The Malibu is built in Germany by Carthago, the largest independently owned motorhome manufacturer in Europe and still run by founder Karl-Heinz Schuler who started the company 35 years ago. They have a real eye for quality and detail, and because they are a small family company they have the flexibility to be able to offer buyers the choice to personalise their motorhome, something that isn’t often available from the other big European manufacturers.

This model is on a Fiat chassis with alloy wheels, your choice of body colours, engine power options and with all the bells and whistles that Fiat now supply as standard such as bluetooth, reversing camera, GPS and cruise control plus much more.

My first impression of the Malibu, after stepping onto the automatic side step and entering through the side door is WOW. Quality design, quality build process and workmanship is evident straightaway and it is packed with features that befit a premium-class RV. I’ve been in the RV industry a long time and I know quality when I see it, and this just oozes it. The attention to detail is evident everywhere.

Technology and quality go hand in hand in the Malibu and as I look around I start to get really excited. Of course there are the usual features such as LED lights, quality windows with fly-screens and double glazing, and the cabinetry is absolutely superb looking and so well built that there are no rattles when driving. Then I notice that Carthago have installed a 6000 watt Truma Combi 6 heating unit that heats under the floor, ideal for winter travelling, pretty impressive. As I keep going, I find there’s more and more to like about the Malibu – to add to the uniqueness of this campervan it also features a heated shoe compartment in the double floor.

The bed folds up easily on each side to create a walk-through. There is storage under the left unit and shelving on the right Storage under the bed is impressive and easily accessible through the rear doors

The kitchen and dining area is a good use of space. Swivel driver and passenger seats and a variable-size dining table make this a comfortable area for two to four people to relax and wine or dine. The kitchen itself is compact, but with some really nice features like a flip-up bench extension and good storage compartments it’s quite adequate for the job at hand. A really great feature is that the fridge is at eye level – making it easy to see what you’re getting out for dinner – not tucked under the bench like most others. And you can choose whether you want a 3-way fridge or a compressor fridge.

I am very impressed with the use of space in the multi-function bathroom area. The cassette toilet is a swivel which tucks away in a compartment under the single beds in the rear. This makes room for a considerably larger shower area and a corner handbasin, the result being the largest bathroom in its class. 
Three fold-away screens enclose the shower area and help keep all the walls nice and dry. Seriously good thinking from the designers.

The swivel toilet folds away under the rear beds creating one of the largest bathrooms in its class The fridge is at eye level which is just wonderful in a campervan this size. And available in either 3-way or compressor options

The bed is another great feature in the Malibu. The mattress is split transversely and the two halves are hinged to fold up on the sides. The two supporting cross members can be removed in the blink of an eye and the whole bed area becomes a walk-through. When the bed is made up there’s plenty of storage underneath.

Great storage is always a talking point and the Malibu van has plenty without compromises being made. Deep overhead storage cabinets are featured above the front seats, in the living area, and in the rear, as well as a large storage compartment underneath the bed where there is also space for two 9kg gas bottles. The Malibu also has a very spacious wardrobe tucked away underneath the fridge.

The light-coloured furnishings, overhead trim and kitchen cupboards complement the wood finish and is well lit with the overhead sky-light The rear bed is a great size, and can easily be made up as a permanent bed, with storage below and above. There are no side windows for views from the bed, but the rear-door windows are a good size, and throwing open the rear doors and lying back would be very relaxing

There is an upgrade package available on the Malibu which is seriously impressive but probably too much to list in detail here. You should talk to the folks at RnRV who can explain all the options available to you when looking at the Malibu. They can also help you with your choice of TV, satellite, solar and battery needs to suit your travelling requirements.

I’m getting attached to the Malibu and feel a tinge of sadness having to say goodbye to the stunning red head. After I’m done I stand back and admire one of the best two-berth campervans I’ve seen in a long time. At $129,990 on the road I think the Malibu is very good value for a real quality RV.

Extra bench space is handy, pull up when needed, or hinge down out of the way. Light switches below

A 6000 watt Truma Combi 6 high-performance heater will keep you warm and toasty no matter how cold it is outside