Review: Avida Esperance C7932 SL

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: Bill Savidan and Rebekah Robinson


Bill Savidan reviews the latest in Avida’s line-up

Esperance motorhomes have been part of the Avida line-up for 11 years now and the C7932 SL 2019 model is the latest rendition.

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The Esperance is Avida Hamilton’s most popular motorhome series. It’s available in two body styles—a low profile ‘B’ series and a ‘bed over the cab’ C’ series. Each format has three different floor plans. As well as a bed over the cab, the ‘C’ series offers the choice of an island bed, twin single beds, or a drop-down bed over the dinette.

The low profile ‘B’ series offers the same choice of bed options, an island bed, twin single beds, or a drop-down bed plus a second double bed created by converting the dinette into a bed.

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Ladder access to the bed over the cab

A separate ‘C’ series model, the C7994WSL, is the only wheelchair-friendly motorhome on the Australian market. It’s been designed to allow the physically challenged and not so agile of travellers to enjoy motorhoming by providing an electric lift strong enough to lift a wheelchair or electric scooter in and out of the motorhome.

Over the years, Avida Hamilton’s customers have consistently selected the Esperance ‘C’ series with the island bed layout as their favourite model.

What drives it?

Avida has chosen the Iveco 50C17 cab/chassis as the base vehicle for the C7932 SL. It has a three-litre turbo diesel motor powering the rear wheels through their eight-speed HiMatic automatic gearbox.

This gearbox features both ‘Eco’ and ‘Power’ modes, Eco providing transmission gear changes at lower rpm, while Power mode holds each gear for longer for crisper acceleration. The eight-speed wide ratio spread means the engine will always be operating at its optimal speed.

Exterior

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Dedicated locker for a generator

A shade under eight metres long and 3200mm high, the Esperance has an imposing presence and the decals, new style, and colour for 2019 extend around the cab adding character to the otherwise plain white exterior. An impressive number of hatches either side of the RV give access to either equipment or storage space.

Above floor level (kerbside) and behind a large hatch is the outdoor entertainment centre fitted out with a TV mount, sound system speakers, and both 12-volt DC and 230-volt AC power points. Further aft is a dedicated generator locker with a slide-out tray.

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Lower hatches access same size moulded plastic bins

In an unusual but quite practical move, Avida has located the two fresh water tank fill points, the Truma heater vent, and the mains pressure connection in the rear panel alongside the Dometic toilet cassette hatch. All hatches are fitted with new style latches that are easy to use and very effective.

Overall, the storage makes good use of the available space. The electrically powered five-metre awning opens and retracts in a matter of seconds.

Made to last

Avida believes the floor is the key to sound body construction. Superlight foam sandwich panels make up the walls, roof, and floor. They’re fixed to the top of the floor, not screwed to the floor sides, and the roof sits on the top of the walls. This way, stress loads are shared and the body and roof gain additional strength.

The Esperance range has 46mm floors, 33mm walls, and 100mm roofs with no plywood used in the wall panels. The roof is a one-piece fibreglass sandwich panel, which has a special rubber membrane applied for improved climate protection.

Metal sheeting under the floor provides protection from road debris. Avida is sufficiently confident in their construction methods to offer buyers a three-year, one-million-kilometre factory warranty and a five-year structural warranty.

Entry

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Opening the slideout transforms the interior

A new Australian-designed and built Dometic two-piece entry door provides access to the interior just behind the passenger seat. With its four-point latch, it feels solid and secure. The outer panel of the door swings aside to improve ventilation in hot weather.

Inside, opposite the entry is the dinette, with the 140-litre Dometic fridge-freezer alongside and the kitchen bench opposite. Heading aft the east/west queen size is to the left with the bathroom across the rear of the RV.

Point of difference

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At this point of the review, the significant Esperance point of difference came into play. CEO of Avida Hamilton Andrew Fink pressed a button to deploy the slide-out. It’s quite wide at around four metres and accommodates the head of the bed, the fridge-freezer, and the dinette.

By sliding out 600mm, the interior is completely transformed, creating space to walk past the foot of the bed to the bathroom, and room to waltz your partner between the bench and dinette. Suddenly, it’s a studio apartment as well as a motorhome.

Interior decor

This year’s new interior decor is understated. Crisp white walls and ceilings, curved locker doors with just a hint of light timber here and there. New twist latches and soft close doors and drawers add a touch of luxury.

Note that curtains are out and blinds are in for 2019. Buyers get to select their choice from the 2019 colour range for bench tops, cabinetry colours, splashbacks, floor vinyl, upholstery, external wall colours, and decals allowing them to personalise their RV.

Dinette

As the four-seat dinette in the C7932 SL doubles as the lounge, Avida has paid it special attention. The cushions are firm and offer good support. Covered with ‘Ultra Leather’, an easily cleaned, durable man-made product, there’s no problem keeping them looking fresh.

Kitchen

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The kitchen is practical with plenty of workspace

Although the bench top is a laminate, it’s textured to feel like natural stone. Inset is a smart rectangular sink and draining tray with a separate tap alongside the faucet for filtered drinking water. Next is a large oven with a separate grill and a 3+1 hob. Above, between the lockers is the microwave and above the hobs, an extractor range hood.

Over the bench are two large lockers and below are four drawers and a pull-out pantry. With the hob glass lid closed, there’s more than 1200mm length of bench-top workspace available.

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Sleek white cabinetry mixed with soft wood tones create a light, spacious atmosphere

A 700mm long bench-top extension is available to the right with a smaller one mounted on the top of the pull-out pantry to the left should they be needed. And overhead is the latest in motorhome hatches; one that is opened and closed by the press of a button. Such a good idea; why didn’t they think of it before?

It’s a practical kitchen with good working space, loads of storage all the necessary appliances.

To bed

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The TV rises out of the cabinet at the foot of the bed

There is no separate bedroom in the C7932 SL and no way to close the bed area off from the lounge/dinette and kitchen spaces. That said, it’s still a very attractive set-up. 

Snuggled into the slide-out the bedhead has a radio speaker above, a small shelf (for a morning cuppa), and a reading light each side. In the cabinet opposite the foot of the bed is a pop-up LED TV so you can keep up with your favourite programmes.

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Easy access to storage under the double bed

The memory foam mattress over wooden sprung slats should ensure sweet dreams. There is storage under the mattress/base frame. Four overhead lockers, two above the bedhead and two above the TV provide storage space for clothes and personal items. Alongside the bathroom door is a small hanging locker with drawers below. Guests can be accommodated in the bed over the cab.

Bathroom

There’s a simple elegance about the design of the bathroom. A semi-spherical hand basin alongside a curved faucet on the bench-top, the sculpted style of the Dometic toilet centre stage and a generously-sized shower to the left. It’s got it all. A solid sliding door (in place of last years frosted acrylic) provides excellent privacy when closed.

Verdict

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Because the slideout depth is modest, corner steadies are not required

The Esperance C7932 SL is an impressive motorhome, the product of Avida Motorhomes at the top of their game.

If you’d like to inspect or just find out more about Avida motorhomes, contact the sales team at Auto Leisure and Marine on 07 8505512 or visit almgroup.co.nz.

Avida Esperance C7932 SL Specifications

Vehicle make/mode Avida Esperance C7932 SL
Engine 3L turbo diesel Euro 6
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Berths 2 + 2
Approx. overall length 7936mm
Approx. overall height 3200mm
Tanks 200L fresh 100L grey
Gas 2 x 4kg LPG
GVM 5200kg

Price (as reviewed): $235,000

Pluses

  • Slide-out creates so much space at the heart of the RV
  • Kitchen is practical with excellent working space and loads of storage
  • The interior decor, modern and understated

Minuses

  • A curtain to close off the bedroom would be useful

 

Excellence Award—Dealer Staff Member

As part of their Customer Satisfaction programme, each Avida RV purchaser is contacted by phone and asked their opinion of their experience buying an Avida RV.

To ensure the process is even-handed and fair, one person makes all the calls to all the buyers, both here in New Zealand and Australia. Customers realise how seriously Avida views this task when they find they are talking to Mrs Sheridan Binns, wife of Avida CEO Ben Binns.

As part of this survey, each purchaser is asked to nominate on a scale of ‘1 to 10’ how his or her sales person performed. For 2018, the highest scoring sales person and winner of the Excellence Award—Dealer Staff Member was Avida Hamilton’s own Raewyn Pegden. Congratulations Raewyn!

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