When you’re keen to get out of the rat race and on to the open road, whether as a family, a couple, or just a solo jaunt, the KEA Retreat 4-Berth motorhome is the ideal vehicle for a short or long jaunt.
We hit the bitumen with the KEA Retreat 4 and headed for the picturesque hamlet of Flinders on the Mornington Peninsula, just over an hour out of Melbourne.
We set up atop a cliff, adjacent to Flinders Golf Club, overlooking Bass Strait and I did begin to wonder if a few hackers deliberately hit wayward tee shots so they could take a closer look at the fully self-contained, 7.1m Retreat.
WHAT HAVE WE GOT HERE?
The Retreat is a refurbished vehicles from RV Sales Centre in Braybrook, Vic - so who is it suited to, and what kind of value does it represent?
“The Retreat is a versatile and flexible option and its spacious house offers a myriad of different setup layouts and bedding options to ensure that every need is met,” says RV Sales Centre national marketing manager, Dave Boyte.
“Luxuriously appointed with soft touch materials and plush cushions, the spacious and homely vehicle will keep you feeling at home no matter how far from home you are. It also features a large bathroom with sink, toilet and shower and the layout allows for a U-shape lounge at the rear and also a second living area at the front which makes it very popular. You feel like you have a lot of space.
The Retreat is part of THL’s core rental fleet and the 2013 model we tested had just over 220,000km on the odometer.
UNDER THE BONNET
The Retreat’s base vehicle is a Volkswagen Crafter 100, with a 2.5L turbodiesel engine and automatic transmission. With a 3740kg Tare and 4490kg GVM, this fully refurbished motorhome delivers maximum power of 100kW @ 3500rpm and maximum torque of 300Nm @ 2000rpm. And its fuel consumption came in around 13L/100km during our test run.
Externally, the KEA Retreat glistened with its high-tech vacuum-moulded composite panel construction (with full insulation) and moulded fibreglass luton peak. A rear storage hatch on the nearside easily accommodates sullage hoses, power cords, camping chairs and the like. And a Cvana awning provides essential shade during the hotter months.
Meanwhile, on the offside, there’s a lockable bin for a 9kg gas cylinder, and a hatch for the LPG shut-off valves. And at the rear is a reversing camera.
The Retreat also boasts an impressive power supply comprising a smart battery management system, 2x110Ah maintenance-free deep-cycle house batteries, and a 120W solar panel.
Water capacities include a 140L fresh water tank and a 150L grey water tank, which is welcomed for off-grid scenarios such as venturing into national parks.
Step inside the Retreat and you’re treated to two entertaining areas, and swivel driver and passenger seats offering extra living space.
The U-shaped rear lounge at the rear converts to a double bed and has plenty of light and ventilation, while the tinted glass window provides a panoramic vista. There’s abundant overhead storage, as well.
Just forward of the rear lounge/bedroom is a full ensuite complete with full-height shower cubicle and Thetford cassette toilet. There’s also adequate storage above and below the vanity basin.
Adjacent to the ensuite is additional storage capacity, including a small wardrobe for hanging clothes.
The galley has the necessary requisites for a chef on the run - Smev four-burner cooktop and grill; 175L Waeco three-way fridge/freezer; microwave; sink, flick mixer tap and drainer; and a two-tier wire basket pull-out pantry.
A second living zone features a comfortable cafe dinette, with headrests, that can convert to a single bed (making the Retreat a five-berth configuration). The house batteries are located under the seating, and there’s an array of LED lighting - under the overhead cupboards and ceiling mounted.
Immediately left of entry is seating, with a dedicated electrical suite above comprising monitors, gauges or switches, for the battery, lights, fridge, rangehood, water heater, water pump, water tank, and media.
Above the doorway is a Sphere TV/DVD monitor on a swivel-arm bracket. It’s a fully automatic satellite TV system.
A two-berth arrangement exists in the Luton peak, which has reading lamps and windows, and the cabin features include swivel seats, central locking, driver’s airbag, air-conditioning, LCD screen, and an AM/FM radio/CD player. It also has convenient storage nooks plus a privacy curtain separating it from the living zones.
The Retreat also comes with gas heating and hot/cold pressurised water.
KEA Retreat 4-Berth
Base vehicle: Volkswagen Crafter 100
Engine: 2.5L turbodiesel
Cooking: Smev four-burner cooktop and grill
Fridge: 175L Waeco three-way
Bathroom: Full ensuite with full-height shower cubicle and Thetford cassette toilet