Classy models like the French Pilote brand, due to arrive at DeLuxe RV Group in Blenheim during November and December, are very tempting – there is no denying the European builds do have lots to love about them. One of the next arrivals is the Galaxy 740C A-Class. It is a four-berth model with a fixed island bed in the rear and you have the option of a drop-down ceiling bed over the cab area or a dining conversion bed. The bathroom has a separate shower on one side, an en-suite toilet on the other, and there are privacy doors between the living and bedroom area.
The cab is a 2018 Fiat Ducato FWD, 2.3L diesel turbo, with auto transmission and all the usual features – traction control, EBC, ABS, air-con, central locking, cruise control, electric and heated bus-style mirrors – weighing in at GVM 3500kg with a 545kg payload. Based on the wide-track Fiat CCS chassis, this model is 7490mm long, 2850mm high and 2300mm wide. It has an insulated heated dual floor offering storage space of 15cm from side to side. This means all the waste tanks and pipework are within the double floor, protecting them from frost or other damage. The lowered chassis track width is widened at the rear, resulting in a lower centre of gravity. This, along with the front and rear anti-roll bars, aids road holding.
The whole Pilote portfolio benefit from Isotek construction that features L-shaped aluminium profiles that fasten together securely on the joined aluminium sidewalls and floors. A Styrofoam insulation core is integrated into the sides and roof at a thickness of 28mm, and into the floor (35mm). Moisture-resistant structural battens and aluminium inserts ensure the vehicle and its furniture are perfectly stable. The convex-profiled polyester roof is also hail and impact resistant. The back of the vehicle has a three-piece aluminium bumper system – easy to repair a section if required. The latest 2019 designs offer a one-piece back for all integrated and A-class models. You can’t see it but the chassis has been boosted with a rear reinforcement extension, which means your chassis won’t sway at the rear. With its resistant structure, the storage area can support considerable weight, as well as ensuring your towing capacity is optimised. The underbelly of the vehicle is lined with a polyester skin under the chassis, keeping the area waterproof and protected from potential damage.
An exterior shower hose with hot and cold water is situated in the middle storage area, and the rear storage boot is really large. This compartment goes full width and is accessible from both sides, 2.05 cubic metres volume storage. There are two rails running the width, with sliding security tie-downs – great idea for securing bikes or boats, etc. Power and heating are in here as well. All storage area doors feature a double seal and compression locks to ensure perfect waterproofing and insulation.
The habitation entry door is on the right (driver’s) side of the vehicle, with entry via an electric step. An adjustable TV bracket is fitted to the left of entry for the 19˝ TV fitted by DeLuxe. Living space is to the right with an L-shaped seating area, a separate individual wall seat to the right of entry and the cab seats swivel to increase the seating area. There are options for the interior colours and also for upholstery finishes – fabric, synthetic-leather or real leather. Curtains have four different colour options. Woodwork finishes have a couple of options as well, and the high-gloss look is modern, sleek and so easy to clean. Seating in the lounge is high-density foam, and seats have height-adjustable headrests. The table is adjustable. The dining seats have seatbelts fitted for two extra extra passengers, though the area seats five comfortably. The large 820x520mm panoramic sunroof lets in lots of light and offers starlight views at night – but pull blinds close it off as required. This model has a second, good-sized ceiling drop-down bed at 1350x1900mm.
The kitchen has soft-close drawer units; a deep bench sees the gas hob set towards the back offering more space in the front for prep work; the sink is stainless steel with quality fittings. Utility and storage drawers are fitted under the bench, as is the gas oven/grill unit. Lots of little extras in this area with a spice rack, indirect lighting, rangehood, shelves above as well as overhead locker storage, and of course power and 12V USB connectivity. The tower fridge is opposite (on the left of habitation entry).
The bathroom has a separate shower, fitted soap dish, slatted shower floor, LED lighting with a skylight and separating privacy door. The en-suite bathroom has a pedestal cassette toilet, lots of storage, hooks, toilet roll and brush holder, and towel rails.
Step up into the bedroom, which has an island bed that is up to 2005mm wide at the headboard, fitted with a 1500x1900mm Bultex foam mattress, storage drawers underneath, a manually adjustable headboard, and LED lighting; also fixtures for a second TV unit, plus USB and 230V power points. The shelf is handy, there’s ample wardrobe space, and the flat surface for glasses/cup-of-tea/books is really good.
Another upgrade in these 2019 models is the new ‘technical area’ that centralises functions that were previously spread around the vehicle – circuit breaker, external 230V power socket, freshwater filling, electrical unit – this is in an exterior locker. You can now run your lights, heating, water heating, battery and solar monitors from an Xperience 7˝ touch-screen tablet control system. Wow that really is getting into the technology groove.
This is just one of the new Pilote models arriving. Others include a great looking two-berth camper model called the Foxy Van 630F – it’s a compact little cutie at 6340mm long and 2005mmwide. There are also integrated models in the 3500kg weight band that offer single beds, and height-adjustable exterior garage sizes, as well as the larger 7870mm Emotion G781C model that will be available this year on the over-3500kg chassis.
DeLuxe RV Group are in Blenheim, and Gipsy RV Centre in Levin are an agent for the Pilote brand – certainly worth looking at if you love all the extras an imported European-styled motorhome can give you.
TECH SPECS: Dometic 160L AES fridge with separate freezer
• Heating – Truma Combi 6 heater and hot water system
• Gas oven-grill and three-burner hob with range hood
• Water – 130L fresh, 95L grey. Toilet cassette 18L
• Power – Solar 120W with 105Ah battery, 30-amp regulator
• 19˝ TV with automatic satellite aerial
Dimensions: 7490mm(L) x 2300mm(W) x 2850mm(H), internal height 2000mm
3500kg GVM – payload 545kg