A stop in Pokeno recently gave me the opportunity to check out the new Zion Motorhomes Sales and Service site, and meet Jonas Ng on-site just in time to watch the best of the best of his Morelo, Frankia and Dethleffs motorhomes being driven in and positioned in the new purpose-built showroom. It was very impressive watching from the top of the stairs as the predominantly eight-metre-plus–sized vehicles were manoeuvred in and set up for display.

Passenger door cab entry electric step, a spacious cab area with lots of storage spaces, drink holders and all the Mercedes-class goodies you would expect. The front shade window blind is electric

The Alde heating unit, separate hose utility area in an exterior storage pod

The new site has been purpose built with this indoor showroom, a large service bay next door, and two levels of parts – for the McRent rental fleet, as well as for accessories and upgrades on second-hand vehicle sales and new-to-market motorhomes like the one we are looking at today, the Frankia Platin. Outside, the whole site is over 4000 square metres and will have between 60–70 motorhomes on display including the McRent Dethleff fleet of vehicles. Servicing and warranty checks are a big part of the annual requirement to keep your vehicle warranty valid, and this new set up gives Jonas and his team a service centre they had only dreamed of before.

Now this is an electronic housing unit like no other – wow

We looked through the lovely Morelo before deciding to review the top-of-the-range Frankia Platin – the extra features and shiny master-controller housing pod really caught my eye, and I’m sure it will for those looking for a motorhome of this quality and size.

The monitors and controls in one space above the door. Easy-to-use controls for the ceiling bed and electric awning

The front area has the hidden ceiling bed, with its own LED lights, and roof vent above (very discrete) – the roof height is no problem

Cab Chassis

Based on the Mercedes-Benz Euro Sprinter 519 chassis with a grunty 3L Multi-jet 140kW/190hp Euro 6 diesel with 7-speed auto transmission, it has all the bling you would expect with traction control, ABS, GPS/sat nav, remote locking, cruise control, 16˝ alloy wheels, cool stereo and built-in rear colour camera. The dual rear wheels have a spacer in between the wheels to bring the height of the vehicle up, which is great for ground clearance.

The front cab looking to the rear, modern, sleek and full of luxurious extras to make life easier

Lots to love on the exterior with the long 6m electric awning, and electric step into the house as well as one on the passenger’s cab entry – that is unusual.

The power cord is on a retractable system. The comprehensive technology package from Büttner Elektronik controls the electricity, the EFOY fuel cell preparation and many other equipment characteristics, and provides very high-performance solar modules, all of which allows travel to be more independent, and it looks really cool too.

The Mercedes Benz Eurosprinter 519 cab is well equipped. Lots of storage for driver and passenger, all the technology Mercedes has to offer, and the seats swivel to the house area for relaxation

The kitchen space is so well fitted. The oven is under bench. Three drawers under bench offer a lot of storage. The two open gas hobs on the left

I was impressed with the top-of-the-line 1.7kW sine wave inverter and the two 110Ah lithium-ion phosphate battery set up. The booster will give you 90A while you’re driving, which means you can run the roof air-con unit while driving (not while parked up) – great for those extra passengers, and it looks cool in its locker! Büttner 400W solar panels are glued onto the roof rather than screwed, to avoid any risk of water ingress. The motorhomes are also pre-wired for the EFOY Comfort fuel cell – effectively a 12V generator.

The bench top covers double as splash back, or slide in to become high shelf storage. This is great, this separate gas hob has a top that becomes the splash back, is inset, and has a sink waste plug so you can wash the area out. Note also the rubbish receptacle and the drainage slots on the sink

The exterior storage is comprehensive with the large boot storage accessible from the rear of the vehicle as well as the side. A second storage pod beside it is accessible from the interior as well. The double floor design is common across all Frankia models this is brilliant for keeping your fresh and waste tanks and pipes protected against frost, and helps fit in all the incredible storage options and allows the rear garage to be heated.

So many options – take the sink cover out and pop it into the custom-built under-bench slide-out for extra preparation space at bench height

These drawers have real depth (front to back) great storage, and the push-button locks are good quality

Construction uses what they call the Thermo Guard System, which aims to provide maximum stability, and weather and hail resistance with no cold bridges between the inside and outside. The walls, roof and floors are 34mm thick. The GFRP (glass fibre reinforced polyester) exterior cladding has Styrofoam insulation inside with embedded aluminium profiles for enhanced stability.

Dometic three-way auto fridge with separate freezer, big enough for any family

Interior

Electric-step entry into the middle of the unit; to the immediate right the 7–8-seater lounge-dining area with fully adjustable and expandable table; swivel cab seats, large roof vent for light and ventilation, and electric second-berth ceiling bed. The floor is all one level – no steps up into any areas; inside the entry step area is a floor storage pod for shoes. The kitchen is opposite the entry; a large fridge/freezer and three – yes three – pull-out pantry units really impressed.

Comfortable front dining and lounge set up. The table is multi-direction and opens out to be bigger. The comfortable swivel cab seats have arm rests and built-in headrests for the ultimate in comfort.

The Frankia is based on the Mercedes Benz chassis, rear-wheel drive and sits at 8520mm in length. Note the electric step for the passenger entry. Large bus-style heated electric mirrors

The bathroom facilities are so classy and spacious. A huge separate shower with ventilation and lighting is impressive, and across the hall is the en suite electric flush toilet with radiator heater and storage cupboards under the sink and behind the mirrors. Privacy doors shut the areas off in multiple ways between the living and bedroom areas. A full-height pull-out shelved storage unit fits between the shower and bedroom.

The bedroom has many features, from the roof vent with LED lighting, mood lighting on the ceiling, large wardrobes each side, steps up, and under-bed multiple storage options

So much to love in the bedroom, from the large island bed with steps up both sides, wardrobe storage with its own lighting, LED lighting, roof vent with lighting, and under the bed there are two areas for clothing and miscellaneous storage, the back one accessible from the exterior as well.

Wardrobes have lighting within; plenty of length, width and depth in this space

A well-lit en-suite toilet. On the left wall a radiator heater, ceramic cassette electric flush toilet. The vanity has storage underneath; the mirrored cabinet opens to offer multiple storage shelves. Check out the tap on the wall, the inset lit storage shelf behind the toilet. A fixed soap holder is so handy

The photographs show you the quality, but to see all that these models have to offer you need to see them for yourself and talk through all the floor plans and options in the range to find a model that suits your needs. This one is the top-of-the-line model. At over 8500mm in length and 5300kg weight it is one of the larger units in the range, and at a healthy price point, but the Frankia range does start in the 3500kg range and the quality build points are common across the brand.

A very stylishly-lit full-size shower box – note the two drainage plugs (an excellent feature) and the roof vent for both light and ventilation

Visit Zion Motorhomes in Pokeno, or come to the NZMCA Hamilton Motorhome Show in September and see them all there, as well as the other luxury motorhome brands – Dethleffs, Morelo and Niesmann+Bischoff – that Jonas and the team have in stock.

Tech Specs: Mercedes-Benz Euro Sprinter 519 140kW 190hp Euro 6 Diesel
• RWD dual-wheels, manual rear supports
• 8520mm(L), 2300mm(W), 3230mm(H) externally – 1980mm inside
• GVM 5300kg, Tare 4650kg, payload 650kg
• Accessories: included (limited period only)
• 400W solar panels, reversing camera with 7″ display, GPS, CD, Radio, MP3 all in one dashboard system, 22″ Aetex LED TV, auto sat. dish, second battery, 6m electric awning (worth NZ$12,000)
• 150L fridge with separate 35L freezer
• Fresh water 270L, Grey 130L plus separate 20L fresh-water tank
• 19L toilet cassette, plus there is optional 80L waste tank and pump you can order