While he was sales manager of Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations magazine, South African born Craig Grib caught the RV bug. He and his wife Petrina found the perfect vehicle to get their family out and about through a chance conversation with Merv Garret from Bay Canvas who was selling his perfectly restored vintage camper trailer.
But when it came to celebrating their New Zealand citizenship, Craig and Petrina decided to upgrade their RV to a family-sized Renegade from RV Super Centre. This six-berth ex-rental vehicle is built on a Volkswagen Crafter dual cab.
Craig recalls his first impression: Big and spacious. “I’d never driven anything that size before, so I wondered how I would get it out the gate… but as it turned out, it was extremely easy to drive.”
Craig says the vehicle amazed them by easily covering the terrain when the route to their destination took them on narrow and windy metal roads and through a paddock to a private beachside camping spot.
“No matter where we went – across small bridges and even across paddocks – it handled everything with aplomb.”
Once at their destination, the automatic reverse view cameras made short work of backing into their camping spot. Note the plural. This vehicle has two reversing cameras as standard. With the awning wound out and locked into place, it was time for some Kiwi-style R&R – a beach barbecue – before a good night’s sleep.
“We were actually a little bit worried about how we might sleep, but we were blown away when we awoke refreshed with no sore shoulders or neck. It was wonderful.”
Craig and Petrina were surprised that a six-berth – which slept up to four adults and two children – retailed at around $80,000. “We think it would be the perfect entry-level vehicle for a family,” says Craig.
The vehicle is touted by the team at RV Super Centre as being “a family-sized campervan that allows all travellers to sit upfront.” And this point of difference is a significant one which I imagine will attract buyers new to the market, as it is rare to find a dual cab.
The bed configuration can also change to suit the family’s needs. Up to six people can sleep in any combination of two large singles, together with two – or three doubles – as required. The generous luton measures 2183-by-2233mm when used as a double. Alternatively it can convert to two singles each measuring 1091-by-2233mm.
When Craig and Petrina used the luton as a double on their first night, they were pleasantly surprised by its size. “Being newbies, we weren’t sure whether to sleep east/west or north/south. Either way would have been fine.”
The dinette converts to a 1300-by-1780mm bed, while the rear U-shaped lounge makes yet another double 1370-by-2183mm bed.
The galley comprises a four-burner Smev stove with microwave and 80-litre ’fridge. Fresh and grey water storage is 75 litres. Craig commented on the excellent shower.
We love to see vehicles which make getting into the market and enjoying the RV lifestyle easy for all comers and I agree with Craig and Petrina: This is a top class vehicle for a family keen to get on the road. But after having it for a few fabulous days, the newly Kiwi couple also thought the dual cab setup would make this perfect for someone like a roving tradie.
And iron man Craig couldn’t help but be captivated by both the spacious interior of the cab and the enormous storage capacity of the motorhome as being perfect to convey all his toys to a multi-sport event.
For more information, call the RV Super Centre on 0800 520 055.
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