Coastal cruis­ing

This 2010 Paramount Clas­sic proved it­self a com­fort­able and trust­wor­thy tour­ing com­pan­ion.

Motorhome & Caravan Trader - - Contents -

Paramount’s 2010 Clas­sic is a com­fort­able tour­ing van

There’s noth­ing like coastal car­a­van­ning. The ocean bat­ter­ing the cliffs and rocks, the white spray of the crash­ing waves, the cobalt sky. It’s just you and the road.

So when the op­por­tu­nity to head off for a cou­ple of days in this 2010 Paramount Clas­sic, a cou­ple’s van (though I was to sleep in it alone – my wife had other com­mit­ments), I de­cided to head straight down Vic­to­ria’s stun­ning west coast.

Van hitched up, I towed it along Mel­bourne’s Monash Free­way (al­ways a stop-start af­fair), through the Do­main Tun­nel and over the West Gate Bridge. From there, it was an ex­cep­tion­ally smooth ride along the Gee­long Free­way – and once I was ac­cus­tomed to the weight be­hind the HiLux, at times it was like the Clas­sic wasn’t there at all.

STOR­AGE KING

Our 2010 Paramount Clas­sic was a 5.95m (19ft 6in) van sans bath­room. Be­cause we were park-hop­ping along the Great Ocean Road, this was not a prob­lem. In fact, I was glad to have the ex­tra space and stor­age the lack of a bath­room af­fords. And in this Clas­sic, stor­age is a high­light. The lay­out con­sists of a for­ward dinette, mid off­side kitchen fac­ing a tall bench on the near­side, and a rear bed­room.

Let’s start at the dinette. It’s com­fort­able and would eas­ily seat four for din­ner around the swivel ta­ble. Un­der the dinette lounge are six in­di­vid­ual stor­age com­part­ments. It’s worth not­ing that the in­di­vid­ual high-density-foam seat cush­ions have their own solid base, so when you re­move the cush­ion, you’ve im­me­di­ate ac­cess to the cav­ity be­neath. No more fid­dling around with hinged ply bases.

There are a cou­ple of mul­ti­di­rec­tional read­ing lights at the dinette, too, as well as a shelf along the front of the van. The din­ing area is sur­rounded by over­head lock­ers: three along the front, two ei­ther side. The for­ward lock­ers have taste­ful, translu­cent inserts but no in­ter­nal di­viders (which is some­thing I like to have, if only to keep my gear or­dered). But these three lock­ers do have sturdy pi­ano hinges for the doors. Cu­ri­ously, they are the only ones in the en­tire van that have them.

The kitchen is set up with three draw­ers (with­out stop­pers, so be care­ful when open­ing them) and one floor-level locker be­neath them. There’s a deep cup­board un­der the sink which also hides the off­side wheel­box, one drawer un­der the Spin­flo cook­top and griller, as well as a small, three-shelf cup­board at the rear of the kitchen. A locker above the stain­less steel range­hood is home to the pow­erpoint for the Dae­woo mi­crowave, which is fit­ted into the wood­work of the kitchen’s over­head cab­i­netry along­side a water-level in­di­ca­tor and a JVC stereo/DVD/MP3 player that’s con­nected to four DNA speak­ers.

Meal-prep room is lim­ited to the closed cover of the cook­top or, if you’re happy to stoop a bit, the dinette ta­ble. Be­cause of its height, the near­side bench isn’t suit­able for mak­ing up a meal.

This bench stands 1.28m from the one-piece ply floor, due to the fact that a tall, 121L three-way Dometic fridge is built in, atop a floor locker. Along the wall, above this bench, is a shelf which, if you’re on the tall side, would be a handy place to keep your cof­fee mugs, etc. A Wine­gard jack, DVD point and pow­erpoint are also in this area.

Paramount has made com­plete use of the bench cab­i­net by fit­ting an ar­ray of deep cup­boards with shelves. A fi­nal word on the near­side bench: rounded cor­ners rather than the cur­rent square cor­ners might be bet­ter, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing their height.

BED­ROOM EYES

A tim­ber bulk­head ‘sep­a­rates’ the bed­room from the liv­ing ar­eas (if you’re tall, watch your nog­gin!) and I can speak from ex­pe­ri­ence that the in­ner­spring mat­tress, which rests on a slat­ted tim­ber base and mea­sures 1.5x1.88m (5ft x 6ft 2in), is mighty com­fort­able. The stor­age space un­der­neath is di­vided into a cou­ple of com­part­ments, the for­ward one with its own ac­cess door at the end of the bed. The bed it­self is sur­rounded by over­head lock­ers, wardrobes with ex­cel­lent hang­ing space, and bed­side ta­bles,

“Once I was ac­cus­tomed to the weight be­hind the HiLux, at times it was like the Clas­sic wasn’t there at all”

each with a drawer and cup­board. The ever-present di­ag­o­nal cup­boards at the foot of each side of the bed have three shelves.

The tinted win­dows each have tim­ber pel­mets, net­ting and full cur­tains. Light­ing through­out comes via the afore­men­tioned read­ing lights, three dome lights, and ded­i­cated kitchen-bench lights. A cou­ple of hatches (with pull-across fly­screen and block- out blind) do a good job of aid­ing nat­u­ral light and ven­ti­la­tion, and the Dometic air-con­di­tioner keeps things cool.

In terms of power, a switch on the off­side wall al­lows you to tog­gle be­tween 12V and 240V power.

The fully-in­su­lated Clas­sic is built on a 4in Su­paGal chas­sis that has a 2in riser at the axles. The frame is mer­anti tim­ber clad with alu­minium. A padded vinyl

a short skirt of alu­minium check­er­plate runs the length of both sides. The al­loy wheels of this dual-axle protected by gal­vanised sheet metal.

Other ex­ter­nal items in­clude the spare wheel THE BOT­TOM LINE coastal and hin­ter­land car­a­van­ning. You could and own­ers would be hap­pi­est within cooee of some form of civil­i­sa­tion. com­fort­able trav­el­ling com­pan­ion.

Words Pics Max Tay­lor Stu­art Grant

Above: Our 2010 Clas­sic was a com­fort­able home-awayfrom-home. Right: Stor­age is a kitchen high­light.

The dinette will com­fort­ably seat four for din­ner; the 1.5x1.88m bed is very com­fort­able; bench space is some­what lim­ited but it’s a prac­ti­cal and func­tional kitchen. Clock­wise from top:

Above: The Clas­sic towed nicely be­hind the

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