Retreat Aotea 260B caravan

Retreat Aotea 260B Review

With its spacious modern interior, long list of extras as standard, and a kids’ bunk room with space for friends, the Retreat Aotea 260B caravan from InsideOut RV is an attractive offering for Kiwi families keen on extended holidays. Claire Smith takes a closer look.

Known as the ‘Whitsunday’ in Australia, InsideOut RV has added a few extras to their Retreat Aotea 260B for the New Zealand market. Additions include a stylish white/black interior palette, RXP construction (more on this later), a diesel heater, a flush mount 16A power inlet, two 120 AGM batteries, and two 210W solar panels. It all adds up to create a very appealing caravan for Kiwi travellers. And with a north-south island bed plus four (yep four!) bunk beds for the kids, this comfy caravan is all about creating wonderful family memories.

LAYOUT AND DÉCOR

InsideOut RV has designed the Kiwi version of the Retreat slightly differently to the Aussie counterpart with sleek white and black cabinetry, black upholstery and white walls. It’s contemporary, easy to clean, and allows the owners to add their own personality with pops of colour and accessories.

As you step inside the Retreat, the ‘grown-ups’ bedroom is to the left, the kitchen and L-shaped dinette is central, the kids ‘bunk room’ is to the right, and the full-width bathroom beyond that. The layout means you can close off the kids’ sleeping quarters from the lounge room, although you’ll have to tiptoe past the sleeping kids if you want to use the bathroom.

Retreat Aotea 260B caravan
The interior colour scheme is practical, clean and contemporary
Retreat Aotea 260B caravan
With four bunk beds, this comfy caravan is well-suited for families

DINING AND COOKING

Big family holidays require big family kitchens that are spacious and functional, and the Retreat delivers nicely. The bench unit includes a stylish black sink with black tapware and a water filter, black cabinetry, and a timber-look benchtop. A nice touch is the integrated hob cover which blends seamlessly with the rest of the bench top and provides valuable extra prep space. There’s a selection of drawers below for pots, plates and cleaning gear, as well as a slide-out jar/bottle rack. Overhead are two cabinets, a microwave, and extractor fan. Opposite is a family sized 188L Dometic fridge/freezer big enough for a few weeks’ worth of supplies including the all-important ice-cream and wine. For cooking, the Retreat includes an oven and mini-grill plus three gas burners and one electric element in the cook top.

Retreat Aotea 260B caravan
The kitchen delivers on style and function

SLEEPING

Island beds are one of the most popular layout choices for bedrooms, and the Retreat’s is a great example of why. It’s easy to get in and out with plenty of room either side, one partner can get up without bothering the other, and the layout allows for a lovely large window and storage on either side (as well as under the bed). The Retreat’s bed measures 1600mm x 1900mm with an innerspring mattress and full height bed head. All in all, the space is light, bright, welcoming, and promising of a good night’s sleep.

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Just as popular as an island bed is with the adults, bunk beds are OMG amazing for the smaller travellers among us. And with four beds – plus an additional small bed if needed by transforming the lounge seating – the average family can likely bring along a friend or two as well. A caravan holiday, with bunks, and friends? Now that’s a holiday the kids will always remember.

Each bed has its own window (big enough for ventilation and light, but small enough to deter potential escapees), and a double plug if needed. There’s a single USB port for charging up devices, and to keep everyone cool over summer, a Sirocco fan on each side. Each bed measures 1850mm long, which means they also accommodate a reasonably tall adult should the need arise.

Retreat Aotea 260B caravan
The master bedroom features an island bed with plenty of room either side
Retreat Aotea 260B caravan
The bunks are great for smaller travellers

BATHROOM

The bathroom layout is practical and spacious with a full-sized fibreglass shower to the left, the Thetford toilet on the right, and a good-sized vanity sitting centrally. A raised black sink and premium fittings combine with the timber-look benchtop to continue the stylish look from the living areas. The bathroom is light and bright with an overhead vent, a window behind the toilet, LED lighting around the vanity mirror, and overhead LED lighting. There’s loads of storage space too with a good selection of cupboards and drawers, and the icing on the cake? A Camec front-loading 4kg washing machine.


LIGHTING & HEATING

One of the first things you notice when you step inside the retreat is how light and spacious it feels. That’s achieved in no small part thanks to the large windows and overhead skylights that let natural light flood in – and create that all-important connection with the outdoors. The natural light is enhanced with the light décor and added to with well-placed LED lighting throughout.

To cool down the caravan interior over those hot summer months, a Gree rooftop slimline air conditioning unit does the job, while a diesel heater and RXP construction keeps everyone snug over winter.

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Retreat Aotea 260B caravan
Black tapware and fittings throughout adds to the apartment-like feel inside

RXP CONSTRUCTION

The full RXP body, floor, roof, and wall construction of the Retreat is worth delving into just little further, because it is a new technology and a key selling point of the New Zealand range (non-standard in the Aussie models). In a nutshell, and without getting too technical, RXP construction replaces traditional meranti timber construction with polyurethane, cross-member frames, and closed-cell core XPS insulation foam. The key benefit is that it stops the cabin’s composite material from absorbing moisture – which means a lifetime rot-free guarantee – while keeping the cabin warm in winter and cool in summer. It’s also very strong and looks smart on the inside with a sleek, durable finish that’s easy to wipe clean.

EXTERIOR

With their eye-catching and often colourful exteriors, InsideOut RV’s caravans have always stood out from the standard white/cream offering of most other brands. As mentioned earlier, the exterior of the Retreat is handsome and bold with tones of grey and black partnered with checker plate guard panels and a touch of Kiwi flair with a black fern logo.

The Retreat is built on a 6-inch A-frame with 15-inch all-terrain tyres, and standard for New Zealand, a hot-dipped galvanised chassis. There’s plenty of storage too with a lined tunnel boot plus a front mounted checker plate storage box to hold the gas bottles and the slide-out Weber barbecue. And for protection from the elements and to help create that extra outdoor living space, the large wind-out awning is easy to set up and provides plenty of shade.

Retreat Aotea 260B caravan
The Retreat is built on a six-inch A-frame with 15-inch all-terrain tyres
Retreat Aotea 260B caravan
The handy drop-down table is perfect for your drinks, snacks and dinner plates

SUMMARY

The Retreat caravan ticks lots of boxes for Kiwi families. It’s spacious, modern, and the advanced construction will stand up to our unique climate and will handle going off the beaten track. It has everything a big family needs to enjoy time away from home but with all the home comforts that allow for a week or more away at a time.

Retreat Aotea 260B caravan floorplan

Retreat Aotea 260B Specifications

Axles

Tandem

Berths

6 

Body Length

7920mm

Body Width

2350mms

External Height

2600mm

Water Tanks

Fresh: 2 x 95L Grey: 2 x 95L

Gas Tanks

2 x 9kg

ATM

3500kg

Tare

3008kg

Payload

492kg

Price as reviewed: $155,000

For more information, visit insideoutrv.co.nz

Looking for motorhomes or caravans for sale in NZ? Browse our latest listings here

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