As I walked around the Covi Motorhome show, hopping in and out of all sorts of RVs and sizes ranging from 5m campervans to 8.3m motorhomes, it was easy to get sensory overload and forget whose stand you were on. But, this wasn’t the case when we got to the Ci Motorhomes display outside. For me personally this motorhome wins ‘Best Small RV’ of the show – the moment I stepped inside, my first reaction genuinely was ‘Wow, now here is something a bit different.’
It’s based on a Fiat 2.3 130hp Diesel Turbo Euro 6 chassis with a six-speed Comformatic transmission that offers both manual and au-tomatic use. And it’s fitted with all the bells and whistles, with traction control and hill hold, ESC and ABS brakes, Blue Tooth stereo, re-versing camera, central locking (that includes the habitation door), and all the latest technology.
All the extras you could want are standard fixtures on all Ci Motorhomes; this model has a four-bike rack fitted to the rear, a 3.5m Fi-amma awning, external shower, 220-watt solar panels and 2 x 100-amp AGM house batteries, plenty of power to run the new Pro Series 32-inch TV/DVD unit with Sky Decoder, and its Alden Automatic Aerial. And there is space for two gas bottles as well.
This little beauty is only 5990mm long, 2350mm wide and 3200mm high. There is a good-sized rear boot with access hatch of 970x420mm on the rear driver’s side and a second storage hatch, 360x600mm, behind the driver’s seat area for storage in the double floor space. All the windows are double glazed plastic, and construction of the body is bonded sandwich panel with 54mm insulated floor thickness, 31mm in the roof and walls, with GPR exterior finish and painted bumpers adding aesthetic styling to the external look of the vehicle. The double floor space houses the plumbing and water tanks, and offers excellent thermal and acoustic insulation and a higher structural rigidity to the body unit. Being accessible from two side hatches also allows for long items to be stored away.
All Ci Motorhomes have been designed with permanent ventilation inside the wall units, promoting air circulation, all aimed at avoid-ing the formation of condensation internally. There’s even heating in the over-cab area, so it’s much like a house, keeping the internal walls and ceilings breathing to keep the van healthy and dry.
The dropped-body entry step takes you up into the middle of the living area, the habitation door has built in rubbish, privacy blind and fitted pull-out fly screen.
The first impression is of a slick, modern apartment with gloss finished doors, white leather seating, sleek long kitchen bench and no obvious sign of a fridge.
Upon entry the kitchen is to the left and has an L-shaped bench with three-gas hob burner at the entrance end with a window behind, and a sink on the rear wall. Both the hob and sink have covers over them made of the same Fenix stone as the bench tops, a very smart finish, and when removed, they fit in the back to create the splash back – so clever and useable. An under-bench gas oven complements the gas cooker, the sink also has utensil containers set into it, and behind the splash back there are storage areas, with the back being a mirror finish, which reflects all the light and white of the interior, keeping the area feeling light and modern. Three large storage drawers under the bench and overhead storage lockers are great, but then a full height pull out pantry sits between the bathroom wall and kitch-en bench, quite the voila moment. There is also a floor hatch for extra storage, in our case possibly bottles of water – or wine…
Fenix is a new-age material that is light-weight, hygienic, antibacterial, mould-proof, waterproof, resistant to heat and easy to repair. It’s made from resin and nanotechnology, and you can polish out any scratches or marks. The benches, table and bathroom sinks all look fantastic, and if they’re half as durable as they say, this new technology will take RV kitchens into the future.
Stepping into the bathroom is a joy, the size once again surprises with its light finish, a window for ventilation as well as a 280x280mm skylight vent, separate electric flush cassette toilet, separate shower box with fold-out doors, a stylish vanity sink – with lid on it – fin-ished in the same Fenix stone, with storage underneath. A surprising space in such a small model motorhome.
The bathroom door is in the right rear corner, next to it two good sized wardrobe cupboards, next to that open the doors, and the 160L fridge/freezer is revealed and above it another large storage cupboard.
To the right of the entry is the living/dining area set up with two lounge seats for six, in a white eco-leather finish. There is one window on the passenger side with privacy blinds, while the wall behind the driver’s cab seat and the entry is blocked off with a large 32-inch TV set on the wall. In the middle is a multiple height/size/position adjustable table, with the top once again being in the Fenix stone finish. With a pull on a handle, the couch on the left side will pull up and lift out over the table to make a large 2.12×1.46×1.22m bed. Part of the seating is removable for the third and fourth person belted seating position. The white seating and bench tops look very chic with the warmer wall toning and the subtle high-gloss grey cupboards. Even the aluminium guide strips for the electric bed work well aesthetically with this colour palate.
In the ceiling, we have nice LED lighting and mood lighting, but also this will – at the push of a button – drop down to be your master bed, again a decent size at 1.9×1.36×1.27m and being able to leave the bed made up (minus pillows) and kept up in the ceiling is a good use of internal space. There are two roof vents, the central Heki skylight is 400x400mm, the Open Sky panoramic one in the front is 100x800mm. With a maximum weight of 200kg the Rock and I would have no problems in this bed and I could easily envisage myself lying in bed and looking out at the starry night sky, then closing the blind off for sleeping. The front cab seats swivel to become more seating for the living area, the overhead cab area has shelving and cupboard storage. The floor also has storage hatches in it at this end.
I liked the large TV even though it meant sacrificing that wall for window space, but bearing in mind the compact vehicle you’re in, it’s sensible, and you can watch it when you’re in bed. The height is just right so all practicalities have been thought out. The front cab area is screened off with pleated cab blinds for privacy.
This vehicle is all Italian style and has the latest technology and products within it. Shane Smale, Walkabout Sales owner, says this model also has LIN BUS technology that allows you to manage the domestic utilities in the vehicle.That means if you have a Smartphone this technology makes it possible for you to handle all the electrical systems through the Smartphone in Wi-Fi mode. For those technical beings, this will help you manage power usage, turn lights on or off, hot water on or off, heating on or off before you get back to the ve-hicle. You will have access to monitoring the consumption and solar input, and it also manages the indoor and outdoor lights when the living quarters door is opened – smart technology is on the road.
All in all, this compact motorhome has it all, certainly the best kitchen bench space and design of any model at the show, and the new design layout for the interior is fantastic. Okay, so I can’t lay back on my long seat in the back of the vehicle and look out the windows as I can in our older RnR motorhome, but for this vehicle I could change my mind set and enjoy all the other fantastic features that it offers.
Ci Motorhomes Triaca 32XT 4-berth $144K
- Fiat 2.3 diesel turbo Euro 6, 97kW 6-speed Comformatic
- Dimensions: LxWxH – 5990 x 2350 x 3200mm
Internal height: 2080mm
Weight: GVM 3500kg, WOF, car license
- 100L fresh and wastewater tanks
- 220W solar panel with 2x100amp AGM batteries
- Webasto hot water and heating
- 32-inch TV/DVD with Alden auto aerial
- 169L compressor fridge/freezer
- Three-gas hobs, gas oven with grill