The company has been in the RV business for 50 years and, as part of its Golden Jubilee celebration, it has introduced a new, top-of-the-range caravan – the Avida Topaz 7052SL.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
Avida has taken a leaf from the automotive world with its electrical switch and key component placement. The master power switch, for example, is placed at the door where it can be easily found when arriving at camp, to switch everything on or to shut down power when leaving the van.
The Cruisemaster independent suspension is an asset for a caravan intended for rough-road use, as are the all-terrain tyres.
The drawbar is a very clean setup, unfettered by gas cylinder mounts (the gas cylinders are enclosed in a hatch on the front nearside) and the jockey wheel is double-clamped in the centre. The front boot is as large as you’ll likely see in a caravan and it allows the carriage of bulky items that would otherwise be relegated to the tow vehicle.
The Topaz has a front kitchen, a sideways-facing lounge on the offside and a nearside lounge. The east-west bed abuts the offside wall, with a pop-up TV on the nearside (with a wardrobe adjacent) and the full-width bathroom at the rear.
The 7052SL’s composite rigid body does away with framing, as the composite wall, ceiling and floor panels combine to make a rigid structure. The floor is 49mm with an aluminium lining underneath, the walls are 33mm and the roof is 45mm. Underpinning this is the steel galvanised chassis, with 6in RHS longitudinal rails and 4in drawbar rails. The lateral rails are lightweight, hollowed-out steel, a luxury afforded by the extremely solid body structure.
The net result of the body and chassis design is not only great rigidity but also lightness. The 2572kg Tare is fairly light for a van of this size and specifications, especially given the additional weight of the slide-out.
There’s some trick gear here, too, such as the neat LCD water and power level indicator panel. While the 160W onboard solar is promising for free-camping, I think the single 100Ah battery is a bit light-on for extended off-the-grid stays.
The twin water tanks share a solid, steel protection plate and are well placed, ahead of the wheel sets. The grey water tank – a rare commodity in caravans and a boon for those who free camp – is fitted aft of the wheel sets.
THE WRAP UP
Cap that off with a large kitchen and the inherent spaciousness of a slide-out, and the net result is an exceedingly good caravan.
HITS AND MISSES
- Superb fit and finish
- Large kitchen
- Open living area
- Strong yet lightweight
- Not much room at left bedside
- Limited onboard power storage
AVIDA TOPAZ 7052SL SPECS
Weights and measures
- Overall length 8.17m (26ft 10in)
- External body length 6.98m (22ft 11in)
- External body width 2.49m (8ft 2in)
- Travel height 3.14m (10ft 4in)
- Internal height 2.01m (6ft 7in)
- Tare 2572kg
- ATM 3300kg
- Ball weight 212kg
- Frame n/a
- Cladding Fibreglass composite
- Chassis Hot-dipped galvanised
- Suspension Cruisemaster CRS independent
- Brakes Al-Ko 10in electric
- Wheels 15in alloy
- Water 2x124L
- Battery 1x100Ah
- Solar 1x160W
- Air-conditioner Truma Aventa
- Gas 2x9kg
- Sway control Al-Ko ESC
- Cooking Dometic four-burner, grill and oven
- Fridge Dometic RM8555 190L
- Microwave Samsung
- Toilet Thetford cassette
- Shower Separate cubicle
- Lighting 12VLED
- Hot water Truma 14L
Price as shown
- $94,990 (on-road, NSW)
The full test appears in Caravan World #545 January 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!