When it comes to luxury New Zealand brands, it’s hard to go past the Leisure Line Platinum which exudes quality and clever design, Peta Stavelli writes.
The first thing that comes to mind when climbing aboard the new Leisure Line Platinum is a sense that all is well with the world. First there’s that smell of wood so often missing in this faux-finish world. Then there’s the tasteful neutral palette that exudes quiet luxury; and last but not least there’s the rolled, real-leather seats seats that just feel so good when you sit down to take everything in.
As one of New Zealand’s oldest manufacturers, Leisure Line has a well-deserved reputation for producing quality caravans using locally made materials. This philosophy will resonate with those who choose to support local industry. You might pay a little more, but you get what you pay for. I viewed the Leisure Line Platinum 674 SE at Christchurch RV Centre and I was glad to have Tony Stuart with me to talk through the finer points. Tony took over the family-run business from his parents Murray and June, who have recently taken semi-retirement after more than 40 years. As the only authorised South Island agent for the Leisure Line brand, Christchurch RV has taken their role seriously, taking out the greatest number of sales for the brand every year for the past 16 years. This is a huge achievement and one that gives the buyer assurance.
I had a short time on my own to sit there and take it all in before Tony joined me. I instantly loved the décor – contemporary yet timeless, and neutral without being bland. I really love the U-shaped table seating – which converts to another bed, if required. The seats are uber-comfortable and it makes perfect sense that these back on to a picture window for maximum enjoyment of the view. And the expansive view gets a great deal better when you realise all windows are tinted so you can see out but your close neighbours cannot see in. Brilliant.
From this vantage point it’s also easy to feel connected to the cook du jour who will be enjoying all the amenities of a really well-designed Kiwi galley with plenty of bench space, four-burner hob, separate grill, large oven with range hood and microwave. The 190-litre Dometic fridge is three-way. Water capacity is 172 litres each of fresh and grey, so you won’t have to think twice about using the Camec washing machine, craftily hidden away in the rear bathroom.
The bathroom is HUGE by expected standards, with a Thetford cassette toilet that (for once) is suitable for sitting on without having knees to nose. At the other end of the bathroom is a generous shower cubicle which feels like one you would expect to find in a home. The handbasin fitted along the rear wall is of elegant design and adds to the luxury feeling; augmented by the chrome fittings that include a heated towel rail. Overhead light comes via a neat skylight and a 12-volt fan ensures that damp vapours are vented to the outside.
The bathroom is adjacent to the master bedroom with its east–west fully sprung queen bed. The bed lifts on gas struts for access to under-bed storage. In fact adequate storage throughout has been carefully thought about. There’s masses of it, and while all was appreciated, I particularly liked the his ‘n’ hers wardrobes in the bedroom. I think the LED lighting is a particular feature of this ’van – as is the sense of lightness overall, which owes a great deal to the thoughtful colour scheme, together with the Heki roof vents which flood the interior with natural light.
Nor is power an issue, with 12V and 240V sockets aplenty, two on-board batteries and a 150W solar panel with 30-amp regulator. You can run the two RSE TV/DVDs, stereo with cassette player/USB and four speakers to your heart’s content. A Winegard G3 satellite and TV aerial with twin-splitter are part of the package.
Being a New Zealand made ’van, the Leisure Line is designed with our changing weather conditions in mind. If you’re looking to cool-weather cruising, you will appreciate that the 674SE comes with a Truma gas heater; as well as thermal curtains and a cosy solution-dyed carpet with underlay. Externally, you’ll be glad the one-piece aluminium roof is designed with a subtle centre pitch for water dispersal. The side walls are also aluminium clad and whole body sits on a on a hot-dip galvanised full-grid box chassis with four AL-KO drop-down legs. Alloy wheels are clad in heavy-duty tyres and electric brakes combine with the AL-KO ESC system for maximum on-road stability.
This is a robust and well-designed vehicle which comes with plenty of other external features as standard such as the beautifully-designed twin gas bottle storage box, the Camec two-way entrance door with fold-away step, the easy to use Cvana awning, weatherproof outdoor speakers, barbecue points and an external shower. And no, you will not lack storage options on the outside for all your toys and joys.
If you are in the market for a well-made heavy-duty caravan for two, and the occasional two more, this would be a first-class starter.
Leisure Line Platinum 674 SE $97,238
Berths: Two bed – four-berth, 1 fixed queen, 1 converted queen
Dimensions: Overall towing length 8150mm, body length 6740mm, width 2300mm, height 2400mm
Self-containment: Water fresh/grey 172L Heating: Truma propex gas Battery: 200Ah batteries, 150W solar panel, 30-amp regulator
Fridge: 190L 3-way fridge freezer
Tow vehicle: For comfortable towing a 3-tonne tow rated vehicle would be great for this caravan