We were impressed by the combination of crisp styling, high-quality build and intelligent design. The washroom, kitchen and lounge maximise the small space into which they’ve been squeezed, to make way for the rear bedroom and the garage, so compromise is limited. Even on a long tour, you’ll neither want for space nor comfort. Some things let it down, though – mainly the sink drainage, mattress comfort and headroom over the beds.
Outstanding base vehicle; single beds and option to convert into double; good use of space in washroom; terrific garage
Headroom over the rear beds; kitchen sink drainage; mattress comfort
LMC is a new brand to the UK in 2006. It represents typically German values: solid build, practical features and a no-fuss design.
Although this low-profile model is from LMC’s entry-level range, it boasts superb construction and a high level of specification. There’s an unparalleled choice of winterisation options – some exclusive to LMC, such as underfloor heating – that are not often available in this mid-market price range. Our first impressions were of a crisply styled design, inside and out. The key, in a layout with fixed single beds, is whether giving all that space over to the bedroom affects the overall performance of this two-berth, long-term tourer.
Any fixed-bed layout loses out on lounge space but the Liberty’s extra length provides a good enough space in which a couple can relax, or entertain guests to dinner.
The half-dinette is joined by the two swivelling cab seats, whose extra base cushions sit on top to bring occupants level with the dining table. This seems a bit of an afterthought, but it is relatively practical. With the large table extension, four can dine in comfort. However, the person in the (UK) passenger seat is effectively trapped. We also felt that the extension needed some kind of locking mechanism to hold it in place. It also lacked any dedicated storage area, which caused some problems, as it’s a well-built, hefty piece of furniture.
The lack of an offside window means that, despite excellent light from a wind-up Heki rooflight, lounge views are limited, particularly if the main door is shut. It feels like there’s a window missing. Two halogen spotlamps and a large downlighter with frosted glass provide powerful but soft iIlumination after dark.
There’s a TV space with a 12V plug, pre-wired satellite and TV aerial sockets above the fridge, and a 230V plug by the washroom door.
There are two speakers above the cab although our radio didn’t work with the ignition off.
The Liberty has a typical fixed-bed, low-profile, L-shaped kitchen, with a three-burner hob towards the rear, worksurface space and a large, round, stainless steel sink at the front.
UK models come with the option of an oven that would sit under the hob. Most Continental manufacturers are super-sizing their fridges and LMC is no exception, with a huge 150-litre unit. The 230V and 12V plugs are sensibly placed at the corner wall, just by a small shelf, and there are two adjustable spotlights.
There’s a large cutlery drawer and a big cupboard beneath the sink, with two shelves and a tambour door – a sensible provision given the narrow aisle onto which it opens.
We found the two wire trays under the cutlery drawer were useful for plates and crockery but given that these are likely to be removed to make room for an oven, the next best solution will be the two overhead lockers, though you’ll need to fit your own crockery rack.
Our only significant criticism was sink drainage, which was slow due to a combination of a narrow-bore water pipe and the 90-degree bend that connected this to the plug hole.
An attractive, combined washroom makes good use of a small floor space without compromise. A folding, three-part, solid shower door means that there’s a proper shower without cramping the toilet.
There is 6ft headroom in the shower. The tap doubles as a showerhead and sits in a height-adjustable mounting. There is a small sill against which the shower door rests, but toilet users will need to put their feet in the shower tray, so this will need to be dried after use. The shower tray feels very sturdy, with no flexibility or movement, which suggests it has a solid foundation and will survive everyday use. A single drain hole means drainage is slow, though.
Undoubtedly, the single beds are a good solution for those couples who don’t want to share. One advantage of this is that night-time trips to the toilet can be easier, particularly in overcab beds, where one partner may have to clamber over the other. However, there is an option to fill in the gap between the two singles, which makes about as big a bed as you’ll find in a motorhome of this size. A slide-out base is stored between the two beds and there are two cushions to fill the gap. We like the practical advantages of the bedroom layout: one can go to bed early or take a nap without being disturbed and it’s easy to get out at night without disturbing your other half.
There was a division of opinion about the practicalities of the lounge space. We took issue with the overhead lockers being directly above the head end of the mattresses, which restricted our reading in bed. You could, of course, face the other way, but the spotlights are at the far end. We also felt that radio speakers and controls should have been provided.
We all agreed that the foam mattresses were soft, which could be an issue given this ’van’s potential for long trips. There will be UK-specification, flame-retardant upholstery on imported models, which may differ in consistency.
The space is well heated, with blown-air ducting by each bed, and ventilation-holes, and a large anti-condensation gap between the wall and the bed.
Overall, there’s plenty of ducting in the Liberty, with two vents under the dinette, one by the door, another below the bedroom steps and yet another in the washroom.
However, the flimsy cab curtain will be of little use in winter, unless you specify a cab insulation hood – one of LMC’s many winter options. One unusual but potentially useful option is a small, folding, overcab bed though it’s only likely to be suitable for pre-schoolers.
How much kit can you take in this long-term tourer for two? The garage is as large as you’ll find on a motorhome of this size: big enough to take a scooter and chairs, tools, cables and so on. The rear twin wheels will cope well with the garage payload (150kg maximum).
The garage is well equipped for winter, with a blown-air heating vent and gas locker and hook-up point contained within. The electricity cable drops down through a trap door (with a cover) in the floor. There’s a light above the door and a spare wheel is also included, stored on a shelf at the front end of the garage. The tough, plastic flooring should stand up to wear from a moped or similar vehicle.
Inside, there’s plenty of space for clothes: a wardrobe and nine small bedroom lockers provide a variety of options. In addition, there is a large locker under either bed, which could hold a small suitcase or any number of folded jumpers, skirts, and bulkier items. Both lockers have a false floor: on the offside, this lifts to reveal the boiler; the other has a considerable space beneath, which could be used to house valuables or anything you don’t need to get to regularly.
There’s also a space under the second step, which provides wiring and heat ducting access, and could hold a dustpan and brush or a small vacuum cleaner.
Up front there are two overhead lockers and a small cupboard by the door – all lockers have sturdy, push-button catches on the handle. This cupboard is ideal for keys, maps and so forth but the space above it – where we would like to have seen a window – could just as easily have housed a drinks cabinet or an extra locker.
The overcab space has open shelving, which we used for maps and travel documents.
|Shipping Length||7.36 m|