Review: Avida Ceduna Multi-Terrain

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: Bill Savidan


Sturdy, compact and comfortable, the Avida Ceduna is an ‘honest’ motorhome that doesn’t disappoint, says Bill Savidan

My first impression of the Avida Ceduna is summed up in two words - compact, pragmatic. Built on an Iveco Daily 50/170, fitted with Hi-Matic 8-speed auto transmission, this Multi-Terrain version is ‘outback-ready’.

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The Avida Ceduna is equally at ease in suburbia and off-grid, out the back of beyond

The Daily 50/170 is a well-balanced unit powered by a 3-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine driving the dual rear wheels through a Hi-Matic 8-speed fully automatic transmission. It develops 125kW (170hp) and 430 Nm of torque.

The vehicle has a GVM of 5200kg and can be driven on a Class 1 (car licence) but needs a six-monthly Certificate of Fitness. It has a Gross Combined Mass (GCM) of 8000kg - if used for towing, the driver needs a Class 2 (truck) licence.

Driving this model, called Daily, is an enjoyable experience. It has bags of power, smoothly delivered through the gearbox. It is very positive without a hint of hesitation. The nudge bar, fitted above the front bumper (poised to deflect wayward kangaroos) discloses the Ceduna’s Australian origin.

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The Iveco features a practical 7-inch touch screen that manages the infotainment, telephone and navigation systems

In New Zealand, its task is to carry a strip of daytime LED driving lights. Over the cab is a traditional ‘Luton front’, and the height of the Luton carries right through to the rear panel. This provides excellent headroom in the middle of the motorhome and room to house the drop-down bed above the rear lounge.

Numerous exterior fixtures and fittings make the driver’s side look quite busy. At the top, where the sidewall meets the roof, an awning track runs almost the full length of the RV. Immediately below are three windows and upper and lower vents for the fridge-freezer.

Clustered together at the rear are a 230-volt outlet, two separate freshwater fill points, the Truma heater vent, an outdoor-shower water connection and a mains pressure inlet for the onboard water supply. Last, but not least, are four hatches, two above floor level, (toilet cassette and storage) and two in the skirt (part-storage, part-house battery and electronic equipment).

I like the fact that the driver and passenger have cab steps that are robust enough to stand on. Protecting the back of the Multi-Terrain model is a tubular rear bumper that doubles as a spare wheel carrier.

This adds 360mm to the overall length of the multi-terrain model compared with the standard model, the Ceduna. Below the bumper is a demountable tow-ball fitting. The Ceduna’s short rear body overhang and cutaway body panels allow it to travel across rough terrain without grounding on sharp dips and rises.

Kerbside is a lot less cluttered with just a 4-metre awning, a small floor level hatch, an LPG bottle locker and barbecue connection point, and a Truma powered retractable double step. Down both sides and across the rear, the skirt is clad with black aluminium checker plate.

Entry

While high chassis with good ground clearance like that on the Iveco, are ideal base vehicles for multi-terrain motorhomes, the floor level is elevated off the ground. Good entry steps become a necessity, and the Ceduna complies with a pair of retractable alloy steps plus a third in the stepwell. Two grab handles, one inside, make egress even easier.

Like all Avida RVs, the Ceduna is fitted with a two-piece entry door that separates into a secure mesh ventilation door and a solid front piece. When combined, they offer full lock-up protection. To the left at floor level is a locker ideal for storing footwear. 

Layout

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Floor plan

Step inside and the cab is to the left, the washroom is opposite, and the kitchen is to the right. At the rear is the U-shaped lounge with a drop-down bed above.

Décor

Timber-plank-patterned vinyl covers the floor. The cabinetry has a light-brown wood-grain finish with a mixture of gloss white and occasional dark-brown laminate fronts, and the seat cushion upholstery-fabric option chosen is conservative charcoal corduroy.

Sleeping options

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No need for a ladder to get in or out of this drop-down bed

There are three options in the Ceduna; a double bed over the cab, a large 2000mm x1420mm drop-down bed in the lounge, or the U-shaped lounge seats convert to a double bed. Options one and two have the advantage in that they can be left made up during the day.

Both offer comfortable memory-foam mattresses and the promise of a good night’s sleep. The drop-down bed lowers to an accessible height, making it my choice of the options available.

Out back

Still a firm favourite with Kiwi RVers, the rear lounge, with its all-round view, offers room to socialise with friends or a refuge where you can put up your feet on the side settees to read the paper, watch TV or have a snooze. At mealtime, it seats six with ease and is conveniently close to the kitchen.

Carefully contoured, the cushions pass the comfort test with flying colours. There are just two overhead lockers in the lounge, both on the rear wall. Overhead cabinets usually fitted on the sidewalls are omitted to make space for the drop-down bed.

And not installing lockers on the underside of the drop-down bed means it can be lowered to lounge-seat-cushion height, making access easy. Additional storage space is available under the settees, and the seat cushions can be lifted to access this space but, in most cases, using the external hatches provides easier access.

Avida has used the space at the back of the Ceduna creatively, providing a spacious lounge and dining area, and fitting a drop-down bed to create a spacious bedroom. Overhead locker space sacrificed to achieve this has been offset to some extent by the hanging locker/drawer cabinet situated behind the passenger cab seat.

Windows

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A firm favourite with Kiwi RVers is the U-shaped rear lounge

While other manufacturers opt for double-glazed acrylic windows, Avida still offers distinctive glass louvres. Customers ask for them, so Avida continues to supply them. Customers say they feel more secure than with other window types, and they like the fine-tuned ventilation louvres provide, even when it is raining. All are fitted with insect screens and all, but the kitchen window (venetian blind) have roller blinds.

Kitchen

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The foldway extension adds valuable benchtop space

The Avida has a functional, well-appointed kitchen. The 190-litre Dometic fridge-freezer that faces the kitchen bench is rated for tropical conditions, as evidenced by the extra-thick insulated walls of the freezer compartment.

Cooking is catered for with a full Dometic oven with separate grill, a 3 x LPG+1 electric burner cooktop with an Xpelair above, plus a Samsung microwave oven (above the fridge). An optional air-conditioning unit is mounted in the ceiling. Storage lockers are mounted above the bench.

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The stainless-steel sink and draining tray occupies most of the benchtop

An impressive stainless-steel sink/draining tray occupies most of the kitchen cabinet benchtop while, below, are a dedicated cutlery/utensils drawer and two wide storage drawers. A couple of smart innovations provide additional benchtop space. One is a drop-down flap that bridges the stepwell beside the oven.

The other is two benchtop/drawers units in the cabinet beside the stepwell. These innovations are drawers with hinged lid tops. Pulled out, they provide two additional benchtop spaces. Lift the lids to access the drawer space below. Again, there is that feeling of spaciousness; room to walk past someone working at the kitchen bench without disturbing them.

Personal pampering

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Tucked away in a corner of the bathroom is an elegant handbasin

Spacious, dry bathrooms sell RVs, so the Ceduna is a winner here. Enter through the solid flush door, and the separate shower is to the right, toilet straight ahead, and the handbasin sits atop the vanity unit to the left. Mounted on the wall outside the door is a large mirror.

At 900mm wide by 555mm deep and more than 2000mm tall, the shower is larger than most. Above are a hanging rail for drying clothes and a fan vent; below are three corner shelves for pampering potions. A small opening window behind the toilet provides passive ventilation.

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ENTER THE IMAGE CAPTION HERE

There is space to install an optional clothes washer alongside the vanity unit. Storage is available in two cupboards in the vanity unit, in the overhead locker and on two corner knick-knack shelves.

Summary

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There is space alongside the handbasin to install an optional clothes washer

The Avida Ceduna is a practical motorhome. No glitzy distractions. What you see is what you get. By installing a drop-down bed, Avida has packed three double beds and a host of other features into a relatively short motorhome. And being certified self -contained, it is ready for freedom-camping duties.

It is available in standard form or, as reviewed, as a multi-terrain model. This option comes with an additional fresh-water tank, checker-plate skirts, an external BBQ fitting, an external shower with hot and cold water, a nudge bar fitted with an LED light bar, and solar panels including an extra 150-watt panel.

Pros

  • Good choice of base vehicle — the Iveco Daily 70/150 with 8-speed Hi-Matic automatic gearbox.
  • Excellent headroom throughout.
  • Good ground clearance for off-road travel.
  • Rear bed drops close to the floor for easy access.

Cons

  • More locker space in the lounge would be welcome.

Avida Ceduna Multi-Terrain specifications

Chassis Iveco Daily 50/170
Engine 3-litre turbo-diesel Euro 6D
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Berths 4 to 6
Approx. overall length 7370mm
Approx. overall width 2495mm
Approx overall height 3460mm
Interior height, lounge 2175mm
Water tanks

Fresh: 160L

Grey: 100L

Gas LPG 2 x 4kg bottle
GVM 5200kg

Price as reviewed: $209,000 incl GST & on-road costs

For more information, visit almgroup.co.nz 

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