Power slide

The 2012 Sun­liner Monte Carlo M72 fea­tures two ex­pan­sive slide-outs and some very so­phis­ti­cated electrics.

Motorhome & Caravan Trader - - 2012 Sunliner Monte Carlo M72 - Words and pics Mal­colm Street

“Drive care­fully, it’s a long ve­hi­cle,” I was warned as I drove out of the sales yard. I was at the wheel of a Sun­liner mo­torhome not long off the de­liv­ery truck. At nearly 9.5m (31ft), the 2012 Monte Carlo M72 is in­deed a long ve­hi­cle, but not as dif­fi­cult a ve­hi­cle to drive as one might ex­pect.

Re­mem­ber­ing the length around corners is es­sen­tial, but with its 3L, 130kw tur­bod­iesel en­gine, the Iveco-pow­ered mo­torhome was quite a plea­sure to nav­i­gate across coun­try. The large rear-view mir­rors and re­vers­ing cam­era proved es­pe­cially use­ful.

It also felt to me that, like its Ital­ian cousin, the Fiat Du­cato, the six-speed au­to­mated man­ual trans­mis­sion (AMT) runs smoother with a heav­ier ve­hi­cle. Speak­ing of weight, the M72 has a Tare of nearly 6000kg and a GVM of 6500kg, put­ting it into the Light Rigid truck cat­e­gory for li­cens­ing. But don’t let that put you off – this is a mo­torhome with sev­eral in­ter­est­ing fea­tures.

EX­TER­NAL STRUC­TURE

This dou­ble slide-out mo­torhome is built us­ing Sun­liner’s fi­bre­glass com­pos­ite ‘Thermo Tough’ struc­ture, with nicely moulded front and rear ends. There is a slide-out on ei­ther side; how­ever, the near­side unit di­rectly be­hind the driver’s cab re­duces the po­ten­tial space un­der the awning. That said, there is still enough un­der­cover area for a cou­ple of camp chairs, a ta­ble and the ful­lye­quipped slide-out kitchen.

Al­most like a cam­per trailer in its equip­ment, the slide-out kitchen in­cludes two-burner cook­top, sink

with hot and cold wa­ter, and a small wine fridge. All the essen­tials for al­fresco liv­ing are cov­ered here.

In ad­di­tion to the ex­ter­nal kitchen bins, there is space ded­i­cated to two 150Ah house bat­ter­ies, three 4kg gas cylin­ders, Thet­ford cas­sette toi­let and 2.3KVA gen­er­a­tor, with plenty of room left for ex­ter­nal stor­age.

I men­tion the bat­ter­ies and gen­er­a­tor be­cause this mo­torhome is very so­phis­ti­cated in terms of electrics. A switch panel in­side the door con­trols the step, awning, slide-out, light­ing and diesel-fired We­basto heater.

SPA­CIOUS IN­TE­RIOR

Once in­side, there is plenty of space. I can’t hon­estly say the colour scheme did much for me, but it did look con­tem­po­rary and it’s re­ally a mat­ter of per­sonal choice, any­way.

The front near­side slide-out con­tains a side­waysfac­ing lounge, while the rear off­side slide-out acts as the head for an east-west bed. Ef­fec­tively split into three ar­eas, this 2012 Monte Carlo has a front lounge/din­ing area, mid kitchen, and full-width rear bath­room, with the bed in be­tween. The Lu­ton bed, measuring 1.83x1.36m (6ft x 4ft 6in) is avail­able in case you have a guest, but it can be lifted out of the way if not needed.

Up front, the liv­ing area con­sists of a two-per­son dinette (four at a squeeze), the afore­men­tioned lounge, and swiv­el­ling pas­sen­ger seats. Ev­ery­thing is up­hol­stered in white leather and there are two seat­belts fit­ted to the lounge, but I would have pre­ferred them on the for­ward­fac­ing dinette seat for bet­ter trav­el­ling com­fort.

Be­tween the driver’s seat and the front dinette you will find a large, ap­par­ently func­tion­less, box – but press a but­ton and a 32in flatscreen TV el­e­vates into view. The same ar­range­ment ap­plies for a smaller TV in the bed­room, but a dis­ad­van­tage of both is that 240V is re­quired to op­er­ate the lift mech­a­nism. This is fine if you are hooked up to mains power, but fir­ing up the gen­er­a­tor at night to raise/lower the TV might not be pop­u­lar with the neigh­bours when you’re out bush camp­ing.

The Monte Carlo’s L-shaped kitchen in­cludes a Thet­ford three-burner cook­top and grill/oven, stain­less steel sink, two over­head lock­ers and three draw­ers as stan­dard. A cup­board door opens to re­veal three wire bas­ket draw­ers,

and herein lies the kitchen sur­prise: push the but­ton tucked into the cor­ner, and the en­tire end of the bench slides out to re­veal two larger wire bas­ket shelves. It’s a novel idea and the lock­ing mech­a­nism re­sem­bles a bon­net catch in a car.

A third pantry is lo­cated be­tween the front lounge and the en­try door.

A Waeco Cool­matic fridge, with mi­crowave above, sits op­po­site this clever kitchen. The mi­crowave sits par­tic­u­larly high at 1.65m (5ft 5in) off the floor, and a height-chal­lenged per­son might strug­gle.

ELEC­TRIC LIV­ING

The 1.95x1.55m (6ft 5in x 5ft 1in) bed sits snug­gly in the slide-out, but there are (sadly) no shelves or bed­side ta­bles on ei­ther side. Con­trary to the usual, the main bed­room cab­i­netry is at the base of the bed on the near­side wall. The space con­tains full­height cup­boards on ei­ther side and a waist-height cup­board, com­plete with el­e­vat­ing TV in the mid­dle.

The TV blocks the view through the win­dow, which isn’t a prob­lem when a pro­gram is be­ing watched, but at other times I suspect most peo­ple would pre­fer it to be low­ered. Both sides of the bed­room can be closed off with con­certina cur­tains for pri­vacy.

There are no sur­prises in the bath­room –

Clock­wise from main: The near­side slide-out re­duces awning space; the siz­able Monte Carlo is all set up for life on the road; the ex­ter­nal kitchen comes with a wine fridge.

Clock­wise from above: The M72 has a front lounge/ din­ing area; dou­ble slide-outs cre­ate a par­tic­u­larly spa­cious in­te­rior; apart­ment-style liv­ing in the Monte Carlo; a mi­crowave is lo­cated above the Waeco Cool­matic fridge.

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