BUYERS GUIDE - MOTORHOMES
Paradise Motor Homes is a well respected brand that hasn’t been well known for off-roading, but the Inspiration Explore 4×4 model changes that situation. Based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4×4 platform this vehicle is very well equipped.
Before you start planning a Canning Stock Route adventure, note that PMH isn’t promoting this machine as a go-anywhere vehicle. The company’s DNA is luxury-motorhome-touring, so creature comforts and enhanced interior space take precedence over rock-hopping and dune climbing ability. No true low-range gearing, no centre diff lock and no traction aids other than ETC are fitted, so it’s not intended for severe off-road conditions.
Also, the load-carrying 519 model (5.0-tonnes ex-factory GVM and 5.5-tonnes GVM with PMH second-manufacturer modifications) puts most payload over the rear axle and therefore relies on dual rear tyres. Relatively narrow-section front tyres and dual rears – even Kumho ATs – have no place on boulder-strewn
trails and in dunefields.
What the Inspiration Explore 4×4 is
intended for is to provide the PMH-quality motorhome experience for people who want to get away from the madding crowd for self-sufficient extended periods and access campsites that conventional 4×2 motorhomes can’t get into, or, more importantly, get out of.
PMH’s survey of potential customers clearly indicated that people spending a large amount of motorhome money didn’t want to risk that investment on ‘hairy’ bush trails or by venturing into trackless desert, but they did want better traction on site access tracks and the ability to camp on firm-sand beaches.
Hence the PMH Inspiration Explore 4×4.
What you get
A 4.2-metre slide-out mid-section and the list of inclusions in the PMH Inspiration Explore 4×4 evaluation vehicle made it literally a home on wheels.
The kitchen featured a two-door Dometic Waeco 218-litre 12V/240V fridge/freezer; stainless steel sink and drainer; slide-out pantry and a Dometic/Smev 3+1 cooktop/grill/oven with laminated glass lid (optional convection microwave oven)
There was a 240V Truma Aventa Mark 2 air conditioner; Fiamma Turbo 400 fan roof hatch; 400x400mm roof hatches in the living area and bathroom; and a diesel heater with two outlets.
Naturally, there was also a Dometic 3kg front-loading washing machine!
Entertainment was provided by a Clarion House Stereo system with built-in Bluetooth; swivel-mounted RV media 24-inch LED HD TV/DVD/USB/ PVR 12/24/240V and four speakers, and a roof-mounted rotating antenna.
Lighting was all-LED and smoke alarms were fitted.
Seating was on a two-seater leather
lounge with kitchen bench extension and the three forward facing seats swivelled rearwards. A relocatable dining table with Fiamma legs and tripod stand stored below the bed.
The queen bed had underneath storage and sported a pocket spring and memory foam mattress with zippered bolster.
The bathroom featured a full-sized shower recess with multi-directional shower head and a Dometic toilet with 19-litre cassette. There was also an external hot and cold shower. Hot water came from a Truma gas/electric system, with 14-litre tank.
Cupboards were all PMH lightweight material, with full length piano hinges and stainless steel gas-assisted struts on overhead ones.
Floor covering was durable, industrial grade vinyl.
Nuts ’n’ bolts
The Inspiration Explore 4×4 motorhome
was based on a Mercedes Sprinter 519 CDI 4×4 model. This top-shelf Sprinter was powered by M-B’s V6 aluminium-block-and-heads diesel that put out 140kW, driving through a five-speed automatic transmission and two-speed transfer case to front and rear axles.
Standard equipment included electronic stability control (ESC), ABS, electronic traction system(4ETS), intelligent grip and hill start assist.
Cab equipment included twin airbags, climate control, GPS and bluetooth connectivity.
This model was rated at 2000kg towing capacity, with a maximum ball weight of 200kg.
For its role as a permanently loaded PMH motorhome it was fitted with air-bellows-assisted rear leaf springs.
The PMH bodywork and slide-out module used the company’s Dura Frame construction, based on high tensile alloys, with Dura Panel, laminated, insulated walls and roof. The floor was also Dura laminated material. Windows were double glazed with UV block out, fly screens and struts.
For protection from flying stones on gravel roads the Inspiration Explore 4×4’s lower bodywork was clad with 650mm-high, 2mm thick, black-painted aluminium chequer plate.
Beneath and inside its stylish bodywork the PMH machine hid a 200-litre water tank; two 4kg LPG bottles and eight dust-proof and water-resistantlockers.
Electrical equipment included: an Enerdrive ePRO Combi 3000W/12V inverter;Enerdrive DC2DC 40-amp charger with MPPT regulator for solar charging; Enerdrive compact 300Ah/12V lithium battery; Dometic 2.6kVA generator with automatic change over and internal control panel; and 600W Redarc solar panels.
One external locker held a swing bracket for the TV and external speakers, allowing for outside entertainment. Other external kit included a manual awning and LED strip lighting.
The pictured vehicle was fitted with a full range of options that included: aluminium cab side steps; tow bar, ball and wiring harness; AMA custom black ‘roo bar with Ironman 9500 winch; Safari snorkel; black powder coated wheels with tyre valve extensions and Kumho all-terrain tyres; aluminium mud guards with rubber extensions; GME 80 Channel UHF radio; two Sirocco black 12V oscillating fans; Fiamma wall-mounted fold-up rear ladder; 10-metre fresh water hose on retractable hose reel; grey water hose; pull out clothes line in shower; cab tinted windows; bi-fold blinds; 15-amp power lead and fire blanket and extinguishers
For those OTA readers who are planning where they can park one of these PMH vehicles in their driveway the Inspiration Explore 4×4 tipped the scales at around 4800kg, with all the above equipment on board, and measured 7.9 metres long, 2.4 metres wide and 3.3 metres high.
Paradise Motor Homes is incorporating some additional customer suggestions in the prototype machine and when they’re added we’ll have it for a test.