Sarah Wakely
Editor

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Innovation excites and so it is with the clever new Sunlight Cliff 601 that starred at our Motorhome of the Year Awards 2018 – let's take a closer look!

Overview

German brand Sunlight has come into its own over the past couple of years.

Formerly a subsidiary of fellow Erwin Hymer Group brand Dethleffs, it’s now a name in its own right.

Where previously it focused on coachbuilts, for the 2018 season, it’s offering van conversions and A-class models, too.

The brand was always known for value for money, so we were looking forward to seeing its new products.

Design

It didn’t disappoint, launching four models on the Fiat Ducato, and known as Cliff.

Okay, so the name sounds a bit daft to British ears, but the products were anything but.

Our favourite was the 601, which offers innovation and style – so much so, it won the Best Budget Motorhome gong in our 2018 Motorhome of the Year awards.

Admittedly that style isn’t particularly evident from the outside – there’s little to mark this ’van out from other white models on site, and its budget origins are clear from the black bumpers.

The decals look modern, though, and the graphics around the tinted windows are smart.

The sliding door to the accommodation area is on the UK offside. This is common on Continental conversions, but it does mean you’ll need to take care if occupants are exiting this way when you are parked on the road.

On the road

You can carry four in the Sunlight Cliff 601: in addition to the cab seats, there are two belts on the rather upright forward-facing sofa seats in the rear.

The cab has the automotive feel you’d expect from the Fiat Ducato.

Our test ’van was also fitted with the £1970 Chassis Pack, including cab air con, a passenger airbag, electrically heated mirrors and more.

The 2.1-litre 115bhp engine is standard, but our test vehicle had the 2.3-litre, 130bhp, £870 cost option – which we’d recommend – mated to a six-speed manual gearbox (Comfort-matic is a £1750 option).

Lounging & dining

Up front, there’s standard van conversion fare.

The cab seats swivel to create a dinette for four, plus a single-leg table can be clipped on the wall to form the dining area.

There is a step up to negotiate, but a Truma Combi 4 heating vent within it is a welcome addition.

The Sunlight Cliff 601’s lounge is also well lit, thanks in part to spotlights that can be unclipped and repositioned.

You can also leave the sliding door open and use the huge flyscreen (part of the £1230 Basic Pack fitted to our test ’van).

Kitchen

Opposite the dinette is the kitchen. There’s not much worktop available, but a lift-up flap helps.

No oven is fitted, but there is a two-burner Domestic hob and a deep, square sink.

And alongside, you will find a 90-litre Thetford fridge with a removable freezer compartment.

Sleeping

What’s clever about this model, though, is what you’ll find at the rear.

We’re used to seeing fixed transverse double beds in van conversions, but the Sunlight Cliff 601 has double-bed bunks.

Flexibility is key here: if you’re a couple touring alone, you can choose to use one double bed, with the other for storage; or one double bed each; or you could both sleep in the top bunk (accessed by a ladder) and fold away the bottom example.

Washroom

The weakest point here is the small washroom, which has no separate shower cubicle.

However, a tambour entrance door saves space, as does the tap which doubles as a showerhead, there is some storage, and a drop-down drying rail (part of the Basic Pack) below the rooflight is a neat touch.

Storage

Clothes storage in the Sunlight Cliff 601 is taken care of by the wardrobe behind the dinette, just in front of the washroom, with a shelved cupboard beneath.

Even with the bottom bunk in place, there’s room below for storage, and plenty of cupboards and cubbies.

Opt for the 3300kg chassis and you get a 435kg payload.

If you want more, go for the 3500kg Fiat light chassis for an additional £530.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM3300kg
Payload435kg
Length5.99m19′8″
Width2.05m6′9″
Height2.65m8′8″
Engine (power)115
Fresh/waste water100L / 90L
Leisure battery95 Ah
Gas tank size5kg
Number of gas tank compartments2
Kitchen Equipment
2-burner gas hob

Verdict

There’s a lot to love about this van conversion, which packs a tremendous amount into its sub-6m dimensions – the double-bunk-bed arrangement is particularly innovative and practical.

Just make sure that you’re happy with the payload, and upgrade to the heavier chassis if not.

And to see other Sunlight motorhomes for sale, click here.

Conclusion

Pros

  • You get a lot in a small package
  • We like the flexible sleeping arrangements
  • Having lights in the lounge that can be moved is a neat touch

Cons

  • The all-in-one washroom is pretty compact

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