Paradise Free Time

By: Malcolm Street, Photography by: Malcolm Street


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This newly introduced Australian motorhome is packed with features that contribute to a comfortable travelling lifestyle. It looks good too.

Paradise Free Time
Paradise Free Time

Specifications

  • Suitable for New Zealand roads
  • Good amount of interior space
  • Smooth automatic gearbox
  • Streamlined appearance
  • Generous external storage space
  • Energy efficient electricals
  • Large bathroom

Australia's Paradise Motor Homes is well known for its innovative slide-out based designs. However, some travellers prefer not to have the slide-out design and that is why Paradise introduced its Free Time range of motorhomes.

First available on the Fiat Ducato cab chassis, the Free Time is now available on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 315 CDI.

The Sprinter-powered Free Time comes with a 110kW 2.2-litre turbo diesel motor that drives through a five-speed automatic gearbox. It is a full auto gearbox and very smooth, not one of the occasionally hesitant AMT (automated manual transmission) gearboxes that most light commercial vehicle manufacturers use.

Although the Free Time has a length of 7.65m/25ft, the Sprinter pushed it along without any problem at all. And there was no trouble finding my way around, thanks to the Tom Tom GPS built-in navigation system.

Being a ‘B’ class motorhome, the front of the Free Time has a very streamlined appearance, with the moulding above the cab window following the line of the windscreen exactly. Keyless entry is a feature on all doors and there is also an immobiliser and alarm.

Like others in the Paradise lineup, the Free Time is built using an alloy frame, composite panels and moulded fibreglass. Paradise proprietor Colin MacLean will tell you it’s built for strength, a light weight and good insulating properties.

Features are the large Seitz hopper-style windows, bright LED strip lights and the Fiamma F65 awning that is mounted on the roof.

There’s a generous amount of fully sealed external bin space, the doors of which hinge down rather than lift up. That’s in addition to the gas locker with two 4.5kg cylinders, the battery compartment with two 100-amp hour gel cells and the Thetford toilet cassette bin.

Because there’s no slide-out, perceived space in this motorhome is important. Up front, an opened out cab, the removal of the original roof line, swivelling seats and large windows all contribute to the impression that there is more space than there actually is. At the rear the same effect has been achieved with large windows and a large wall mirror.

In addition to being wired for a full 230v system, the 12v power is supplied by two 100-amp hour batteries that are charged by either the vehicle alternator or a 30-amp 240v charger. Both solar panels and a 2KVA generator are options, and given the energy efficient electricals, the former can be used quite successfully if free camping.

The Free Time layout features a rear full-width bathroom with an east-west double bed in front of that. The kitchen area occupies the middle part of the motorhome and the front part is devoted to a lounge/dining area.

The Free Time uses lightweight and strong cabinetry construction for practical use and good looks. All bench tops and the table are finished with moulded timber edges and the drawers have built-in self closers.

With this particular design there has been a small trade between the bathroom and bedroom areas, which has meant a slightly larger bathroom. The person sleeping on the left-hand side of the bed misses out on a bedside cabinet. Apart from the bedside cabinet, the only other immediate storage areas are the overhead lockers above the bed, as well as the usual under-bed area.

This is supplemented considerably by the large wardrobe built into the nearside exterior corner of the bathroom. Making up the rest of the bathroom is the shower cubicle, the vanity cabinet and toilet.

In the galley, there’s a Stoves four-burner cooktop alongside a round stainless steel sink. The bench top area can be extended by a removable bench that is fitted above the lounge.

Storage wise, there are four ‘normal drawers’, but in the cupboard there are strong looking wire basket drawers as well. Above the kitchen bench are two overhead lockers that are compartmented, one containing the all-essential microwave oven.

Up front, both the cab seats swivel around. There’s a hinged dining table behind the passenger seat and a third single seat on the other side of the table. A sideways facing two-person lounge behind the driver’s seat completes the lounge/dining facilities.

On the opposite side of the motorhome is the rest of the kitchen, that is, the 175-litre three-way Dometic fridge. Above that is a flat-screen TV, mounted in such a way that it can be seen from either the lounge area at the front and the bed in the rear.

Read more and watch a video of the Paradise Free Time here.

To read in-depth RV reviews, see the latest issue of Motorhomes, Caravans & Destinations magazine, on sale now.

Specifications

Manufacturer Paradise Motor Homes
Model Free Time
Base vehicle Mercedes Benz 315CDI
Engine 2.2-litre turbo diesel
Max power 110kW@3800rpm
Max torque 330Nm@1200-2400rpm
Gearbox Five-speed auto
Brakes Disc
External length 7.65m (25ft)
External width 2.48m (8ft 1in)
External height 3.15m (10ft 4in)
Internal height 2.02m (6ft 8in)
Tare weight 3220kg
GVM 3880kg
Cooktop Stoves four-burner/grill/oven
Fridge Dometic RM7815 175-litre
Microwave oven Sharp
Lighting 12v LED
Shower Separate cubicle
Toilet Thetford cassette
Gas 2 x 4.5kg
Hot water Truma
House battery 2 x 110-amp hour mat gels
Fresh water tank 127-litre
Grey water tank 127-litre

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