Review: UniCampa 650 RDB

By: Bill Savidan


unicampa Motorhome The UniCampa 650RDB is not a large RV so it’s easy to park when out and about unicampa Motorhome
layout The layout layout
cab Cab air-conditioning and a radio are part of the standard fit-out cab

UniCampa, the latest motorhome brand to make an entry on Kiwi roads benefits from Sunliner’s 40+ years’ experience in developing and designing RVs

UniCampa is a brand new product range from a brand new manufacturer. In their own words, "UniCampa is a fresh brand of RVs developed and designed with assistance from Sunliner Recreational Vehicles, (benefitting from) Sunliner’s 40+ years’ experience in Australian RV manufacturing."

It is an unusual collaboration that allows UniCampa to sidestep the development stage most RV manufacturers have to endure. At first glance, the end product reflects this advantage.

Built on an LVD V80 cab chassis, the 650 RDB model has a low profile body with a Luton front over the cab.

The curved roof of the Luton flowing straight back into the flat roofline results
in an attractively balanced appearance.

Unicampa -again

It has a minor dress-up with alloy wheels and discreet gold and grey decals around the waistline. Mounted right along the roofline is a 3.5m wind-out awningIt is not a large RV—just 6500mm long, 2230mm wide, and 3000mm high—so it’s easy to park when out and about.

There is just one hatch kerbside, which opens to a tunnel storage locker that has a matching hatch on the driver’s side with lots of room to store outdoor furniture, a barbecue, and golf clubs.

This storage space, located under the lounge seats, can be accessed from inside the vehicle. Two other hatches access the toilet cassette and storage for two 4kg LPG bottles.

Stepping inside

Unicampa

The entry is in the middle of the motorhome. Turn towards the cab and the kitchen is on the left and the bathroom on the right. Turn towards the rear and you are in the Kiwi-favoured U-shaped lounge.

Stowed in the ceiling above the lounge is a drop-down double bed. The lounge seating can be made up into a second double bed when required.

Like most drop-down beds, it can be left made-up when stowed away. It has four corner guides that keep the bed free of movement when in use.

In the lowered position, the mattress is less than a metre off the floor, so it’s easy to get into and out of bed. When sitting up, care must be taken not to disturb the blinds behind the pillows.

Unicampa -bed

With windows on three sides, the lounge is a good place to relax and observe what’s going on outside. The seat cushions are firm with well-shaped backrests providing excellent support.

They are covered with a hard-wearing sage and oatmeal-coloured coarse weave fabric (other options are available).

With the pedestal table in place, the lounge serves as a dinette for four. The table pedestal telescopes up and down, and the tabletop slides from side to side and fore and aft so the top can be moved to almost any position to suit the occasion.

No-frill interior

There is not a lot of embellishment to the interior décor. The double glazed windows have blinds and insect screens but no curtains, no padded backboards, no buttoned cushions, and vinyl on the floor rather than carpets. Everything is plain.

It is not lack of taste but rather a deliberate policy to provide everything necessary for function but to cut out the frills. The aim is to reduce the price so that more buyers can afford a new motorhome. The frills can be added later if that’s what the owner wants.

A compact kitchen

Kitchen

Tucked in between the door and cab, the kitchen is quite compact. That said, it has all the essential appliances. A sink, draining tray, and three-burner stovetop occupy the benchtop. Additional workspace is available on a cabinet on the other side of the step well.

There is plenty of storage for pots, pans, and crockery. Drawers and lockers surround the Thetford grill/oven below the bench and there are two large lockers above the bench along with an enormous three-way two-door 160-litre Dometic fridge/freezer for perishables located opposite the kitchen.

A range hood and an opening window behind the cooktop manage ventilation. So as long as the cook is organised, meal preparation shouldn’t be an issue.

There is a lot of useful space in the Luton over the cab. Fitted with a single mattress, it is fully lined with a carpet-like material, so it can be used for sleeping or storage.

A safety net is provided to keep the occupying cargo from falling out and a full-length curtain serves the dual purpose of giving privacy to the occupant of the bed as well as screening off the cab at night.

Bathroom

Bathroom

Like the kitchen, the bathroom is compact, practical, and functional. The handbasin is part of the moulded GRP bathroom unit. It’s shaped into the wall behind the Thetford C400 bench toilet, so you have to lean over the toilet to use it. There is a shower handpiece mounted on a slide on the wall.

A curtain is provided to confine shower over-spray to the shower area. It’s not a place you would linger in unnecessarily but it contains everything you need with enough room to use it.

Surprisingly, considering the no-frills approach, there are some other creature comforts supplied as standard. These include a 16-litre Truma LPG/electric hot water service, a TV aerial and 19" TV, and a manual pull-out entry step.

The works

Dashboard

In city traffic, the LDV V80 is an enthusiastic performer with its free-revving engine and crisp gearshifts from the six-speed AMT gearbox.

When in hill country, it pays to change gears early to keep the engine ‘revs’ up. Below 2000rpm, the motor can become sluggish.

Cab air-conditioning and a radio are part of the standard fit-out as are the drinks holder, glove box, and cigarette lighter/ashtray.

Clustered together in a central console mounted on top of the dashboard, the speedometer and rev counter are easyto see, but the fuel and temperature gauges, mounted on each side, are not so visible. Both driver and passenger get airbags, and electronic skid control assistance and hill-hold assistance round out the safety package. 

The faces behind the brand

Faces -behind -unicampajpg

Michele and Rhys Hunter are introducing the UniCampa to the New Zealand market. Born and raised in Tauranga, they have spent most of their lives there.

Until recently, Rhys, in partnership with its current operator, spent 12 years operating The Boat Place Tauranga Ltd, offering a range of boat support services, learning and using what is an ideal skillset for someone moving into the RV service industry.

After 14 months of selling and servicing imported and local product at a local RV dealership and gaining experience and an understanding of products and services needed in the RV industry, Rhys concluded he should run his own RV sales and service business in Tauranga.

And thus, Road Life RV was born. The company has secured an agency for the Australian brands Sunliner and UniCampa, chosen because they make quality products backed by experienced and trusted manufacturers.

Prices for the UniCampa 650 RDB start at $125,990 including GST. The model reviewed includes a Webasto diesel cabin heater and 3.5m wind-out awning and retails for $129,990 including GST.

UniCampa 650 RDB specifications

Unicampa -specifications

Berths: 5 (2 in double, 2 in rear singles, 1 in Luton)

Overall length: 6500mm +/- 50mm

Overall width: 2230mm +/- 25mm

Overall height: 2230mm +/- 25mm

Freshwater capacity: 100L

Grey water capacity: 110L

GVM: 3500kg

Price, as reviewed: $129,990 (including GST)

Pluses

  • The drop-down 
  • bed lowers to a sensible height
  • The rear club lounge—my 
  • favourite layout
  • The 160L, two-door, three-way Dometic fridge freezer

Minuses

  • Nil

For more information, call Road Life RV on 07 579 6489.

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