Benjamin Davies

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The Practical Motorhome Sunlight T57 review – get the expert verdict on this motorhome

Design

Being a Dethleffs in all but name, the Sunlight is well built and looks attractive, but 
it lacks the design flair that would set it apart from other entry-level models.

The compact dimensions of this type of layout mean that the number of possible design solutions is limited. It seems seems quite spare and sober, but has a high-quality level of construction and materials.

On the road

The Sunlight is based on the Ford Transit and gets the older 108bhp and 206 lb/ft engine. The cab gets a driver's airbag, cruise control and a radio/CD player as standard.

Lounging & dining

It is in the roomy lounge area where compact coachbuilts really trump ’van conversion models of a similar layout. The Sunlight’s lounge table extends, but to do so you have to slide it outwards and pop in a fill-in piece, which doesn’t have a dedicated storage space when not in use. Since it lacks side-facing lounge seats, its lounge will accommodate only four, but it does so very well, with enough space for people to move around, even when the lounge is in use.

Aptly, the Sunlight provides good natural light, thanks to a large window and rooflights over the kitchen and lounge. At night you’ll have to rely on the directional reading lights, though, because the main light fixture in the lounge area is positioned over the entrance rather than the half-dinette.

Kitchen

The Sunlight's designers have dispensed with the side-facing lounge seat so an extra workspace can be squeezed in, a vital factor that allows you to do some real cooking in your ’van’s kitchen.

Cleverly, the kitchen has been designed so the hob is furthest away from the bed, which in a ’van this compact is necessary both for safety reasons and to prevent cooking smells from seeping into bedding.

Sleeping

The fixed double bed is big and comfortable, although the three-rung ladder is pretty punishing on the feet. There are shelves for books and mugs at either end of the bed. These project far out over the bed, however, so you’ll need to mind your head when you wake up.

The lounge bed is not intended for frequent use, being narrow and relatively short. The Sunlight’s swivelled cab seat becomes part of the lounge bed, which doesn’t make for the flattest sleeping surface.

Washroom

The Sunlight’s washroom suffers from limited knee- and legroom for the toilet, and the shower curtain seems unlikely to prevent the rest of the washroom from getting wet. This problem will be addressed somewhat in the UK-spec model which will have completely plastic walls.

Storage

Anyone who buys one of these motorhomes will be looking to make full use of the garage. The Sunlight’s has only one door, located on the farside, but at 105 x 65cm it should be big enough to allow for easy loading.

There's excellent internal storage provision, with numerous lockers throughout the vehicle, and a tall wardrobe. The gas locker is located inside the garage, which can make changing the two 7kg bottles a bit of a chore.

Technical specs

Sleeps3
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload830kg
Length5.99m19′8″
Width2.3m7′7″
Height2.76m9′1″
Waste water86L
External Options
Aluminium sidewalls, Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet, Separate shower cubicle
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

A solidly built offering from the entry-level arm of Dethleffs. Those seeking pizazz should look elsewhere, though.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Good construction; attractive and sensible design features

Cons

  • Not as exciting or as clever as some rivals
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