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    Avida Busselton Motorhome 2021 review: Camping test

    Adventure vehicles come in all shapes and sizes and the motorhome is one of the biggest and most versatile home-away-from-home mobile accommodation options there is.

    Well-known RV company Avida has recently launched its new motorhome range, Avida Busselton, a self-contained motorhome with a kitchen, two beds, a bathroom (with shower and a toilet), and more.

    So, what is it like to drive? But, more importantly, what is it like to live in for a few days away in a bush campsite?

    Read on.

    Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

    The three-variants in the Avida Busselton motorhome range are C Type motorhomes, which denotes that there is a double bed over the cabin as part of their design.

    The Busselton is built on a rear-wheel-drive Iveco Daily chassis.

    Our test vehicle, the C7544SL Busselton, has a double bed over the cabin as well as a double bed towards the rear of the motorhome, and its bathroom (with shower and a toilet) are at the rear. So, it differs from the other two variants in the Busselton range in terms of interior layout: the C7814 has a separate toilet and shower near the mid-section of the motorhome, and its island bed at the rear; and the C7824 has a separate toilet and shower near the mid-section of the motorhome, and two single beds at the rear.

    It also has a radio, a smart TV with DVD player. It also has a radio, a smart TV with DVD player.

    Most noteworthy here though is the fact the C7544SL has a powered slide-out section that the user can open and close via a wall-mounted control when the motorhome is stationary, so there's even more useable space inside the motorhome than there is in the other two variants.

    Pricing for the C7544SL starts at $176,070 plus on-road costs, with models expected at Avida dealers in early 2021.

    Our Busselton, as tested, is $191,288 drive-away and that includes the additional two seats belts which are an option.

    It also has a microwave and a two-door fridge/freezer. It also has a microwave and a two-door fridge/freezer.

    As standard, the C7544SL is a fully self-contained motorhome with a kitchen (including a sink, and a stove top with two gas burners and one induction hot plate, and fold-down bench-extension), microwave, two-door fridge/freezer, a fully upholstered dinette (with table and seating for four), the aforementioned bathroom (with shower, toilet, raised porcelain basin on the vanity and towel hooks) at the rear, the two double beds, roof-mounted air-conditioning, interior LED mood lighting, electric roof hatch, plus 100L fresh-water and 100L grey-water tanks and more. It also has a radio, a smart TV with DVD player, soft-close drawers, handle-free overhead cupboards, louvre windows, roller blinds, cabinetry, an entry door with a four-point security screen and more.

    Basically, anything you imagine you might ever need in your mobile accommodation is in here.

    The Busselton is built on a rear-wheel-drive Iveco Daily chassis. The Busselton is built on a rear-wheel-drive Iveco Daily chassis.

    Safety features include ABS – Antilock braking system, driver and passenger airbags, entry door grab handle and light, electronic stability program control, onboard fire extinguishers, LP gas-leak detector, and smoke detector.

    Obviously there's a plethora of other features onboard the Busselton – some of which you only discover while living in it and we'll get to a few of those soon – and there are numerous colour options for this motorhome's benchtops, splashbacks, upholstery and cabinetry, so for even more detail on standard features and options, contact Avida.

    Is there anything interesting about its design?

    Surprisingly, tor a bed-over-cabin motorhome and one measuring a hefty 7500mm long, 2320mm wide and 3125mm high, the Busselton manages to look rather streamlined – well, for a motorhome at least.

    There's not a lot designers can do to make a motorhome look appealing because a motorhome is a motorhome – there's no escaping that fact – but you have to give Avida's creative types credit for having done their best on this new range.

    While the underlying exterior colour on our test vehicle is arctic white (the other choice is smoky grey), the Busselton can be jazzed up with one of numerous decal pattern schemes that adorn the vehicle with colour options including antique violet, apple meadow, aqua burst, ash silver, burnt Sienna, citrine star, harbour shimmer, maroon haze, metallic dream, salted caramel, sassy red, southern sky, and spiced mushroom.

    • The Busselton manages to look rather streamlined – well, for a motorhome at least. The Busselton manages to look rather streamlined – well, for a motorhome at least.
    • While the underlying exterior colour on our test vehicle is arctic white (the other choice is smoky grey), the Busselton can be jazzed up with one of numerous decal pattern schemes. While the underlying exterior colour on our test vehicle is arctic white (the other choice is smoky grey), the Busselton can be jazzed up with one of numerous decal pattern schemes.
    • There’s not a lot designers can do to make a motorhome look appealing because a motorhome is a motorhome. There’s not a lot designers can do to make a motorhome look appealing because a motorhome is a motorhome.
    • The Busselton measures a hefty 7500mm long, 2320mm wide and 3125mm high. The Busselton measures a hefty 7500mm long, 2320mm wide and 3125mm high.

    What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

    How practical is the space inside?

    The Busselton's interior – Avida's sandwich-panel construction with a one-piece floor, walls and roof – is very much a practical space and the build quality and fit and finish are very impressive.

    The seats and beds are comfy and other surfaces – such as bench tops and cupboard doors – seem sturdy and are easy to wipe clean.

    • It has a fully upholstered dinette (with table and seating for four). It has a fully upholstered dinette (with table and seating for four).
    • The dinette with table and comfy chairs serve their purpose – and make a handy reading or games area for the kids. The dinette with table and comfy chairs serve their purpose – and make a handy reading or games area for the kids.

    With a claimed interior height of 1973mm and an interior width stretching out towards 2500mm (when the slide-out section is extended), it feels like an open space, except when two adults and two children insist on occupying the same space at the same time in an attempt to, for example, get ready to go to the beach as quickly as humanly possible. When the slide-out section is not extended, however, the interior is a bit cramped and you have to clamber over the main double bed to reach the bathroom at the rear.

    All interior controls are easy enough to locate, understand and operate and there is an electronic control panel on the interior wall above the entry door, which is used to monitor onboard systems, such as battery levels, power sources (electric, gas), water supply and more.

    • The bathroom features a shower, toilet, raised porcelain basin on the vanity and towel hooks. The bathroom features a shower, toilet, raised porcelain basin on the vanity and towel hooks.
    • The bathroom features a shower, toilet, raised porcelain basin on the vanity and towel hooks. The bathroom features a shower, toilet, raised porcelain basin on the vanity and towel hooks.

    What's it like as a daily driver?

    The Avida Busselton is a big unit – at 7500mm long, 2320mm wide and 3125mm high –

    but is surprisingly easy to manoeuvre around, even along narrow tree-shrouded campsite roads bustling with people, kids and pets.

    While it's a bit intimidating at first, and certainly demands the driver's full attention, you do quickly become accustomed to steering its bulk along busy suburban streets, or a highway packed with a weekend's worth of cars, campervans, caravans, camper-trailers and trucks, and on beaten-up regional backroads. A 15.3m turning circle sounds gargantuan but you quickly get used to it.

    It's surprisingly easy to manoeuvre around, even along narrow tree-shrouded campsite roads bustling with people, kids and pets. It's surprisingly easy to manoeuvre around, even along narrow tree-shrouded campsite roads bustling with people, kids and pets.

    The Busselton can be driven on a standard car licence (Class C), but if you opt for a GVM upgrade (more than 4500kg) on the Busselton you must have a Light Rigid licence.

    The four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine punches the motorhome along at a handy clip, with handy throttle response, smooth guidance from the eight-speed ZF auto, and a sharp biting action from the disc brakes all-round.

    The Avida Busselton motorhome has four seats that can be legally used when the vehicle is in motion: two in the cabin (driver and front-seat passenger) and two forward-facing seats in the motorhome section. Note: seat belts for the two rear forward-facing seats are not included as standard features and so have to be fitted as an option.

    The driver's seat and front-passenger seat are nicely supportive and comfortable. They also have arm-rests and can swivel to face the rear.

    • The Avida Busselton motorhome has four seats that can be legally used when the vehicle is in motion. The Avida Busselton motorhome has four seats that can be legally used when the vehicle is in motion.
    • The driver’s seat and front-passenger seat are nicely supportive and comfortable. The driver’s seat and front-passenger seat are nicely supportive and comfortable.
    • It’s nice to drive and very comfortable on a variety of road surfaces and well-maintained, light-duty gravel tracks. It’s nice to drive and very comfortable on a variety of road surfaces and well-maintained, light-duty gravel tracks.
    • All interior controls are easy enough to locate, understand and operate. All interior controls are easy enough to locate, understand and operate.

    The Iveco underneath has independent front suspension and leaf springs, anti-roll bar and double-acting telescopic shock absorbers at the rear, so the Busselton's ride and handling are pretty well sorted.

    Its 16-inch wheels are shod with 195/75 R16 tyres, which do a fine job of keeping the motorhome smoothly trucking along.

    The wheelbase is 4350mm long so it's best to avoid driving the Busselton up and over any steeper gutters or dropping a wheel into a deep rut because that undercarriage is vulnerable. Again, it's nothing concerning and an aspect of driving a larger vehicle that you'll either already be used to, or will swiftly become used to.

    The reversing camera helps immensely when backing this anywhere because there is obviously no visibility to the rear via the rear-view mirror, but there is limited vision towards the back, down along the Busselton's big sides via the wing mirrors.

    What's it like for touring?

    It's nice to drive and very comfortable on a variety of road surfaces and well-maintained, light-duty gravel tracks. As covered above, the motorhome's size – any motorhome's size – adds a degree of complication to manoeuvring your way along streets and, as we discovered, through a busy campsite, but ultimately those things can be easily overcome ... and we managed without too much fuss.

    Once we had pulled into our campsite and set up, the appeal of a motorhome became blatantly obvious – it's an all-in-one home. Everything is onboard, either fixed to the vehicle already, or you can pack it inside and bring it with you.

    There's a set of power-operated stairs that are extended – and withdrawn – at the touch of a button located just inside the door and reachable from outside the motorhome. Suffice to say, getting in and out of the Busselton is quick and simple.

    Once you're on level ground, and completely stopped, it's time to open the slide-out section to ensure you can enjoy the full interior of the motorhome. The slide-out section is operated via a button on the interior wall near the entry door. Tip: before you do that, check outside for any obstructions (trees, fellow campers' vehicles or tents) on the right-hand side of the motorhome to make sure the Busselton's slide-out wall won't bang into anything.

    The Busselton can be driven on a standard car licence (Class C), but if you opt for a GVM upgrade (more than 4500kg) on the Busselton you must have a Light Rigid licence. The Busselton can be driven on a standard car licence (Class C), but if you opt for a GVM upgrade (more than 4500kg) on the Busselton you must have a Light Rigid licence.

    This motorhome does have aircon, but my family and I like to retain some sense of roughing it when camping, so we chose instead to use the screened doors and windows for a welcome touch of fresh salty ocean air in our beachside campsite. The entry door has a solid flap on the outside and that can be left opened so the mesh in the main door will prevent mozzies getting in, but still allowing fresh air in. Same goes for the windows, which can be left opened but the screens remain closed so you can benefit from fresh air without suffering a mozzie invasion.

    The main bed is comfortable, and so is the bed over the cabin, by all accounts. (My kids – 10 and 12 – slept up there. There is a 150kg limit for it, so go for your life.)

    Other than that, the cooker does the job, as does the fridge, and everything else also works well.

    The dinette with table and comfy chairs serve their purpose – and make a handy reading or games area for the kids – but we preferred to eat our meals outside on our camp table.

    • The awning, which extends from the left-hand side of the motorhome (same side as the entry door), is easy enough to set up and pack away. The awning, which extends from the left-hand side of the motorhome (same side as the entry door), is easy enough to set up and pack away.
    • As with any awning/canopy/tent, it’s easier and faster to accomplish this sort of task with two people rather than just one. As with any awning/canopy/tent, it’s easier and faster to accomplish this sort of task with two people rather than just one.
    • There’s a set of power-operated stairs that are extended – and withdrawn – at the touch of a button located just inside the door. There’s a set of power-operated stairs that are extended – and withdrawn – at the touch of a button located just inside the door.

    There are numerous nice interior touches such as a slide-out pantry, soft-close drawers, magazine holders, USB charging points and dimmable lighting in the cabin.

    The awning, which extends from the left-hand side of the motorhome (same side as the entry door), is easy enough to set up and pack away, but, as with any awning/canopy/tent, it's easier and faster to accomplish this sort of task with two people rather than just one. Rest assured: you get better at it, the more times you do it.

    It's good to know that the Busselton's exterior has a dent- and hail-resistant fibreglass finish, especially in campsites where a falling branch, wayward footy, or drunk backpacker might smack into your accommodation of choice.

    • The main bed is comfortable, and so is the bed over the cabin, by all accounts. The main bed is comfortable, and so is the bed over the cabin, by all accounts.
    • Our test vehicle, the C7544SL Busselton, has a double bed over the cabin. Our test vehicle, the C7544SL Busselton, has a double bed over the cabin.

    There are two significant downsides to a motorhome though, beyond the steep initial price: 1. there is some rocking and rolling when you move about inside the Busselton and when you shift in bed while you sleep but you can't escape that; and 2. if you decide you'd like to go for a drive somewhere after you've stopped and set up camp, you have to pack away your awning, retract the slide-out section, make sure everything onboard is stowed away safely, make sure anything you're leaving behind – for example, a table, chairs, surfboards etc – is protected from weather, theft etc ... and only then can you think about heading off in your motorhome. A small price to pay – and you do get better and faster at packing up and setting up as you spend more time with a motorhome – but it's a price nonetheless. Something to keep in mind. It's understandable that motorhome owners tow a small car behind because then when you're at camp, you don't have to pack everything up to go on a short trip – you just crack out the hot hatch and off you go.

    Towing capacity is listed as 3505kg (braked), gross vehicle mass (GVM) is 4495kg, and Gross Combined Mass (GCM) is 8000kg.

    How much fuel does it consume?

    What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

    What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

    Every new Avida has a three-year factory-backed warranty, a five-year structural guarantee and two-year emergency roadside assistance. Contact Avida for more details.

    Insurance Quote

    It's easy to see the appeal of a motorhome to many road-trippers: it's a self-contained home away from home with everything onboard you could possibly need. It makes stopping anywhere for the night during your travels a breeze.

    And the Avida Busselton is a fine example of a top-quality motorhome done very well. It's comfortable, packed with features and is supremely easy to drive and live in.

    But it has a hefty price-tag and there are a couple of trade-offs when buying any motorhome – nothing too serious but re-read the ‘What's it like for touring?' Section above if you've already forgotten.

    However, there's no denying this motorhome is one of the best and most well-equipped on the market today.

    $191,288

    Based on new car retail price

    VIEW PRICING & SPECS

    Daily driver score

    3.8/5

    Adventure score

    3.8/5

    adventureguide rank

    • Light

      Dry weather gravel roads and formed trails with no obstacles, very shallow water crossings.

    • Medium

      Hard-packed sand, slight to medium hills with minor obstacles in all weather.

    • Heavy

      Larger obstacles, steeper climbs and deeper water crossings; plus tracks marked as '4WD only'

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    Price Guide

    $191,288

    Based on new car retail price

    Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.