Wildcat 28RK

By: Bill Savidan


Wildcat-2.jpg Wildcat-2.jpg
One-of-the-impressive-thing.jpg One-of-the-impressive-thing.jpg
Ross-and-Shirley-Nevin-have.jpg Ross-and-Shirley-Nevin-have.jpg
the-huge-bed-has-good-acces.jpg the-huge-bed-has-good-acces.jpg
seperate-shower-and-basin-m.jpg seperate-shower-and-basin-m.jpg
The-apartment-size-kitchen-.jpg The-apartment-size-kitchen-.jpg
lifestyle-pic_1.jpg lifestyle-pic_1.jpg

A love affair with wide open space in this fifth-wheel

Wildcat 28RK
Wildcat 28RK

While conducting my review of the Wildcat 28RK at the Christchurch Motorhome & Caravan Expo, a couple were aboard scrutinising both the Wildcat and the sales staff. Here are some of the features they identified.

First impression was the spaciousness. The displayed layout is one of the most popular of all 10 options available. The L-shaped kitchen is at one end, the lounge is in the middle, and the bedroom and bathroom are at the tow-hitch end of the rig. The settee and dinette are mounted in the slide-out section that was extended at the show, creating the space that impressed them. The settee is comfortably sprung, and pulls out to form a queen-sized bed. Opposite are two equally comfortable swivel/rocker armchairs. Usually, this amount of freestanding furniture would result in a crowded lounge requiring careful navigation. Not so in the Wildcat. There are at least two metres between the settee and armchairs, providing plenty of room to move.

The apartment-sized kitchen opposite the dinette more than met their expectations; not just its size, but because it allows the cook to socialise with those in the lounge. Kitchen appointments include a four-hob Spinflo oven with a separate grill option, a range hood and a microwave. The double sink is moulded from an attractive silver-grey material with a durable high gloss finish, supplied with a cover to extend the bench area. Copious quantities of cupboards overhead and below the bench meet the demand for storage. The large pantry and Dometic 186 litre gas/230v/12v fridge/freezer keeps perishables in good order.

Although they were not keen TV watchers, they could see the benefits of the entertainment centre – a 27-inch LCD TV, as well as a CD/DVD, radio player, which is ipod/mp3 enabled and has speakers in the lounge, bedroom and outside the RV. The entertainment centre can be set-up to receive satellite TV, which can be displayed simultaneously in the lounge and bedroom. You can even plug in a TV outside.

The love affair with the space in the Wildcat continued through into the bedroom. The huge, permanent double bed brought a grin to both faces. The headboard is located centrally on the rear wall of the RV so that the bed (1.5 x 2m long) has good access on both sides. There is a fiddle-railed shelf recessed behind the headboard, and a pair of reading lights above.

It is an easy reach to place your ‘cuppa’ on the raised floor beside the bed so it passes the ‘cuppa in bed’ test, but only just! There are overhead lockers above the bed-head, and a wardrobe each side. With large opening windows either side of the bed and a hatch above, there is plenty of natural light and ventilation in the bedroom.

The entry to the bedroom is between the separate shower and toilet cubicles. The shower cubicle in the corner of the bedroom is around 700 x 600mm and is screened off with opaque glass walls. It has its own ceiling hatch. The white moulded-plastic hand basin has a large cupboard below and a shelved cabinet above with a mirror door and, as it is in the corner of the room, it can be used while the toilet and or the shower are in use, which is really convenient. The toilet is contained in a fully partitioned cubicle with its own ventilation hatch. A folding curtain pulls across in front of the bathroom to screen it from the bedroom. For guests an optional bathroom arrangement providing privacy in the shower is available.

At this point the potential buyers and I parted company so I don’t know the outcome.

The US manufacturer, Forest River makes more fifth wheels than any other producers. Wildcats are made at its plant in Portland, Oregon. One reason the Wildcat agents in New Zealand, ‘On The Way RV’ from Mt Maunganui, chose the Wildcat range was because the interior décor was not ostentatious and more in line with New Zealanders’ design ideas.

American RVs interiors contain a lot of timber cabinetry. The Wildcat is no exception. The display model features American oak cabinetry in a combination of solid timber, timber veneers and hard wearing laminates. The wall coverings are off-white vinyl covered panels. The upholstery colour on the seats are the muted autumn tones of grey, green and brown, while the bed covers and pelmets are muted copper brown with cream curtains throughout. The timber presence dominates but overall effect is comfortable and relaxing.

Wildcats sold through ‘On The Way RV’ comply with New Zealand gas and electrical requirements, as well as NZ transport regulations, and are sold with an electrical WOF, road COF, are registered and also include a factory warranty and an ‘On The Way RV’ warranty.

The access door is on the left, the kerb side. All of its Wildcats are fitted with 16-inch road wheels. They are fitted with an air ride kingpin box manufactured by ‘Trailair’. This replaces the traditional air ride turntable on the back of the tow vehicle, making it simple to remove the turntable from the tow vehicle if you want to use the it for other purposes. The air ride kingpin is more effective and doesn’t cost as much.

The self-levelling hydraulic front legs eliminate the need to carry levelling blocks and are quicker to deploy than the electric legs previously fitted. The rear legs can be self-levelling electric, replacing the old hand-wind models. These refinements make the Wildcat better to tow and much simpler and quicker to set up at the end of a day’s driving.

Kiwis like their creature comforts and appreciate the American commitment to supplying them quickly and in quantity. The thermostatically-controlled under floor gas central heating is a good example. In a short space of time it produces enough heat to ward off the coldest Kiwi winter chills. All windows are fitted with tinted safety glass and have blinds, daylight privacy screens and insect screens on anything that opens. There are 225-amp hours of house battery storage, (2x6-volt batteries), and lots of gas with 2 x 13kg bottles. Outside the RV there is a near full-length awning, and a ladder is fitted to provide access to the roof rack.

Options: A classy Corian bench top in the kitchen; replace the dinette with table and chairs, or the armchairs with ‘Lazy boys’ or a second settee. There is also a bedroom slide-out and a rear lounge layout with a large rear window.

Towing: The 5.2 tonne (fully laden) GVW Wildcat was towed with a Dodge Ram 2500 ute. It handled the rig superbly.

Price: The retail price for the model reviewed, the Wildcat 28RK, is around $106,700, depending on final specification.

Keep up to date with news by signing up to nzmcd.co.nz's free newsletter or by liking us on Facebook