Test: Avida Esperance C7934

By: Peta Stavelli

Avida Esperance C7934 Avida Esperance C7934
avida esperance c7934 A slide-out makes for a spacious interior avida esperance c7934
Avida Esperance C7934 Avida Esperance C7934
avida esperance c7934 The entertainment package includes a 19” swivel TV with DVD and Bluetooth, plus a CD player with radio avida esperance c7934
avida esperance c7934 The caf�-style seating arrangement is convivial avida esperance c7934
Avida Esperance C7934 Avida Esperance C7934

Along with the launch of the new brand Avida comes the Esperance Range of elite motorhomes. Peta Stavelli checks out the elegant C7934.

Test: Avida Esperance C7934
Business as usual!

There's a lot to like about the Esperance range of motorhomes which has, until recently, been built to a high standard by Winnebago Australia. The company has now rebranded and will be known as Avida. However, its business as usual where it counts - in the high production values, resulting in value for money vehicles that will stand the test of time, even in harsh conditions.

On the surface, these vehicles have a bespoke feel reflecting the Australian manufacturer's more than 30-years of experience. Stand-outs include the shower door, vast storage under the double bed (easily lifted with gas struts), and glass (not Perspex) louvre windows. I also loved the spacious open feel interior enhanced by a slide out and plenty of rich wood floors and paneling, and the new look livery in green/grey or maroon on the exterior.

The Esperance is the largest selling Avida model in both Australia and New Zealand. It offers a range of options including an island bed or unique roll-down bed. This brilliantly devised space-saving feature, offered in models B2463 and C2464, adds another double bed, which drops down from the ceiling at the flick of a switch.

The ease of use designed into the Esperance series is one of the key features. Another is the use of good quality fittings, going glove-in-hand with an exceptional elegance of design. This is best exemplified by the previously mentioned shower screen, which slides smoothly into place to keep the rest of the bathroom dry. There is also a drying rail over the shower. The cassette toilet is porcelain, and mirrors, down-lights and storage units come a-plenty.

All glass windows are larger than those offered by most Australian manufacturers who generally reason smaller windows will keep out the harsh rays of the sun. Typically Ozzie, however, are the welcome insect screens on every window. I personally love the louvres which lend a tropical feel, and - in any climate - allow for better temperature control. In summary, the glazing options offer excellent light, temperature control, and years of scratch-free use.

The Esperance model I viewed was the C7934 with island bed and convivial 'café' layout featuring an U-shaped dinette. This four-person layout offers a full-vehicle-width rear bathroom, over cab double bed and spacious central galley with lounge. I prefer this option, employing the swivelling table and front seats to create a sociable situation ideal for family meals or happy hour.

The table base can also slip out to create an extra bed. Another worthy refinement is seen in the overhead bed with thoughtfully designed pull-up screens locking into place to keep children safe when sleeping, or to stop stored items moving while underway.

The gourmet traveller will love the generous galley with pull-out pantry, plenty of storage both under and over, and a four-burner gas hob with compact oven grill. The 3/4 three-way fridge/freezer automatically switches itself to the optimal power mode to conserve fuel. A microwave above the fridge and extractor fan come as standard.

Good storage is the theme inside and out. Divided drawers are custom and Fleur Fink from ALM Group, New Zealand's North Island Avida agent, says they are always happy to custom-plate racks if desired. Hot water is both gas and 240-volt, while a filter tap provides drinking water and mains pressure has been allowed for if tanks need to be bypassed.

The entertainment package includes a 19" swivel TV with DVD and Bluetooth, plus a CD player with radio and USB capability in the cab. A reversing camera and satellite navigation are standard.

A diesel furnace heater compliments the roof air conditioner for maintaining comfortable temperatures in all conditions. Power can be supplemented with a (standard) 300-watt inverter, while a dedicated external cubby hole awaits your choice of generator.

A slide-out awning over the standard external barbecue fitting makes for a broad canopy while relaxing out of doors. Also standard is the external shower and insect screen on the door, speakers and double power points. The deep battery locker slides out for easy access. The gas bottle locker is designed for two four-litre bottles.

The whole package is powered by a three-litre Iveco diesel with automated manual transmission which can be driven on a Class One license. As an added bonus, ALM Group will fill your tyres with hydrogen gas to give you more constant tyre pressure and better fuel economy.

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