As practical as it is stylish, Peta Stavelli falls head over heels for the Dethleffs Nomad 650 RQT
Function and style combine in a spacious, hard-working format – these were my first impressions of Dethleffs’ Nomad 650 RQT. As soon as you step inside, you see the hallmarks of practicality and function in the smart coat cupboard with central heating vents, perfect for removing your boots and hanging damp clothing.
Standing in the doorway, you also catch your first view of the interior, which is neutral and very practical. Soft greys and light wood tones dominate, and a sense of space impresses as you take in the view from the U-shaped front lounge on the right, to the island bedroom towards the rear.
My colleague was instantly wowed by this iteration. He loved the layout, the ‘Chromo’ upholstery and ‘Noce Nagano’ cabinetry. We had just viewed the Dethleffs 760 DR, which I had fallen in love with – shows how variety is indeed the spice of life.
I concede that his taste may be more practical than mine, and – as I took in the soft grey fabric of the U-shaped lounge – I could see how easy this set-up would be to live with in the long-term.
When you’re on holiday, you want clean-up to be a breeze. Enter this, a hard-working interior that will stand the test of time. The forward lounge offers room to seat up to six people. You begin to imagine a family seated here, or a bunch of mates on a fishing trip, but also just a couple who revels in the great outdoors. Of course, the generous table is free-standing and the lounge converts to another double bed, so having extras on board is a distinct reality.
And, when the crowds have gone and you want some alone time, there’s another hidden but very clever feature in the smart TV, which pivots on a multi directional bracket. Smart thinking.
Dethleffs seems to specialise in great kitchen design. Again, I am impressed by the sleek bank of kitchen soft-close drawers and overhead cabinets in this vehicle, all of which seem unusually generous for an RV. There’s a 142L fridge-freezer at the far end. Beside this is a wall with a practical and pleasantly detailed splashback, which is later revealed to be back-lit, beside the oven and hob. The oven itself is set into the bank of drawers, adding to the sleek sense of style and function, as well as being immensely practical. The drawers are easy-glide and deep, and there’s a cool vertical pantry that is very well thought out. Overhead skylights and opening windows make for a very light interior. Opposite the kitchen is another bench with two cupboards – perfect for additional preparation space. Beside this is a very welcome double-front wardrobe.
East meets West
The east-west island bed retracts when not in use to increase the ease of movement throughout the day. There’s plenty of storage underneath, and the bed lifts on gas struts. With bedside cabinets on each side and large windows on both walls, this is an impressive space. The half-round wall panel for hanging a bathrobe or towel echoes the splashback in the kitchen and is distinctly different and vaguely Oriental in design. There’s a touch of zen about it and it’s a departure from the norm – an additional bit of designer flair, which is also practical.
And now we come to the full-width rear bathroom, also east-west in its orientation and a large, practical space with separate shower cubicle, pivoting 18L Thetford toilet with mid-way vanity and plenty of storage and bench space.
The more I saw of this vehicle, the more I found to like, and it reinforced my firm belief that first impressions, while important, are just a part of the picture. I began to sympathise with the plight of the consumer whose head must spin after viewing numerous, vastly different, vehicles.
Behind the scenes
The vehicle is fully self-contained with 160L of fresh water and 145L of grey water in monitored on-board tanks. A 150Ah lithium battery comes with a built-in battery management system and Bluetooth monitoring. There’s a 400W solar system with regulator, and an ALDE LPG/230V radiator central heating system and hot water cylinder, together with AirPlus ventilation. The windows are double-glazed and the vehicle features XPS insulation in floor, roof and wall cavities. The AL-KO chassis is heavy duty with suspension for extreme payloads, stabiliser coupling and self-adjusting brakes. Heavy-duty tyres surround 14” alloy wheels.
Central RV ensures its vehicles leave the lot camping ready with WOF, registration, gas certification, electrical WOF, self-containment certification, a full 9kg LPG gas bottle, a 20m power lead step, bubble level and much, much more.
Dethleffs is doing a great job producing attractive, practical caravans that beg to be taken on extended tours. I like all of the thoughtful extras Central RV ensures are onboard when you’re ready to roll. This sort of service really impresses and makes it easier for the newbie to get underway in confidence, set up and be camp-ready in a vehicle that will really go the distance.
For more information, visit: https://www.centralrv.co.nz/
|MAKE & MODEL:
|Dethleffs Nomad 650 RQT (tandem axle)
|AL-KO Heavy Duty
|160L fresh/145L grey
|UNLADED MASS (TARE):