Experiences for rent

By: Gemma Bridge, Photography by: Gemma Bridge


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If you don’t have your own motorhome or caravan, renting one is a good option for short trips. It is also an excellent way to try out the lifestyle and different types of vehicles before you take the leap into buying your own.

Experiences for rent
Experiences for rent

I’ve rented a few van-style campers in my time, but the Britz Navigator was the first Luton-style motorhome I’d driven. At 7m long, it was also the longest.

The drive

The Navigator’s Fiat Ducato 2.3-litre turbo-diesel easily powered up most of the hills and the six-speed manual (although a bit fiddly in stop-start traffic in towns) cruised comfortably on the open road with smooth gear changes.

I found the motorhome very manoeuvrable despite my apprehension about its size. Obviously you want to think before doing any quick turns in a 7m vehicle, but it handled twists and turns well. In fact, it turned a lot sharper than I anticipated at first, which made for a few curb jumps. Luckily this was when we were in a supermarket car park stocking up on supplies!

Interior

Entering the motorhome amidships on the left, the layout consists of a toilet and shower tucked between the door and the passenger’s chair, with a kitchen running along the other wall and a dinette at the rear (with two seatbelts). If you remembered to duck your head, it was easy to move from the cab to the living area.

Rental motorhomes tend to be functional and sparsely decorated for practicality’s sake; the Navigator had easy to clean wood-look vinyl on the floors and cabinets, and lots of overhead cubbies around the living area to keep the space free of clutter. There were curtains or blinds for every window and curtains to close off the cab, creating a very cosy atmosphere at night. The entry door, roof vents and windows all had fly screens.

Dinette

The spacious C-shaped rear dinette, with smart navy blue swabs, encourages social meal times, although once the table was in place it was a bit of a squeeze to get in and out. Without the table it was a comfortable place to while away the evenings when it got too dark to wander to the beach outside. And when not in use, the table slots behind the passenger seat.

The dinette is easily converted into a 2.10m x 1.3m double bed by slotting a base (kept in a cupboard behind the driver’s seat) into the space between the seats and fitting swabs into the space. The end of the kitchen bench became a handy night table.

The other bed (2.10m x 1.30m) is in the Luton and was, my travelling companion reported, very comfortable to sleep in. A ladder that notched over the lip of the Luton proved stable and easy to climb.

Kitchen

While I was pleasantly surprised by the kitchen space offered in this rental, which is a plus if you plan to buy food at supermarkets and farmers markets and prepare and eat meals in the motorhome, it worked best if only one of us was working in there at a time. But that was fine: the layout allowed the nominated cook to still be a part of the conversations as they prepared dinner.

The motorhome had a 110-litre 12V/240V fridge, a microwave (which only operates when connected to 240V mains, like at a powered site), hot and cold water and a three-burner gas stove. As it was a rental, all cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery was supplied. There were also plenty of cupboards above the kitchen bench for dry goods and non-perishables.

Toilet/shower

Although we stayed in camping grounds for the trip, the Navigator is self-contained, so if you do want to spend a few nights away from facilities you can. The small shower/toilet is separated from the main living space by a door and I found it perfectly adequate for a rental, with a fold-down basin above the toilet and a removable shower head clipped to the left-hand side of the cubicle.

The cassette toilet could be emptied via an exterior compartment, and the motorhome has a 65-litre holding tank for waste water from the shower and kitchen sink, as well as a 65-litre fresh water tank.

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