Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations
Paul Owen discovers the Hymer ML-T 580 from Wilderness Motorhomes rivals many RVS in double the price bracket for 4x4 bespoke quality and toughness.
There’s been a new kind of EV in the motorhome sector for quite some time, and it emerged well before the current tidal shift towards electric vehicles. It’s the ‘expedition vehicle’ segment, once the preserve of backyard boffins who turned militarygrade all-wheel-drive trucks into comfortable motorhomes capable of allterrain travel.
These days, instead of building an expedition vehicle yourself, there’s a plethora of niche motorhome builders catering for would-be adventurers. There are just a couple of catches. Be prepared to delay that expedition for some time before your bespoke motorhome finally reaches completion, and expect to pay upwards of $500,000. Or you could just buy this $287,900 HYMER ML-T 580 instead (well, that was the price for the 2022 model we reviewed).
This ML-T 580 is based on the Mercedes-benz Sprinter CDI 416, and as a 4x4 version enjoys the traction-enhancing qualities of an added front differential, transfer case, and front driveshaft.
Design highlights of the ML-T 580 body include the ‘Skyview’ roof and integrated LED lights above the habitation area, the wide entry door, power-operated awning, and the outside shower and gas BBQ feeds. Other highlights include the generously sized garage, checker plate floor, access doors on either side, and the handy exterior lockers that provide easy access to the fuses, switches, and the twin 9kg gas bottles.
There’s a nice balance between adventure and luxury to be found inside the ML-T 580. With the overall length of the motorhome confined to 6.98 metres, Hymer has fully aimed this model at couples. There are two spacious beds at the back that can be converted into one king-sized double if required.
The beds are preceded by a toilet/ washroom area with a height-adjustable shower on one side, and on the other you’ll find a roof-to-floor wardrobe and compartments for storing clothing, making the floor space between the two areas a natural place for drying/dressing.
In the kitchen, there’s a three-burner hob, full oven/grill, and a 142L fridge with a 15L freezer. The lounge can fit five at the table, and can be converted into a bed sized for a couple of children. Find out more at wilderness.co.nz