Latitude Motorhomes is a relatively new name in the motorhome market but the team behind Latitude, Ben and Michael Maclean, are old hands. Both were part of Paradise Motor Homes when it was owned by the Maclean family.
Since the change of ownership, Ben and Michael have formed their own manufacturing company and wisely to date have been concentrating on the van conversion market. Apart from anything else, there is considerably less structural work required and van conversions are a popular segment of the motorhome market.
For their first motorhome project, the Titanium, a Mercedes-Benz-Sprinter 316 CDI was chosen. There are some good reasons for that, one being that the Sprinter is also available as a 519 CDI 4x4 chassis and therefore a 4WD motorhome can be produced using the same layout.
The Macleans opted for the 6.96m (22ft 10in) LWB van rather than the longer XLWB version, the thinking being that the shorter van is cheaper but it still gives a liveable interior and a highly manoeuvrable exterior length.
Under the bonnet, the 2.2L turbo-diesel engine delivers 120kW of power and a maximum 360Nm of torque which in tandem with the seven-speed auto gearbox delivers power very smoothly to the rear wheels. A point to note is that the 316 CDI has a GVM rating of 3550kg but the Titanium has been up-rated to 3880kg thus giving a greater payload capacity of 720kg.
Converting a large van on the outside is mostly a matter of cutting holes in various places for items like the Dometic awning, windows, gas cylinder bin, cassette toilet bin and assorted water and electrical connections. One problem is the difficulty of including general storage bins, so what the Latitude team has done is to fit drawers under the rear bed which are accessible by the rear doors. Drawers are a good way of having a neat and easy to get at storage and in this case are strong enough to take a generator.
Whilst looking in the rear doors, a couple of items to note are the LED strip light fitted just inside at the top and the 240V mains circuit breaker, 240V and 12V outlets fitted into the under bed area.
Other external features include the awning, electric step, picnic table and Winegard antenna. For cold and hot conditions, you get both a rooftop air-conditioner and a diesel fired Eberspacher heater. On the temperature subject, it’s not obvious when looking at it but the Titanium is fully insulated.
Given the confines of what is essentially a delivery van, there are only a certain number of layouts that can work practically. This is one of them and it is available in both a single bed (this one) or a double bed configuration. Both cab seats swivel around and there's a small Lagun-mounted table between them. Behind the cab, the kitchen area is a little surprising as it has bench space on both sides. Between the north-south single beds in the rear and the kitchen is a small combo bathroom on the offside and a wardrobe with a surprising amount of hanging space opposite. The overall colour scheme is a mixture of whites, greys and blacks which don’t clash with each other but instead give the motorhome interior a real upmarket feel.
There are plenty of little but effective features inside. For instance, when opening the sliding door it operates a blue LED low-level courtesy light system. Great when stepping inside in the dark. Less obvious until you use them are the Blum (a German manufacturer) drawer systems and cabinet door lifts. All are designed for easy operation and long-term use. All the cabinetry is glued and screwed together.
TV watchers get a flat screen TV mounted above the mid-station wardrobe. Many TV mounting brackets look a bit flimsy but not this one, some serious engineering has gone into it and it’s not going to come loose in a hurry if an accident should happen.
KITCHEN & DINING
Certainly, the Titanium is built for two people. At meal times you get the choice of the front cab seats with a table in between and with this layout, the single beds at the rear. Indeed, with a bit of thought and a few cushions, the beds can easily be used for relaxing during the day.
I have to admit, a split kitchen isn’t something I see too often but it’s a great idea. The offside bench area has a combo three-burner hob, a sink fitted into the benchtop and a 136L two-way fridge underneath. That leaves space for three good sized drawers. On the opposite side, the smaller bench there is fitted with a microwave and two drawers. It’s an arrangement that looks quite small but isn’t, and is quite a practical design.
Not surprisingly, the one-piece moulded bathroom doubles as both a shower cubicle and toilet. It’s larger than it looks and there is even a corner washbasin. A ceiling mounted fan hatch supplies the essential ventilation.
Okay, there will always be some debate about single or double beds but there are some practical reasons, particularly in a confined space, why single beds work best. Apart from anything else, they are easy to get in and out of without disturbing anyone else and in this case you get a bedside cabinet in the middle.
Overhead lockers are fitted down the offside and across the rear. Not having them along the other wall does reduce storage space but does much for head space!
The Titanium might not be a particularly large motorhome but it’s packed with power, literally. A battery bank rated to 200Ah delivers the 12V load and is charged by either a 130W solar panel or a Redarc Manager30 power system. Instead of having black control switches for items like the water pump and lights, the Titanium is fitted with what is known as “backlit billet switches”. They have a silver finish and backlit with colours according to their use. So, for instance, the water pump switch light is blue. What a simple but effective idea. Fresh and grey water tanks are fitted as you might expect, being 110L and 80L respectively and there are two 4kg gas cylinders. A benefit of using the two smaller cylinders, instead of just one 9kg is that if one runs out, then at least you have a spare.
THE BOTTOM LINE
It is not hard to be impressed by this Sprinter-based van conversion. Latitude might be a new name in the motorhome world but the motorhome building experience of its proprietors speak volumes, evident in the quality of the finished product to the fittings used. The Titanium is aptly named it seems to me.
HITS AND MISSES
- Level of standard equipment
- Surprisingly spacious layout
- Good sized kitchen
- Well set-up electricals
- Options list
- Limited external bin space
- Small dinette area up front
- Depending on how you travel, fresh water capacity may be an issue
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
External body length 6.96m (22ft 10in)
External body width 1.99m (6ft 6in)
Travel height 2.9m (9ft 6in)
Internal height 1.92m (6ft 4in)
PRICE AS SHOWN