By Tony Barthel
It’s pretty rare that I see a new RV and it takes my breath away, but that’s exactly what the AVIA travel trailer by nuCamp RV did. But let’s start here: Did you know the largest RV show in the world isn’t in Pennsylvania nor is it in Florida, but it’s in Germany and is called the Caravan Salon?
At the Caravan Salon, you will see beautiful RVs built very precisely and using style and designs you rarely see over here. And, you’ll see that RVs in Europe are generally pretty expensive and much smaller than what we typically see in the U.S., as well. So if I were to see this at Caravan Salon it wouldn’t be very surprising.
Of course that European feel is reinforced by the fact that this uses an ALDE® radiant heating system that silently moves a mixture of water and alcohol throughout the trailer along open baseboards providing an even heat throughout the whole rig. This system also heats the water for the sink and shower using propane to provide the heat.
Also European are the two-pane windows, all of which swing up to provide a lot of airflow. There are integrated bug screens and shades that slide up and down and can disappear into pockets when the windows are closed in the daytime.
Speaking of sliding, the dinette table does a nifty dance on its single leg allowing you to slide it around to accommodate diners of all sizes, and can turn 45° to allow folks in and out. It’s a pretty slick arrangement and I’ve only seen it in one other place – the Lance 2075.
As for accommodating, that can also describe the toilet closet. The shower and toilet are each in their own compartments opposite each other about midway down the coach.
The shower is a fixed-size unit but the toilet is in a closet that can actually be made easily larger to accommodate the decision-maker solving the world’s problems in there. The toilet itself is porcelain and there’s a sink behind the toilet that flips down once business has been conducted and it’s time to wash your hands and such.
Once the space has served its purpose, the toilet room can be made smaller to enable people to pass by. I’m not sure what happens if someone needs to pass by and another is reading “War and Peace” at the time though…
I’ve discussed not being a fan of fancy control panels, but the one in the AVIA features an individual button for each function and a switchable blue backlight, so you really can do something without fiddling through a series of menus. There is a second control panel back in the bedroom for the lighting there which also raises and lowers the head of the bed, a nice touch. You can actually sit up and receive your breakfast in bed or even just read something at night. Like these RV reviews, for example…
The lighting in this trailer deserves attention as there are multiple light sources almost everywhere, some of which are indirect lighting on strips which create illumination without glare. There are reading lights at the front and back of the trailer which can glow white or blue as well. The lighting is nicely done, as is the whole rig, really.
I had mentioned being really wowed by this unit and that stemmed from my first impression up in the dining area where there is a wrap-around dinette that takes the whole front of the rig. This dinette features that Ouija board table but also windows on either side as well as a front windshield and a window above that, that extends into the ceiling.
From my perspective, I go places to see beautiful things and the more windows the better. This has that whole “more windows” situation.
Another thing – the cabinetry. It’s beautifully curved cabinetry and all the doors have positive latches on them so they’re not likely to fly open on the surfaces we call roads in this country. Hey, potholes have rights too, you know. There are both a spice/can rack in the cabinets as well as a much larger one just behind the kitchen. Speaking of the kitchen, it features a three-burner stove. However, it’s not your typical stove as all three burners are in a line within a stainless steel well that sort of flows into the stainless steel sink.
Doing oven duty is a combination convection/microwave that also incorporates air fryer capability. I’ve never had fried air but I’m willing to try it.
There is so much more going on in this unit. The power stabilizers can be controlled from a central location at the tongue jack using the B-A-L SS 5.1 system. Right behind that is a lockable compartment in which are two 30-pound propane tanks, the spare tire and the batteries.
Oh, and those batteries can be charged using an included 210-watt solar panel on the roof. They can be drained with the 1200-watt inverter providing juice to the 110vac outlets.
Not only is this trailer really, really feature-rich but it’s also beautifully stylish in a very European way, which is probably obvious by now.
This trailer is easily as luxurious as brands like Airstream but without that brand’s name recognition, so if you’re buying it to keep up with the Joneses you’re going to somehow have to educate them on what you’ve got. And, like the Airstream or the Lance 2075, there are no slide rooms. Fancy trailers don’t need no stinkin’ moving walls. How bourgeoisie.
But seriously, the lack of name recognition may work against this trailer as it is every bit as nice as other high-end models, nicer than some, and has a build quality and material use that justifies a premium price without doubt. Let’s hope there are enough folks like me who just are impressed by the trailer itself rather than buying something so you have a name that you can throw around in your circle of CEOs at the country club.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with my own research and represent the most accurate information and opinion at the time of writing. Your experience is always encouraged.