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.
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.
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
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 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.