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Happy campers


Get hold of a motorhome, go camping and find out how easy relaxing can be.

After a weekend in the new seven metre Trakka Veneto four berth "C- class motorcamper" relaxation swept over us as soon as we had packed the large vehicle, driven out the drive and ventured forth on a weekend surfing safari to coastal national parks.

There is absolutely no point in driving hard in a vehicle such as this because you can't. It is more of a waft rather than a drive as the big Veneto glides over rough roads and off into the sunset.

"How good is this" issues from everyone's lips as a holiday feeling sweeps across the touring party.

The Veneto is Trakka's latest medium size motorcamper and is built on a Fiat Ducato cab/ chassis unlike other Ducato-based motorcampers which are van based.

It means the Veneto has a robust truck-like ladder chassis underneath, a high load capacity and a low centre of gravity.

The cab is neatly joined to the accommodation unit and it drives well for a large weighty vehicle.

Power comes from a turbo diesel 2.8-litre four cylinder driving the front wheels through a five speed manual transmission. A four-speed auto is also available.

The engine is relatively economical and gives good performance considering the weight it's hauling. Cruising on the freeway at 110kmh is a breeze with the occasional downshift on steep hills.

Fuel consumption allows about 500km touring range.

The test vehicle had air rear suspension which is superb, smoothing rough roads, allowing the vehicle to be levelled at campsites and holding it comfortably on the road. The veneto has single rear wheels with heavy duty Michelin tyres. Brakes are Brembo and make light work of slowing the Veneto which can weigh up to around four tonnes fully wet with four people aboard.

The vehicle is quite luxurious offering a swag of goodies for the $130,000 pricetag. It has two double beds on over cab the other down the back, an oven/grille, three burner cook top, gas/electric and battery fridge, shower/bathroom/toilet, TV, microwave oven, twin gas bottles, large fresh water storage, hot water system, grey water storage, integral 240V power cord, dual auxiliary batteries, oodles of cupboard and wardrobe space and air conditioning in the cabin and an electric system in the living area and numerous perspex side windows complete with screens and blinds and a number of skylights. The panoramic rear windscreen is a major attraction at campsites, especially if there is a view. It is also handy when driving the Veneto giving wide vision to the rear A large rear boot has two access doors where we stowed surfboards, fishing gear and folding seats.The side awning is a roll out type and a real asset in the warm weather for alfresco eating.

"Camping" in this vehicle is hardly what you'd call roughing it but still gives a quintessential outdoor experience with a touch of luxury and the practicality of a motorhome.