Review: Bürstner Lyseo IT728G

By: Malcolm Street, Photography by: Malcolm Street


Thinking of trialling a motorhome before purchasing? Malcolm Street puts a premium Bürstner Lyseo IT728G through its paces on a working holiday and it comes up trumps.

Most people who use rental motorhomes tend to do so for holiday or recreation. I also use them for work. When I am travelling for research and photography for publications such as MCD, a motorhome is a convenient way of getting around.

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And I never have the problem of accidentally leaving something behind in my hotel room. On my most recent travels around Auckland and Hamilton, I needed a motorhome for a few days, and the team at Wilderness were kind enough to make one of the Alpine 4 models available.

Most motorhome rental companies use motorhomes built expressly for duty in the rental market. But Wilderness does things a little differently by using Bürstner and Carado motorhomes, which are built for retail.

Often, it means a better class of motorhome. And buyers often use them to try out a model they are interested in – something I would certainly recommend to anyone new to the world of motorhomes.

Exterior

The Alpine 4 is actually a Burstner Lyseo IT728G. Although no longer available as a new motorhome, a close equivalent is the premium model Lyseo IT727. The Alpine 4/IT728G is built on a Fiat Ducato Multijet 150 which means it is powered by a 2.3 litre 110kw/380Nm turbo diesel and drives through Fiat’s six speed AMT gearbox.

At 7490mmm in length, the Alpine 4 isn’t a small motorhome, but it handles easily and is built using the fibreglass composite/moulded fibreglass body structure favoured by Europeans. Double-glazed acrylic awning windows are fitted all around, including the sky-view hatch above the driver’s cab.

Because it is German-built, the habitation door is on the driver’s side. A large garage across the rear good for items like snow ski gear, surfboards or a folding bike. The Alpine 4 does not come with an awning, but the observant might note that the brackets are in place for at resale time.

Layout

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The drop down bed

The layout of the Alpine 4 (the ‘4’ referring to the number of berths), will look a bit familiar to anyone used to Euro-built motorhomes. Upfront is the lounge/dining area incorporating the swivel seats. Above the lounge is a drop-down bed.

Behind the lounge area is the kitchen bench on the nearside; the bathroom cubicle is opposite. This leaves the rear area for two single beds. In some ways it is quite a compact design but there’s room to move, especially for two people.

Lighting

These days, Bürstner tends to incorporate a very sophisticated lighting system – a mixture of strip lights, downlights and reading lights. There are light switches everywhere and, with one exception, these well placed.

The same applies for power points, although these are mostly single outlets and I learned a long time ago to carry around a multi-board with me to cope with the many device chargers I carry around.

A handy item for those freedom camping is the 600W inverter supplied outlet which is fitted to the base of the offside front seat. Given its location, a power board with a metre or so lead is a handy item. 

Lounge zone

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Stylish and sophisticated interior

Those of us who have been around for a while can remember when swivelling cab seats were almost unheard of in motorhome designs. Now it’s difficult to understand how we survived without them.

The Alpine 4’s layout is a good example of how cab seats are used effectively in conjunction with the forward-facing rear seat and the sideways facing lounge to create a dining area where four/five can sit around the table without difficulty.

To provide more table space without creating walk-past problems, the table has an extension piece that swings out easily to reach the offside seats. A flat-screen TV is fitted to the cabinet by the habitation door, a location best viewed from the swivelled cab seats.

Overhead lockers are fitted above the seats on both sides, but they are part of the 2000mm x 1300mm drop-down bed, restricting the bed in how far it lowers. That’s not really a problem because the purpose-built ladder clips onto the side of the bed and has bare-foot-friendly steps.

Kitchen

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The well equipped kitchen

Space-effective L-shaped kitchens are more or less de rigueur in Euro motorhomes, and this one is no exception with a three-burner hob and round stainless-steel sink fitted into the benchtop. Underneath the benchtop is a grill/oven plus three drawers and cupboard space.

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There is plenty of cupboard space

Along with the overhead lockers, all were filled with the necessary cooking and eating utensils. Unless you are a gourmet cook, I suspect this is an interesting demonstration of the pared-down kitchen items that might be needed when travelling.

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The L-shaped kitchen works well

Wilderness supplies a good kit and I wasn’t looking for anything. Adjoining the kitchen bench is a Dometic 146-litre fridge with cupboard above. Between the fridge and the rear bed is a multi-shelved cupboard for food, clothing or both.

Bathroom

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Compact but room enough in the bathroom

Being a luxury-end rental, the Alpine 4 has a bathroom large enough for a separate shower cubicle, along with a Dometic cassette toilet and a vanity cabinet complete with wall mirror and upper and lower cupboards.

The light switch and powerpoint are located under the top cupboard and do require local knowledge the first time they are used because they are not easily seen when standing up. It’s a bathroom with room to move.

Rear bedroom

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Single beds in the rear

In the rear, the two single beds are 1900mm long and 800mm wide, although the nearside one is narrower at the foot end to allow for easier access. Both are set high off the floor to allow for the rear garage, but the double step makes clambering in and out quite easy.

Even the steps are space-efficient, the lower one sliding out when needed and the top one having a hinged lid for storage – I found it handy for shoes. The height of the beds means that there’s a generous amount of under-bed storage, the offside having a hanging rail and the nearside a large slide out with a couple of shelves.

A slight oddity is the light switches. At the bedhead are both downlights and a strip light, which work very well, except the switches for both are at the foot of the bed; not handy when drifting off to sleep while reading. Three overhead lockers are fitted across the rear wall and three shelves are also discretely hidden behind a panel between the beds. 

For those who have not rented a motorhome before, the Alpine 4 is supplied full of fuel, fresh water and LPG. Both grey and black (toilet) tanks are empty. Except for the fresh water, Wilderness expect it to be returned in the same condition.

Rental tips

The Alpine 4 comes fully equipped with bedding, towels, cooking gear and eating utensils. If needed, Wilderness can also supply as extras such as GPS device, snow chains and WiFi. Try and arrange an early pick-up, which will allow plenty of time for the handover, shopping and avoiding peak hour traffic (at least in the case of Auckland).

Overall

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The Alpine 4 suited my purposes well. It’s a well-appointed rental motorhome and, although I was using it for work, I could have just as easily headed off south or north. It was a shame Wilderness wanted the keys back.

Pros

  • Classy rental motorhome
  • 4-berth
  • Kitchen facilities
  • External storage
  • Easy to drive Fiat

Cons

  • Bed-light switch location
  • Single power points

Bürstner Lyseo IT728G specifications

Engine

2.3-litre 110kW turbo diesel

Transmission

6-speed AMT

Berths

4

Approx overall length

7490mm

Approx overall width

2300mm

Fresh/grey-water tank

120 litre/90 litre

Gas

2 x 9kg

GVM

3850kg

Find out more at smartrv.co.nz or wilderness.co.nz 

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