Phoenix's Class"A" motorhome

By: Wally Bowater, Photography by: Wally Bowater

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The design, planning, and construction is over and Phoenix Motorhomes’ first fibreglass body is now ready for scrutiny

Phoenix's Class"A" motorhome
Phoenix's Class"A" motorhome
  • Leann and Sean Hallowes of Phoenix Motorhomes Ltd specialise in fitting out second-hand import buses.
  • The emphasis of the business has changed to constructing motorhome bodies on new truck chassis.
  • The latest model is built using a one-piece fibreglass body.
  • A dramatic fit-out has turned this truck chassis into a luxurious motorhome built to the customer’s requirements.

The fibreglass body, manufactured from four modules, has been fitted to a Mitsubishi 6x4 FRN280U6, front-engine, truck chassis called a Mitsubishi Fighter. The cab of the Mitsubishi was sold off but some of the cab components have been incorporated into the motorhome driver’s compartment.

Air conditioning, radio/cassette, and all of the usual truck gauges and instruments have been retained and fitted into a completely redesigned dash.

A five-metre slide-out accommodates the kitchen/dining areas and another four-metre slide-out expands the master bedroom.

The lounge and separate dining area are fitted with leather seating and the three-seater couch converts into a full queen sized bed. This adds to the fixed queen sized bed in the bedroom and gives a sleeping capacity for at least four people.

A unique feature in this superior motorhome is the island sink bench with an extension fitted and, along with all other benches including a two-person breakfast bar, manufactured from solid granite.

A round hand basin in the bathroom sits next to a fully automatic clothes washer/dryer and on the opposite side of the bathroom is a fully tiled glass shower. The toilet is next to the shower and all of this area can be isolated by inset sliding doors giving privacy from both master bedroom and the living area.

A multi-speaker radio/cassette/CD/DVD system is included and two flat-screen TVs are hooked up to a Majestic In-Motion satellite dish.

A four-burner stainless steel cook-top and full oven is augmented by a microwave, a very large fridge/freezer, fully pressurised hot and cold water, and an externally vented range hood.

The unit is fitted with a 1200-litre fresh water tank, a 1000-litre grey water tank and a 300-litre black water tank. All of these tanks fit neatly under the home body and there is a number of storage lockers also incorporated below the living area.

The motorhome house system is powered at 12 volts through a smart charge system. The vehicle is fitted with the latest WhisperGen off-grid diesel powered generator, which will give a continuous 70 amps of 12-volt charge to the house batteries and will continue until it is not required.  It will then automatically shut down until the in-built sensors signal it to restart. Because it is water cooled and has a very efficient exhaust system, the generator is unusually quiet and almost vibration free.

The Mitsubishi vehicle is powered by a 280hp six-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine with catalytic converter, which produces 592 ft/lbs of torque at 1400rpm. It operates a nine-speed manual gearbox and drives to dual 21,000kg rear axles, which are fitted with diff. locks. The unit has four Big Foot landing legs with separate hydraulic rams and a self-levelling system ensures that the motorhome is level. The front axle is on springs but the rear has been fitted with air suspension. Braking is full air from an engine-mounted compressor and is assisted by an engine brake and a rear wheel spring actuated park brake.

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