Andrew McPhee

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Find out what you can get on the secondhand market with Practical Motorhome's review of a used Pilote Galaxy 240

Overview

Quality and brilliant value for money - that's what buying a used A-class represents. Sure, you could buy a new motorhome for £30,000, but it wouldn't have half the levels of equipment that a used example like this Pilote Galaxy has.

It's winterised, has plenty of kit and looks like new inside. Second-hand is the way to go if you want an A-class on a budget.

Design

It is surprising how little the bodywork of A-class motorhomes’ can date, yet the Pilote manages to succeed in looking more dated than most. Still, it is the only vehicle in this test group which has cab and habitation doors on the appropriate sides for British motoring. It has some peeling decals on the rear panel, though none on the sides.

On the road

The Galaxy’s turbo-diesel doesn’t have common-rail injection like later Fiats, but it does have direct injection and it’s not too much of a slouch. It’s hard not to notice the size of the vehicle, though the Al-Ko chassis cuts out the body-roll you might experience from a similarly-sized, standard chassis coachbuilt. The A-class windscreen provides excellent views, though the distance from there to the dashboard can be off-putting at first. The Pilote’s lower cab floor offers a ’van-like’ feel, with a noticeably closer windscreen.
You get captain seats in the cab, though without height adjustment. The Galaxy has a single rear travel seat, too.
We would recommend taking any potential used buy to a weighbridge because specification and payloads can vary considerably (see our ten-step guide to test driving by clicking here.

Lounging & dining

Even with its low cab seats, the Galaxy has two large sofas facing each other and twin swivels, so it’s a great place to lounge for a lengthy chat, but the previous owners have wrought havoc with the table arrangements. However, two hollow table legs remain (in the wardrobe), as do the holes in the floor, and the metal fittings, so there is the possibility of being able to restore the original setting with a larger table (which the dealer could order from Pilote). There is a round, occasional table and a slightly larger, square one. Both fit atop the swing-leg attached to the front of the offside sofa. There is also a third table (57x89cm), which lives beneath the nearside sofa – but it looks home-made. The mid-sized table can just about accommodate three diners, though with the two legs back in place, both small tables could be used at once.
The superbly supportive upholstery is still firm, even after over this number of years. In fact, the lack of wear inside is impressive. It corresponds to age and mileage as one might expect, yet the quality of the fabrics shows in how well they have stood the test of time.
Thanks to the big windscreens, large side windows and rooflights, there’s plenty of light in the discrete living area. The coat hooks are tall enough for long coats (there’s also a dressing mirror).

Kitchen

The Galaxy has a good amount of worksurface and a high-gloss finish in its kitchen. Although the worksurface has worn slightly, it remains serviceable. There’s room to spread out your ingredients without having to think first and it’s sensibly positioned away from the door.
Kitchen storage space is good: most comes from its four overhead lockers – though one is fouled by the extractor-fan ducting – with a small cupboard beneath the large cutlery drawer and a door beneath the oven which opens onto the double floor. Here, the previous owner has fitted a board across the back so that larger items such as the grill pan could be stored here. However, the space is not completely enclosed.
The hob has a level pan stand across all three burners, and on the worksurface a lift-out panel provides access to a space that could hold anything from food cans to appliances, or even a waste bin.
However, we didn’t like the position of the 240V socket, next to the extractor fan.

Sleeping

Drop-down beds free up room for lounge seating, though there’s also a sofa-bed. The Pilote’s seat base slides out easily to make a small double bed, and there’s plenty of headroom in the drop-down bed. The Pilote’s relatively thin Galaxy mattress is disappointing, but it is made from high-quality Bultex foam.
A used mattress can be the single most off-putting thing about buying a second-hand motorhome, yet it is surprising how ‘unused’ the mattress seems. In part, this is a testament to the quality of the foam filling and it’s quite possible it has been cleaned professionally. It has a cover, too.

Washroom

You get a washroom with a separate shower, a corner sink and a tapered surround towards the toilet. However, you don’t get an enormous amount of space around the toilet nor a huge amount of room to wash in the sink, but unless you’re particularly broad across the shoulders or over 6ft tall, this is unlikely to be an issue.
The shower tray has lasted well and is well-drained and ‘sunken’ so that you can ‘wash and go’ in the morning.

Storage

The Pilote has a bewildering amount of access to a 22.5cm-tall double floor which spans much of the vehicle’s footprint. Both nearside and offside lockers can be reached from the sofa bases, while the rear door opens into the kitchen via the under-oven locker.
Internally, locker storage is good, and the wardrobe is spacious.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats3
MTPLM3850kg
Payload761kg
Length6.06m19′11″
Width2.2m7′3″
Height2.93m9′7″
Waste water100L
External Options
Aluminium sidewalls, Integral awning, Directional TV aerial, Electric step
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Washroom
Thetford C-200 toilet
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

It’s a winning, sociable layout with year-round versatility.

Conclusion

Pros

  • UK-side doors
  • Massive double floor space
  • Large, separate kitchen.

Cons

  • Too many owner modifications.
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