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KEA’S new campers go digital

Shane Kelly - 05/08/05

KEA launches in New Zealand a new generation, more spacious 4 berth motorhome – goes digital with on-board computers, DVD players and lots more new technology.

KEA Campers has developed a simple solution to a problem that now confronts international travellers – what to do with the many digital photos they take while on holiday?

KEA has started installing computers, complete with CD burners, in selected new luxury 4 berth motorhomes. Based on a larger Ford Transit chassis, it offers greater load carrying and more interior space, which is utilised for a longer kitchen, the newly developed rear seat and bed configuration and bigger storage areas. There is also additional load carrying capability of 900kg – 1000kg. The new chassis has ABS braking for added on-road safety and, in another world first, a specialised central locking system that locks the vehicle and camper doors simultaneously to increase security.

The use of Macrosuede fabric on all upholstered surfaces means less staining and greater durability. While gas central heating and air conditioning have been standard features for years, the new and more powerful air conditioning unit adds more comfort and flexibility to heating and cooling the interior. Another cosmetic, but practical, feature is the use of high quality Corian bench tops in the kitchen area. Corian is fully heat-resistant.

A new roof liner in the over-cab double berth area provides even more space and features reading light moldings.

The high quality fit-out, including the enclosed toilet and shower cubicle, large single/double berths and the safe for the storage of valuables are among the features that combine to bring the specification of KEA campers to a new level.

As well as being able to enjoy watching DVDs in bed at night, customers also have the use of an on-board computer for viewing personal digital photos and videos, burning photos to CD and word processing.

Careful use of space - Plasma screen in cupboard
Careful use of space - Plasma screen in cupboard

Click here to view a larger version

KEA is now using the technology to trial wireless internet links that will enable customers to process their emails and access the internet, including e-commerce sites, from their KEA motorhome while on holiday.

KEA Campers Executive Director, Rudi Fuhrmann, says that the computer technology is one stage in the development of special executive motorhome holidays with a range of exciting added value features.

“This is a world first and to our knowledge there is no other motorhome or campervan company doing this. This is potentially the biggest and most original innovation seen in the tourism industry in New Zealand and is another contribution to the country’s reputation for excellence in world tourism.”

The new technology is initially being trialled in KEA’s new four-berth deluxe motorhome in New Zealand, a vehicle that is bristling with innovative new features.

A key development is the ultra-flexible new three-point rear seat design, which includes a child restraint and is engineered and tested to meet Australasian safety standards.

It can be quickly converted from a seat into a double berth or two singles. The latter was developed in response to requests from customers who preferred to sleep in single beds rather than a double bed. KEA expects the feature to be very popular.

“We have already pushed the boundaries of on-board facilities with such industry firsts as safety deposit boxes, security screens, high grade Macrosuede fabric as seat covers and solar panels,” says Rudi Fuhrmann.

“Our objective is always to exceed the expectations of the most discerning traveller by providing campervans and motorhomes that are better than they expect, together with a level of service and reliability that competitors can not duplicate,” he says.

KEA now runs a fleet of more than 400 modern campervans, motorhomes and 4WDs in Australia while in New Zealand, runs over 350 campervans and motorhomes along with premier motorcycle tours and rentals.


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