Early last year, there was an air of excitement at the Action factory at Albany when a very new-looking Everland R725, a motorhome aimed at the retail market, rolled out of the factory door. That was followed not long after by a second model, the R705.
It’s taken a while, mostly because synchronising my visits to the factory with an available review/test vehicle was a bit problematic, but, finally, the day dawned and I was in the Everland R705 heading north from Albany to one of my favourite spots at Waiwera.
Like the earlier Everland model, the R705 Renault Master Platform cab chassis can have a GVM of either 3500kg for a WOF or be registered at 3800kg if a larger payload is required. The Everland sits rather low to the ground, which means that clearance has to be kept in mind when crossing deep gutters or similar obstacles.
On the road, the Everland is a lively performer. Its 2.3-litre 110kW/360Nm turbo-diesel engine and six-speed AMT gearbox pushes it along well enough and that makes for a fairly relaxing drive - a bonus for any motorhome traveller. For those new to the motorhome
world, the European-built light-commercial vehicles underpinning most New Zealand motorhomes are more car-like than truck-like.
I recently received a refresher of what I’ve obviously become used to when I spent the day behind the wheel of a Japan-built 24-seater bus, which was definitely more truck-like and did something unhelpful to my left shoulder. It was a reminder that a test drive when considering a motorhome purchase is always a good idea.
Walk right in
Inside the Everland, Action has made full use of dropdown bed technology - there’s one across the front behind the driver’s cab and one across the rear. Under both are the lounge/dining areas. That leaves space in the middle for a nearside kitchen and an offside bathroom with adjacent cupboard area.
Although the design of the Everland range is new, the decor does have a slightly KEA look about it. (That’s a compliment by the way.) All the cabinetry is made with 15mm sustainable plywood’ fitted together using cam and dowel construction. ABS plastic-sealed panelling minimizes water penetration.
Integrated blinds and screens are fitted to all the windows and the driver’s cab has curtains that go around the swiveled cab seats. The lighting – a mixture of LED downlights, strip lights and reading lamps – is stylish and, for the most part, highly effective.
The electrics, lighting included, are controlled by a Ci-Bus touch panel, located outside the shower cubicle opposite the entry door, i.e. handily positioned to prevent fiddling around in the dark. Just above that panel is the 24in TV. A little differently, it comes with a fitted protective cover, which helps hold it in position when travelling.
With its round stainless-steel sink and three-burner Can hob, the kitchen benchtop looks remarkably uncluttered. Installing a hob with the burners sitting proud of the bench surface is a little unusual but still functional. It just means a flush lid cannot be installed. In the airspace above are two overhead lockers, one of which contains a microwave oven.
Below the benchtop is a Thetford Duplex grill/oven, two drawers and a double cupboard complete with cutlery drawer and garbage bin. Fitting in between the rear seat and kitchen bench is a Thetford 141-litre fridge with a cupboard above. Generally speaking, there is no shortage of storage space in the kitchen area.
Surprisingly, the bathroom is a little larger than expected. Indeed there is room enough for a separate shower cubicle, small vanity cabinet complete with washbasin, wall mirror and a Thetford cassette toilet.
What’s clever about the bathroom design is that the door is angled to both maximise the internal area while minimising the external footprint. This is good design. The cupboard that butts up against the rear wall of the bathroom comes with hanging space and the shelf area, again angled to suit the overall layout.
Down the back
Surrounded on all sides by windows, the club-style lounge is reasonably roomy and will accommodate two people easily around the table. There are wall reading lights, which can be used when the bed is lowered, and downlights fitted beneath the bed.
Across the rear, there’s a small shelf, and there’s a drawer under the offside seat. There are several power points; a double under the nearside seat and a second double plus USB hub located on the offside cabinetry, which is handy for use at the table.
Lowering the bed is a smooth pushbutton operation given the belt drive. The bed itself measures 1950mm x 1340mm and doesn’t quite lower far enough to be a step up off the floor but there’s a ladder stored below for that purpose.
Up the front
There’s good news for those who want a second lounge/dining area. A little more compact than the rear area, the front seating has the two driver’s cab seats, a forwards-facing sofa (complete with seat belts) and table behind the driver’s seat.
A sideways-facing sofa is opposite.
Overhead lockers are fitted on both sides of the dropdown bed and there are also compartments above the driver’s cab. Like the rear bed, this 1950mm x 1190mm x 910mm bed lowers easily at the push of a button and it also needs a ladder for access.
Omnipanel, a composite structure of Styrofoam sandwiched between fibreglass sheets, is used for the overall body construction. This includes the floor, which is fully sealed to prevent water and dust entry. The curved roofline, together with the fibreglass mouldings back and front, removes the square look of most motorhomes and results in a nicely aerodynamic looking vehicle.
A bike rack, fitted to the rear wall, is included as standard. However, the awning is an option - customers can choose their own. That said, I quite like the Cvana awning. Unlike a few others I have seen, the Cvana is robust and will cope with a bit of mishandling.
Across the rear, the tunnel storage is well-sized for all the usual items, such as camping chairs, table, hoses and power leads, but there’s enough room for fishing rods and golf clubs as well. Dometic Seitz acrylic windows are fitted all around and the habitation door is a Camec triple locker with security screen. Not quite out of sight on the roof is the optional Southern Cross satellite dish.
Freedom to camp
With both fresh- and grey-water tanks sized at 110 litres, the two house batteries rated at 120Ah, and the solar panel at 140W, the Everland does have the ability to freedom camp for several days without too much trouble. In winter, when using the Truma Combi space heater, the only limitation may be the single 9kg gas cylinder.
Somewhat of a different internal layout to the R725, the Renault-powered Everland R705 offers much and is very flexible. With two separate dining and sleeping areas, it will suit either two people who like a either a double bed or two large single beds, or a family who need both beds.
- Efficient use of dropdown beds.
- Nice-looking motorhome.
- Large window area.
- Lockers under the front bed.
- Dometic touch-pad system.
- Internal lighting.
- Limited ground clearance.
- Height issue for tall persons under the beds.
Action Everland R705 specifications
|Base vehicle||Renault Master|
|Engine||2.3L turbo diesel|
|External width (incl awning)||2340mm|
|GVM (kg)||3500kg or 3800kg|
|Gas||1 X 9kg|
Price as reviewed: $147,500
For more information, visit actionmanufacturing.co.nz