Kicking back in our comfy chairs under the shade of the awning, feeling the stresses of big city life floating away like the leaves in the nearby stream, listening to the chorus of king parrots, while sipping on a local red wine and nibbling on a few crackers and cheese, my mind started to drift off. I started thinking about where we would head to next on our adventure through the Gold Coast Hinterland. But alas, I forgot that I was actually working and that I would have to save that for another day.
Earlier in the day, we had arrived at the Gold Coast Headquarters of Paradise Luxury Motorhomes to pick up our chariot, the Oasis Platinum motorhome. While we both wished it was for a lot longer, of course beggars can't be choosers!
Like all Paradise motorhomes, the 22ft Oasis Series is manufactured onsite, and come in three configurations with differing internal layouts: the Free Time, Platinum and the Deluxe. All models are designed for a maximum of two occupants and are based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter platform.
As a van conversion style motorhome, they can still be driven on a standard open class licence, opening the world of motorhoming up to a lot more people. For those who wish to explore a little further off well worn paths, a 4X4 model is also available.
ON THE BLACKTOP
With a host of standard inclusions, our van also had the optional upgrade to the Sprinter 419 CDI 3L 140kW six-cylinder turbodiesel. The undulating terrain of the Gold Coast Hinterland were no match for the powerful engine which is teamed perfectly to the seven-speed automatic transmission.
Engine braking was also more than adequate on the downhill run back to the coast, with the paddle shift gears being very conveniently located. I confess it makes you feel just a little bit like a race car driver!
A testament to just how easy the Oasis Premium was to drive was the reaction of my wife after her first experience behind the wheel. Having never driven anything bigger than my Patrol ute before, and feeling a tad nervous as I handed her the keys, it's quite safe to say that I struggled to get those keys back from her.
“It's got heaps of power”, “It doesn't feel anywhere near as big as it looks” and “That was easier to drive than your ute” were just some of the comments she made.
As we have come to expect from the German marque, attention to detail and ergonomics are at the forefront of its design. The cab layout reinforces this, with steering wheel controls for all commonly used functions. Lesser used, but no less important, functions are all within easy reach. The upgraded 10.25in multimedia touchscreen with SatNav and 360-degree camera completes the package.
Safety features also abound with the Oasis Premium, including, but not limited to; Active Brake Assist, Crosswind Assist, Adaptive ESP and Attention Assist. Our vehicle had also been fitted with Active Distance Assist, which I must say had me a little confused at first. When I had cruise control set to 95km/h the vehicle started braking as I approached a slower truck on the back country roads, then maintained a safe distance behind. Very clever indeed.
With a 71L fuel tank, and a combined fuel consumption figure of 9.5L/100km, this motorhome has plenty of touring range, so there's no need to plan your travels around fuel stops.
Having spent a fair bit of time in rental motorhomes and campervans over the years, it was a visual treat to step inside a top-of-the-range motorhome. Make no bones about it, this is definitely a motorhome at the pointy end of the market with a RRP of more than $200K plus on-road costs.
Instead of a utilitarian approach found in rentals, you are greeted with a bespoke interior, customised to your specifications. You just need to have a quick peek inside the boardroom back at Paradise HQ to see the massive range of options you have to choose from: everything from benchtops to custom leather upholstery.
Entry is via an electric step through a standard motorhome door in the middle of the van. There's no big sliding door on these models, creating a much more versatile layout. Another handy little feature with the step: if you forget to retract it prior to driving away (which I have been known to do before!) it will do so automatically once the ignition is started. Pretty handy, huh?
All of the major controls are located conveniently to your left upon entering the motorhome. There's the switches for both inside and outside LED lights, the electric awning and the switch for the slide-out island double bed amongst others. During transit, with the slide-out in the closed position, it appears that the double bed prevents access to the rear of the motorhome and the ensuite.
However, assisted by gas struts, the bed has been designed to lift up out of the way quite easily. If not, a commando roll over the bed is still an option.
The lift-up bed serves another purpose, and that is storage. Hiding beneath the bed is the heart and soul of the vehicle’s electrical system. Fitted very neatly into the voids is the 200Ah lithium battery, the 40A DC2DC charger, the 40A battery charger and associated fuses. The solar block-out blinds were stored in another area under the bed and there was still room left over for a couple of camp chairs and some of my camera gear.
At the foot of the bed on the nearside wall is the 32in flatscreen TV. As an upgrade from the standard 19in model, the TV is mounted to a custom swivel mount, with additional reinforcement of the van wall. The swivel mount allows for the TV to be viewed from either the bed, lounge area or front seats, and locks into place for safety during transit. Powerpoint and aerial connections are positioned behind the TV. There's an Oyster fully automatic satellite aerial matched to a Vast satellite box, so you will never miss an episode of your favourite shows.
ALL THE AMENITIES
What has been the standard for Paradise Motorhomes in the past, has been continued with this model also having a full-width bathroom at the rear of the van.
From someone who has learnt how to be a contortionist just to get clean in other van-style motorhome conversions, it was great to see a separate shower located in the offside rear corner. You still might need to open the door if you dropped the soap, but thanks to a couple of handy wall-mounted dispensers, you may never have that problem again.
A centrally located cassette toilet (with small fold-down shelf above), a small corner-mounted vanity basin, open shelving and small wardrobe with hanging space complete the bathroom fitout.
Towards the front of the Oasis on the nearside is the compact, but functional kitchen. A large window is located above the bench which provides ample light during the day, however LED lighting contained within the rangehood that is mounted below the overhead cupboard, provides additional light when required.
There is a four-burner cooktop (three gas, one electric) located beneath a fold-down splashback that, when in the lowered position, provides additional preparation space. There's also a large stainless steel sink, with tinted glass lid and flick mixer, as well as a filtered drinking water system. Beneath the bench, the 19L microwave oven and grill are housed along with soft-close drawers and more storage cupboards.
Opposite the kitchen is the comfortable leather lounge. Rotating captain's chairs matched with a swivel mounted table form the dining area. When not in use, the table can be stored behind the lounge seat back and the mounting arm under the seat.
Tucked in between the lounge and the bed slide-out, a Dometic 150L upright fridge resides along with the Vast TV control box and extra space for an Apple TV or Foxtel box. This design allows for a full length overhead locker above the lounge area which is partially occupied by the master control switches, generator shut-off, battery monitoring and 240V circuit breakers.
Keeping things comfortable in the van no matter what the weather throws up outside, is a 12V Sirocco fan and IBIS air-conditioner. For those extra chilly nights, Dometic ducted under-floor central heating has been fitted.
AROUND THE OUTSIDE
From the outside, the Oasis Platinum looks like your typical LWB Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, bar an extra door and a couple of windows. On closer inspection, there are a lot of differences.
Along the offside of the van, there are two external storage bins. One to house the two 4kg gas bottles, and the other for the optional 2.2kVa Honda generator. The generator box features acoustic ventilation, and if a generator isn't fitted it could be used for all manner of other items. A nifty feature of the Platinum is that even though you have to go outside to start the generator, it can be shut down from inside. Also residing on the offside of the van are the two water fillers, 240V mains connection and the bed slide-out.
Typically in most van conversions, you can access storage options from the rear doors. However, due to the interior design of a full-width bathroom in the Oasis Platinum, this storage space is no longer available. Cleverly though, what space there is behind the doors is not wasted. It's in here you can access the toilet cassette, as well as the outdoor hot and cold shower. The spreader bar for the awning and tyre changing equipment are also conveniently located on the back wall inside the doors.
Around on the nearside, there's plenty more going on. The big thing is obviously the Fiamma automatic awning that runs the entire length of the vehicle, providing a huge amount of shade and protection. A large storage bin provides the perfect spot for your fresh water and grey water hoses, and towards the rear of the vehicle there's an external gas fitting for your portable BBQ.
A fold-down Lifestyle table, just perfect for your wine and nibblies, external powerpoint and LED lighting also make this outdoor area very functional.
My only gripe is with the entry door. When left open, it protrudes quite some way into the undercover area meaning that a bit of dodging and weaving is required when moving around outside.
Tinted windows, metallic paint with striking graphics, custom alloy cab sidesteps, towbar and a Fiamma dual bike rack are just a few of the optional extras also fitted to the exterior of this vehicle.
THE FINAL WORD
Designed for couples, or even singles, who prefer a vehicle that can be driven on a standard licence, and is equally at home on busy city streets, winding mountain roads or highway touring, the Oasis Platinum is a premium motorhome from a company that prides itself on producing a top quality product for the Australian market.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
External length 6.9m (22ft 8in) External width 2.4m (7ft 10in)
Travel height 2.9m (9ft 6in)
Internal height 1.9m (6ft 3in)
Bed size 1.86m x 1.37m (6ft 1in x 4ft 6in)
Base vehicle Mercedes Sprinter 419 LWB
Engine 3L V6
Gearbox 7G-Tronic plus 7-speed automatic transmission
Max power 140kW @ 3800RPM
Max torque 440Nm @ 1400-2400RPM
Brakes Ventilated disc brakes
Fresh water 170L
Grey water 55L
Air conditioner Air Command IBIS
Gas 8kg (2 x 4kg)
Cooking Dometic cooktop (3 x gas burner, 1 x electric hotplate) and grill
Fridge 150L upright Vitrifrigo compressor
Microwave Bellini convection 19L
Toilet Thetford cassette
Shower Separate shower
Washing machine N/A
Batteries 200Ah B-TEC Enerdrive lithium
Hot water Truma Ultra Rapid gas/12V/240V 14L
Metallic paint upgrade, GME 80ch UHF, Zenolite splashback upgrade, Fiamma dual bike rack, Fiamma Turbo 400 fan hatch, external hot/cold shower, external clothesline, under-bed safe with key, Oyster Satellite TV with Vast, 200Ah Enerdive lithium battery upgrade, additional 80W solar panel, upgrade to 150L fridge, Dometic ducted under-floor central heating, P/S external storage bin, front cab tinted windows, towbar, 3M bonnet and B-pillar stone guard, PMH alloy cab side steps, solid timber edges on overhead cupboard doors, 60L water tank with pump, 1800W 12VDC pure sine wave inverter, 2.2kVa Honda generator in PMH acoustic ventilated generator box (with internal shut off switch), Fiamma electric awning upgrade, 12V Sirocco fan, Mercedes front cabin floor mats, 32in TV with wall reinforcing
PRICE AS SHOWN
$214,210 plus on-road costs
To enquire about this caravan, please phone (07) 5597 4400