Rob GanleySee other motorhome reviews written by Rob Ganley
Read the Practical Motorhome review of the WildAx Solaris – can this campervan really prove comfortable for four?
Squeezing a family of four into a campervan is no mean feat, and most attempts tend to utilise roof beds; these vary in quality, but are all compromised in terms of headroom and ease of access.
Yorkshire outfit WildAx Motorhomes, which has gained quite a reputation for its well-equipped, well-built and well-specced ’vans, has taken a leaf out of Adria’s book, whose 4Twin featured bunk beds in a high top conversion. The result is the Solaris, due to be launched at February’s NEC Show.
The Solaris’s small but useable washroom has been positioned in the rear nearside corner of the ’van, creating space along the offside for two six-foot bunks. These bunks are both long and wide enough for adults, and should work a treat for children. Lift the bottom bunk and you’ll expose an impressive large storage area, while the top bunk also rises and latches to the wall, to turn the lower bunk into a bench or a play area for the kids.
The remaining two berths are provided by the pair of travelling seats – which are comfortable and roomy; they slide forward and tilt until they form the bases for a sizeable and comfortable bed, completed by a fill-in piece that lives on one of the bunk beds when not in use.
The two travelling seats also form the basis for the lounge, which features a freestanding table that stows behind the nearside travelling seat and uses the swivelled cab chairs to provide a full complement of four seats.
There were a couple of problems with this arrangement, however. First, because of the height difference between the habitation and cab floors, the lounge table is too low to be properly utilised by the occupants of the cab seats. Second, the table’s stowage arrangement isn’t ideal – it obstructs the tilting action of the nearside lounge seat, and so has to be removed and stored elsewhere when the front double is made up – and it isn’t easy to find a space for it.
The good folk at WildAx have assured us that these problems can be dealt with, though – by including a separate table for the cab seats and by rehousing the freestanding table. The only remaining issues were the 400kg payload – likely to prove tight for four – and an annoying squeak that issued from the base of the driver’s seat. Despite these niggles, we were impressed by this ’van.
It’s slightly flawed in the lounge and payload departments, but this is otherwise a unique and impressive approach to solving the problem of housing four in a camper. For families of four, this is a real alternative to roof bed campers.
- Usable four-berth camper; comfortable bunk bed arrangement; sat-nav comes as standard
- Height difference between the cab and lounge areas is a problem at meal times; small payload for four