KEA’s Navigator T555 motorhome is set up for touring and ease of driving. On my adventure with it around the north-west region of Victoria for this review, it was pretty much a matter of get-in-and-go. The purpose of this review was to see just how comfortable it would fit a family of four (or a couple) and how well it would drive with this in mind.
A little lover’s nook or bench space is created in the boot of the vehicle once the bed has been dropped down, so that when the boot is up, two people can swing their legs over the back and sit and appreciate their natural surroundings — well, that’s what it’s supposed to do — but I’d rather put an esky at the back for easy access to the wine bottle while seated in chairs al fresco-style.
All KEA models are ex-rentals and are refurbished once they come off the rental fleet and onto the market. This means you know that you’re purchasing a motorhome that has been well-maintained and serviced and built to last — especially since they are assembled locally in Melbourne and based on the reputably tough Toyota HiAce Super Long Wheelbase.
It comes with a 3.0L unleaded petrol or diesel engine with automatic transmission that runs smoothly through the gears. The reversing camera built into the rearview mirror is handy when reverse parking a vehicle of this size. It also comes with a payload of just over 700kg, which doesn’t amount to much when you include four people, supplies, and the extra toys that come with a camping trip. But the comfort and space hopefully means you’ll be spending more time entertaining and relaxing indoors without the need for extra curricular activities to fill your time. In saying this, there is still ample storage internally and externally for all your necessary items.
This KEA Navigator (known as the Voyager in the Britz and Maui rental fleet) has basic fittings and a simple but well designed layout. There’s ample kitchen space and storage, with a large prepping area that includes a two-burner Dometic stovetop, sink (no hot water) and integrated Nero microwave. A decent sized 85L Engel fridge should fit enough supplies for a family of four on the road. I like that there’s plenty of storage space for cutlery and dry goods as well.
There’s a drop-down dinette table which comfortably seats four without the elbow squeeze, and with the house stereo in reach with a USB charging point. This could be the main location for family gatherings over the summer months — playing some ambient dinner tunes, sharing a meal and avoiding the mosquitos and flies outside.
The KEA Navigator T555 sleeps four people in double beds — which is an impressive feat given its length of 5.55m (18ft). The mini Luton peak over the cab includes a double bed at 2m x 1.2m (6ft 5in x 4ft) which can also be used for additional storage space (it has extra ventilation in its roof). The other double bed is 1.85m x 1.24m (6ft x 4ft) and drops down towards the rear of the vehicle, so it can be stored away and converted into a comfy dinette for four at breakfast time. For extra comfort and privacy, there are flyscreens and roll-down blinds for each window and a handy partition between the cab and the rear of the van.
The Navigator comes with the requisite electronics you’d expect in a motorhome: a CD player with AM/FM Radio with aux input and bluetooth, a couple of front and rear USB points and 12V outlets to the rear of the vehicle — all in easy reach. The aircon and heating is only available in the front cab section of the vehicle, but shouldn’t take long to cool or heat the length of the van.