Outdoors

Solar-powered off-road caravan comfortably shelters a large family on outback adventures

Solar-powered off-road caravan...
Avida debuted the Rock in June
Avida debuted the Rock in June
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The Avida Rock has a dry bath layout with a shower compartment separated from the toilet area
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The Avida Rock has a dry bath layout with a shower compartment separated from the toilet area
Like other Australian caravans we've looked at, the Avida Rock is tough and muscular outside, cozy and luxurious inside
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Like other Australian caravans we've looked at, the Avida Rock is tough and muscular outside, cozy and luxurious inside
The large stone guard up front protects the trailer
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The large stone guard up front protects the trailer
A look inside the Avida Rock - Avida also offers a dual bench dinette set
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A look inside the Avida Rock - Avida also offers a dual bench dinette set
We thought the neutral look would be but one option, but the options list is filled with various levels of white, black, gray and silver
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We thought the neutral look would be but one option, but the options list is filled with various levels of white, black, gray and silver
The kitchen comes standard with a four-burner cooktop (three gas, one electric), microwave, gas grill (broiler) and compressor fridge, and a range with oven is also on offer
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The kitchen comes standard with a four-burner cooktop (three gas, one electric), microwave, gas grill (broiler) and compressor fridge, and a range with oven is also on offer
Avida uses LED lighting throughout
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Avida uses LED lighting throughout
The Rock body measures 21 feet (6.4 m) long, while the entire trailer measures 28 feet (8.6 m)
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The Rock body measures 21 feet (6.4 m) long, while the entire trailer measures 28 feet (8.6 m)
Avida debuted the Rock in June
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Avida debuted the Rock in June
Another element of the Avida Rock caravan that's nicer than some homes - the porcelain bowl bathroom sink
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Another element of the Avida Rock caravan that's nicer than some homes - the porcelain bowl bathroom sink
Buyers can opt for two or three bunks, depending upon their capacity needs
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Buyers can opt for two or three bunks, depending upon their capacity needs
Avida Rock off-road caravan
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Avida Rock off-road caravan
Inside the Avida Rock
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Inside the Avida Rock
A look at the full kitchen counter area
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A look at the full kitchen counter area
Front double bed
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Front double bed
Avida's first Rock floor plan
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Avida's first Rock floor plan

Think "hard-sided caravan," and you might end up with images of poolside family vacations at motorhome resorts. But "Australian hard-sided caravan" tends to inspire very different visions - like battling off poisonous snakes and spiders on the Outback adventure of a lifetime, just hours before enjoying an air-conditioned family dinner prepared on a kitchen nicer than you'd find in many homes. The new Avida Rock is one of the latest such Australian caravans, and it's built to survive the harshest, driest slices of the Outback while showering the whole family in comfort and luxury.

Like other good Australian off-road caravans and trailers, the Avida Rock relies on an ultra-tough hot-dipped galvanized chassis as its foundation. A Cruisemaster XT independent coil suspension cushions the 16-in alloy wheels wrapped in 245/75R16 tires, and Dexter brakes deliver stopping power.

The large stone guard up front protects the trailer
The large stone guard up front protects the trailer

Up above that solid foundation, Avida has built a 21-foot (6.4-m) body with a proprietary sandwich panel construction. Wraparound checker plating along the walls and a stone guard up front helps those sandwich panels fend off the inevitable projectiles of off-road travel.

Avida's design is hard as a rock outside, but things soften immediately upon entering the side door, revealing a chic, ultramodern living space with nearly all the comforts of home. With sleeping options including the fixed double bed tucked neatly into the front, a convertible central dinette lounge, and two to three stacked bunk beds at the rear, the Rock sleeps up to seven people, including five adults, making it perfect for adventurous families, whether nuclear or extended.

Front double bed
Front double bed

Fit for the amateur chef, the Rock kitchen is about as far a cry from dangling skewered wienies over a campfire as you can get while still cooking in the wild. The standard three-burner gas stove with electric cooker hiding below the sleek glass lid makes easy work of boiling, sautéeing and frying, while the included gas grill (broiler) and microwave offer alternative cooking methods. Those looking for even more cooking versatility can opt for the available range with oven. The kitchen sink includes a separate filtered faucet for drinking water, and a two-door compressor fridge provides cold storage.

For those that prefer cooking in the open air while camping and traveling, a slide-out kitchen and slide-out BBQ grill are available options.

The Rock's bathroom is in the rear corner, across from the bunk beds. It features a dry bath layout with a toilet, sink and separate shower compartment. Next to the sink is a washing machine.

Inside the Avida Rock
Inside the Avida Rock

The Rock's generous standard equipment package helps to elevate its interior well above caravan average, and we think the use of neutral colors and contrasts further enhances things. Buyers have a selection of various furniture colors, but the palate appears to be filled with various tones of white, black and gray - not for everyone, but we think it gives the Rock a clean, modern look throughout, an interesting contrast to the natural earth tones that likely lurk just outside the window.

The Rock includes a standard 300W solar system, hot water heater, roof-mounted air conditioner and LED lighting throughout. A Bluetooth stereo system with included outdoor speakers and a TV with DVD player are also standard. Fresh water is split between two 120-L tanks, and grey water finds its home in a 125-L tank.

Additional standard equipment worth mentioning includes a roll-out awning, outdoor shower with hot and cold water, dual spare tires, and a drawbar toolbox with slide-out trays. Storage is available throughout the interior and exterior.

Avida Rock off-road caravan
Avida Rock off-road caravan

Avida doesn't list a simple base price on its website, but we inquired for a price specific to Victoria, Australia on Friday and were given a quote of AU$88,490 (approx. US$62,775). That's a whole lot of money for a trailer, but as we've seen in the past, Australian caravan and camper trailer makers tend to sell super-tough, top-quality trailers with all the bells and whistles to those willing to pay the price. Avida backs the Rock with a three-year factory-backed warranty, five-year structural guarantee, and two-year 24/7 roadside assistance program.

Source: Avida

1 comment
Leonard Foster Jr
Now this looks well worth the price.