This layout was rethought and reworked with insight and skill. It lets you choose what you want, rather than having to put up with what a focus group thinks you want. And that is a real bonus.
We’ve given the 2016 Shire Phoenix XLR Twin a four-star rating.
Washroom door opens away from the kitchen
Flexible choice of bed shapes and sizes
Flexible parallel sofas or U-lounge
Plenty of storage
Reversing camera is a cost-option
All the desirable extra goodies add up
Only two beds
Despite being a relative newcomer, West Yorkshire-based Shire Conversions is already a prolific award-winner. In its 2016 brochure and on-line, Shire proprietor Darryl Healey has provided valuable insights into the company ethos. It’s all within a framework it calls ‘iDesign’, which encompasses design, manufacturing and customer choice.
For me, though, and with a nod to 1980s pop poppets Bananarama, ‘It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it… and that’s what gets results’.
The twin settees are ideal for when you fling the rear doors wide to enjoy the view and to be at one with nature
Rear-lounge motorhomes have either parallel or U-shaped seating. Shire has put a lot of thought into providing bench seats that can be either. The twin settees are ideal for when you fling the rear doors wide to enjoy the view and to be at one with nature. The wrap-around seating arrangement is well-suited to cosy, socially inclusive lounging.
Two other examples of clever design were corner shelves for putting down a drink when the dining table isn’t deployed, and storage for the table in the side door.
The forward lounge is not only a pleasant place to relax but, because of the sliding worktop extension, it will be great for laptop tapping, tableting or gaming, both electronic and board.
Next is the offside kitchen. However, we start our examination of it with the washroom just behind the passenger seat. Shire has come up with another winner by moving the washroom door from the central aisle to the forward- facing wall. It is such a simple thing to do, but the benefits are huge. Shire chefs can create without being interrupted by the opening and closing of the washroom door.
Among the storage options are plenty of deep drawers; you can’t have too many, because they allow you to retrieve items easily and stocktake at a glance. The microwave is sensibly and safely positioned just above the half-height fridge. Taken overall, this is one of the best linear galleys I’ve seen in a ’van this size.
Inside the washroom, you’ll find all the usual kit (Thetford C403 toilet, tip-up basin, shower, vanity unit, rooflight for ventilation) plus a reasonable amount of floor area. My photograph suggests that there is a noticeable colour difference between the loo and the rest. It didn’t register contemporaneously so it may have been exaggerated by the camera’s flash.
It is quite common to offer a choice of two singles or an all-over double bed, but once again Shire has gone just that bit further by including the option of making a transverse double of standard domestic size, leaving some seating.
If you choose to make up two longitudinal single beds, they will measure 1.88m x 0.66m (6’2″ x 2’2″). If you prefer to sleep on a longitudinal/transverse double bed it’s 1.88m x 1.85m (6’2″ x 6’1″). Alternatively you can make up a transverse double bed measuring 1.85m x 1.22m (6’1″ x 4′).
If any prospective purchasers think there is insufficient storage, they may want to consider whether motorcaravanning is for them. There are oodles of it… no question.
It is worth reiterating that the choice of finishes to the locker and cupboard doors is yours. Some opt for a unified décor, others to have a different finish in the kitchen.
|Shipping Length||6.36 m|
|Engine Size||2300 cc|