Test: Cedar Creek

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: Bill Savidan


Cedar Creek Inside, Cedar Creek’s lounge and kitchen area is vast Cedar Creek
Cedar Creek The options for Cedar Creek usage are vast Cedar Creek
Cedar Creek Cedar Creek
Cedar Creek The Queen-size island bed can be upgraded Cedar Creek
Cedar Creek The kitchen comprises masses of storage plus a full-size fridge and a dishwasher Cedar Creek

Upon stepping inside, Bill Savidan learns to never judge a Cottage by its cover.

Test: Cedar Creek
Cottage living

Very rarely do I review a product that has my mind in a spin thinking about all the possible uses it could be put to. The Cedar Creek Cottage did just that. At first glance it doesn't look exciting — a bit like a train carriage balanced on a four-wheeled, rubber-tyre'd bogey. Wider and higher than a caravan, it's not until the slide-outs are deployed and the awning comes out that you start to realise this is something a bit out of the ordinary. But it wasn't until I stepped inside and saw what the Cottage had to offer that my mind went into orbit.

First of all, the sheer size of the lounge/ kitchen area makes you stop and look around. The main room of the Cottage is around five-metres long, four-metres wide (that's over 200sqft in the old language) and floor to ceiling it is 2.4-metres high, just like a conventional home. The windows are of full-height residential size and a contemporary freestanding sink-bench unit divides off the kitchen area. The features make you wonder if you haven't experienced a 'Stargate moment' and slipped into a parallel universe. The second thing noticed is the comprehensive fit-out: a full-size dining room table complete with four chairs; a matching stool with a padded seat for snack-time at the kitchen bench; a generous three-seater settee; built-in cabinets across the end of the room housing the 40-inch LED TV and home entertainment centre; two full-size lazyboy-style reclining armchairs; and the domestic-size fridge/freezer and dishwasher in the kitchen. When you add in the ablution facility and king-size bedroom you will forgive my confusion. I thought I was entering a caravan but seem to have ended up inside a house!

Perhaps I should clear up another area of potential confusion. The Cedar Creek Cottage is not a touring caravan. At 2.6-metres wide and 12-metres-plus long, it is too big for day-to-day use on New Zealand roads. It is a wide-body trailer home meant to be semi/permanently positioned on site. I could see a number of ways the Cottage could be used and the importers, Milton and Karen Kilgour added in a few more. As Milton says, "It's versatile because it is completely mobile and meets New Zealand self-containment requirements, as well as being both gas and electrical compliant. No matter where the customer wants to locate the Cottage we are confident we can meet the site requirements of the local council or holiday park and as long as there is a dedicated road to the site, we will bring the Cottage to you."

I can visualise lots of different uses for the Cottage: as a holiday home in a holiday park or on a beachside section; on a farm; by a river or in the mountains for skiing or tramping, it would offer comforts galore at the end of an active day. As temporary housing in a number of roles: on a section prior to or during the construction of a new home; management/executive housing on a remote development/construction project; or as agriculture workers housing, it would offer a level of luxury not normally associated with such accommodation. It would be a very attractive proposition in the permanent accommodation section of a holiday park or as a granny flat behind a family home. In the right situation it could even become an income stream in its own right, with a weekly rental showing a healthy net return on investment. I'm sure as you read this you will likely come up with more uses for the Cottage.

Of course, I hear you say, that all depends on the price, and you are right, that hasn't been discussed. Before we do, let me tell you a little bit more of what goes into the Cottage. Milton Kilgour went to the RV shows in the USA this year determined to find a wide-body park trailer to appeal to Kiwi buyers. Although it was at the dearer end of the scale, he chose the Cedar Creek Cottage for two main reasons — its construction method and the top-quality finish. The Cottage sidewalls are fully framed in aluminium — Cedar Creek's Famous ALL Residential Super-Structure Aluminum to give it the official title — and are fully insulated. The roof and floor have more insulation than the walls and the underfloor structure is protected from road debris and water with a plastic sheath. All this heavy-duty insulation is backed up by a 40,000btu central heating system. A couple of examples of the quality finish are the exterior gel coat and the solid cherry wood interior cabinetry. The 'true' pearl gelcoat exterior is applied in a thicker coating, offering superior hi-gloss retention. Extensive use of solid cherry wood on the interior cabinetry drawer fronts and cabinet doors promotes a nostalgic feeling of traditional values.

The bathroom separates the bedroom from the lounge. In the tradition of American RVs it is very spacious with a large shower closed off from the toilet and vanity by a sliding door. The toilet bowl is residential-size porcelain and has a foot-operated flush pedal. The Corian-topped vanity sits below a huge mirror and there are cupboards and drawers aplenty for toiletries. While it is not flash and subtle like some 'Euro 'vans', it beats them hands down for space — a valued benefit for those using the bathroom day-in, day-out over a long period of time.

The island bed in the Cottage reviewed was a queen size and this can be upgraded to a king size. A good test for an RV bedroom is to see if there is enough room for two people to dress/undress at the same time. The Cottage passes this test with flying colours. The bed moves out with the slide-out to provide a walkway past the built-in cabinets opposite the foot of the bed and there's lots of room down each side of the bed. There are overhead lockers above the bedhead and a bank of cabinetry across the rear wall that includes a wardrobe, drawers and a dedicated cupboard for a clothes washing machine and dryer. As if that is not enough, hanging in a cabinet on the opposite wall is a large laundry bag waiting to receive the loads of dirty clothes — a very practical feature for those living in the Cottage full time.

The upholstery chosen included a heavy-duty bedspread — in this case dark chocolate in colour. Personally, I would have chosen something lighter. Mostly I find the décor choices available in American RVs too heavily patterned and dark in colour for my taste. In the Cottage however, with its longer, wider spaces and higher ceilings the colour schemes and fabric patterns made more sense, were less obtrusive and were more complimentary to the dark cherry cabinetry. I felt much more at home here than in previous American RVs I've reviewed.

The Cottage is available in five different floor layouts. Four are one-bedroom layouts with three slide-outs and one layout with four slide-outs and a second bedroom housing two bunk beds.

Apart from their display model, Milton and Karen don't usually have a Cottage in stock for immediate delivery (stated delivery time is twelve weeks from the time the deposit is paid and the order is placed, althought the last one arrived in seven weeks!) This way your Cottage can be tailored to suit your own requirements. The fridge/freezer, oven, dishwasher, satellite dish, solar panels, house batteries and smart charger are sourced and installed here after arrival in New Zealand. Other optional extras like the Donald Trump mattress are installed in the USA.

Again, I hear you asking, "What about the price?" The model reviewed, the Cottage 40CRL, delivered on site (not installed, you understand) will cost the princely sum of NZ$130,000 GST included. Knowing what you get for this (I have only given you an outline here), I think it is the bargain of the century.

For more information contact Milton or Karen at Silverdale RV Centre (formerly Kiwi RV Imports), now at 2 Flexman Place, Silverdale, Auckland 0932. Phone 09 4269916 or 021 336698.

Specifications

Unloaded vehicle weight

4725kg

Dry hitch weight

515kg

GVWR

5958kg

Cargo carrying capacity

1229kg

Exterior length

12.6m

Exterior height

3.9m

Exterior width

2.6m

Freshwater capacity

288L

Greywater capacity

303L

Blackwater capacity

151L

Awning size

5.48m

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