Few motorhomes costing £31,000 have a full-sized shower in the washroom ABS, ASR, two airbags, a built-in awning, a six-stack CD player and radio. It’s even harder to find one that’s so well built and drives so well – rarely have we driven a motorhome that rattles so little.
Transit base is excellent; built quality is terrific; spacious lounge
Tiny kitchen has no worksurface; no oven
Potential buyers of coachbuilt motorhomes, working to a budget, can choose between many fairly predictable models which, although offering great value for money, are nevertheless low on technology.
Those keen on both may have to search a little harder before they come across such potential gems as the Eura Mobil Profila Alcove. The Profila is based on the Ford Transit cab, so buyers get many of the high-tech goodies – such as double floors and a GRP body – seen only in Eura Mobil’s more expensive models, but at a remarkably low price. Our review model is the five-berth end-kitchen Alcove 580 LS sold by the importer Westcroft Motorhome Centre for £30,989, which puts it firmly into mainstream Swift Sundance and Compass Avantgarde territory. Even though the Alcove is a five-berth we decided to test it as a touring base for a couple as we believe most buyers would view it this way, using the overcab as the main bed and the dinette seats or bench sofa as occasional berths for grandchildren. We test here a 2006 model but Paul Innes at importer Westcroft tells us that the 2007 model will change little and he has already placed orders for some, so supply will be good. Changes are on the way for the Ford Transit but the model you see here will be available next year for quite a while. This is particularly important as the arrival of the new Ducato cab will delay orders of many new models until Fiat’s production lines crank up to produce right-hand drive models.
Surrounded by large windows and a large Heki roof light above the cab, the lounge is a bright place to sit, with two bench seats either side of a big adjustable table. This table comes with an extension, allowing two people to use the long bench sofa which runs down the passenger side of the lounge. The base of the sofa pulls out slightly further to make the single bed more usable.
The table on the other side of the lounge detaches to form the base of the second double bed. The cushions are deep and firm and trimmed in an attractive blue fabric with a colourful central weaved-pattern section which helps to brighten the space.
The beige curtains are for show only and don’t extend across. The Seitz unit is the latest version where the blind comes up from the bottom and blocks out the light. There’s also a built in fly-screen with catches that are very easy to use.
Access to the cab is down a step, and although the armrest of the seat is in the way, our testers had no problem. However, the cab seats are fixed and therefore cannot be used as part of the lounge.
It is here that perhaps the accountants at Eura Mobil had to suggest that the designers would not be allowed to pack in as much as they could in, say, a Contura or an Activa.
There is no oven. You get only a SMEV two-burner hob, so you’ll not be dining in style, but it’s practical nonetheless. There are plenty of cupboards, though, including three eye-level units, but no worktop space once the hob and sink lids are up. We had to put the unit behind the kitchen into action for food preparation, which is only possible if you haven’t already used it for your TV. One neat touch is that the drawers are on runners and work with a pleasing precision that reflects the quality of the rest of the Eura Mobil.
The 97-litre Dometic fridge will provide adequate capacity to store provisions for a couple, and should even cope with the needs of an additional three passengers.
Branded as the Duo Max, the washroom in the 580 LS has massive showroom appeal. Constructed from a single piece of grey moulded plastic, the shower is made up of two circular shower doors which pull around to enclose the space, which includes a separate showerhead. The shower doors ensure that the rest of the washroom stays dry.
The high-pressure pump works well and, with a fresh water tank of 100-litres, you can spend quite some time off site.
Some nice touches have been added such as a built-in toilet-roll holder, a moulded floor, mirrors on two sides and a row of down lighters, which all lends this space a very glamorous feel. There’s also a good amount of storage room, with space under the sink and an eye-level cupboard.
The Thetford toilet swivels so that larger motorcarvanners can get comfortable, and there’s plenty of room once the shower doors are folded back.
There’s a separate mixer tap for the washbasin, and several wastewater drainage valves so even if the ‘van is not level, the washroom floor will drain.
With one of the largest overcabs on the market there’s very little to touch the Eura Mobil for usability and spaciousness. Access to the bed is excellent, due to the higher floor here, and so it only needs the relatively small, and nicely built, wooden ladder to get up there. Once in bed, you’ll enjoy masses of headroom (78cm). The well-appointed furnishings have a blue, velvet-like lining on the top and bottom of the headboard, which has been created in a stylish curve.
To allow better access to the cab, the overcab base splits to allow it to be pushed up on gas struts. The bed therefore has two 3.5-in thick mattresses, the bigger of which sits towards the front of the overcab. This split makes no difference to the comfort, which is excellent.
The roof is insulated and has an attractive red-spotted stippled pattern. There’s also a handy wooden ladder and a net to prevent you from rolling out during the night, as well as a spotlight in the overcab and a control panel for lights and radio. It’s neat and effective, and ventilation is provided by the window which has the same blind system as those in the rest of the cab. Slightly annoyingly, there is no separate curtain for the overcab, so there’s no division to the lounge should one of you decide to stay up late.
Neatly moulded high quality plastic surrounds the cab roof, which contains the curtain for the windscreen and side windows.
The lounge has the option of becoming a double sleeping area, formed by putting the base of the table across the dinette, creating the two long beds, each running along the length of the lounge. Each bed uses the backrest and the bottom cushions from the sofas, which are very effective and fit well. However, you will have one spare long back cushion to find a home for, which may take some doing, because it is too big to be stored in the wardrobe.
There’s plenty of light and ventilation in the lounge and it’s a very spacious and comfortable place to be. The heating here is provided by blown air from the combination Truma C 4002 electric/gas unit.
The lightweight double floor is mounted on an aluminium frame, which means that you’ll have lots of storage space in this area, even though all the heating ducting and water pipes run below.
The space also contains both of the water tanks in addition to all the electric fuse boxes. Even so, it is a large enough space that you will be able to fit chairs and a table in there, as well as quite a bit of extra gear.
It’s a very secure storage space and is lockable, using the same key which locks all the exterior cupboards as well as the main door – a nice touch which will save you having to search for the right key all the time.
|Shipping Length||5.99 m|