If you’re thinking about embarking on an epic Oz adventure, deciding how you’ll go is one of the biggest and most important decisions.
After all, if you’re going to be away for a few months, a year, or even longer, your accommodation on wheels will become your home away from home.
And if you’re one of the intrepid few, bitten by the adventure bug, it may even become your permanent home, minus the permanent address.
But maybe you’re not sure if the nomadic life is for you? Or your idea of roughing it is grudgingly dropping a star from your usual five-star accommodation standards?
Well, you’ll be pleased to know that Sunliner, one of Australia’s leading motorhome manufacturers, says, “We see you.”
And boy have they created a product that delivers.
The Monte Carlo, the Herculean flagship of Sunliner’s motorhome fleet, rolls into camp right at the pinnacle of the Australian Motorhome market.
And it would appear that Sunliner knows its market. At a time when the Australian RV offering is becoming more ‘high-end’ by the minute, and large van sales are on the up, the Monte Carlo fills a very lofty, but in demand, niche.
But if the $339,000 price tag is just a wee smidge beyond your budget, the good news is you could win it for a tiny $10 investment in Endeavour Foundation’s next Ultimate Life changEr lottery.
So how would your life change if you did win the Monte Carlo? Would you throw it all in and head for the open road?
One thing’s for absolute certain, you would never have to ‘rough it’ ever again.
With all of the luxuries a Kardashian would expect – no, who are we kidding, demand – the Monte Carlo is the exact antithesis of roughing it.
Sunliner promotes its top offering as the ‘best Australian made RV on the market today’ and to be honest, it’s hard to argue with the claim.
From the front grille to the rear bumper, the Monte Carlo measures up at 9.5m in length (or just over 31 feet in the old measurement) and 2.5 metres wide.
That’s substantially bigger than your average tiny home, which typically measure around 8 x 20ft (or 2.4m x 6.1m).
The Monte Carlo also well and truly stacks up in size to Aussie caravans with the most popular size for a touring caravan sitting at 6m.
But even though the Monte Carlo is already bigger, why stop there? At the push of a button, wall panels in key spots like the lounge and the bedroom slide out to create even more space. The result is a surprisingly spacious apartment… on wheels.
Sunliner isn’t the only manufacturer to embrace the sliding walls phenomenon. If you’ve hung out in a tourist park in recent times, there’s a good chance you may have envied some fellow travellers smugly luxuriating in a caravan or motorhome with the feature.
The feelings of envy, and even jealousy, are understandable. The sheer volume of space gained by expanding walls is something to be relished in a category where literally every square centimetre counts.
There are times when bigger is indeed better and this is definitely one of them.
Inside the Monte Carlo, it’s fair to say that Sunliner has made the most of the available space. With standard inclusions like a slide out coffee machine and even a built-in Dyson vacuum cleaner tucked away in a timber clad cupboard, you get the idea that they have genuinely thought of everything. And then a few things you would have never have thought of yourself.
The elegantly neutral finishes are worthy of Kim and Kanye’s pad, with squishy leather upholstered lounges and LED strip lighting to add a touch of glamour.
The curved timber cabinetry that begins in the galley kitchen and flows throughout would be at home on a luxury super yacht, moored somewhere like, say… Monte Carlo?
Often camping is considered to be all about compromise, but there’s none of that here.
From the three-burner gas stove and 180-litre fridge to the 1.8-metre-long couch and the full height wardrobes in the bedroom, everything is generous and easy to access making your time on board frustration free and supremely comfortable.
One of the most endearing features of the Monte Carlo are the zoned living areas. You don’t get that feeling like you’re eating where you’re sleeping that’s so common in campers and caravans. Instead, thanks to pull-out partitions you can easily section off the lounge, bathroom and bedroom area into separate ‘rooms’ – a true luxury in a home on wheels. What really makes the plan work is that the bathroom suite has been cleverly positioned mid-cabin, enabling you or your guests to head from the lounge to the bathroom without passing through the bedroom. It’s touches like that that make the Monte Carlo easy to like and hard to beat.
So, what about the practicalities of driving something this large around? As we’ve already established, it’s a big rig. And that’s why the Monte Carlo is built on what is essentially a truck.
The Isuzu NQR has a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 8.5 tonnes (which is the maximum the whole vehicle, including load, can weigh). The Monte Carlo, however, comes in at just 6.7 tonnes, giving you a generous payload (or carrying capacity) of almost 2 tonnes. With all of the storage space on the Monte Carlo there’s a good chance you’ll use up a fair bit of it. So much for down-sizing.
One very important thing to note is that a standard C Class licence won’t cut it for driving a rig such as this. So, if you are drawn as the lucky winner of the Monte Carlo in our Ultimate Life Changer lottery, you will need a Medium Rigid Drivers Licence to driver her off into the sunset. While that may at first seem like a bit of a hassle, the moment you pull up at your first camp and wander back into the lounge to relax you’ll realise it’s totally worth the effort.
Over forty years of groundwork has gone into creating the Monte Carlo. The Sunliner business started way back in 1974 when Tony Hunger bought a van and had a crack at converting it into a homemade camper. While it was a long way from the slick, high-end vehicles Sunliner now produce, Tony’s handiwork on the camper was good enough for someone to make him an offer to buy it. And inspired by this this first bit of validation, Tony decided to have a go turning his skills into a business.
His vision was to create RVs that were functional, stylish and ‘built with a quality that would last the distance’. No easy feat when you consider the harsh conditions Australia throws at its touring nomads.
It’s this vision that has encouraged Sunliner to push the boundaries – and walls – of traditional RVs and create products like the Monte Carlo. The jackpot in RV luxury.
For your chance to win the Sunliner Monte Carlo valued at $339,000, pick up a ticket or two today in our Ultimate Life changer lottery.