Bed­side man­ners

The 2012 Talvor Mu­rana has plenty of power and a very flex­i­ble lay­out.

Motorhome & Caravan Trader - - Contents Issue 202 - Words and pics Mal­colm Street

Talvor’s 2012 Mu­rana has plenty of power and a flex­i­ble lay­out

Abed that can be raised and low­ered elec­tri­cally is quite a pop­u­lar de­sign fea­ture in mo­torhomes. It’s par­tic­u­larly con­ve­nient in smaller mo­torhomes, and al­lows for more flex­i­ble lay­outs.

Talvor’s 2012 Mu­rana of­fers sev­eral liv­ing op­tions within its 7.7m (25ft 3in) length. This man­u­fac­turer’s build­ing ex­pe­ri­ence comes from the Apollo rental op­er­a­tion, but the Talvor fleet cer­tainly has a num­ber of up­mar­ket dif­fer­ences.

Un­der­pin­ning the Mu­rana is a Mercedes-benz Sprinter cab chas­sis. It’s pow­ered by a stan­dard 2.2L tur­bod­iesel that de­liv­ers 120kw of power and a use­ful 330Nm of torque. The Benz comes with a sixspeed, fully auto gear­box and, on the safety front, has ABS brakes, an elec­tronic sta­bil­ity pro­gram, and driver and pas­sen­ger side airbags. The cab comes with all the usual fea­tures but, sadly, the ra­dio/cd player is just a base level one. The re­vers­ing cam­era mounted on the right-hand side of the dash­board is a Talvor ad­di­tion.

I gave the Mu­rana a work­out around the Palm Beach Penin­sula and up through the Ku-ring-gai Chase Na­tional Park, NSW. It’s not a bad des­ti­na­tion for a lit­tle bit of week­day ex­plo­ration, es­pe­cially since the nearby Lake­side Hol­i­day Park, Narrabeen, of­fers plenty of camp­ing sites.

BUILD­ING THE MU­RANA

With a com­pos­ite fi­bre­glass struc­ture and moulded ends, the 2012 Mu­rana is built as a B class mo­torhome, which means it is with­out a Lu­ton peak. En­try is through a Hehr-style en­try door, right be­hind the driver’s cab, with a sep­a­rate non-se­cu­rity screen door. The slid­ing glass win­dows are an in­ter­est­ing choice over the pop­u­lar hopper or larger acrylic style. The up­side of the glass win­dows is they won’t scratch as eas­ily. The down­side: they can’t be left open in the rain.

Stor­age-wise, the Mu­rana comes with a va­ri­ety of ex­ter­nal bins, each with a light. The largest bin is a through-boot across the rear. There are also bins on ei­ther side of the mo­torhome, though some of them are ded­i­cated to hous­ing items such as the 125Ah bat­ter­ies (offside), two 4kg gas cylin­ders (near­side), and combo slide-out bar­be­cue and en­ter­tain­ment unit, con­ve­niently lo­cated mid-near­side. The en­ter­tain­ment unit comes with two speak­ers, a ra­dio/cd player, 240V and 12V sock­ets, and a TV an­tenna point but no TV mount­ing bracket.

In­side the Mu­rana is the afore­men­tioned rear bed, which can be raised and low­ered, with a lounge un­der­neath. Oc­cu­py­ing the near­side wall is a kitchen bench, leav­ing enough space on the op­po­site wall for a bath­room and a dinette be­hind the driver’s seat.

Talvor kept the driver’s cab more or less in­tact, so the seats don’t swivel around and the shelf above the cab doesn’t lift up out of the way, mak­ing climb­ing in and out a lit­tle awk­ward.

While the cab­i­netry has an ap­peal­ing, light and airy look about it, it also looks a bit squar­ish – an echo of Talvor’s rental ori­gins, per­haps. Sim­i­larly, the light­ing has good and bad points. There are plenty of light

fit­tings but there are no ceil­ing lights in the kitchen and din­ing ar­eas.

LIGHTEN UP

Mea­sur­ing 1.9x1.37m (6ft 3in x 4ft 6in), the bed sits east-west above the lounge. It can be low­ered to a level that re­quires a foot stool in or­der to climb aboard, un­less the seat cush­ions ei­ther side are re­moved – which is a bit of a fid­dly process.

The club lounge has win­dows on all three sides, giv­ing a good view of ev­ery­thing that’s hap­pen­ing out­side. Ob­vi­ously, the bed pre­cludes over­head lock­ers in this area, but there are un­der-seat stor­age op­tions and a small wardrobe at the end of the kitchen bench. Light­ing can some­times be an is­sue with multi-level beds, but the wall lights il­lu­mi­nate the area nicely.

There’s noth­ing too rad­i­cal about the kitchen, which comes with most of the things re­quired in the mod­ern mo­torhome. Fill­ing the bench­top are a stain­less steel sink with plas­tic de­tach­able drainer and a four-burner cook­top, grill and oven. Some peo­ple might find us­ing a de­tach­able drainer an­noy­ing, but the ben­e­fit is they al­low for more bench­top space.

At the rear end of the kitchen bench, the 150L three-way fridge is mounted off the floor with a raised shelf above. Above the shelf you’ll find the mi­crowave, built into the cab­i­netry. There are pluses and mi­nuses to this setup. Hav­ing the mi­crowave in the ‘raised’ po­si­tion gives more shelf area be­low, but it will prove awk­ward for shorter peo­ple to use.

Kitchen stor­age con­sists of a cut­lery drawer, a two-door cup­board and three over­head lock­ers.

Part of the cup­board area is taken up by the hous­ing for the ex­ter­nal en­ter­tain­ment unit and one of the over­head lock­ers con­tains all of the 12V con­trols, hot wa­ter switch, bat­tery volt­meter and wa­ter tank gauges.

Although the bath­room isn’t par­tic­u­larly large, it con­tains a sep­a­rate shower cu­bi­cle, Thet­ford cas­sette toi­let, a small wash­basin and a large wall mir­ror. There isn’t a win­dow, how­ever, and the roof hatch above the shower does not have a fan.

The dinette could han­dle two adults and two chil­dren with­out a prob­lem around the large ta­ble, which has been de­signed to fold down quickly to al­low the dinette to be made up into a bed. Both the for­ward-fac­ing seats are fit­ted with seat belts, so guests or the kids can tour along with you.

THE BOT­TOM LINE

There’s no doubt elec­tri­cally lift­ing beds add greatly to the de­sign flex­i­bil­ity of a mo­torhome. In the 2012 Talvor Mu­rana, the bed is rea­son­ably easy to ac­cess and doesn’t have to be made up ev­ery night, and you even get a club lounge with a view.

In ad­di­tion, the ex­tra berths mean that oc­ca­sional guests can be ac­com­mo­dated with­out too much dif­fi­culty. It all adds up to a very neat lit­tle pack­age.

Above: The 2012 Talvor Mu­rana is nicely set up for out­door liv­ing. right: combo slide-out bar­be­cue/ en­ter­tain­ment hub.

Clock­wise from top left: Light tim­ber cab­i­netry through­out; com­fort­able Sprinter cab with six-speed auto; the dinette be­hind the cab has plenty of space for two; glass lids over the sink and cook­top and the de­tach­able drainer cre­ate ex­tra kitchen bench sp

Clock­wise from top left: The bed low­ers over the lounge in the rear; the bed sits around waist height un­less you re­move the cush­ions of the lounge be­neath; the rear club lounge with bed re­tracted; the small bath­room fits a sep­a­rate shower cu­bi­cle and toil

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