Review: Morelo Palace 93MB


NZMCD editor Claire Smith takes a look through one of the priciest new RVs to hit the New Zealand market

It’s a rare event to see an RV valued at upwards of half-a-million dollars cruising New Zealand’s country roads. Jonas Ng of Zion Motorhomes in Pokeno has recently brought two such RVs into the country, and one has already sold.

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It’s not the first time he’s raised the price-point bar in New Zealand. Jonas took a risk by importing the high-end, high-priced A-Class Niesmann + Bischoff range a few years ago. He says it’s a risk that has paid off, with good demand for the range.

His latest A-Class product comes courtesy of German manufacturer, MORELO. Known as the Palace 93MB and valued at $575,000, this RV is aimed at those looking for the ultimate in quality and luxury.

As its name suggests, the Palace is, well, palatial. At 9490mm long, everything is just bigger. Stepping inside the XL-wide doorway (which is noteably positioned on the passenger side - unusual for a European model, and something that will be appreciated by Kiwi drivers), one of the first, and most striking, features is the huge, panoramic front window.

Park yourself somewhere scenic and you’ll be rewarded with million-dollar views (or at least, half-a-million-dollar views). The windshield itself is made with heated safety laminated glass, which means the view will be clear even when driving during those cold winter months. 

Up front

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The dashboard has all the bells and whistles, including good cup holders

The MORELO Palace is built on an IVECO Daily 70C18 chassis with a 205HP engine, an 8-gear torque converter automatic transmission, and front and rear VB-AirSuspension - an intelligent suspension and damping system that adapts in real-time to the condition of the road surface and the load.

This, combined with the extra-wide axle, is designed to give a smooth ride (or, as MORELO would describe, creates a feeling of "driving on clouds"). The luxury cab seats are heated, air-suspended with lumbar supports and armrests and, of course, swivel around to 
the living area.

Like everything in the Palace, they’re designed to offer the best in comfort, and I can assure you, comfortable they are. As you move through, there’s a sense that you’ve stepped into an upmarket apartment. Even the dashboard has been designed to blend seamlessly with the living area.

It’s streamlined, unobtrusive and has decent cupholders (we all know how important they are!). Plush cream leather seating is offset with a pale wood trim that creates an ambience of quality and luxury. But, of course, if the decor doesn’t suit, the team at Zion will work with you to order a Palace to the colour choice of your liking.

Lounge

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The Palace is the height of comfort, quality and luxury

In the lounge area, space abounds with seating for six or seven people around an extendable table. And when there’s just two of you, there’s room to stretch out, relax and just enjoy all that comfort and space to yourself. A total of seven overhead cabinets run along the sides of the lounge and into the kitchen area.

And like all cupboards and drawers, they’re soft-closing, and generously sized. Beneath the seats, you’ll find more storage space with extra deep drawers on both sides, plus each of the two steps leading inside includes a drawer - very handy. On the side of the settee is a large pocket for keeping books, magazines, and the TV remote.

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At the push of a button, the TV descends from its hiding spot

Speaking of TVs, at first, you might think the manufacturers have omitted space for a television; turns out it’s just well hidden. Flick a switch on the wall, and the 32-inch TV is electrically lowered from beneath the passenger-side overhead cabinets. And when you’re finished, it retracts away again and you’d never know it was there.

Kitchen

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The kitchen offers good bench space, plenty of storage, and a Nespresso coffee machine

In the kitchen, there is an enormous amount of space for preparing food, with an L-shaped 1740mm x 1000mm mineral bench. It’s a good-looking bench too; nice and thick and beautifully finished with soft curves and a speckled pattern that reflects the cream and tan tones of the interior decor.

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Twin sinks set into the stone benchtop

Housed within the bench are twin sinks, one standard sized, a smaller one behind. Both have flush sink covers to create extra food prep area when needed. The mixer tap swivels between both and has a pulldown attachment for ease of rinsing off the dishes. An extractor fan is built into the kitchen ceiling to draw out any cooking steam and odours.

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The 190L fridge, with a grill oven above

For cooking, the Palace includes a covered 3-burner hob, and a gas oven with grill that sits above the full-sized 190L Dometic fridge/freezer unit. For coffee-lovers, the Palace includes a Nespresso coffee machine (tidily housed in its own space, complete with a handy rack to hold coffee pods).

The storage space in the kitchen is truly impressive. Beneath the bench are three large drawers for pots, pans and the like, a large rubbish drawer with two separate bins to allow for recycling or composting, plus a further four cutlery drawers.

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A slide-out pantry for bottles and jars

In addition, there is a pull-out pantry for bottles, jars and tins, a drawer beneath the fridge, shelves behind the cooktop for spices and condiments, plus overhead storage for anything else that needs a home.

Bathroom

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Big and comfy, the bed includes an Evopore Watergel mattress

Between the kitchen and bedroom, the bathroom is one of the most spacious you’ll find in an RV. To one side is the XL vanity unit with a full-sized sink, three drawers beneath, and mirrored LED-lit cabinets above. On the other side is a generously sized shower and a ceramic toilet alongside.

The shower is possibly bigger than you’d find in most homes and will comfortably accommodate the big and tall. It includes a slide tap and space to store all the essentials, including racks for hanging hand towels. The fixtures and fittings are all of a very high standard, including a glass shower door.

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The large shower and one of the two fulllength shelved cabinets in the bedroom

And, with a massive 350L fresh-water tank and a 3kW boiler, you can take the time to enjoy a long and leisurely hot shower. The bathroom has its own full-length wardrobe unit. It’s split with a shelf in the middle and rails top and bottom. And for keeping your towels warm and dry, there’s also a heated towel rail. 

With sliding doors to close off the bedroom and kitchen, the bathroom becomes a private space with more than enough room to move about and get dressed. There’s even a full-length mirror on the back of the bedroom door to check that you’re in good form before heading out for the day.

Sleeping

The Palace bedroom is at the rear and includes an island north-south queen bed. Like many motorhomes, the bedroom is a small step up from the ‘living’ level, and there is a small step on each side of the bed. At 2000mm long and 1630mm wide, and with an EvoPore Watergel mattress, you’re assured of a blissful, comfy night’s sleep.

And as you’d expect, there is loads of storage with two huge drawers at the end of the bed, three overhead cabinets, closet shelving and vertical cabinets plus a small drawer, powerpoints and USB ports on each side too.

And for that end-of-day catch up on your favourite show, there’s a 24-inch TV in the bedroom too. If you do decide to share your Palace with others, a double-sized dropdown bed sits above the cab and can be deployed at the touch of a button.

Other noteworthy interior aspects

Throughout the Palace, thoughtful design has been given to lighting and a sense of openness.There’s room to move without feeling like you have to inhale whenever your travel partner/s are in the same zone.

From the backlit food-prep area, to the reading lights over the bed, to the rows of recessed ceiling lighting, the interior is bright and welcoming. Also included is roof air conditioning (with infrared control) in the living and bedroom areas.

For winter comfort, the double floor is heated, and there is an Alde hot-water-based heating system and radiators throughout the living room. All the Palace’s windows are double-glazed and tinted with a blackout pleated blind and fly roller blinds. And for keeping he Palace clean, there’s a central vacuum cleaner.

Exterior

From the outside, the Palace has a sleek, streamlined aesthetic and is constructed of lightweight corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy. The lead frame is hot-dip galvanised and the GRP underside is 100 per cent waterproof. With a vehicle of this size, you need to be sure you’re safe to reverse, so the Palace has the option of a double reversing camera - one for close-up and one that gives a view further back.

The Morelo badge takes prominence from every angle and adds a touch of luxe. Up front, the Omnibus mirrors are hard to mistake. They are not exactly aesthetically enhancing in my opinion, but with a vehicle this size, you can’t be without them.

The Palace has been built with the needs of travellers who want to travel in style and luxury, and for a decent length of time. With that in mind, it comes with a 370L fresh-water tank, 250L grey tank, and a 250L black tank. The grey tank also includes a valve that allows overflow into the black tank.

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The supersized garage has powerpoints, drawers and cupboards

At the rear of the vehicle, the large tunnel garage is accessible from either side and is big enough for a small scooter or to house all the extras you’ll want to take along on an extended holiday. There are drawers, cupboards and shelves built into the garage too, so you’ll be well organised and tidy as you travel.

An additional smaller tunnel locker runs the width of the vehicle, handy for storing long items such as skis or fishing poles. And if you’ve come home with sand on your feet, you’ll find a hot/cold retractable shower inside one of the smaller lockers - great for washing off yourself or your gear. Other exterior features include LED daytime running lights, an integrated, electrically extendable awning with LED lighting, and 440W of solar.

Verdict

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Floor plan

If you’re looking for quality, luxury, and space, you’ll find all those boxes ticked within the Palace walls. Will everyone who steps inside fall in love and declare it their dream RV? Quite possibly not. Some will find the Palace feels just a bit too upmarket and detached from the Kiwi RV lifestyle. Others will step inside and find it hard to go back to anything less. 

Pros

  • It’s a Palace! The whole RV is a pro. It really is five-star RV accommodation.
  • There are more cupboards, drawers, shelves and clever storage solutions than you’ve seen in any other RV.
  • The habitation door is on the passenger side.

Cons

  • It’s a Palace! And the price-tag is equally palatial.
  • You’ll need a Class 2 driver’s licence.
  • I’d love to see a little more room to move around the bed.

Morelo Palace 93MB specifications:

Chassis

IVECO Daily 70 C 18

Engine 205Hp
Gearbox

8-speed auto

Berths 4
Length

9490mm

Width

2400mm

Height

3490mm

Tanks

370L fresh
250L grey

GVW 7490kg

Tare

5720kg

Payload

1770kg

Price as reviewed: $575,000

For more, visit zionmotorhomes.co.nz

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