A’van Ovation M5 Motorhome: Video Review

By: Laura Keys, Photography by: Ellen Dewar


Experience comfort at its peak in the spacious A’van Ovation M5 Motorhome.

At 7.17m (23ft 6in) long, the A’van Ovation M5 is large enough for comfortable living and A’van’s designers have certainly taken advantage of this when designing its layout. With two beds, two lounges (rear club and offside cafe-style), four seatbelts, a full-size bathroom and a large kitchen, the M5 could easily accommodate a travelling family, or would be a spacious and luxurious ride for a couple who enjoy entertaining guests or bringing the grandkids along for the ride (occasionally!).

DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION

The Ovation and, indeed, all new A’van motorhomes, are built on Fiat Ducato cab chassis. This M5 scores the brand new Ducato cab, which has been re-engineered to improve access to the 180 Multijet 3L turbodiesel engine. The engine runs a six-speed automated manual (AMT) gearbox, giving the driver the choice of driving it in either manual or automatic mode. With some AMT gearboxes, I wouldn’t even bother attempting auto selection and I’d go straight for manual, particularly when travelling uphill. However, the Ducato performed admirably in automatic mode, even climbing up Mt Donna Buang, in the southern reaches of the Victorian Alps, with ease.

A new audio system is another fresh feature, and there’s also an LCD screen for the rear-vision camera.

The motorhome’s body has all the standard external fitments but not too many bells and whistles. The nearside features a Thule awning and Hartal door with sliding flyscreen. Storage is provided by a large, full-width rear tunnel boot which runs under the rear club lounge, and a dedicated storage locker to protect the twin 9kg gas cylinders.

EXTERIOR

Being a C-class motorhome with a Luton peak means the M5 can accommodate a second bed over the driver’s cab. The M5’s is different to most over-cab beds we’ve seen, in that it comprises two single mattresses, rather than one, and it folds up towards the roof when not in use, to create more headroom down below. It is held in place in its stowed position by gas struts, however, I’d prefer to see a more secure method of holding it up, such as a strap. While there are reading lights up top, there are no powerpoints, meaning occupants will have to leave phones and other devices charging on the ground floor.

The two house batteries (one as standard) are situated below the floor and can be accessed by a hatch in the floor near the dinette. Other accessories in this area include two multi-directional lights, a double powerpoint at the foot of the seat and three storage lockers overhead.

The 175L three-way Thetford fridge, finished in high-gloss black, sits opposite the dinette, to the left of the entry door.

HITS & MISSES

I liked...

  • Easy-swivel cab seats
  • Club lounge/wind-down bed arrangement
  • Driving the Ducato
  • Lots of bench space

I would have liked...

  • Not having to remove seat cushions to wind down rear bed
  • Better security for front bed in its ‘stowed’ position
  • Powerpoints for front bed

A’VAN OVATION M5 MOTORHOME SPECS

Weights and measures

  • Overall length 7.17m (23ft 6in)
  • External width 2.77m (9ft 1in)
  • Internal height 1.97m (6ft 6in) main; 1.73m (5ft 8in) rear lounge; 2.33m (7ft 8in) behind driver’s cab
  • Travel height 3.03m (9ft 11in)
  • Tare 3292kg
  • GVM 4250kg

Engine

  • Base vehicle Fiat Ducato Multijet 180
  • Engine 3L turbodiesel
  • Gearbox Six-speed AMT
  • Max power 132kW@3500rpm
  • Max torque 400Nm@1400rpm

External

  • Brakes Front and rear disc
  • Fresh water 1x103L
  • Grey water 1x110L
  • Batteries 2x95Ah
  • Solar 1x80W
  • Air-conditioner Aircommand Ibis
  • Heater Webasto
  • Gas 2x9kg

Internal

  • Cooking Smev gas three-burner and oven
  • Fridge Thetford 175L three-way
  • Microwave LG iWave
  • Toilet Thetford cassette
  • Shower Separate cubicle
  • Lighting LED downlights and reading lights
  • Hot water Gas/electric

Options fitted

  • Webasto heater; solar panel; extra battery

Price as shown

  • $122,274 (plus onroad costs)

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The full test appears in Caravan World Australian Motorhome 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!