Andrew McPheeSee other motorhome reviews written by Andrew McPhee
Practical Motorhome reviews the Murvi Morello
The exterior services are all sensibly positioned, and the Morello is fitted with a Gaslow system, so there is no need to lug heavy gas cylinders in and out thanks to the external filling point.
Our Morello was fitted with a solar panel that trickle charges the two leisure batteries and the engine battery. Another optional extra, the Fiamma awning, sits neatly above the sliding door.
The 55-litre waste tank is underslung, with an easily accessible drain valve just forward of the rear axle. The 73-litre fresh tank is on-board, next to the fridge and oven at the rear. Both tanks have colour-coded taps.
Opening the nearside rear door allows easy access to the neatly arranged electrical wiring and gas pipework that supply the kitchen appliances. You can also enter the Morello from the offside rear door, via the washroom.
Murvi builds its ’vans to order, so specifying it with goodies can eat into the standard 400kg payload (extras on our test ’van added up to 59kg).
The Morello is essentially a two-berth, but for everyday use it’s a people carrier, too: our model had one three-point inertia-reel restraint and two lap seatbelts fitted to the moveable seat.
One design element which has proved to be the Murvi’s selling point over the years is its cleverly flexible seat and lounge formation. The long seat is moveable and can be fixed to form an L-shaped lounge against the driver’s side wall. It can also be rotated 90º to form a forward-facing passenger seat bench, or for dining – you can even remove it, for load carrying. The rear fixed seat can also be taken out if you disconnect the heater duct underneath and remove the ratchet bolt which fixes it to the floor.
On the road
The Morello handles city life well, too: it was just about as easy to park as a car.
Both front seats are fully height- and tilt-adjustable and have (inner) arm rests. They also sport adjustable lumbar supports and, as a neat touch, Murvi adds a fabric panel to the cab doors which matches the upholstery throughout. It’s a small touch but obviously a lot of care has gone into making it feel a part of the ’van as a whole, distancing it from its commercial vehicle origins. Other touches include carpeted seat base boxes. There’s even a little safe underneath the passenger cab seat. Air conditioning is standard, too.
Lounging & dining
There is a choice of two table tops to suit the number of diners (table top storage space is in the wardrobe).
Making space for a further two diners is quick and easy once you’ve had a bit of practice. Unlock the moveable seat by releasing the T-handled bolt, turn it 90º to face forward, and then lock it into place. The cab seats swivel to form two extra seats and the table is erected as before.
It’s not perfect, though. For a start, the four (or five) diners will have to compromise their comfort a fair bit. Those in the two cab seats will find themselves reaching down to the table (and may struggle to get their legs under it), while those in the moveable seat may find the table at chest height.
When carrying passengers, the moveable seat should be facing forward, but make sure it’s locked into position with the two ratchet bolts under the seat cushion. To do this, lift the front edge of the seat base cushion and prop it open with the stay. Then, it’s just a question of pushing and pulling, by fractions, to position the seat so that the bolts sit directly over the two stainless steel rings in the floor. Then, wind both ratchet handles until the seat is secure. There’s a three-point inertia seatbelt, for the right-hand passenger, and two lap-restraint belts. When not in use, all the belts pack away into the bed box.
The onboard electrical system is managed by a complicated-looking VB03 control panel, just above the fixed rear seat, on the front face of the wardrobe. You can use it to select which one, or both, of the two leisure batteries you use to power your internal appliances – it’s amazing the level of control available from the push of a button or two.
Also from here, you can switch individual lights on and off and alter their brightness, you can control the heating and hot water power source, select the overall temperature and check the water tank levels. Not only that but there are buttons for ‘cab demist’ and ‘engine pre-heat’ for quick getaways on cold mornings. Add the stereo on/off control, and more, and it’s all quite mind boggling.
If you select the diesel-fired heating option, the Eberspächer hydronic heating system kicks into action. The heater sits beneath the vehicle’s floor, on the driver’s side, and provides thermostatically controlled blown-air heating through the rear outlets and the heater outlets on the cab dashboard. It also heats the water as you drive, so you’ll arrive on site with a full tank of hot water.
If you like to read in the evening, the dimmable (non-fluorescent) lights, two reading lights over the cab seats, and three well-placed plug sockets throughout the ’van, should meet all your mains needs.
There’s a huge worktop with a marble-look surface along the passenger-side kitchen unit, and a Dometic fridge sits beneath a Smev four-burner gas hob, with an oven and grill between them.
Three strip lights run the length of the kitchen unit, so the lighting is brilliant, and an Omnivent fan overhead takes away all the cooking smells.
The vegetable basket and plate rack can be stored in the sink while on the move. Explore the plentiful lockers and cupboards and you’ll find a teak chopping board beneath the drainer, and a moulded cutlery tray fixed to the underside of a shelf so you can store items around it – a simple but brilliant idea that maximises every square inch of space. Other little touches, such as a kitchen roll holder and a moulded crockery rack, add that extra homely feel.
The rock-and-roll double bed is a breeze to make up from the L-shaped lounge layout. First, release the T-handled bolt beneath the rear seat cushion, then pull the seat away from the side of the vehicle. Hold the top of the moveable seat backrest with one hand and, with the other, lift the front of the seat, then pull it forwards. The seat and backrest flatten, and together with the rear seat make up the double bed. Then, just push the flattened bed back against the wall and refasten it to the fixed corner seat.
There’s one eye-level toiletry locker and another, below the basin, for storage. A rooflight floods the area with light, and a shower curtain pulls around to minimise spray. The Thetford swivel toilet completes the fittings here.
Dometic Fridge, 4-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill, Extractor fan
Thetford C-200 toilet, Shower curtain
The Morello's loadspace makes it a versatile 'van, while the long wheelbase and short rear overhang make it a potential towing vehicle, too. Build quality, from its carpeted lounge area to the fit, finish and durability of its furniture, is also faultless.
- ‘Open to the elements’ feel with L-shaped lounge
- The down lighters over the passenger door
- Deep cupboards
- Passenger seat footrest.
- Narrow kitchen
- No freestanding table