Jayco Conquest Mercedes Sprinter

By: Steve Vermeulen, Photography by: Steve Vermeulen


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As well as new interiors, Jayco has introduced two new layouts and a Mercedes Sprinter base to its 2010 motorhomes

Jayco Conquest Mercedes Sprinter
Jayco Conquest Mercedes Sprinter
  • Improved interior space around the bed and living area
  • Separate toilet and shower
  • Enhancements to meet Kiwi needs
  • Healthy torque and power from Mercedes-Benz engine
  • Improved towing capabilities

Jayco has made a name for well-built but not over-the-top-pricey accommodation, and the new upholstery and bench top options now available bring the brand up to speed with current interior trends.

Jayco agent, Coastal Motorhomes, is officially the first to offer the new model built on a Mercedes Sprinter base, but other Jayco representatives nationwide will also be landing examples. This north-south rear bed and dual seat dining configuration is one of the two new layouts and the Mercedes models are also available with an east-west extending lift-up bed or dual singles in the rear.

So why not just stick with Jayco’s traditional Fiat Ducato base?

"The GVM on the Fiats are just over four-tonne, where the Mercedes has a GVM of 4.5-tonne," explains Coastal’s Toni Farrell. "So there’s the scope to go larger and carry more weight obviously, but Jayco has also had a lot of customer enquiry about six-berth motorhomes; because of the additional construction required for seating and seatbelt anchors, etc, Jayco just couldn’t supply six berths with the Fiat."

That six-berth versatility really isn’t as relevant to New Zealand’s market as it might be in Jayco’s domestic Ozzie market, so for now Coastal has specified its demonstrator as four-berthers without all the additional belts, etc.

New interiors

Inside, swivel cabin chairs are standard and the Mercedes chassis affords the Conquest model (currently the only specification available with Merc underpinnings) extra length at 7.7m over the comparable Fiat’s 7m. The additional 700mm is enough to give a separate shower and toilet as well as greater walk-around room in the living area.

There’s slightly more bench space in the kitchen too, which features all the conventional items. The fridge is a 121-litre fridge/15-litre freezer unit from Dometic, the Smev four-burner cooker includes one electric hotplate, and you get a full oven and separate grill. There’s also plenty of stowage, with a floor-to bench cupboard and four generous drawers.

To more appropriately target the discerning Kiwi buyer Coastal has made a few specification enhancements itself, specifying more upmarket Dometic double-glazed windows with sliding privacy screens and a care-free awning as used on the Jayco caravans, rather than the Conquest’s conventional Fiamma affair. The company has also added a security fly screen.

The Conquest comes with solar pre-wired, but less the roof panels, which can be easily fitted if desired.

The rear tapered bed isn’t a bad one, with a fair amount of width to comfortably accommodate you, albeit on a slight angle. Unless you’re both exceptionally tall, it’ll be fine.

The Luton space has all the room you need to accommodate large luggage items or to comfortably sleep two guests, but some care needs to be considered as the 19-inch LCD television is situated to the side of the Luton access.

The separate shower and toilet is a pleasant bonus for a vehicle in this class. This frosted folding door is space-efficient with enough room to towel down in, and privacy is maintained.

Engine and power

Powering the Sprinter is a smaller capacity engine than the Fiat. But the diminutive 2.2-litre diesel engine isn’t short on performance.

Power is only 10kW shy of the 3.0-litre Fiat offerings, and torque is also healthy at 360Nm. The five-speed automatic will get a little more of a workout on hills, but maintaining open road speeds in most situations is easy enough.

Thanks to the dual wheel, rear wheel drive chassis, the Sprinter also offers improved towing capabilities over the front-drive Fiat.

You’re well catered for in terms of safety as it offers ABS brakes, stability and traction control, driver and passenger airbags, cruise control and a comprehensive warranty.

External construction

Externally the styling follows Jayco’s familiar and attractive template. There is suitable storage for generators and such as well as adequate access to the interior stowage zones. The floor is a strong and lightweight sandwich panel and the one-piece cab surround and 19mm welded aluminium frame go a long way in reducing noise, vibration and harshness on the road.

The composite, vacuum bonded wall lining consists of an internal ply/foam inner and a ply/fibreglass outer, and Jayco Australia torture tests its construction techniques in tough Aussie conditions and at its multi-million dollar proving facilities.

Expect a step up in price, but as it is longer, roomier and with a separate shower, this new model in the Conquest range deserves its price leap.

Specifications

Base vehicle Mercedes Sprinter 516
Engine 2.2-litre turbo diesel
Power 120kW
Torque 360Nm
Length/Width/Height 7700mm/2330mm/3150mm
Berths Four (can be specified as a six-berth)
Power supply 240-volt/35-amp converter/Solar pre-wired
Cooker Gas/electric four-hob burner, oven and grill
Fridge Fridge 121-litre (15-litre freezer)
Toilet Separate Thetford cassette
Fresh water 150 litres
Grey water 80 litres

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