Peter BaberSee other motorhome reviews written by Peter Baber
New for 2018, with tonnes of storage and a drop-down double bed, let's see what else the fixed-twin-single-bed Pilote Pacific 706GJ Essentiel has to offer
If you’re one of those people who tend to get confused by model names, it may come as some relief to know that, among its low-profile coachbuilts at least, there are only two new models from French manufacturer Pilote (which has a bit of a reputation for convoluted name tags) to concern yourself with this season.
Both of them come with the numbers 706 and either ‘C’ (for island bed) or ‘GJ’ (for fixed single beds).
Both also feature a double drop-down bed over the front dinette.
We had a look at the GJ at the season launch.
The prototype model we saw there was Essentiel specification, effectively the most basic of the three levels.
However, it included an L-shaped sculpted settee in the dinette and an external shower in the rear garage – features usually reserved for a higher spec.
Regular Essentiel models come with straight settees, and the only shower you get is in the washroom.
However, you’re unlikely to be responsible for said accident, because there’s also a very good 170-degree rear-view camera monitor on the dashboard.
There’s also new skirting along the sides of all Pacific models. For £600 extra you can have an additional locker fitted into this skirting, halfway down the nearside.
But perhaps most impressive is what’s under the ’van: a largely clear undercarriage.
Pilote has redesigned the Pacific floor so that all wiring and plumbing is included within it. It’s also 15mm thicker to aid insulation.
Lounging & dining
The other heating vent in the lounge is under the table in the Pilote Pacific 706GJ Essentiel.
That table slides forwards, backwards and sideways, but not diagonally.
The television slides out from the other side of the door, so at least half the seats in the lounge should get a reasonable view of it.
The large rooflight means you still get daylight coming in, even given the drop-down bed.
Lighting in the cab has also been thought of, with two push-on LEDs.
There’s also room behind the rectangular sink to put your kettle, near the mains switches.
Designers often leave the area immediately under the sink alone, but Pilote has included a small locker here where you could easily store spices (if you’ve already exhausted the shelf on the wall).
Underneath this are two more good-sized drawers, although these would be removed to make way for an oven, which doesn’t come as standard.
The slimline fridge is across the aisle in this Pilote Pacific 706GJ Essentiel, and has a cupboard with shelves above.
But it’s worth it; there’s even a shelf where you can leave books or glasses.
A pocket on the wall at the end of the bed will also hold magazines, and sits next to a group of sockets you could use for a second TV.
Lighting back here is okay. There’s only a small Heki in the roof, but the windows each side allow plenty of light in, and there are two spotlights for night-time reading.
The rear fixed single beds each measure 1.91 x 0.81m (6'2" x 2'8"), while that drop-down double at the front is 2.0 x 1.26-1.00m (6'7" x 4'2"-3'3")
The shower cubicle on the nearside is large with a rooflight and light.
On the offside you get a quirky trapezoid-shaped washbasin with two cupboards beneath it, and a large mirror.
It’s easily big enough to hold bikes, and is well insulated and lit.
And, even with all the space it takes up, storage room in the rear bedroom isn’t really compromised.
You still get a hanging wardrobe and, although there are only three overhead lockers, there is shelving above the pelmet.
Unlike other manufacturers, Pilote doesn’t include storage inside the bedroom steps, and there isn’t any boot locker near the door.
But the Pilote Pacific 706GJ Essentiel does have a cubbyhole under the washroom floor.
Storage in the kitchen is a bit limited, especially if you choose to fit the optional oven.
There are only two overhead lockers in the front lounge, although all the underseat areas are wonderfully clear, to allow you to fill them – after all, you have a 600kg payload.
|Fresh/waste water||130L / 95L|
|Leisure battery||105 Ah|
2-burner gas hob
Separate shower cubicle, Bi-fold shower door
Pilote is well known for producing imaginatively designed, quirky motorhomes, and this Pacific 706GJ Essentiel is no exception.
Storage-wise it is excellent and the beds are a good size, too.
You’ll need to ensure you’re happy without the L-shaped seating seen here, though.
And to see other Pilote motorhomes for sale, click here.
- The fixed single beds are a generous length
- There's tonnes of storage space
- The kitchen is small and too sparsely specced for many British buyers