Sunliner Eurotrans

Story and Photography by Patrick Hayes

Copyright © On The Road Magazine 2001. Any unauthorised use, copying or mirroring is prohibited.

Itís the little things that make all the difference in the design of a motorhome and the new Sunliner has the small, smart features that make the big ones just that much better.

Builder Tony Hunter and his son Nick have produced an elegant motorhome based on the new Ford Transit cab-chassis. The model On The Road looked at has four seats (two with seat belts) behind the swivelling seats for the driver and passenger, with a double bed at the rear.

Sleek and modern interior

That's a fairly normal configuration and an ideal layout for a family because everybody can sit together and chat while travelling. But this double bed is higher than normal and that leaves a lot of space underneath.

That space is sealed from the interior (apart from several drawers and a pull-out step to make crawling into bed easier) and it is reached from outside via doors on either side on the body. If, like me, you think of a motorhome as a sort of mobile holiday shack, then this is the one with a garden shed.

Not only does the locker contain the gas/electric hot water service, house battery and the power management system, but there is space for bikes, fishing rods, surfboards or an entire litter of great danes.

Did he say great danes?  Someone call the RSPCA...

The storage bay would have to be considered one of the "big" things in the design but there is a little thing that makes it work so much better than a conventional side locker. A flexible 50mm pipe runs from the front of the vehicle, where the Ford Transit noses into clear air, to an electric fan in the storage bay. The fan sucks the clean air from the front to pressurise the bay. It drives clean air so dust-laden air at the back of the vehicle can't get in. Neat? The same thinking produced the aerodynamic spoiler at the back of the roof that drives clean air down to keep the rear window dust-free.

But you don't have to be able to see out the rear window to know what's happening behind. The driver has a video screen on the facia panel and gets an uncluttered view from a rear-mounted video camera.

The Eurotrans is built on the new Ford Transit chassis. The general opinion around the commercial vehicle trade is that it is a particularly good chassis and a big improvement on the model it replaces. It has a turbo-charged 2.4-litre diesel engine that produces 19 per cent more power that the previous model, and has plenty of slugging power by producing its maximum torque at 2300rpm. It also has a longer and wider wheelbase that gives it a stable, more comfortable ride.

The Transit chassis enables the Eurotrans to have a flat floor front-to-rear. With the front seats swivelled to face the rear there is a neat cocktail lounge at the front, and one of the comfy lounge seats on either side turns into a pull-out double bed at bedtime.

The elegant interior shows the European influence that earns the Eurotrans its name. 

The interior shows a European influence...

The roof lockers and the toilet and shower door are smoothly curved timber with none of the framing that attempts to decorate the panels in some motorhomes and caravans.

The space above the driver's cab can be set up as an extra bed, probably for children, and provides an ideal spot for the television set. 

Needless to say, the Eurotrans comes with the full range of accessories. It has air-conditioning, an Electrolux three-way refrigerator, an oven, a microwave, a four-burner stove and grill, and a shower and toiletIt has water tanks for both fresh and waste water.

Everything you need...

The Eurotrans has an advantage for husband-and-wife driving teams: it only requires a normal car licence and is easy to drive and manoeuvre. The price varies according to the features and the model we saw cost $104,000.

For more information, contact Sunliner Recreational Vehicles at Ringwood in Victoria, phone (03) 9879 1776.
  
Copyright © On The Road Magazine 2001. Any unauthorised use, copying or mirroring is prohibited.