Andrew McPhee

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Read the LMC Liberty Start TI 708G review from the experts at Practical Motorhome

Design

The LMC is a good-looking vehicle, due to its streamlined shape and shiny, smooth, aluminium panel work. Although the lack of windows on the offside make it feel a little dark inside, the omission contributes to a striking, uninterrupted, exterior appearance. The wheel spats do a good job of softening the lines, although they do require lifting to access the waste water drain. The mains socket is hidden inside the garage, so the cable must be threaded through the access panel in the floor.

On the road

The LMC is based on the Ford Transit 350 chassis, which offers rear-wheel drive via twin wheels, meaning you get a very steady platform on the road and excellent traction on muddy camping fields. It uses the 2.4-litre TDdi engine – it is less desirable than the more powerful, and quieter, TDCi unit of the same size but the reason for this engine choice is the automatic gearbox: Ford’s electrically operated Durashift transmission. It also eliminates one of the Transit’s motorhome bugbears by removing the gear lever from the cab floor. The handbrake had been moved to the outside edge of the cab, allowing unrestricted access to the living area from the cab only at the expense of a door storage bin on the driver’s side. As for other specifications, cab air conditioning, CD-radio, electric mirrors, ABS (anti-lock braking systems) and traction control combine to ensure that owners will want for little in this cab.

Lounging & dining

Alongside the front half-dinette, there’s a single sideways-facing seat. In terms of appearance, the upholstery is a predictable blue – it is unlikely to cause offence but neither is it likely to set your pulse racing.
The seats are much lower than the dinette, and a bit of a stretch at dinner time. As lounge seats, though, they work very well, are easy to spin around and are in a good position for viewing the TV.
A useful small cupboard provides handy storage space within reach of the lounge.

Kitchen

The LMC’s kitchen is roomy, thanks to its L-shaped arrangement, which runs along the nearside of the ’van and across the back of the dinette seats. This provides more food preparation space and storage area than in other ’vans with oblong kitchens, but it is in the corner, rather than near the front where you can easily get at it all. The only cooking facility is the three-burner hob, which needs a box of matches to get it going. The 97-litre fridge is adequate for a two-berth ‘van, and having it mounted 60cm above floor level makes for easy access.

Sleeping

LMC offers generously proportioned single beds, easily good enough to accommodate a six-foot tall sleeper. The chunky five-inch thick mattresses are mounted on sprung wooden slats and there are boards to keep the mattresses away from the side wall. It’s just the job.
A slight problem in the LMC is the height of the beds and access to them. First, there are two awkwardly angled steps up to the beds. Second, the beds are quite high off the floor. This may well present a problem to less mobile owners, as the steps are quite steep, and narrow. At the top stair, there is only around five feet of headroom, so tall people will have to stoop to get in and out of bed. Mind you, this allows for an excellent amount of garage space underneath, but that will be of little comfort to you when you clout your head in bed. Another problem is that limited space between the bed and the overhead lockers means it’s awkward to lounge in bed and read a book or sip a cuppa in the morning.

Washroom

The LMC’s washroom has a ‘budget’ feel compared with some rivals, due to proliferation of white plastic. There’s a lockable storage locker and separate shower, although there is no dedicated shower mixer – the sink tap doubles as a shower control. Despite these points, it’s a perfectly usable and well constructed room.

Storage

The LMC is impressive in this area, due to a surfeit of roof lockers around the bed, masses of room under the L-shaped kitchen units and a good-sized wardrobe. Also, with the space in the huge garage under the beds, it’s obvious that the LMC is well served for storage.
We noticed a few glitches in the LMC, though. There are no tie-down eyes in the garage (but these are easily retro-fitted). More of an issue is the height and distance that gas bottles need to be lifted to fit them into the inboard gas locker– it may prove a bit much for shorter owners. Also, there is only one access door to the garage so you need to climb inside to reach items at the far end. Overcab storage is not impressive. Lipped, open shelving means things can fall out in transit.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload636kg
Length7.36m24′2″
Width2.32m7′7″
Height2.92m9′7″
Waste water90L
External Options
Aluminium sidewalls, Awning light
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet, Separate shower cubicle
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

For many buyers, the prospect of German build-quality on a Ford base will hold a lot of appeal – and rightly so, as this is an impressive ’van at an alluring price.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Exceptional value for money for a ‘van with this layout
  • Excellent build quality
  • Sleek looks
  • Rear-wheel drive.

Cons

  • Washroom isn’t too impressive
  • Limited headroom in the rear
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