Avida Busselton Review

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Over the last five years or so, Australia’s largest motorhome manufacturer, Avida, seems to have adopted a policy of refining and upgrading its existing model lineup rather than producing totally new models. However, about this time last year the Mercedes Benz-powered Silverton appeared, and this year the Iveco Daily-based Busselton arrived on the scene.

Avida has adopted a policy of naming all its motorhomes after towns and cities in Australia. Busselton, in case you’re wondering, is about 220km southwest of Perth in Western Australia. It’s not a bad idea I reckon, especially in these times when travel is somewhat restricted, evoking ideas of travel destinations we can all aspire to.

Avida motorhomes are available in New Zealand from Auto Leisure Marine (ALM Group) in Hamilton.

SPACIOUS LAYOUT

Inside the C-class Busselton, the layout has a certain familiarity, with two exceptions: the length of the slide-out, and the fridge, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Silverton.

avida busselton dinette
The includes under-seat storage which is also accessible from outside

However, it’s the longer slide-out that makes the difference: both the east-west double bed in the rear and the cafe dinette up front are built into the slide-out. The fridge is directly behind the driver’s seat and the rest of the kitchen takes up the nearside wall, at least the part in front of the bedroom. A fully kitted out bathroom occupies the rear area. A feature of note is that the overhead lockers are handle-free, making them very easy to open, and all the drawers have a soft-close feature.

avida busselton bed
The bed is offset, allowing for a single wardrobe and cabinet

Both front cab seats swivel around but the passenger side is partially blocked by the fridge. With the slide-out fully open, there is plenty of room to move. Since this motorhome is designed as a four berth, that’s definitely a good thing. A light colour scheme (mostly glossy white and grey) works well for the interior light level. The windows are a bit small and only the lower half opens. There is a big roof hatch midship, but I did wonder whether there’d be enough of a cooling breeze on a hot day. All the windows have a roller blind for privacy, with curtain for the Luton windows.

avida bussleton slideout
The slide-out creates so much extra space

CAFE DINING

Behind the cab seats, the dinette will seat four people without too much trouble. The solid Zwaardvis table has an ‘any which way’ function, which means it can be moved around with ease. Being in the slide-out there’s a small step up and the rear seat has two seat belts. Floor locker doors give access to the under-seat areas, which can also be accessed from outside.

avida busselton kitchen
The kitchen hob includes two gas burners and one induction element

EXTENDABLE KITCHEN

The kitchen bench is a little deceptive because it looks quite short, but it also has a hinged extension that can be used across the habitation doorway area. The jury is out on that arrangement (being a doorway) but it’s certainly good for chefs who like space to lay things out.

Fitted into the bench top is a three-burner (one induction, two gas) cooktop with a stainless steel sink alongside. The microwave oven sits above the fridge behind the passenger seat. It’s quite high up though, which could be a problem for shorter folk.

There’s a reasonable selection of cupboard and drawer space for kitchen items, including a slide-out pantry and drawer, and overhead lockers. It’s all fairly well laid out.

avida busselton kitchen bench
The benchtop extends into the bedroom area

BEDROOM

In the rear, the island bed measures 1900mm x 1400mm. Each bed occupant gets an overhead locker and a small corner shelf, but there’s only a common reading light under the overhead locker.

Instead of narrow wardrobes and bedside drawers on both sides, Avida has opted for a larger unit between the bed and the dinette.

To accommodate the bed when the slide-out is closed, the wall space is designed with waist-high and floor-level drawers under the window, plus a half-height cupboard in the corner. A little electrical practicality is located at the base of the cupboard where a radio/CD player, 230Vmains powerpoint and USB charger hub are to be found. The overhead locker space might be used for a flat-screen TV, which you could see easily from the bed and the rear-facing dinette seat.

avida busselton bathroom
Loo with a view! The rear cupboard is designed for a washing machine

Above the driver’s cab, the 1950mm x 1300mm Luton is accessible by an aluminium ladder. It has windows and reading lights on both sides, and a little storage compartment on the nearside. And for those who fancy a heated midnight snack, the microwave oven is very handy to the bedside.

avida busselton storage
There is plenty of storage space beside the bed

BATHROOM

Across the rear, the shower cubicle is fitted into the off side corner, and the Thetford cassette toilet is centre stage on its own pedestal. That leaves the nearside corner for a fully fitted vanity cabinet which includes a wash basin, wall mirror and two cupboards – one is large enough for a washing machine if desired.

A sliding door closes off the bathroom area. It’s always good to make sure this is latched properly before driving off, otherwise guess what happens at the first corner! With the slide-out closed up, it’s not possible to get to the bathroom without clambering across the bed, so even for a quick roadside stop, the slideout has to be at least partially opened.

POWER PLANT

Underpinning the Busselton is an Iveco Daily 50C-170 cab chassis. Translated, that means it comes with a 3L turbo diesel that delivers a maximum of 125kW of power and a healthy 430Nm of torque, all through a fully automatic eight-speed gearbox. With a GVM of 4495kg and a tare mass of 3988kg, the Busselton has a payload of just over 500kg.

avida busselton exterior
Outside with the slide-out open

Just a point here – Italian truck manufacturer Iveco recently announced there is a new model Daily on the way. From the outside, the changes are mostly cosmetic and even inside the most obvious signs are a revised dash layout, including the infotainment system. The engine is still the 3L turbo diesel with a modest power increase, and the previous optional twin turbo is now an electronically controlled variable geometry turbo (eVGT), also with a modest power increase. Compliance with the latest Euro 6 requirements also means the addition of an AdBlue® tank. Undoubtedly the biggest single item of interest to the motorhome enthusiast will be the handbrake. It used to sit to the left-hand side of the driver’s seat and be a bugbear when trying to swivel the seat. This has been replaced by a switch on the dashboard, a very good move!

avida busselton battery
The battery is easily accessible

EXTERIOR

The most obvious feature from the outside is the slide-out, which takes up about two-thirds of the off side wall. There are two other variants of the Busselton available, neither with a slide-out but with a choice of either a double or two single beds.

Construction wise, Avida has stuck with its formula of a fully welded metal frame for the walls, roof and floor. Between the frame members, foam sheet filler insulates and reduces road noise. Fully moulded fibreglass is used for the front Luton peak/cab surround, rear wall and roof. The walls are fibreglass composite sandwich panels. Underneath, the one-piece floor panel has a ply timber sheet above and aluminium sheeting below for sub-floor protection.

There are plenty of external storage compartments fitted on both sides of the motorhome. Most are in the lower skirt area, and that does mean a bit of crouching down to get access. However, those fitted into the slide-out itself are definitely at a user-friendly height. On the utility front, there is an 80L tank each for fresh water and grey water. A 100AH deep cycle battery supplies the 12V load, but a solar panel is an option.

SUMMARY

Undoubtedly the Busselton offers the discerning motorhome buyer a generous interior space, always good when the weather is iffy. As well as the extra bed, the Luton offers the option of being able to travel with family members or (very) good friends. It’s certainly a motorhome with plenty of flexibility when travelling.

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PROS

  • Spacious interior when slide-out is open.
  • External storage capacity.
  • Handleless overhead lockers.
  • Kitchen storage.
  • USB charger hubs.

CONS

  • Limited bathroom access when slide-out is closed.
  • High microwave oven.
  • Narrow window openings.
  • Water tank capacity.

Avida Busselton Specifications

Chassis

Iveco Daily 50c-170

External length

7500mm

External width

2320mm

Internal height

2030mm

External length

5900mm

Water: fresh/grey

80L/80L

Gas tanks

2 x 4kg

Tare

3988kg
GVM

4495kg

Price as reviewed: $227,491

Find out more at almgroup.co.nz

Find motorhomes, caravans and RVs for sale in NZ

 

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