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RV enthusiasts choose class B motorhomes mainly for their unique combination of compact size and touring comfort. Ideally suited for a couple or small family group, these vehicles present a viable alternative to the family van for all-round use.
Great West Van of St. Andrews, Manitoba has created a model with a Dodge Sprinter chassis powered by a Mercedes Benz 2.7-litre, 5-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine. With 154 hp and 243 lb ft of torque, this relatively small engine produces a delightful amount of pep – it’s quiet, smooth and distinctively different from power plants found in an RV of this type. “It’ll get you 24 to 26 miles per gallon, and it has a tow rating of 5,000 pounds, so most boats will be fine behind it,” says Wade Wilkin of Great West Van.
The big bonus, however, with this chassis, is its ability to create more space. “We’ve come up with a two-zone floor plan to offer more living area,” explains Wilkin. The bathroom on the driver’s side is located further back to allow room for the front seats to swivel around. There’s space for a third seat, chest of drawers or hanging closet behind the driver’s seat. “Couples who are travelling tend to chose the closet or chest of drawers, but for people looking to tour with friends or family, the option of adding a third or fourth seat up front is appealing,” adds Wilkin.
The Legend rides with the smooth grace of a luxury touring sedan. Rack-and-pinion steering delivers a relatively tight turning radius while the compact overall dimensions make driving in city traffic a breeze, and highway cruising a pleasure. With independent front suspension, this vehicle soaks up irregularities of country roads, always maintaining excellent control.
Standard features include a three-way refrigerator, two-burner stove, coffee maker, microwave, flat-screen TV, DVD player, Fantastic fan, an outside shower, plus ABS brakes and a stability and traction control system. Notable are the parabolic side mirrors, which include regular reflection on top, plus wide-angle views on bottom. Optional features include air-conditioning, a trailer hitch, crank-out awning, 25-kilowatt generator, and a rear-view camera.
The combination of luxury features with simple trim levels follows a European concept that includes all of the creature comforts, minus superfluous glitter. It’s neat and clean to the max, from the gleaming stainless-steel backsplash in the galley, to the soft leather seats and authentic wood dashboard accents.
With interior space at a premium, every feature has a specific purpose, and many serve double duty. The rear tri-fold sofa bed is electrically operated, taking only seconds to transform into a surprisingly spacious, comfortable sleeping area.
The rear bedroom area can be partitioned from the galley, and the compact washroom is so ingenious, you have to explore various nooks and crannies to appreciate the brilliant setup – the vanity sink opens like a drawer, and the entire area is integrated into the shower stall. Overhead cabinets are plentiful and large enough for gear. The LCD TV is mounted on a swing arm, so it can be viewed from a wide range of positions, and it stows neatly against the wall.
If you plan to travel with few passengers, Legend’s superb ergonomics and Mercedes heart make it an excellent choice.