Wakerley 750 Euro

By: Bill Savidan

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On a beautiful Bay of Plenty winter’s day, the new 750 RB Euro ventured out to strut its stuff

Wakerley 750 Euro
Wakerley 750 Euro

In July I visited Wakerley Motorhomes in Tauranga to ‘run the ruler’ over a recently introduced rear bathroom (RB) layout they had just completed. It is built on an Isuzu NQr 500 5.2 litre turbo-intercooled, six-speed with a standard chassis.

This rear bathroom layout, combined with the east-west permanent double bed, discreetly separates the bathroom from the lounge and kitchen areas. The east-west configuration gives both occupants easy access to the bed. And you can raise the foot of the bed to increase the space between it and the sidewall to allow even more access.

There is ample storage including the large storage drawers under the bed and a bench-high corner cupboard in a corner adjacent to the foot of the bed. There is also a floor-to-ceiling unit with overhead lockers between each side of the bed-head. The lower section is a cabinet, the upper part a hanging locker.

Each side of the bed has a panel for a power point and light switches and a small shelf, which is very handy if you enjoy reading in bed with a cup of tea at hand. Nor is there a window to interfere with sitting up in bed – just a padded headboard. A large window opposite the foot of the bed and a 360x360mm roof vent provide more than adequate daylight and ventilation. A curtain screen between lounge and bedroom offers privacy.

The rear bathroom, built across the full width of the vehicle, contains a separate shower with a screen door, a hand-basin space and a toilet space. A row of three overhead lockers provides storage. The bathroom gleams with white walls and silver stainless fittings; it has a Franki faucet and a 230-volt heated towel rail. A 200x200mm roof vent in the shower stall at one end and a top hinged window above the toilet at the other end provide satisfactory ventilation.

The kitchen, located amidships, is well-conceived and I could tick all of the boxes: workable bench space, copious storage, dedicated features, sensible workflow and a comprehensive equipment list. It has a conventional galley layout, a Spinflo Caprice M111 oven with four-burner hob and on the driver’s side and opposite is a storage unit housing the Dometic 175 litre fridge/freezer below a Sharp microwave with cupboards above. There is plenty of bench space, cupboards and drawers for storage and a large slide-out pantry. And you won’t run short of power points – there is a double point at each end of the bench.

The Luton is fitted out with lockers for storage. The locker above the passenger seat is the "toy box" – 12-volt switchboard, inverter/charger, heater controls, a radio/DVD/CD player, a battery monitor, a tank monitor, a 230-volt circuit breaker board, a Majestic satellite antenna control box and an infrared repeater box for the remote control units. Well, you did ask!

 In the middle, facing aft on a sliding, hinged shelf is the Phillips 26-inch LCD TV. The three lockers above the TV and the one over the driver’s seat are for general storage. There is also a full-width shelf under the lockers, good for all those bits you can never find a home for.

All the windows in Wakerley Motorhomes are manufactured by Lotus Windows of Hamilton. Wakerley make a point of using home-grown Kiwi products wherever it can.

"If a problem arises a year or five down the track, the manufacturer is on hand to help solve it," says Brett.

The lounge is not large when you consider it doubles as the dining area, but is more than adequate for entertaining a couple of friends – two more at a pinch. A cosy evening ambience can be created by varying the combinations of the five overhead lights.

The ‘retro style’ settees, each 1200mm long, face one another with plenty of room between to stretch your legs. In use, they were a bit upright for my taste and I found myself seeking out a soft cushion to support my sagging bits. A novel feature is are ‘arm’ tables, two per settee and mounted on a short supporting swivel arm.

Two tabletops are supplied to fit the table pedestal: a full-size dining table and a smaller, lower level coffee table. There are two full-depth drawers under each settee and a LPG gas detector is mounted at floor level.

Ventilation and daylight are well provided for by the large central roof vent and opening windows on both sides of the lounge. Both lounge and bedroom roof vents are fitted with insect screens and blinds.

Windows throughout the RV are fitted with Roman blinds, offering secure privacy, good daylight control and scope for colour and texture. The Wakerley way is to involve clients in the choice of colour and fabric. Those used in this 750 RB Euro are tasteful but conservative, and provide a flexible base for personal highlights. The timber is teak, a solid and veneer combination crafted into cabinetry in the timeless style Wakerley has perfected over the past few years. It is faultlessly presented and will assure the owners many years of faithful service.

A Camec entry door is fitted with separate security and insect screens. There is a retracting outside step to ease the way in, a footwell light to see at night and a handle to assist us when we are less stable than usual.

Wakerley is in its 11th year of motorhome manufacture. Very early in its development it established its point of difference, which was ‘no compromise regards structural integrity’. This has stood it in good stead over the years. The coach-built body on the model under test, the 750 RB Euro, like its hundred-plus predecessors, has welded box-section aluminium wall and roof frames clad with fibreglass sheet. Particular care is taken at all major connections. Polystyrene insulation is installed in the walls, ceilings and under the floors. Extensive sound deadening is fitted to hush the engine noise in the cab. In 2007 a revised fibreglass moulded rear panel was introduced, while this year’s innovation is a restyled Luton front.

I found plenty of exterior locker storage in five separate aluminium-lined lockers. The battery compartment houses both starting and house batteries, each bank on their own separate sliding shelf for ease of service. Two 4kg bottles store the LPG.

"Either partner should be able to lift a bottle into the locker without injuring themselves, or the paintwork," says Brett.

A rear vision camera is fixed to the rear panel. No rear window in this model, so you need all the help you can get! The 2500kg capacity towbar as fitted would certainly protect you if anyone carried out ‘feely/touchy’ car parking behind the vehicle. On the roof, out of sight, a 125 watt solar panel, the fridge vent and the Majestic auto sky dish are mounted.

Inside and out, this is a quality product, refined by the production of more than a hundred predecessors. Not gimmicky, not flashy, but very definitely Wakerley.

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