Mo­tor mi­rage

The 2012 Paradise Oa­sis Deluxe is a large van con­ver­sion with stand­out fea­tures to match. “The 2012 is a good-sized ve­hi­cle for both open-road tour­ing and ma­noeu­vring through city streets”

Motorhome & Caravan Trader - - News&reviews 2012 Paradise Oasis Deluxe - Paradise Oa­sis

As far as Paradise mo­torhomes go, the Oa­sis range is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. Not be­cause it doesn’t have many of the usual Paradise fea­tures but be­cause it is a van-based con­ver­sion us­ing a Mercedes Benz Sprinter 316 CDI van, whereas most ve­hi­cles in the Paradise range are coach-built cab chas­sis rigs.

This 2012 Oa­sis Deluxe also comes with a small slide-out on the off­side which is in keep­ing with the Paradise modus operandi.

While most large van con­ver­sions have a clunky slid­ing door, a stand­out fea­ture of this Oa­sis is the stan­dard mo­torhome door that has been in­stalled. The door was stan­dard on the Deluxe and, in­stead of fit­ting into the orig­i­nal slid­ing door gap, the new mo­torhome door is fit­ted di­rectly be­hind it, cre­at­ing more ver­sa­til­ity with the in­ter­nal lay­out. It does change the pro­file of the van a bit, though, be­cause from the rear, the door ap­pears to stand out from the van side. But this is an il­lu­sion, pre­dom­i­nantly caused by the curve of the van’s body.

Be­hind the door, the win­dow is smaller than usual, which means that both the win­dow and the door can be fully open at the same time. Along the top near­side edge, the curved Fi­amma awning keeps a low pro­file, as does the near­side LED strip light, which pro­vides good il­lu­mi­na­tion.

Many large van con­ver­sions have no ex­ter­nal stor­age bins apart from those ded­i­cated to toi­let cas­settes and gas cylin­ders. But one of the sur­prises in the Oa­sis is the num­ber of ex­ter­nal stor­age bins avail­able. This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant be­cause the area that would nor­mally be used – be­hind the rear doors – isn’t avail­able. There are two bins along the off­side, one for the two 4kg gas cylin­ders, the other for an op­tional 2KVA gen­er­a­tor. That bin is acous­ti­cally ven­ti­lated for the gen­er­a­tor but can also be used for other things if a gen­er­a­tor is not fit­ted. Our re­view ve­hi­cle also had an op­tional near­side bin – a very handy ad­di­tion.

A PEEK IN­SIDE

If, like me, you’re used to slid­ing-door vans, it’s slightly dis­con­cert­ing to step into the mid­dle.

While lots of con­ver­sions utilise rear open­ing doors, the rear doors of the Oa­sis are blocked off by the full-width rear bath­room. For­ward of the bath­room, the east-west bed has its head in the off­side slide-out. That leaves room for a near­side kitchen and a lounge/din­ing area – a com­bi­na­tion of the swiv­elled-cab seats and off­side side­waysfac­ing lounge.

Although the in­te­rior space is lim­ited, a large win­dow and the rear slide-out add to the per­cep­tion of space. The decor is light and de­cep­tively sim­ple, which also helps in this re­gard.

Fit­ting a full-width bath­room into the rear of a Mercedes Benz Sprinter is a bit of a chal­lenge but it has been achieved by the Paradise team. There is an off­side shower cu­bi­cle, mid-sta­tion Thet­ford cas­sette toi­let and a small cor­ner wash­basin. The lat­ter sits in front of a small cab­i­net with a wardrobe, over­head lock­ers and shelves. There is also a Par­adisedesigned odour ex­trac­tion sys­tem for the cas­sette toi­let, which seems to work quite well. Other fea­tures of note are the mir­ror along the high-side of the rear wall and the hinged shelf above the loo.

The is­land dou­ble bed, which fits neatly into the slide-out, has small bed­side shelves on ei­ther side as well as goose­neck read­ing lights. Taller-thanaver­age peo­ple are going to ap­pre­ci­ate the 150mm bed ex­ten­sion that’s avail­able, and a cus­tom bed length could also be ac­com­mo­dated. But both, nat­u­rally, cut down on the amount of space avail­able to walk around the bed.

When the slide-out is closed, it looks like the bed blocks the walk­way to the bath­room, but the bed base has been de­signed to lift eas­ily in or­der to al­low pass­ing traf­fic. There is a sub­stan­tial stor­age space un­der the bed, too, with room to carry just about ev­ery­thing an RV trav­eller might need.

The flatscreen TV is mounted on the near­side wall be­tween the door and rear win­dow in such a way that it can be seen from the bed or the seats at the front. And the Paradise-de­signed swivel mount means the TV can be left in po­si­tion when driv­ing. The 12V and an­tenna con­nec­tions, 240V pow­er­point and a bank of light switches are all lo­cated un­der­neath the TV.

In a rig the size of the Oa­sis, it’s im­por­tant to use ev­ery bit of space; there­fore, Paradise used swiv­el­ling cab seats, which suit the lounge. There is also a La­gun swivel-mounted ta­ble. When it’s not be­ing used, the ta­ble can be stored be­hind the seat back and the La­gun swivel un­der the seat, along with an ex­ter­nal tri­pod mount.

An ad­van­tage of not us­ing a slid­ing door is that

the kitchen bench does not pro­trude into the door­way. The com­pact kitchen bench takes up all the space where the door­way used to be. There is a stain­less steel three-burner cook­top and sink combo in the kitchen with two multi-shelved cup­boards and three draw­ers un­der­neath. Above the kitchen bench, the locker of­fers plenty of stor­age space.

Lo­cated be­tween the lounge and the slide-out, a Sharp Carousel mi­crowave sits atop a Waeco 150L fridge. With the fridge sit­ting at floor level, the mi­crowave is a very user-friendly height. This setup leaves space for a full-sized over­head locker that’s partly oc­cu­pied by 12V and 240V elec­tri­cal con­trol pan­els.

ON THE ROAD

Tak­ing to the road in the 2012 Oa­sis re­veals a very smooth per­former and the 2.2L 120kw tur­bod­iesel,

Paradise In­de­pen­dence 26ft 2006 • $215,000 • QLD • 0409 775 399 Paradise In­tegrity Lite Deluxe 25ft 2012 • $159,900 • QLD • (07) 3073 8319 Paradise In­spi­ra­tion 2010 • $149,990 • NSW • (02) 6171 3772

Clock­wise from top left: The Sprinter van base is a good size for tour­ing; rear ac­cess is blocked by the full-width rear bath­room; the Oa­sis with its slide-out ex­tended.

Clock­wise from top: Swiv­el­ling cab seats cre­ate the dinette; the dinette ta­ble stores away be­hind the back of the lounge; is­land dou­ble bed fits into the slide-out; one of sev­eral ex­ter­nal stor­age bins.

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