Time to Roam Magazine Issue 9 - June/July 2014 - Page 38

| tried + tested motorhome review “ The true beauty of the Melaleuca is the great urge it gives you to want to slide into the driver seat and see where the road leads.” absorption type fridges found in most motorhomes. The three burner gas hob is also consistent with those in much larger motorhomes and two 4.5kg gas bottles gives you sufficient fuel for around 30 days supply of cooking and hot water via a Truma gas boiler with 12 volt ignition. Hot water can be activated with the flick of a switch and the Truma boiler is small enough to allow it to regenerate quickly so everyone gets a hot shower. On the subject of heating, there is the option of a diesel Webasto room and water heater to extend your off grid camping possibilities during the colder months. This is a very efficient and clever option as you need only burn fuel once for two applications. Technology Behind the scenes in the Melaleuca, there is technology such as the passive climate control measures that you probably won’t notice in the showroom or really get to appreciate until you actually use the van. Those who want to freedom camp and avoid the 240 volt umbilical cord will love the extensive insulation in the walls, ceilings and floor. A large roof-mounted thermostat- controlled fan that can be set to automatically bring air into the motorhome or exhaust air out based on the ambient temperature. Even the windows are insulated with special boxed blind housings finished with easy to clean wrapped vinyl. Although all Horizon motorhomes are pre-wired for airconditioning, the 12 volt climate management system is so effective, less that half of buyers choose to have the 240 volt AC option fitted. The smart and efficient Sirocco cabin fans even have sleep timers which is pretty clever! While LED for ceiling lights are now rather ubiquitous, the Melaleuca also has integrated USB ports near the bed area for charging tablets, smartphone, book readers etc. These welcome additions are recessed into 12mm ply walls lined with marine hull liner, providing even more thermal and noise insulation and a durable soft finish that can also be wiped down. The essentials There is a feeling of quality about the build of the Melaleuca that 38 timetoroam.com.au extends to the custom-moulded shower and toilet cubical just behind the drivers seat. The bathroom feels solid and is produced in-house by Horizon’s design team. It’s also reasonably spacious and there’s 150 litres of fresh water which should last a couple of people 4-5 days with frugal use. To achieve this large capacity, Horizon has wisely reduced the grey water tank to 55 litres which is still plenty of capacity to allow a couple of days of ‘leave no trace’ camping when the need arises. Conclusion The Melaleuca has the same standard inclusions that come with the larger Horizon models including fitted shades for the driving cab windows, the same ultra high quality battery charging systems and power management panels. The batteries used are the same and so is the excellent LCD TV and Winegard antenna. What is good news for the budget conscious is the Melaleuca costs considerably less than it’s bigger siblings and let’s not forget it’s tiny footprint. Horizon founder and managing director Clayton Kearney and his team set out to produce a sub six metre motorhome which is fully featured, ultra easy to drive and can legally park in pretty much any car space you can find. I think they have created something even more. The true beauty of the Melaleuca is the great urge it gives you to want to slide into the driver seat and see where the road leads. YOU MIGHT ALSO CONSIDER Trakka Torino Trakka spent a year designing this little beauty, which like the Melaleeuca, comes with either a good king-size bed or two singles as well as a neat little shower and a slide out toilet. Storage is a bit lacking, but overall big thumbs up for its classy design and looks, matching perfectly with the superb Fiat Ducato. PRICE IS HIGHER AT $120,000