One of the many perks of being national sales manager at GoRV is that every now and then I get to test out the latest products and RVs. Although I have worked in the caravan and camping industry for over 12 years, my travelling experience with actual RVs is limited. My partner, Harvey, and I live in an apartment in St Kilda and drive a Ford Focus – this probably says enough.
We absolutely love camping with a tent, the outdoors and hiking though, so when AVIDA offered a brand-new Busselton motorhome for a multi-day test trip, I was the first one to put my hand up!
While visiting the New South Wales Caravan, Camping, Holiday Supershow in April, I passed the AVIDA stand to have a look at the motorhome that I was about to take out.
And boy, it is a big unit – 7.5m long, 2.32m wide and 3.13m high. Being slightly intimidated by the size, we asked our more experienced neighbours to join us on the trip. Surprisingly, the AVIDA Busselton can be driven on a standard car licence and marketing manager Billy Falconer ensured me that there was nothing to worry about.
The hand-over at Roberts RV World in Campbellfield, Vic, was absolutely amazing. Sales executive Peter took the time to show us the ins and outs of the motorhome, focusing on making us feel comfortable about the driving part.
The AVIDA Busselton is a self-contained motorhome with a kitchen, a bathroom with a toilet and shower, and two double beds. It is built on the rear-wheel-drive Iveco chassis and comes with a powered slide-out four-person lounge. Peter showed us how to operate the electronic control panel above the entry door, which is used to monitor all the onboard systems, including water and battery levels, power sources and more. This panel also has the main power switch in it, which we used to turn all power off overnight. Furthermore we went through the bathroom, slide-out, cooking facilities, fridge and automated door step.
DRIVING THE AVIDA BUSSELTON
Being ‘slightly’ nervous about driving the Busselton (Harvey took out his tape measurer the night before our trip to show me how wide the motorhome actually was), I have to say that driving the AVIDA Busselton was easy as pie! We absolutely loved it! In the beginning it was a bit intimating; however, you do get accustomed to the size pretty quickly.
The cabin is very comfortable and what we really liked as well is that you can still communicate with the two people buckled up in the back. (Note: the two additional seat belts in the back are not a standard feature.)
The side mirrors give you great vision and sitting high up the road makes it easier too. The trickiest part is that the body is wider than the cabin of the motorhome, which we needed to get used to. The motorhome has a reversing camera, which helps when backing the RV; however, I would personally install an additional rear view camera to be able to see what is behind you while driving.
Because of our lack of experience, we decided to stay close to home for this first trip. We drove about 90 minutes to the beautiful town of Daylesford, Vic, where we stayed at Mount Franklin Campground. This is a free camp located inside a volcano crater and the first come, first serve rule applies. We picked a very cold weekend; luckily, the pine tree-covered crater rims protected us from most of the wind.
USING THE FACILITIES
The AVIDA Busselton is practical and spacious inside. While stationary, we had the slide-out extended full-time, to be able to walk around the main bed and have access to the bathroom. Make sure while parking the motorhome that you have enough space around you to use the slide-out, as the total width will be 2.5m. The lounge comfortably seats four adults, and the table is big enough to have a proper meal or play board games, which we did each night.
The kitchen is well equipped with a combined induction and gas stove, large sink, rangehood, compressor fridge/freezer and microwave. The feature I liked the most about the kitchen is the fold-down kitchen bench, which folds down in front of the entry door and gives you more bench space to prepare meals. It took us a few minutes to get the gas stove to work, but once it was working our pasta water boiled within minutes. We were surprised how well the fridge worked on gas – it really kept all our drinks and food cold.
Another thing we really liked about the Busselton is both the quality and the amount of storage space and cupboards. For this trip, we did not pack that much; however, we could not help fantasising about what it would be like travelling around Australia full-time in the Busselton and the amount of storage space inside definitely makes this possible.
DON’T BE NERVOUS!
Our weekend away in the Busselton was an absolute success! Being nervous about the size of the RV at first, I would now recommend the AVIDA Busselton to everyone, experienced or not. The C class Busselton can be driven on a standard car licence, which is an absolute plus. If you opt for a GVM upgrade (more than 4500kg), you must have a Light Rigid licence, though.
Another big plus is the luxury inside; the Busselton has absolutely everything you need for a long trip away – it is a great motorhome for families as well as couples who like a bit more space.
More information: https://avidarv.com.au/motorhomes-for-sale/busselton-motorhome/
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