Andrew McPhee

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Read Practical Motorhome's review of Bürstner's two-berth, island bed Solano t 725

Design

The look of the Solano t 725 is functional, but you can have it in any one of four colours and the aluminium side skirts are certainly more attractive than ABS plastic.

Inside, this island-bed ’van has a similar footprint at the front end to any other fixed-bed. Unlike a corner-bed model, of course, you don’t have the remaining corner space for the washroom and so there is a 'corridor' effect between the small centre kitchen and the washroom opposite.

The floor is level apart from a small step either side of the rear bed.

On the road

The Fiat Ducato ‘special’ chassis was designed for low-profile ’vans such as this one. Compared with the standard ladder-frame chassis, it’s lighter and lower, with a leaner, longitudinal frame structure. The special rear track, of 1980mm, is wider than the standard 1790mm.

The 160 MultiJet engine will provide versatile performance but a less appealing fuel bill than the 130 version, which knocks £1650 off the price.

The Solano has all available safety features: twin airbags, anti-slip regulator (ASR) cruise control, cab air-conditioning and a rear heater.

Lounging & dining

The half-dinette has an extendable table with a convenient swing-out section which, together with the level, stepless floor, supportively cushioned side-seat and superior upholstery, makes the Solano’s lounge one of the best in its class.

This area benefits from an excellent level of daylight through the cab sunroof, which is fitted as standard, as well as rooflights elsewhere.

Kitchen

A small galley is the only cooking space on offer here, and the 725 has an impractically high oven/grill on top of a large fridge-freezer. There is a surprising amount of kitchen storage space, with two deep drawers and a large cupboard, as well as a slide-out shelf which is sturdy enough to use when chopping vegetables.

There is one plug socket next to the extractor fan, above the hob.

Sleeping

The step up to the bed does create a headroom issue, with only 54cm from the mattress to the annoying shelf above it.

Burstner does not offer a front lounge bed in this model, which actually seems a sensible idea as the effort of making up the additional bed in ’vans of this type is often considerable.

Washroom

The Solano is a big success in this department. The two-door shower is large, with a high-quality tray, a fold-out wooden stool and a large cupboard above the stool. Even though the floor is level, the shower has a deep enough edge channel for quick drainage. There’s plenty of toilet space although, as with all combined washrooms, the shower tray also doubles as the bathroom floor.

Storage

The external locker is a good size and the 725 boasts a wardrobe on the nearside plus a tall, three-shelf cupboard on the offside. There's also a cupboard in the front of the bed which is suitable for underwear. The bed-base is supported by a metal arm and there are some neatly divided storage spaces here which you can access through its exterior locker.

The 755kg payload is a higher figure than you'll find with many low-profiles.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM4000kg
Payload755kg
Length7.34m24′1″
Width2.3m7′7″
Height2.85m9′4″
Waste water90L
External Options
Aluminium sidewalls
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill, Extractor fan
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet
Heating
Truma Gas/Electric heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

A convincing island-bed low-profile motorhome with an extensive options list, but not without its flaws.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Superb base vehicle specification; build quality that inspires confidence; great washroom.

Cons

  • High oven; non-ergonomic bedroom design.
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