The Olantas 531 is a new addition to the Olantas series of Sunliner motorhomes. It was launched in time for the Victoria Caravan and Camping Show earlier this year, and stock was secured by the New Zealand dealership, Road Life, just in time for our Covi SuperShow in March.
What sets the Olantas series apart from the majority of contemporary motorhomes is the Mercedes 519 V6 twin turbo dual rear wheel chassis, and you get at the outset that this means the buyer can expect a superior level of sophistication and class throughout.
The whisper-quiet V6 diesel engine in the top-spec Mercedes chassis, provides smooth power throughout the rpm range, and the 7-speed fully-automatic gearbox propels this motorhome with seamless ease.
Just in case it has slipped your mind, the majority of modern motorhomes are built on a Fiat chassis. When shopping for an RV it’s usually a question of ‘Would you like a Fiat or a Fiat under the hood?’.
For the record, the folk at Road Life tell me they’ve never had a Fiat chassis on the yard – their usual line up is Iveco, Mercedes, Renault, Ford and LDV.
I’m a bit of a fan of the Mercedes motor. I always feel like I’m ‘putting on the posh’ when I’m driving a vehicle with this doyen of precision engineering under the bonnet. And Sunliner always seems to follow through with typically cool design details and a contemporary apartment-like feel to all of its vehicles. The Olantas 531 model doesn’t disappoint.
Where the 531 differs from others in the Olantas range, is in the rear bathroom and the adjacent bedroom which features a dual slide-out. Elsewhere in this post-Covi SuperShow series of reviews, we’ve spoken about the advantages offered by a full-width rear bathroom. And the Olantas 531 really presses the point home.
Facing towards the rear, the shower cubicle – which is very large by conventional RV standards – is to the left. This is one piece for easy cleaning and is flanked by a vanity and very attractive round hand basin which sits proudly above the bench. Adding an even greater flourish to this setup is the black mixer tap arching above the basin, and adding even more stylish appeal is a ceramic toilet bowl. These features and the use of other black fitments throughout, certainly add a touch of sophistication to what is overall a very well-designed vehicle.
Another theme echoed throughout is the wall recess shelving. I’m personally delighted to see design elements like this which are not only stylish, but also immensely practical ways to add extra storage for all those things you need to keep on hand like tissues and face cloths in the bathroom, and tea, coffee, condiments and paper towels in the galley.
Likewise, strip lighting under the benches is both practical and a standout feature. Another interesting feature is the ability to change the colour hue of the interior roof negative detail LED lighting strips to suit your mood or environment.
In these small but important ways, Sunliner’s design team excels.
But the vehicle’s most outstanding feature is the dual slide-outs, which pop out on both sides to create a spacious bedroom with east-west bed.
Amidships is the L-shaped kitchen. This comprises a four-burner hob, with oven and grill. This is a compact vehicle and it follows that the galley is not large; however, it is well-designed to give maximum bench space and to also ensure that everything is within very easy reach. A recessed extractor above the hob to vent cooking odours and steam to the outside will also be appreciated. Opposite, a large fridge and microwave complete the galley package.
And – apart from the afore-mentioned shelves – another very welcome feature is the opening window above the bench and sink. It’s the same high-quality double-glazed Dometic window with flyscreen and thermal blinds that are used throughout the build.
The high shelves above the sink create a back-rest for the café seating beside the table, and this would double as a very nice office on the road for anyone needing this option. The separation between the desk/table and the bedroom means that work could be done quietly and independently should the need arise. Opposite is a nice sofa, small but perfectly formed and a pleasant place to curl up and read or watch the 20” TV.
Externally – as throughout the vehicle – storage options are numerous. Other welcome additions are the barbecue point, electric awning and entry steps, stair-well lighting and the improved entry door with built-in insect screen.
The Olantas 531 has plenty of water, with capacity for 110 litres of fresh and 120 litres grey. Two 4kg gas bottles are supplied, along with a 100-amp battery and 150-watt solar panel which are standard. The vehicle is certified self-contained for freedom camping.
With a drive-away price of $229, 990, the Olantas 531 is going to find ready favour with the solo traveller or couple in the market for a good working vehicle. And if this model doesn’t suit, there’s certain to be another in the Olantas series for anyone who values contemporary style married to superb Mercedes class.
Sunliner Olantas 531
Chassis: Mercedes-Benz 519 3.0L V6 TD
Driven Wheels: Rear dual
Transmission: 7-speed auto
Water: 110L fresh and 120L grey
Battery system: 100aH (optional 260Ah)
Solar: 150 watt (optional 300w or 500w)
Hot water: gas/electric
Gas bottles: 2x4kg