Can a standard rental motorhome satisfy every member of the family? The Kekics; mum Fiona, dad Murat and son Arley put an Apollo RV to the test.
I’m used to sleeping in a tent. So I was always going to be impressed by a camping holiday that separated me from flies, heat and dirt.
For me, just sleeping off the ground passes for luxury. Throw in air conditioning and I think I’m at Palazzo Versace.
Even so, this is no frills stuff compared to some RVs on the market. The Apollo Euro Deluxe is functional rather than fancy. Furnishings have been selected for their durability and not their good looks. There wasn’t even a wine glass in the cupboard.
But for me, camping – whether under canvas or on wheels is supposed to be a back to basics experience. I didn’t want any more than the Euro Deluxe provided. And I’m sure most campers would feel the same way.
The Euro Deluxe also features a shower and toilet. I gave the shower a go. The water was lukewarm and washing in such a small space requires a mastery of yoga that I do not possess. But I’m not convinced you need a shower anyway. Most campgrounds have large and well-appointed amenities blocks. So that didn’t worry me. But it’s something to consider if having a private shower is a priority for you.
As for the kitchen, I’m of the opinion that fathers should BBQ all meals during camping trips while mothers kick back with a glass of wine and a good book. But for the purposes of this review, I can report that the kitchen area is perfectly adequate and easy to use. In fact the stove was no different to my cook top at home.
Setting up the beds was a little confusing at first. But once you solve the puzzle, it’s easy. You can be curled up asleep in less than five minutes. It was comfortable too. I slept as solidly as if I was in my own bed.
The brochure suggests the Euro Deluxe can accommodate six adults. I think two adults and two or three children is a more realistic number. But even at maximum capacity, this motor home beats a tent every time.Our Apollo experience was an absolute winner… from the friendly staff at the Mascot depot to our spotless and well maintained motor home.
I am never ever, ever putting a tent back together… I mean like never!
Picking the vehicle up from Apollo Sydney was a breeze. It would have been even faster if we’d pre-registered online. We finalised our paperwork then a very knowledgeable staff member (Laura) introduced us to our motor home, a six berth Euro Deluxe powered by VW.
Before handing us the keys, Laura carefully explained all the intricacies of our accommodation for the next couple of days. The Euro Deluxe is pretty much a two bedroom apartment on wheels. It has so many bells and whistles, it’ was hard to take it all in.
However, there is one feature you do take in straight away – especially if you’ re used to driving an average family sedan. This thing is huge (7.7m long, 2.3m wide and 3.3m high). So forget the Maccas drive thru!
I was daunted at the prospect of driving this behemoth at first, but Laura reassured me I’d be fine. And she was right.
On the Road
Fortunately, the Euro Deluxe is fitted with an automatic transmission which took one variable out of the equation. Your seating position is quite high and the vehicle has excellent visibility with good mirrors and a rear view camera. So keeping the Euro Deluxe correctly on the road wasn’ t as difficult as you might think.
Throttle response and a transmission with a mind of its own takes some getting used to. But once I got the hang of it, negotiating Sydney traffic was reasonably straight forward.
The suspension is quite soft and you do notice a fair amount of body roll – particularly
when heading down a stretch of road like the notorious Bulli Pass.
But, with some common sense and careful braking, you can keep up with normal traffic flow quite easily.
On the open road, it’s actually quite pleasant to drive, although overtaking does require a lot of careful planning. Let’s face it, you’re not going to win Bathurst with this rig. Then again you won’t be accommodating 6 people in absolute luxury in a V8 Supercar either!
Having been a tent based camper all my life, I loved this part! Pull into your allocated camping site, turn the engine off, put the handbrake on, plug yourself into the 240V power supply then open the fridge and crack open your first beer. Simple as that.
Would I do it again? You bet I would!
I was amazed when I jumped into the back and realised I’d be sitting in a booth with a table. And that wasn’t the best bit. There was a working TV, with a remote control. It was really comfortable at first. But the table was loose on its bracket so whenever we stopped or went fast it would hit me. But I didn’t mind because my eyes were glued to the TV!! I am never going back to a camp stretcher after that experience! 😛
• Luxurious and spacious
• Easy to pick up and use
• Fuel economy surprisingly good for such a large vehicle and very close to the suggested 14L/100Km)
• Beds were very comfy, but hard to organize.
• Some of the internal fittings are a bit cumbersome
• The shower was lukewarm and poky