Caravan review: Cougar 25 RKS NZ

By: Peta Stavelli


Cougar 25 RKS NZ Cougar 25 RKS NZ
Cougar 25 RKS NZ This is a great entertainment unit inside and out. Cougar 25 RKS NZ
Cougar 25 RKS NZ Cougar 25 RKS NZ
Cougar 25 RKS NZ Cougar 25 RKS NZ
Cougar 25 RKS NZ The Corian-like benchtop adds a luxurious finish. Cougar 25 RKS NZ
Cougar 25 RKS NZ Fifth-wheelers are said to be stable performers on the road due to the fifth-wheel mechanism bedded into the ute tray. Cougar 25 RKS NZ
Cougar 25 RKS NZ The master bedroom is located upstairs. Cougar 25 RKS NZ
Cougar 25 RKS NZ The Cougar 25 RKS NZ features a slide-out dining area. Cougar 25 RKS NZ

Fifth-wheelers offer a lot of bang for the buck as Peta Stavelli discovers during a visit to Bay of Plenty RV to look over the new Cougar 25.

If you're a caravan owner at heart, but you're looking for an on- and off-road vehicle you can truly call 'home on the road', the answer may be in the purchase of a fifth-wheeler.

Climb aboard any fifth-wheeler and the first thing that strikes you will usually be the space. Slide-outs account for a lot more useable space, but fifth-wheel layouts usually also stretch to separate bedrooms and generous bathrooms.

All of this with an ease of manoeuvrability, and the convenience of a caravan you can park up and leave while you explore the surrounding area.

Fifth-wheelers are also reputed to be stable performers on the road due to the fifth-wheel mechanism bedded into the ute tray. This means 20 percent of the weight of a fifth-wheeler is over the axles of the tow vehicle as opposed to a towbar. This better weight distribution makes a substantial difference to towing performance.

Another plus, if you're already the owner of a good working ute, is you have the means to transport your recreational vehicle and also to get around and explore when you have parked up at your next Shangri-la.

The Cougar

With all of the above attributes in mind, I was keen to look over a new offering for the New Zealand market: the Cougar 25 RKS NZ.

Note the 'NZ' in the name. These vehicles, imported from the USA, have already been converted by Bay of Plentry RV to comply with New Zealand standards before they go on sale.

The purchase price includes the certification of electrical and gas appliances; certification for self-containment; solar panels; a satellite dish and two deep-cycle batteries.

Additionally, the staff at Bay of Plenty RV will be more than happy to talk to you about any personal touches you would like. These are, after all, RV lovers themselves and keen converts to fifth-wheelers.

Cougar _25_3

The Cougar 25 RKS NZ has a slide-out dining area opposite the entry door, so the immediate impression on entering is one of great spaciousness. As the full scope of amenities on offer becomes apparent, it is clear this is a true home away from home.

The galley comprises a Thetford three-burner oven with grill and extractor fan, microwave, and 220-litre fridge-freezer attractively concealed with wood panelling. The Corian-like benchtop adds a luxurious and practical finish to what is a very workable galley for the keen cook.

The dinette seats convert to another double bed and opposite is another surprise sofa bed cleverly disguised as a handsome leather sofa. Everything but the TV and microwave are either powered by 12-volt or LPG.

There is a mass of visible (and a great deal of hidden) storage — an example of which is to be found under the table.

Carpet and gas furnace underfloor heating makes for a cosy all season space, while every opening window has the security of insect screens, as well as blinds. Looking around, in every room, electrical plugs are aplenty for using or recharging all of your devices.

Full amenities

Meanwhile, the vehicle comes standard with flat screen TV complete with Freeview and Sky box, CD, DVD, and MP3, all of the preceding housed in a very nice entertainment unit. Safety features include a fire extinguisher and alarms for smoke, carbon dioxide, and gas. A real treat for me was Nick's demonstration of the Cougar remote control which operates the slide, awning landing gear, and docking lights.

Stepping from the galley to the bathroom, the impression of household-sized amenities in a cleverly-designed space is continued with a full-sized shower on offer, together with a Dometic foot-flush porcelain toilet. Such luxuries one has not previously dreamed of in an on-road vehicle.

The master bedroom is a real retreat for the grown-ups, being both upstairs and behind a door. I am sure the luxury of such privacy will be much appreciated by many whether travelling with family or friends.

Cougar _25_8

The Cougar is fully insulated with masses of underfloor storage. It comes with external speakers and an outside shower, so this is a great entertainment unit with space inside and functionality out under the generous awning when friends pop over for a drink.

After inspecting this solid and substantial offering, my conclusion is, that with a tare weight of just 2898 kilograms and an overall length of eight metres, you will be enjoying a great deal of vehicle for a relatively modest outlay of $83,000.

For more information contact Nick Blair of Bay Of Plenty RV on 027 315 6761.

Features

  • Outdoor speakers
  • Exterior power points
  • Alloy wheels
  • Polar package — upgraded insulation, fully-enclosed, heated underbelly
  • Ladder
  • Smoke alarm
  • CO detector
  • LPG detector
  • Fire extinguisher

Optional extras

  • Self-seeking satellite dish
  • Air conditioning
  • Second flat screen TV (in bedroom)
  • Upgraded solar/battery package

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