What’s inside the box?
Motorhomes all look a little alike from outside, but a super stylish interior sets this one apart from the rest.
By Richard Robertson
Motorhome design preferences are as varied as people’s personalities, so designers are constantly trying to come up with new ideas and adaptions to give buyers something new.
The Sovereign Deluxe is a case in point. Given there are only so many ways you can arrange things inside a box, it’s interesting to see what Suncamper has devised to make its product stand out. While none of its innovations are revolutionary, the combined package makes for a very liveable vehicle.
The Sovereign series is at the top end of one of eight models in the Suncamper line-up. The coach-built models use traditional steel floor and aluminium frame construction, with outer fibreglass and inner plywood paneling, plus foam insulation. The walls are 30 mm thick while the one-piece fibreglass roof is 45mm think and can readily support a person’s weight.
Calling the Sovereign Deluxe pretty would be a stretch; its slab sides and snub nose are far more practical than stylish.
Depending on preferences – brand-wise and financial – you can order a Sovereign Deluxe on either a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Iveco Daily. Our test vehicle was on the Iveco and a special customer order, fitted with a manual transmission. Given around 99 per cent of new motorhomes are autos and it was interesting to drive a rare manual Daily.
While the gearshift was a bit slow I soon got used to it, but with an industry-leading slick eight-speed automatic as an option I expect this will remain a rare option.
The engine was the lower powered version of the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel, but with 125 kW and 430 Nm on tap and only car licence weight to contend with, it wanted for nothing.
Style and Substance
Anyone would quickly feel at home inside the Sovereign Deluxe. The layout features a front lounge/dinette incorporating swivel cab seats, spacious central kitchen and the bed and bathroom at the rear. While far from unusual, the layout has a range of features making it stand out.
Upfront, the lounge/dinette is a beauty. Swivel the cab seats around and you have easy seating for five or six – just the thing for hosting sundowners.
The forward facing dinette seat is L-shaped and returns forward along the driver’s-side wall, under a big picture window. Cleverly this return section can be removed to provide legroom should you want to carry two passengers, as the seat is seatbelt equipped. When left in place it provides a comfortable seat for someone to stretch out by the window and enjoy the view or relax and watch TV.
Across the aisle is an inwards-facing two-seat sofa on the kerbside. Its small backrest cushions are velcroed in place and when removed the cabinet behind opens to reveal a full hanging wardrobe with cupboards above. The final piece of wizardry is a new, European-sourced dining table mount that is not only sturdy, it easily moves every which-way to maximise dining options depending on which seats are occupied. It’s also height adjustable and can push down far enough to convert the dinette into a second bed (this is on the drawing board).
The L-shaped kitchen butts-up to the rear of the main dinette seat and then runs down the driver’s-side wall. There’s plenty of bench space and while this particular vehicle only had a customer-specified three-burner gas cooker, the standard fitting is a four-burner cooker with grill and oven. A 181-litre 3-way 2-door fridge freezer, microwave and a ton of cupboard and drawer space round-out this very practical kitchen.
Come the evening you’ll find the bed in the kerbside rear corner. The one in our test vehicle was a little more rounded and had a little more side clearance than the standard bed. It was still a decent size, with windows behind and to the side, plus plenty of overhead cupboards and storage below. It made for quite a spacious bedroom area.
The bathroom is in the driver’s-side rear corner next to the bed. It has an interesting layout; the hand basin and vanity are actually in the bedroom, just outside the bathroom door. Step into the bathroom itself and you step into the shower, with the toilet at the very rear, complete with a sliding screen to keep it dry.
From its spacious and practical lounge/dinette to its pleasing kitchen and funky white upholstery, Suncamper’s Sovereign Deluxe is quite the surprise package. The fact you can have it on your choice of chassis adds to the appeal, while Suncamper’s proven construction and loyal band of repeat customers says much about its dependability.
For the full review and specs, see Issue 24 of ROAM
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