mcd nextgen kaikoura 700fb

NextGen Kaikoura 700FB Review

With options for three bunk beds, plus all mod cons, the NextGen Kaikoura is a great choice for families, says reviewer Bill Savidan.

Caravans built for families are a growth sector in the New Zealand caravan marketplace. Not all parents like their youngsters sleeping outdoors, so caravans with bunks suit them down to the ground. NextGen contribute their latest bunk-bed model to the range.

LAYOUT

First impression is ‘white and bright’. The decor is modern, fresh and welcoming. On entering, the twin bunks are to the left in a short hallway, with the washroom opposite. Facing the entry is the Thetford fridge. To the right, the kitchen bench is kerbside, with the dinette opposite. The main bed occupies the rear third of the caravan.

nextgen kaikoura
White and bright is modern and refreshing but many alternative colours are available

BEDROOM

The review caravan had two bunks, but there could be three if the buyer wishes. Each bunk has its own window, reading light, 12V power point and two USB ports. At the end of the short hallway between the bunks and the washroom is a floor to ceiling, four-door storage unit.

nextgen kaikoura
Out of the way in a corner at the front, the bunks will suit both toddlers and teens

At the rear is a large, 1825mm long queen-sized bed. There are extra large windows on each side of the bed and a high narrow window above the bedhead. This leaves enough room for sitting up in bed without disturbing the window blind. Each side has a hanging locker, a cubby and, best of all, a small shelf big enough to rest a cup of tea. Folded clothes can be stored in the lockers above the head of the bed.

A sprung slat base and pillow-top mattress promise a good night’s sleep.

nextgen kaikoura
Thoughtful appointments at the head of the bed: a cubby for personal items, a shelf for the morning cuppa and room for the pillows below the window

BATHROOM

The washroom offers a full suite of facilities. Entry is through an opaque door with an alloy frame.

To the left in the corner sits the latest ‘rectangular-styled’ Dometic Saneo toilet. To the right, the shower stall, also behind an opaque glass door, this one sliding. In between, a stylish washbasin mounted on a tall, slim vanity unit.

It’s a spacious washroom able to accommodate more than one person at a time if necessary. Storage space is available in the vanity unit and an overhead locker.

nextgen kaikoura
The latest model Saneo toilet from Dometic

KITCHEN

Many regard the kitchen bench as the heart of a caravan. This one is a decent size, with four LPG hobs on the left and a stainless steel sink with a draining tray on the right. Above is a Ranger flush-mount extractor fan and a strip of LED light to illuminate the bench.

A well-presented Swift stove has been fitted below the bench. Its lift-up lid over the hobs is different from the norm as it’s a section of the kitchen bench. When lifted it reveals a second lift-up lid, this one of metal and glass. This is the top of the stove mounted below the bench. When lifted, it reveals four LPG hobs. Below is the griller and a separate oven. It’s a novel lid arrangement that provides a solid worktop when the hobs are not in use.

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To the right of the oven is a cupboard and a separate set of drawers. On the wall opposite, between the dinette and washroom, is the Dometic 188L fridge/ freezer (note – fridges may differ from those ordered, due to supply issues).

nextgen kaikoura
The heart of the caravan has all the necessary appliances, excellent storage and is well-lit

DINETTE

The gold leatherette-upholstered dinette is beautifully contrasted against the white interior.

As well as looking good, it’s comfortable and a practical use of the space, serving as a dining room, a place to chill out, and a double bed, courtesy of the dining table that lowers to become the bed base.


There is a huge amount of space in the lockers above the dinette, fridge and kitchen bench. I thought some of the lockers would have benefitted from an extra shelf, making it easier to store and find small items. However, with the lockers, the drawers under the bench, and the fridge/freezer there is more than enough room for the kitchen and dining equipment, and the weekly shopping.

GOING OFF GRID

A good selection of standard equipment means living off-grid is achievable on your first night of ownership. Two 95L freshwater tanks, one 95L greywater tank, the 188L three-way fridge/freezer, two 9kg LPG bottles, two 100-amp hour house batteries, two 170W solar panels, a diesel heater and gas hot water should see you right for a day or two.

OPTIONS

One of NextGen’s strong points is their willingness to let the customer have a say in the way their caravan looks. If you are put off by the all-white interior, don’t despair. There’s a box full of colourful bits from which you can choose your own colour scheme. Whether it’s splashbacks, vinyl floors, cupboard doors, bench and tabletops, upholstery, cupboard handles or exterior decals, the choice is yours.

RUNNING GEAR

With a body length of 7 metres, an overall length of 8.6 metres and a GVW of 3500kg, the Kaikoura is bigger than your average caravan, but not excessively so. Perhaps the black paint finish with twin waistlines of orange and white have a slimming effect. Across the front, back and down each side it has a black powder-coated aluminium chequer-plate skirt, suggesting it is capable of handling the rough stuff. Let’s see what it’s got.

It’s a robust set-up, built on a hot-dipped galvanised 150mm steel chassis with tandem axles riding on a roller-rocker leaf spring suspension and shock absorbers, over 15-inch alloy wheels. On the drawbar up front is a decent-sized storage box clad in chequer-plate that includes mounts for two 9kg LPG bottles and a diesel supply tank for the Eberspacher heater. A freshwater tap is mounted on the side of the drawbar.

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nextgen kaikoura
A smart setup; a Weber on a slide-out in the front locker, two 9kg LPG bottles at the other end

EXTERIOR

Outdoor living is well catered for. Above the kerbside is a 6-metre long awning: one of the longest available. An alloy step is fitted below the entry door to aid those entering and leaving the caravan. A side-wall mounted picnic table is a secure base for drinks and nibbles.

nextgen kaikoura
Rear tunnel locker with decent-sized doors each side provides storage for bulky items

Up front is a full-width locker box mounted on the A-frame. Two 9kg LPG cylinders are mounted inside, driver’s side end. Kerbside is a slide-out mounted Weber barbecue connected to an external LPG bayonet fitting. Altogether, a well thought-out arrangement that offers endless opportunities for those who enjoy cooking and living outdoors.

nextgen kaikoura
A really solid rear bumper

Mounted high up at the back is a rearview camera. Below that is a powerful array of LED lights that offer excellent lighting when parked up for the night. The spare wheel is carried on the robust, galvanised steel bumper. At the front, driver’s side, is the toilet cassette access hatch. Separate fill points for the two freshwater tanks are mounted amidships. The drain outlet for the greywater tank is mounted below, under the skirt. Also amidships is the 230V power connection point. Further aft is an outside shower and a service panel for the hot water system.

nextgen kaikoura
The Kaikoura has lots of useful cupboards and locker space

SUMMARY

There’s lots to love in the Kaikoura: bunk beds for up to three, a nice big bathroom, a fresh, bright interior and everything you need to go off-grid for a long weekend. This model is available from the friendly folk at InsideOUT RV. They’re well versed in NextGen products and worth consulting if you are undecided about which caravan is right for you. Their belief is strong and they will go out of their way to visit you if you’re unable to visit them.

nextgen kaikoura
Note the large 6-metre awning to keep the kerbside covered rain or shine

PROS

  • Bunk beds are separate from the living area
  • A slide-out barbecue
  • Good basic setup for freedom camping
  • Excellent washroom, simple and spacious

CONS

  • Shelves for smaller items would be handy in some of the overhead lockers
nextgen kaikoura
FLOOR PLAN: NEXTGEN KAIKOURA 700FB

NextGen Kaikoura 700FB Specifications

Berths

4/5/6

Road wheels/suspension

Alloy/rocker springs

Travel length inc. towbar

8600mm

Body length

7000mm

Body height

2900mm

Body width

2450mm

Fresh/grey water

2 X 95L / 1 X 95L

LPG

2 X 9kg

GVM

3500kg

Tare

2700kg

Payload

800kg approx
Tow ball weight (at tare) 260kg

Price as reviewed: $117,440

Find out more at insideoutrv.co.nz

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