-Ko offroad electric drum brakes

Wheels: 16x8in rims; 265/75 R16 tyres

Cooking: External kitchen with two-burner gas cooktop and cold-water sink

 water: 2x87L

Grey water: No

Awning: Sail awning

Battery: 2x105Ah AGM

Solar: 215W with Anderson plug for a portable panel

Air-conditioner: No

Gas: 2×4.5kg

Sway control: No

Refrigeration: 130L compressor

Microwave: No

Bathroom: Separate bathroom tent with space for a portable toilet; optional shower

Washing machine: N/A

Lighting: 12V LED

Hot water: Optional

TV: No

Diesel heater

Extended drawbar

Door panty

Starting from $88,480

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