A look at Avida’s first slide-out Birdsville motorhome, added to the popular range in 2015.
Avida’s successful Birdsville range was already available in a variety of layouts, but none had a slide-out, until the launch of the 2015 model under review. This Birdsville has an offside slide-out and was available as either a C-class with a Luton bed or a B-class without. Our review motorhome, one of the first models off the production line, was a C-class unit.
Like the rest of the Birdsville models of its ilk, the C7424SL (SL for ‘slide-out’) is built on a Fiat Ducato cab chassis, which has a 180 Multijet with the 3L 132kw/400nm turbodiesel and six-speed AMT gearbox. Having an X295 chassis also means it comes with a GVM of 4400kg.
On the road, the 3L turbodiesel powered the motorhome along in the manner to which we have become accustomed. For my travels, I ventured along some misty and wet dirt tracks in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney – all without a problem. One of the benefits of the front wheel drive Ducato is that there are no traction problems on soft ground.
Given the Tare weight of 3650kg, the Birdsville has a good load capacity of 750kg. It’s built in the usual Avida style, with a fully-welded metal frame, fibreglass composite walls, one piece fibreglass roof, and fibreglass mouldings for the front and rear. The entry door is the standard Hehr style with a separate insect screen. Although the usual Dometic double-glazed windows are fitted to the walls, the Luton peak windows have a very distinctive shape, which add to the pleasant overall look of the motorhome.
Having a slide-out changes the Birdsville’s external bin arrangement slightly but there’s still a reasonable amount of storage for all those travelling essentials. There are two in the slide-out itself, which give access to the under-seat areas inside, and there’s the usual, awkward access to two bins underneath the slide-out – one for the
two 4kg gas cylinders. A point of interest is that the water fillers, both gravity and mains pressure, are fitted in the rear wall – it saves having to think about which side they are on when filling up.
Like most other Avida motorhomes, the Birdsville is built using a fully welded metal frame for the walls, floor and roof. That frame has a foam sheet filler which Avida says acts as an insulator and road noise reducer. This is all laminated together with backing panels and an outer fibreglass skin on the walls. The floor panel has a ply timber sheet above and metal sheeting below for under-floor protection. Additionally, the front Luton peak/cab surround and rear wall are fully moulded fibreglass.
As I noted above, there are a number of Birdsville layouts, with either island or single beds, and some with a full-width bathroom.
Slide-outs are certainly becoming more popular and this Birdsville is an interesting case study in how a slide-out changes a motorhome, especially given the variety of layouts already available. The gains are quite easy to spot: there’s much more living room and walk around space, more storage space, particularly in the bedroom, and a larger bathroom.
But are there any losses? That might seem like an odd question but I reckon there are some. The other Birdsville designs have the dinette integrating