UCC Pearson motorhome review

By: Malcolm Street


UCC Pearson motorhome review UCC Pearson motorhome review
UCC Pearson motorhome review UCC Pearson motorhome review
UCC Pearson motorhome review UCC Pearson motorhome review
UCC Pearson motorhome review UCC Pearson motorhome review
UCC Pearson motorhome review UCC Pearson motorhome review
UCC Pearson motorhome review UCC Pearson motorhome review
UCC Pearson motorhome review UCC Pearson motorhome review
UCC Pearson motorhome review UCC Pearson motorhome review
UCC Pearson motorhome review UCC Pearson motorhome review
UCC Pearson motorhome review UCC Pearson motorhome review

Australian–based tester Malcolm Street returns to a favourite theme when he reviews UCC’s latest offering in Christchurch.

Based in Christchurch, UCC isn’t the largest motorhome manufacturer in New Zealand and yet it offers an interesting variety of layouts. All are based on either a European cab chassis (like Mercedes Benz) or Japanese cab chassis (like a Mitsubishi Fuso). The difference for the most part being that the former comes with a walk through cab and the latter does not.

Which is why in many respects, I have a preference for something like UCC’s Benz-based Pearson, which does just happen to be the subject of this review.

The vehicle

Based on a Sprinter 516CDI cab chassis, the Pearson is available in two models – my review model being a Lowline, sans a luton peak, and the other being a Highline, naturally with a luton. As you might expect the Lowline is quite a streamlined looking motorhome, at least from the front. Like many of its contemporaries from other manufacturers, it still looks a bit boxy from the rear.

Like many a motorhome build, the Benz has its roof and rear cut out to accommodate the internal cab access. Construction-wise, the motorhome walls have a fibreglass exterior, aluminium framing with insulation inserted with ply for the interior, which is all vacuum-bonded together.

Entry is via a Dometic hour glass style security screen door. Unlike many a manufacturer, tinted sliding glass windows are used all round.

The CC on the road

Although the 2.2 litres might sound small to many ears, the common rail 120kW/360Nm turbo diesel delivers a surprising (and relatively economical) punch. It performs as well as or better than its contemporaries but anyone desiring a bit more grunt for mountain country could opt for the three- litre V6 turbo 140kW/440Nm engine.

With the smaller engine, the Sprinter comes with a full automatic six-speed gearbox, but if you move up to the V6, then you get an extra gear as well – 7GTRONIC in Mercedes speak.

The Gross Laden Weight (GLW)/Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) – maximum legal loaded weight- of the Pearson is 4490kg, which means it is legal to be driven on a New Zealand car driver’s licence. Its tare weight coming in at 3600kg, giving it a very good load capacity of nearly 900kg depending on the accessories fitted.

Pearson 10

Inside

In some ways the Pearson layout is more orientated to a rental motorhome layout, than a private owner. It’s been designed to have two living areas – one behind the driver’s cab with two sideways facing lounges and one at the rear with its club style lounge. Both the front and rear lounges areas can be made up into beds.

In between is the kitchen along the offside wall and the bathroom between the nearside rear lounge and the entry door.

The internal decor definitely has an emphasis on light and airy, with (in this case) the general white/beige colour scheme offset nicely by the bright blue inserts in the upholstery. There are two living areas to relax in.

Compared to the rest of the motorhome, the kitchen bench layout does look on the small side. However, it has all the essentials – three-burner hob and grill, stainless steel sink with smoked glass lid and, at the forward end, a Dometic 190-litre fridge with microwave oven above.

I’m not a fan of oversized bathrooms in a RV, but I do like room to swing around without bumping my elbows. So the Pearson’s bathroom with a Dometic cassette toilet, variable height, flexible hose shower and smaller corner wash basin does suit rather well.

The verdict

I noted above that the Pearson has something of a rental motorhome layout. That does not, I should point out, make it impractical or user unfriendly. In fact, it’s just the opposite because it does offer a number of variations for living and sleeping.

Also it can be used by more than two people, although I suspect having six on board might be a little crowded. In short, the UCC Pearson motorhome has a very versatile layout.

For more information contact UCC Motorhomes, 7 Foremans Road, Islington, Christchurch. Phone: (03) 348 2247.

Pros

  • Generous external storage
  • Very flexible internal layout
  • Two living areas with tables at either end
  • Club lounge set up in rear with scenic windows
  • Well set up electrics

Cons

  • Smallish kitchen
  • Beds have to be made up every night

Check out the full review in issue #129 of Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations magazine. Subscribe here.

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