Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations


Claire Smith takes a closer look at the new Apex HT-17 Expander caravan from Road Life.


Making the decision to buy a new caravan is not one that most Kiwis take lightly. Well, let me clarify – the decision to buy is relatively easy (why wouldn’t you?), but narrowing down the options to find the ‘one’... that’s the hard part. But some just tick all the boxes. Case in point, the 100 per cent New Zealand-owned Apex caravan range, distribute­d through Road Life RV in Tauranga.

Marketed as ‘top end off-road caravan’, the Apex vehicle range has a reputation for quality, high specificat­ions and excellent workmanshi­p. The Apex range offers 10 different layout options – most of which include a fully-enclosed annexe, a simple but brilliant feature that creates a second room off the front of the caravan.

At 7.15 metres in length, the HT-17 Expander is a three-berth caravan with a queen size island bed plus a dinette that converts into a single bed. As you step inside, to your immediate left is the 75L fridge freezer. Alongside the fridge is a storage unit that houses a 2.5kg washing machine, cupboards, and the microwave. The all-in-one bathroom and toilet is opposite the entry door. The dinette sits to the right of the entry with the kitchen unit opposite, and the queen bed is at the rear of the caravan.

The HT-17 Expander offers three sleeping spots. A dinette conversion into a single, plus a rather inviting queen bed at the rear. Inviting because it’s super comfy, but also because the rear of the caravan slides out by 1060mm to create extra space at the head of the bed. Not only that, but the almost full width window is top hinged so you can open it right up to let the fresh air in, enjoy some stargazing, and feel connected to the great outdoors. For those in need of an extra bed, the ‘sister’ model of this model, the 4-berth Apex HT-17 Bunk, includes a down-down single bunk bed over the dinette.

Apex caravans feature a simple to use power board to monitor tank levels, and with a master on and off switch, you can easily turn everything off when the caravan is not in use. The HT-17 Expander includes three 100A/h batteries with Projecta charger (lithium battery optional as an upgrade), a 1000w Projecta inverter, and 300w of solar. It’s an impressive package that makes this an ideal freedom camping choice.

Find out more at atlasdirec­

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