Slid­ing scale

A look at Avida’s first slide-out Birdsville mo­torhome, added to the pop­u­lar range in 2015.

Motorhome & Caravan Trader - - 2015 Avida Birdsville C7424sl - Clock­wise from top left: The C-class Birdsville sits nicely on its Fiat Du­cato cab chas­sis; the 2015 model was the first to come with an off­side slide-out; slide-outs have both pros and cons.

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.

CHANG­ING SPA­CES

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

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