Wheel Estate: Boothys 8.1M Iveco Motorhome

By: Lawrence Schäffler


Boothys 8.1M Iveco Motorhome The motorhome is equipped with an easily-deployable 4.5m Cvana awning. Boothys 8.1M Iveco Motorhome
Boothys 8.1M Iveco Motorhome The U-shape dinette converts into a large double bed. Boothys 8.1M Iveco Motorhome
Boothys 8.1M Iveco Motorhome The overcab bedroom is accessed by a collapsible ladderThe overcab bedroom is accessed by a collapsible ladder. Boothys 8.1M Iveco Motorhome
Boothys 8.1M Iveco Motorhome The ceramic bowl model toilet is far more elegant and less hands-on. Boothys 8.1M Iveco Motorhome
Boothys 8M Iveco Motorhome Foodies will enjoy the well-planned kitchen. Boothys 8M Iveco Motorhome
Boothys 8M Iveco Motorhome The overcab bedroom is suprisingly spacious. Boothys 8M Iveco Motorhome
Boothys 8M Iveco Motorhome Iveco’s cab layout is not overly stylish but it is perfectly functional. Boothys 8M Iveco Motorhome

Hamilton’s Boothys has built numerous motorhomes on Iveco’s sturdy C7021 chassis. Each, though, is different, being customised and tweaked to the buyer’s individual requirements. This latest model, the Boothys 8.1M Iveco Motorhome, once again carries a number of innovative design features.

As the Boothys track record proves, Iveco's C7021 is a popular chassis for motorhome owners — not least because of its rear-wheel-drive configuration and the double-wheel rear axle. Real or imagined, it offers plenty of reassurance and comfort for those nervous about front-wheel-drive vehicles getting stuck in awkward terrain.

Added to the drivetrain's appeal is the three-litre engine: a smooth-revving, turbocharged 170hp beast that's mated to a six-speed manual transmission — again, an option that appeals to many owners who prefer to make gear-change decision themselves. A manual/auto transmission is also available. And then to round it all off is the carrying capacity. By the time Boothys has added the motorhome body, the vehicle weighs 5080kg and will take a hefty 900kg payload. Plenty of room for all the extras and toys.

Despite its somewhat imposing size (8.1m overall, with a prominent front end to accommodate the overcab bedroom), the Iveco is relatively agile and in sixth gear at highway cruising, the engine burbles along at a sedate 2000rpm.

Given its commercial/industrial origins, the Iveco's cab layout is not overly stylish but it's perfectly functional. Forward vision is good and the two seats are infinitely adjustable, so you shouldn't have any difficulty setting them up to suit your frame.

It's not the cheapest chassis on which to build a motorhome, but neither is it the most expensive. All up, it forms a solid, reliable foundation for years of happy touring.

Accommodation

This model is set up as a four-berth tourer — and it presents with a bright, crisp interior, thanks to the number and size of overhead hatches and double-glazed windows letting in plenty of natural light.

Boothys -8M-Iveco -Motorhome -1

The U-shaped dinette (right at the rear of the vehicle) converts into a large double bed, while the overcab bedroom comprises two north-south singles. I think 'bedroom' is an appropriate description as it particularly spacious. A collapsible ladder provides the access.

Those who prefer their motorhomes with permanent beds might not warm to the rear bed setup, where the table must be removed and the squabs and cushions rearranged. But, like most things on a motorhome, it's a compromise. What you lose in terms of not having a permanent bed, you gain in a very large, comfortable dinette with plenty of seating.

A draw curtain across the back of the cab maintains privacy at night (there are no screens in the cab itself).

The rest of the Boothys layout is fairly standard, but there are three features I particularly like: the storage (and there's plenty of it), the toilet, and the drying rack.

A number of the lockers around the motorhome are equipped with sliding baskets. These are excellent for storage — it's easy to find things and, if you're a methodical, organised sort of person, they're great for systematic storage. Even better, they are secured by a nifty locking system, so they can't slide around and make a clatter as you negotiate the South Island's twisty passes.

I don't often get excited about toilets but this motorhome's owner, having decided he's had enough of cassette toilets, has instead opted for a ceramic bowl model connected to a 140-litre black tank. A very elegant and less hands-on solution.

Like all good ideas, the drying rack is clever but simple. An expandable, concertina model, it sits snugly in the bathroom. But if the weather's sunny and hot, the rack can be unclipped and reattached outside to the side of the motorhome. Nothing like air-dried undies!

If the weather isn't cooperative, you can take comfort in the knowledge the clothing will be dried with the aid of the 2.2kW Eberspacher diesel heater — reticulated for precisely that purpose through the bathroom.

Foodies will also enjoy the motorhome's kitchen — lots of bench space and quality fittings and soft-close drawers all round. I particularly like the four-burner hob and oven below, complete with a separate grill for making toast. Toast is always something of a luxury on a motorhome and this setup will deliver the goods, I suspect, without any curled, charred edges.

It's complemented by a 190-litre Dometic fridge/freezer and a large sink for cleaning everything up after the feast.

There are also a number of other good, practical features in this motorhome. Consider the safe, mounted discreetly but securely under one of the rear settees, or the shoe cupboard built into one of the main entrance steps. Perfectly-positioned for dumping your boots when you return from a muddy hike.

Boothys -8M-Iveco -Motorhome -specsIf bicycles are part of your must-have toy inventory, you'll be pleased with the bike rack mounted on the back. The motorhome's also equipped with a 4.5-metre Cvana awning — and the ease and speed of deploying one of these models is always a pleasure.

A SAMI TV dish ensures you'll receive your favourite programmes. The TV lives in a purpose-built cabinet with a roll-louvre door (mid near-side). It's a clever position: it's unseen, out of the way when not in use, but on its swivel mount the TV can be swung around and out so you can watch it from the lounge/dinette or in bed.

The motorhome's well-equipped for extended touring. She carries 300 litres of freshwater, with a similar-size greywater tank. And there's plenty of electrical power: a 400-amp-hour battery bank that, among things, drives a 300-watt inverter.

Together with the Iveco chassis, Boothys has perfected a tried and tested formula that obviously appeals to plenty of buyers. The best part of the equation of course, is that you are able to sit down with the team and spell out exactly what you want.

For more information contact Boothys Diamond Motorhomes on 07 847 6610 or boothys@wave.co.nz.

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