Mildura, located on the Murray River in Victoria might seem to be an odd place for a motorhome manufacturer to be located. In fact, it’s actually typical of Australian motorhome manufacturers, which unlike the Victorian caravan builders are usually based further afield. Wirraway is a boutique manufacturer and under Rob Tonkin has found a successful market niche, building mostly a range of B class motorhomes. A typical example being the 260SL, the 260 being 26ft (7.9m) and the SL being a slide-out.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is the Wirraway choice for its 260 range and this vehicle has a 519 CDI cab chassis that comes with a 3L V6 turbo diesel that puts out a maximum of 140kW and a very torquey 440Nm. It also comes with a GVM of 5250kg which is higher than the normal Benz specification of 5000kg and requires an LR licence. Having a Tare of 4600kg gives the motorhome a load capacity of 650kg.
The most noticeable feature of the 260SL is of course the offside slide-out. It takes up more than two thirds of the wall area and is electrically driven. For those who worry about such things, there is also a manual override.
Another noticeable item is the external storage capacity, of which there is plenty. Much of the storage is drawer based, which is very handy, but the rest are more conventional. There are of course the usual dedicated bins for batteries and gas cylinders but I particularly like the ones at the nearside rear, which contain a very user friendly slide-out barbecue, and tank connected hose reel. Apart from anything else, it makes it easy to wash the motorhome down even if not connected to mains water.
In the body building department, the 260SL has chassis built from RHS aluminium which supports a 12mm plywood floor. Composite styrofoam/fibreglass vacuum sealed panels form up the wall structure which includes double glazed acrylic windows and the Dometic door with glass insert. The two pack epoxy paint finish sparkles in the sunshine increasing the longevity of the vehicle. An option fitted to this motorhome is the levelling – very handy when using the slide-out.
Driving the 260SL is certainly a pleasurable chore. Being fitted with the most powerful of the Sprinter engines, the 140kW 3L diesel delivers the grunt when needed but otherwise just cruises along. Certainly the Mercedes automatic gearboxes are some of the smoothest and most responsive in the business. Noise wise, there are certainly some of the expected rattles and grunts from the rear but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a towel or cushion in the right place.
Wirraway motorhomes come with a choice of interior decor, either a more traditional Tasmanian Myrtle timber or a modern white contemporary look. In this case, the 260SL has the latter and the overall effect is a light and bright interior. Having the full width bathroom across the rear of the motorhome does result in the perception of a very spacious interior.
There are some slide-out based motorhome layouts I have seen where the slide-out looks a bit like an afterthought rather than being integrated into the overall design. Not here, because built into the slide-out, working from rear to front are an east-west queen bed, fridge with microwave oven above and, up front a sideways facing lounge. Of course the driver’s cab seats swivel around, thus forming an area for lounging and dining – the sideways lounge having a detachable table, which is stored under the bed when not being used.
The Wanderer editor Kirstie Bedford was equally impressed with the Wirraway.
“It is a really beautiful motorhome, with a stylish bathroom and kitchen, liquor cabinet and power points at every turn, including three in the roomy ensuite alone,” she said.
“There’s ample storage under the bed, a full-length pull-out pantry, and large fridge. In the ensuite is a washing machine and separate shower. For couples wanting a luxurious home-away-from-home, this motorhome is definitely the one for you.”
For CMCA CEO Richard Barwick, the build quality of the Wirraway was something to be commended.
“It’s a quality vehicle which is well-made, some of the features will allow members to enjoy the comforts of home, especially with the good storage capacity complemented by the quality of the décor.”
He said the motorhome was great value for money.
“Vehicles like this will always retain their value. Wirraway has a strong reputation in the market place for producing an excellent product. The attention to detail in the vehicle is an added attraction.”
Sophisticated power systems sometimes put people off but in this case the 120A batteries, 130W solar panel, 25A smart charger and auto filling of the drinking water tank is all controlled by a control panel located above the entry door. That area is where the water tank, generator controls and radio/CD player are fitted, so everything is centrally located. A benefit of the electrical control system is that it’s either set and forget or can be played with by those more technically inclined.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Whilst much attention is grabbed by the spacious interior of the 260SL, where the accent is very much on living area, the outside of the motorhome has much to offer as well with both its Mercedes-Benz undercarriage and the external bins that give not only easy storage access but a good number of external lifestyle features as well.
HITS AND MISSES
- Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 519 CDI cab chassis
- 650kg load capacity
- Spacious interior with slide-out open
- Nicely finished interior
- Drawer style external bins
- Access to external bins under slide-out when it is out
- Lagun table really only for one
- Handing the keys back
Weights and measures
- External length 7.9m (26ft)
- External width 2.25m (7ft 5in)
- Internal height 2m (6ft 6in)
- Travel height 3.15m (10ft 4in)
- Tare 4600kg
- GVM 5250kg
Price as shown
$239,000 plus options of $16,500
The full feature appeared in Caravan World #569. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!