Auto-Trail Apache 632 motorhome review

By: Cameron Officer


Auto-Trail Apache 632 motorhome review Auto-Trail Apache 632 motorhome review
Auto-Trail Apache 632 motorhome review Auto-Trail Apache 632 motorhome review
Auto-Trail Apache 632 motorhome review Auto-Trail Apache 632 motorhome review
Auto-Trail Apache 632 motorhome review Auto-Trail Apache 632 motorhome review
Auto-Trail Apache 632 motorhome review Auto-Trail Apache 632 motorhome review

Big space on a short wheelbase; that’s the formula the Auto-Trail Apache 632 adheres to, and it’s rather a successful blueprint as a result. Check out our review of the Auto-Trail Apache 632 motorhome.

If you’ve ever seen the creaky old British sci-fi show Doctor Who, you’ll be familiar with the concept of his TARDIS; a blue police phone box that appears to be just that from the outside, but step inside and it’s a spaceship.

To be honest it has been a couple of decades since I’ve seen the show, but the main point is that the TARDIS defies the laws of physics by being far larger inside than it appears from the outside.

I’m not suggesting Auto-Trail’s Apache 632 is going to whiz you off to another dimension to battle monsters from an unknown galaxy (again, apologies to Doctor Who fans; I don’t really remember what it is he actually does), but the British manufacturer does appear to have done a bit of a TARDIS act with their Apache 632.

It’s a compact motorhome sitting on a Fiat base. Measuring in at 6.95m in length, it fits in the middle of their range. So far, so normal. But step inside and it really does feel bigger than it has any right to.

It features a two berth configuration primarily, although unlike some such motorhomes there isn’t a hard and fast rule here. You could sleep two more on the opposing couches running down each side of the living space to the driver’s cab. It would probably be a bit of a squeeze for more than a night though, so best to think of the Apache 632 as a two berth motorhome with an impressive amount of interior space, rather than a motorhome that just fits four.

The layout

Entering amidships, you arrive inside the Apache 632 with a view of the return on the kitchen bench top straight ahead. Rather than give the feeling that you’ve walked into a dead-end, the return (featuring softened rounded edges to the cabinetry) creates a nice divide between the living and sleeping compartments.

The kitchen sink sits in the return itself, which again is a nice ergonomic feature. Rather than stand directly in front of the window over the food prep space, you’re at a 45-degree angle to the window, meaning that when serving up dinner and conversing with those awaiting it in the lounge, you’re not working primarily with your back to them.

Apache 632_4

There is plenty of cupboard space for two in the kitchenette, with an overhead microwave oven, a grill with four burner dual hob and an 80-litre, three-way automatic fridge/freezer all present and correct.

In the living area itself, the two opposing sofas consist of one three-person and one double, with the swivelling driver and front passenger chairs making up a comfortable half circle for when guests arrive.

Heading back through the kitchen area, bathroom facilities are to your right. These are up to the usual practical standard of Auto-Trail. The dedicated east-west double bed across the rear joins in with that TARDIS theme, providing plenty of stretch-out space. The bed runs across the full width of the motorhome – and measures 1.22 by 2.17 metres.

The transverse bed is a great way to maximise living space on a shorter platform and Auto-Trail has conjured up another good blueprint with the Apache 632 (the ever-popular Apache 634 and Apache 700 iterations differ by having their u-shaped lounge at the rear).

All the cabinetry onboard is finished in tastefully dark wood grain trim, offset with light fabrics on the seats. Thanks to decent amounts of glass and skylights both at the front of the vehicle and in the bedroom area, the interior feels very light and airy, contributing to the feeling of generous space.

For all seasons

Auto-Trail models meet the strictest industry standards achievable for both insulation and heating and the British company subject their new designs to some very harsh weather testing to ensure they perform to standard, even in the sorts of temperatures many Kiwis wouldn’t be taking the motorhome away in.

But even if a sudden cold snap changes the shape of your touring, you’ll remain nice and cosy in the Apache 632. Auto-Trail’s insulation can provide for stable 20 degree temperatures inside the cabin even in sub-zero temperatures. Double glazed windows and a large two-way gas/electric ducted heating system ensure.

Underneath the impact-resistant outer shell is a polystyrene core and layer of recycled plastic composite material, which is one hundred percent water resistant and essentially as strong as steel. Meanwhile below decks, Auto-Trail fits a waterproof board on top of a Styrofoam core and a PVC outer skin.

The Apache 632 offers up 140-litre fresh water and 140-litre grey water capacities. There is plenty of storage cubby space for ancillary toys and gear and a 4.5m awning comes as standard. Auto-Trail distributor Auckland Motorhomes sells every Auto-Trail with two 9kg gas bottles and a twin battery set-up.

Apache 632_2

Driving it

The Apache features Fiat running gear, with the familiar 3.0-litre four-cylinder Fiat Multijet common rail turbodiesel engine providing the power to get you to your next destination. All the usual mod-cons are present here; a good stereo, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a good air conditioning system, plenty of 12V outlets for devices and cubbies to store all those items you seem to need while in transit, but which fail to be required once you reach your camping spot.

Mention of the Fiat does bring me to a suggestion though; spend some time getting used to the manufacturer’s automated manual transmission. Now that title is a bit misleading, as from a user point-of-view, the transmission works like an automatic; you just lift off the throttle slightly through the automatic gear changes. It takes a little getting used to and a test drive will let you figure it out.

Fiat’s Euro 5 emissions-tested Multijet turbodiesels are great power units though, with plenty of low-down torque and a matching slap of top end power. Pair it with the shorter wheelbase of the Apache 632 and the motorhome actually feels very light on its toes for what it is.

The verdict

The Apache 632 is another solid entry in Auto-Trail’s line-up. This one’s point of difference though is that it packs a fair bit of surprise-and-delight stuff into a compact footprint. If it’s just the two of you heading away, you’ll have plenty of interior room to play with.

And Auto-Trail’s reputation for class leading heating and insulation in colder climates means you’ll remain cosy as you boldly go where no one has gone before... although I think I’ve mixed up my sci-fi references there.

For more information, phone (09) 294 6500 or email info@aucklandmotorhomes.co.nz

Pros

  • Good amount of living space within a small footprint.
  • Class leading insulation and heating increases the Apache 632’s usability.
  • Interior decor and trim tasteful and maximised interior light (with the help of skylights).

Cons

  • Nothing of any note.

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