We may have been in lockdown for weeks, but ships kept arriving and new RV stock rolled off regularly. One of the latest models to arrive at Nationwide RV in Drury is this long-wheel based two-berth campervan, fully fitted for self-containment offering a rear lounge.

The sliding door opens, the electric step pops out as required, and a new feature for these types of vehicles - a pull-out full door-width fly screen. The wind-out awning is full body length above

Nationwide RV was originally set up as a car yard by current owner/operator Bob Gordon-Stables in 1989. From that day to this, Bob has grown his RV specific dealer network nationwide. Originally with three branches called Ashburton RV, Taranaki RV and Silverdale RV, the company rebranded to Nationwide RV in 2018 highlighting countrywide presence.

The front cab seats swivel for extra dining area seating, storage locker above the window. Plenty of light with large windows that have fitted fly screens and blinds, LED strip lighting all around. These front facing seats have fitted seatbelts

In December 2019, Nationwide RV added the Drury yard to further cement their position in the market. Today, Nationwide RV is one of the largest importers of motorhomes, caravans and buses in New Zealand. The New Age Caravans are Australian built

Compact kitchen features three grill hob stove with combined oven, 96Lt Dometic three-way manual fridge with removeable freezer. Hob and sink have glass tops for bench space when down

The company’s two latest developments over the last six months include the purchase of the property site formerly known as Auckland Motorhomes at 81 Creek Street, Drury, this is now proudly a Nationwide RV Drury site and is the second dealership for Auckland with Silverdale RV at the northern end of the motorway. The second development is a new site for the head office at 686 Devon Road, New Plymouth.

Monitors situated over the entrance door, over cab storage for the front cabin thermo blinds. Note LED strip lighting and the mini spots are built in across the cab area

A purpose-built building and site has been planned for some time, and earlier this year it was announced the office was officially moving in. It is not yet a finished project as lockdown caused some delays, but certainly is a big move on both fronts from Bob – he has a team of great people working with him around the country. All the sites handle sales of new and used RV products, offer repairs, parts, installations, advice and much more.

This Fiat Ducato has lots of features with fully auto 9-speed gearbox, AM_FM radio, Bluetooth, colour rear camera, cruise-control, day running lights

We dropped into Drury and picked up the Tribute Compact van from Treena. Based on a Fiat Ducato FWD cab chassis, with the latest technology 9-speed fully auto gearbox it was really easy to drive. This model had 0km on the clock, not often I am the first one to put the first clicks on the clock. The colour rear camera wasn’t set up, but I could easily see what was happening behind me with the electric (and heated) side mirrors.

Good storage in the doors, step up into the vehicle

Good storage in the cab and side pockets in the doors. What I love in an RV for full comfort is cruise control – so handy, radio controls on the steering wheel, USB charger port, Bluetooth phone system, GPS and rear camera are all on the list, drink holders and storage for glasses, books, food, dog leads, map books to actually – this model with its Fiat cab set up has it all, every item tick tick tick.

Rear lounge area, blinds up on the double glazed windows making for a cosy space

The Captain cab seats swivel to be part of the small dinette area, these two front facing dinette seats have seat belts fitted for guest travellers, but does not convert to a bed in this model. If you want people to sleep over you can upgrade to a rear bunk-bed model, great idea. The table is removeable. The kitchen is compact, bathroom has toilet-shower combined, manual 96L Dometic three-way fridge/freezer box and at the rear a large space with a bench lounge on each side, back doors open to the rear. In this rear area you can keep as singles if the size works for you, or simply pull out the slatted bed supports from each side, place the wall squabs down and you have a large comfy bed for two.

Gas locker is accessible from the interior, no outside opening cut into the body

The beauty of a campervan is the body is the original manufactured steel body, not a composite body made separately and placed on the bare chassis, which is what a motorhome is. Fiat Ducato manufacture these cab chassis specifically for the motorhome market.

There are different heights and lengths available, this model has a specific electrical system for greater reliability and a cab designed with reinforced pillars and pre-cut roof for vents, to produce vehicles from the factory with the utmost quality on all outfits. There are different engine options and upgrade specs that can be pre-ordered by Auto-Trail customers through the Auto-Trail dealers.

Good rear storage overhead and LED reading lights

The LPG bottle storage is accessed from the inside in the back rear area. Great for turning the bottle off for travelling, getting on the ferry etc. There are vents for the refrigeration and cooking units and one the roof in the rear of the van. In this model a minimum number of cuts into that bodywork has been achieved by having only one exterior locker door and that is for the toilet cassette.

Rear doors open revealing rear lounge area made up to a large 1860mm x 1640mm full width bed. Step up on the back bumper to enter from the rear

I liked that there is two living space options, you can make up the rear bed area permanently, or put a small table down there and have two lounge’s, why wouldn’t you want to sit with the back doors open, feet up looking at the view. I loved the fly screen door inside the sliding entry door, so handy.

The bathroom. The door opens to a pedestal 12v electric flush cassette toilet with shower curtain, a nifty sink unit folds back into the wall for storage. Storage above and below.

The windows throughout are great sizes, no problem seeing views from the front or back. The kitchen is compact to be sure, but a full oven with grill really is a treat in a campervan, and the fridge is a respectable size if you use it right (me back to my pack your food into containers tip).

The bathroom. The door opens to a pedestal 12v electric flush cassette toilet with shower curtain, a nifty sink unit folds back into the wall for storage. Storage above and below.

The bathroom has a fitted curtain to use to keep water off areas, the vanity sink that pushes away into the wall is good idea, push it in and down it comes, push it up and have a flat wall.

The Auto-Trail range has a lot of options to choose from, some even smaller than this with the new 5990mm long model released this year, so if a campervan is what you are seeking take a look and see what Nationwide RV has to offer, they are in Ashburton, New Plymouth, Drury and Silverdale in Auckland.

The new compact front end ensures the utmost protection in the event of impact and the greatly reduced front overhang gives great manoeuvrability and driving comfort. The front end comprises of four components that can be removed individually, for easy maintenance. Minimal space is taken up by the engine giving an excellent ratio between the length of the cab and length of the vehicle. This offers more space for the living unit, to the benefit of interior comfort.

Tech Specs

2020 Auto-Trail Tribute Compact 680 2-berth campervan $131,750

 

Cab Chassis

Based on the 2020 Fiat Ducato 140 MULTI-JET2 with maximum torque of 350 Nm, Fiat 9-speed auto transmission. Cruise control, steering wheel control radio and phone, Zenec Xzent 6.5” LCD display touch screen head unit, radio-Bluetooth-integrated microphones and colour reversing camera. 16” alloy wheels, motorhome specific tyres.

Weigh and Measure

Overall in mm – height 2680 – length 6360 – width (mirrors folded) 2270

GVM 3500kg, Tare 3080kg

Warranty

2 year habitation warranty (T&C’s apply)

5 year body construction integrity warranty (T&C’s apply)

5 Year cab chassis warranty

Self-Containment

2 x 4kg gas bottles, Combi 4kW gas/230v blown air and hot water heating. 3 hob gas cook top with under-bench gas oven/grill unit. 97L Dometic manual 3-way fridge with removable freezer box. Fresh and grey water built-in tanks 68 litres each, 12v electric flush pedestal toilet with 18L rollaway cassette

Living

Sleeps two – rear bed made up measures 1860 x 1630mm. Double glazed windows with fitted fly screens and blinds. Cushioned vinyl flooring. Internal cab insulating screens, removable bound-edged carpet mats, Tamsin upholstery with matching driver and passenger seat covers , fire retardant upholstery. 12v LED low energy lighting. Front dinette area with cab front Captain’s chairs swivelling to dinette. Seatbelts on two front facing seats. Light modern Salinas Oak wood

Exterior

Electric entry step, door width fly-screen to habitation area, awning, day running lights, colour coded front bumper (5 colour options)

Purpose built FIAT chassis

Fiat Ducato produce from the factory a range of specific cab chassis’ for motorhome manufacturers, with high torsion strength, lower to facilitate access, lighter and more functional. A range of cab chassis designed to allow greater comfort on board, lower ground clearance and greater stability.

McPherson front suspension with independent wheels, standard front and rear anti-roll bar. The rear suspension is designed specifically for use on a motorhome.

The increased rear track (1980 mm, category best-in-class, 190 more than the standard track) permits greater stability and offers greater width for the living cell.

Specific new tyres also suitable for long stops and with low rolling resistance to reduce consumption. The compact front end, greatly reduced front overhang and minimal space taken up by the engine permit an excellent relationship between the length of the cab and the length of the vehicle. The new front end comprises four components that can be removed individually, permitting rapid, cost-effective maintenance. Its shape ensures the utmost protection in the event of impact.