Craving some free-spirited motorhoming? With the KEA Ultima motorhome from RV Sales Centre - THL’s rental/sales division - in Braybrook, Vic, that’s completely within your reach.
We took the 7m (23ft) long, ex-rental Ultima for a test-drive down Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and parked up among ‘The Pines’ at Shoreham Foreshore. These Monterey pines (Pinus radiata), planted by early landholders prior to 1920, give the foreshore its distinctive character, are protected by the Victorian Heritage Act 1955, and still serve as a landmark for fishermen and surfers on Western Port Bay.
Purpose-built for a couple with relaxing travelling in mind, the Ultima is ideal for regions such as the Mornington Peninsula. It’s not difficult to imagine the scenic drives following the food and wine trail, taking in the arts and culture, history and heritage that you could enjoy in this vehicle.
RV Sales Centre’s manager Dave Boyte said the Ultima was the perfect vehicle for couples or even a single just wanting to dip their toes into the motorhome lifestyle without spending a huge amount.
“The KEA Ultima has a significant amount of space and lots of storage. Most are built on the Volkswagen chassis and are very popular as the price point is very affordable,” Boyte said.
EXTERNAL VEHICLE SPECIFICATIONS
The Ultima’s base vehicle is a Volkswagen with a 2.2 litre turbo-diesel engine and automatic transmission. And travelling effortlessly and smoothly, just over 100km to our test destination, its fuel consumption came in around 15 litre per 100km. The vehicle drives and handles exceptionally well, even for a second-hand motorhome, and that’s due to THL and RVSC’s commitment to care and regular maintenance of its rental fleet, before they hit the sales yard.
Ex-rental vehicles, such as the KEA Ultima, offer potential motorhomers the opportunity to buy into the lifestyle at a far reduced price, compared to buying new.
This two-berth motorhome is a good-looking rooster, courtesy of its hard-wearing fibreglass composite walls. But that’s not all that impressed me externally. Under the rear section of the lounge, storage can be externally accessed by opening the rear doors of the RV. And, under the nearside seating, there is more storage space which can be externally accessed via a hatch. There’s also toilet hatch and a compartment for 9kg gas cylinder on the offside.
The Ultima carries a 140L fresh water tank and 110L waste water tank but no solar power. And to truly enjoy the Australian climate and al-fresco lifestyle, I’d probably option a fixed awning and a slide-out barbecue to complete the package.
The layout of the Ultima has been intelligently thought out, with excellent utilisation of space, good interior height (1.94m) and, of course, the large fixed double bed (1.9m x 1.78m) at the rear. To add to the Ultima’s flexible layout, you can option a modification through RVSC to have two single beds or a dinette that converts into a bed.
Another highlight is the shower and toilet, which are handy even when you’re ‘glamping’ in a caravan park but a necessity if you want to venture off-grid.
There is ample storage space throughout, accentuated by the rear U-shaped lounge with three overhead lockers on the nearside and another three on the offside - the one above the cooktop houses the electrical suite (i.e. fuses; remote for air-conditioner; battery monitor; water heater switch; and switches for lights, rangehood, water pump and fridge).
The lounge also converts to a double berth, with the quick repositioning of seats/backrests and the addition of a couple of infills.
And under the offside seating is the 12V house battery and Projecta suite - plus a safe (for storing valuables), and a mounting pole for the dining table.
Any RVer with even the most basic of culinary skills will delight in the galley configuration comprising a Dometic three-burner cooktop and sink (both with covers).
Below the cooktop is a slide-out cupboard that can hold plates/cups etc. And below the sink is a Tiffany microwave, with yet another storage compartment underneath. There is also a slide-out drawer with a cupboard below, and a TV concealed in a dedicated cabinet which can slide out to be viewed from the lounge/bedroom area. A few added touches in the galley include two towel racks and a spice rack.
Opposite the kitchen is an 80L Dometic fridge, with excellent benchtop space above. Below the the benchtop is a a storage compartment and two convex concertina cabinets for holding condiments, etc.
Directly opposite the entry door is the shower/toilet combo - consisting of a flexible hose and Thetford cassette toilet, and a moulded section to hold soap, toothbrushes/toothpaste etc. There’s also a cabinet with sliding glass panels that act as a mirror.
The panoramic side windows are eye-catching and provide a great view to the outside, though with both curtains and flyscreens, privacy is ensured. There are also reading lamps and Pioneer speakers at the rear, lighting underneath the overhead cupboards, gas-heated hot water, a Dometic air-conditioner for climatic comfort and a Fiamma hatch above the lounge, which allows abundant natural light and ventilation.
Entertainment in the main cabin is provided by a DVD player with flat screen TV, AM/FM radio, CD with MP3, and audio/iPhone/USB input facility.
Meanwhile, driver’s cabin features include power steering, cruise control, ABS brakes, swivel seats, central locking, driver and passenger airbags, air-conditioning and heating, LCD screen, AM/FM radio/CD player, USB input, and Bluetooth compatibility.
Base vehicle: Volkswagen Crafter
Engine: 2.2 litre turbo-diesel
Cooking: Dometic three-burner cooktop
Fridge: 80L Dometic
Bathroom: Combo toilet/shower