Gentleman JackSee other motorhome reviews written by Gentleman Jack
Practical Motorhome reviews the Murvi Pimento, a shortened version of the Morello – can a manufacturer take its perfect ’van and make it smaller?
The Murvi Pimento is not a new design, though its combination with Ford Transit underpinnings is. Basically it’s a shortened Morello, aimed at those who require a fully equipped all-season ’van that is 5.5m long.
Most manufacturers can build a good big motorhome, but only the very best can produce a good one of more modest dimensions.
Murvi’s open-plan main salon is a major contributor to the Pimento’s generous supply of mod-cons while retaining a light and airy feel.
If leaded-light cocktail cabinets, high-gloss woodwork and flowery Cath Kidston fabrics (sometimes called the ‘country cottage’ style of interior) is your chosen vibe, then the Pimento isn’t for you. However, if understated elegance complemented by muted toning finishes float your boat, then you’d better beat a path to Devon.
There are many myths about Murvi – some repeated so often that they have become accepted wisdom but remain totally untrue. One is that Murvi is a small manufacturer. Sure, it’s not a high-volume producer like Swift, but neither is it a tiny backstreet ‘here-today, gone-tomorrow’ operation.
Hands-on proprietor Rex Kneebone has been building multi-award-winning motorcaravans since Bedford’s CF was the base vehicle of choice among the cognoscenti. Twenty highly skilled operatives convert four different base vehicles into six models and have a job keeping up with an ever-increasing demand.
The second myth states that models, such as the Morello, haven’t changed in three decades. This is the one heard most often and is absolute twaddle. Sure the basic layout hasn’t changed, but then why should it?
This is Murvi’s best-selling product. However, changes have been made in base vehicles, furniture finishes, equipment, fittings and mechanisms, such as that used to convert seats to beds.
Despite having enjoyed owning several Transit-based motorcaravans, Ford’s latest generation Transit didn’t make a good first impression with me. First, the manufacturer trailed the product years before anyone could actually see or drive it and, second, I thought the prominent front grille made it look like a startled goldfish. (Not the first time I’d opened mouth before engaging brain.)
Familiarity has shown that it was well worth the frustrating wait to get my hands on what I feel is the market-leading base vehicle. The front elevation has grown on me.
On the road
The suspension was perfectly poised and compliant, without body roll. Silent and smooth progress – perfect. In contrast, the journey home in my Sevel-based coachbuilt made me feel I was trapped in the percussion section of the Royal Philharmonic.
Lounging & dining
Most will leave the settee against the offside wall most of the time, though cleverly the lion’s share of it (squab and backrests) can rotate 90 degrees to pal-up with the cab seats to form a double dinette. Just the job when playing board games or entertaining.
There is an option of providing lap belts for these seats in face-forward mode. If you are going to use the rear travelling seats more than a once-in-a-blue-moon, you should seriously consider the Fiat-based Piccolo instead.
Other reassuring standard equipment includes a CO detector, smoke detector and a secure ‘safe’ compartment, though I’m not telling you where that is!
|Fresh/waste water||73L / 45L|
|Leisure battery||115 Ah|
|Secondary leisure battery||115 Ah|
The Pimento is easier to manoeuvre than the Murvi Morello, but has one fewer seat and slightly less storage. The new Ford Transit is lip-smackingly good and a smart buy for long-term ownership.
- The Ford Transit base vehicle is excellent
- It's well equipped and easy to live in
- Both tables can be used inside and outside the 'van