Michele invited me to sit “in the big, luxurious lounge …” to write some notes. I didn’t need a second invitation and was soon seated in the comfortable rear lounge, notebook in hand. I admit to being somewhat agog. The U-shaped lounge which wrapped around the back of the vehicle was indeed a winner.
I am a sucker for a good rear lounge, having experienced many a memorable time enjoying the amenities of test vehicles with this lauded feature, so I could immediately see why this model was proving popular with Kiwis. Who doesn’t want to relax with the back of their motorhome right up to the view of the coast or lake?
Sitting there in my own little ray of sunshine, cosseted away from the Covi crowd, it took a while to realise that something was missing. The bed! Of course it was over my head. Literally. Hidden discreetly away in the roof is an electric drop-down bed with inner-sprung mattress. Slick.
I really like this arrangement which offers the best of both worlds – club lounge with central table by day, and huge, comfy bed by night. But what if you and your partner have different body clocks? How do you manage if the roof of the lovely lounge drops down to meet your night-time needs and eclipses the lounge where he/she is relaxing?
Sunliner has taken this scenario into consideration and thoughtfully included a second table with comfy café-style seating and swivelling captain’s chairs so your resident night owl can settle in and catch up on their favourite series on the TV while you catch up on your zzz’s.
Amidships, adjacent to the second table is a dry bathroom. For the uninitiated, the term ‘dry’ in this instance simply means that the (ceramic) toilet and shower and hand basin, while enclosed within the same space, are arranged so the shower can be separated off with a smart concertina door when in use, and the toilet will remain ‘dry’. Who wants a wet backside anyway? I love this light, bright, warm and welcoming space which – to my taste at any rate – ticks all the boxes.
Opposite the bathroom is a long galley which, in the tradition of Aussie-designed motorhomes, meets the down-under preference for a larger bench space. Adjacent to the door is an attractive round sink with splashback, flick-of-the-hand mixer tap and cover. A good ways away, with plenty of preparation space in between, is the four-burner gas/electric hob with under-bench oven/grill and overhead range-hood. Completing the galley is a microwave, and the 190-litre, two-door, three-way fridge/freezer – made especially for coping with New Zealand climate conditions.
Of course a thoughtfully designed vehicle such as this has loads of storage throughout the interior of the vehicle in the form of lockers, his ‘n’ hers ’robes and cupboards. One standout feature that deserves a special mention is the rounded cupboard beneath the round sink, beside the attractive entry/exit point with its stairs and retractable step.
Windows are double-glazed with insect screens and thermal blinds throughout including the security door, and overhead hatches are well placed to light the interior. The LCD TV and DVD and house sound system has both integrated internal and external speakers. A 100Ah house battery and charger, along with two gas bottles, supports the energy system. Hot water is delivered via a 20-litre gas system. Water supply comprises 110 litres of fresh with 114 litres of grey. There is an external shower for beach lovers or fisherfolk.
The rollout awning and diesel heater are standard and there is an enormous storage bay. All of which makes for a well-equipped motorhome. So well provisioned, in fact, that I was surprised to learn that with so many positive features, the Switch is still middle of the Sunliner range. There are nine different options in the Switch range and the choice continues right through to the chassis. Buyers can have their choice of Switch models delivered on Fiat, Iveco or Mercedes Benz base and select from low-profile or larger sleeper peak models.
Road Life is the New Zealand dealership for the Sunliner brand and have a wide range of models in stock. They also advise that delivery from over the ditch can be arranged with surprising speed. Check them out at roadlife.co.nz
2018 Sunliner Switch S505
Base vehicle: Fiat, Iveco or Mercedes Benz
Batteries: 2 x 100Ah
Charger: 24amp 240V
Solar: 140W panel with regulator
Fresh water: 110L
Grey water: 114L
Four-burner stove with oven/grill
Windows: double-glazed, Reversing camera, awning, and diesel heater, LED lights throughout