One of the benefits of building a van conversion over a coach-built is that the major bodywork has usually already been done. But, in this case, the Oasis Platinum has a considerable amount of conversion work.
LAYOUT & DESIGN
For a start, the normal sliding door has been removed and new moulding fitted, part of which includes a conventional Dometic motorhome door. Other external clues include the alloy bullbar with winch, driving lights, snorkel, twin spare wheels mounted on special frames at the rear, offside slide-out, diesel generator in the offside bin and a second storage bin on the nearside.
Out of sight items include the 200W solar panels, 40L petrol tank for the generator and 200L long-range diesel tank. Gas cylinders and their associated storage bin are not required on this particular conversion, as the cooktop and hot water/space heater are diesel-fired and the fridge is a 12V compressor.
The benefits of the leather-upholstered swivelling cab seats are very obvious in this layout – they not only provide relaxed seating but can be used for dining with the swivelling arm table that can be mounted on the end of the lounge. It’s a bit squishy but still workable and it’s definitely better than eating outside during inclement weather. The table also comes with a ‘tripod leg’ and can be used outside if required. With the table out of the way, at least one person can stretch out their legs along the lounge seat.
BEDROOM & STORAGE
The rear queen-sized bed blocks the walkway when the slide-out is closed up, but it can very easily be lifted up to get past the bed. Lifting the bed also reveals most of the 12V cabling connections, including the house batteries. Even with the Webasto heater, there is still some general storage space available.
Most beds in slide-outs don’t have bedside cabinets, so I was interested to note that the Oasis has small bedside cabinets on each side of the bed. They won’t fit much in them, but they are certainly better than nothing. There are the usual overhead lockers above the bed and the nearside wall at the end of the bed makes a good mounting point for the flatscreen TV.
Simplicity is the order of the day in the kitchen. It comes with a two-burner diesel-fired cooktop and a small sink with drainer. Short though it might be, the kitchen is well-equipped with drawers, shelved cupboards and overhead lockers. All the drawers come with Paradise’s soft-close feature and the overhead lockers are fitted with stainless steel piano hinges.
On the opposite side, above the 150L Waeco fridge, is the Sharp Carousel microwave. For those planning remote camping, the microwave can only be used when hooked to mains or a generator. Beside the microwave is a mini control panel with the Webasto water/space heater controls, battery charger panel and generator switch. Across the walkway, and handy to the entrance, is the soft touch panel for all the 12V electrics, along with the water tank gauge. It’s all conveniently located.
Paradise is the only van converter that builds full-width rear bathrooms into its motorhomes and it achieves this by closing off the rear doors. Given the extra weight of the spare wheels mounted on the Oasis’s rear, it’s a blessing not having to open the doors very often. However, one important thing does require access to the rear of the van – emptying the cassette toilet! Within the bathroom, the shower cubicle comes complete with flexible-hose shower, soap/shampoo dispenser and roller-style curtain. That leaves room for the cassette toilet with hinged shelf above, at mid-station, and small washbasin in the nearside corner. A full-height cabinet with variously sized compartments sits in that same corner.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Some readers may well look at the price tag for this Paradise Oasis and think a larger motorhome with more living space might be a better use of their money. However, size isn’t everything and the Oasis, particularly with the options chosen here, is a motorhome built for a purpose – it’s very well appointed and suitably equipped for rough-road travel.
It’s smaller size, too, is a factor. I reckon this Sprinter unit is a good length and width for rough road and offroad travel. It’s just large enough to be comfortable to live in, yet small enough to handle most road conditions that you may find in your travels.
HITS & MISSES
- General layout and decor
- Composite kitchen
- Bedroom layout
- Interior ambience
- Electrical setup
- Driving the Mercedes
I would have liked…
- Having the keys for longer!
- Gas for cooking – each to his own, though