Around-Oz: Living the Dream!

Paradise Mercedes Sprinter Review
Kay and Jacks Pride and Joy!

Paradise Motorhomes first released their exciting new range at the Brisbane 2002 Caravan Show and caused quite a stir. You see Paradise are a group of tradesmen trained at prestigious Swagman Motorhomes and now opened up in business in their own right. The Swagman breeding really shines through in these motorhomes as the finish is of a high standard and oozes quality. The review motorhome belongs to Kay and Jack the newest members to our Chapter of the CMCA - Brisbane Sunshine Wanderers. They have taken early retirement for health reasons and yes it is their very first motorhome. In fact the unit was less than a week old when it was shown to us. This particular model is based on the automatic 313 Cdi Mercedes Sprinter an absolutely ideal base for a small maneuverable motorhome. The model reviewed is known as the Oasis and was so new that Paradise were yet to get new decals - now that's new.

Sleeping Arrangements
There aren't a lot of options available is this relatively small space. In this compact motorhome a double bed goes right across the rear. The back is actually sealed off from the rear doors and a venetian blind installed in a small opening. The only drawback we can see with this layout is you can't easily get out the rear in an emergency. It is however much easier to make up the bed in this unit than it is in a cabover style.

In a word excellent! Both the cooktop and sink are under glass lift up lids freeing up a lot of space when not in use. The fridge is the very reliable Waeco 110 litre 12/240 volt. We really liked the two pull out pantries with extra work space on top. The overhead cupboards all have anti slip mats and dividers to stop things moving around in transit. A 1000 watt Samsung microwave comes as standard 9240 volt). There is a very nice tiled splash back. All horizontal work surfaces have a solid timber edge. Kitchen ventilation is superb using a Fiamma reversible fan. Another choice would be the USA Fantastic Fan as it has the added very useful feature of automatically closing and switching off as soon as it rains.


Bathroom and Toilet
Wow, what an impressive set up this is! First up the door is an opaque laminated glass. This is rather unique in that you can see out but not in! It gives a lovely open feeling by the illusion of more space. The door doubles as a bedroom door - great idea for getting changed with the side door still open. Interestingly the bathroom door also automatically locks when the ignition is switched on. We would like to see other manufacturers pick up on this idea - particularly all fridge makers! The ensuite itself is made from smooth finish fibreglass. A clever design trick is flush mounting the toilet roll holder. For airing and drying a Flinbex expanding line comes as standard - a nice touch. The toilet itself is a Thetford cassette. This has the Eco modification so you do not need chemicals as it is exhausted outside during use.


We were very impressed with the gorgeous leather swiveling seats - Captain style. However everything in this compact type of motorhome is a compromise so there is nowhere to lounge about on other than the bed. There is however plenty of room to take along comfy chairs and the table comes with a legged base so it can be used outdoors as can be seen in the photos. Note the very clever safe built into the seat in the photo below left.


Plumbing/Hot Water/Electrics/Gas
Unfortunately we looked at this motorhome very early in the morning so we really couldn't get down and dirty. It does have a Flojet 12 volt water pump. Fresh water is a massive 200 litres and actually puts many of the "big boys" to shame. Grey water is 55 litres. We totally agree with this mix as you can't make more fresh water, but it is certainly not too difficult to shed excess grey water. Our current motorhome has equal sized tanks - a crazy situation! All taps are the Flickmixer type. We worry about this as if you look at the instructions that come with most of these they point out that they are NOT recommended for use with low pressure systems - under one bar. Only time will tell as many RV manufacturers are using them.

The pressurised hot water service is internal start and gas or electric. We had a demo of this working - we liked the lack of water hammer. The gas system uses two 4 kg gas bottles. These are in a lockable compartment.

The electrics on this motorhome are pretty impressive. The light fittings are the spunkiest we have ever come across! We'll let the pictures do the talking. We didn't have time to test the segregation but Paradise claim "it far exceeds regulations". We particularly liked circuit breakers on all circuits - no confusing fuses to mess about with! You even get an outside power point. A fantastic idea was the external security lights. This worked on body heat and operated beautifully. We can't wait for these to come right down in price as EVERY motorhomer who ever free camps NEEDS one of these on either side of their rig. Rainbow Power Company will be stocking them shortly. Battery capacity is excellent using Trojan Deep Cycle giving 450 amps. These are housed in the slide out drawer. We couldn't see how these were ventilated. The converter is a 25 amp Bain Tech Smart Charger. The Sprinter has an output of 90 amps and there is an isolator as standard.

Paradise don't provide printed manuals, but instead supply an explanatory video. In our view this is not enough. Jack and Kathy hadn't had time to look at this when we met them during their first ever week of motorhoming. They had used 200 litres of water in one day and were of the opinion they could run every light in the vehicle on battery. What is needed is a quick get you started list with the do's and don'ts. Of course turning up at a CMCA meeting certainly solved most of their problems.

Being new kids on the block Paradise don't as yet have brochures BUT the four page hand out is excellent as they are one of the VERY few manufacturers listing all the options available including PRICE.



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Last updated: March 30, 2006
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