On a recent visit to Mildura the bride and I called in to see Rob Tonkin’s latest Wirraway 260SL motorhome with its full length slide-out. We were touring the region in our 4Wheel slide-on camper, so I thought it might be interesting to see Lorraine’s reaction to a genuinely luxurious motorhome. Mind you, such a plan was fraught with danger to our bank balance should she decide our camper was too ‘agricultural’.
The new 260 Slide Out is built on the latest Mercedes 516 CDI cab/chassis powered by a turbocharged and intercooled diesel. A shift mounted just off the base of the dash controls a five speed automatic gearbox.
The bodywork of the 260SL is based on composite closed cell urethane foam/fibreglass panels built on a 12mm plywood floor that in turn is fitted on an aluminium box section frame chassis. Windows are double laminated and incorporate fly screens and adjustable reflective blinds.
The paintwork on the 260SL is beautifully done and is very distinctive. It’s a two pack epoxy finish with a stylish pattern that has become the Wirraway standard. Herself cast a look at our camper, then back to the Wirraway. No comparison.
The external storage systems also opened her eyes, especially since it was push button operated (quite aside from the volume of space available for her to load stuff in ‘just in case’). The drawers are all remotely operated and slide out to allow access to the contents. There are no hatches to open, and there’s no digging around in the storage spaces. The drawers simply slide out at the touch of a button. Similarly, the slide out operation is purely push button, though when extended it does make access to the lower driver’s side drawers awkward.
Speaking of push button accessories, this rig has an automatic hydraulic levelling system, which made the manual jack system on our camper look positively primitive. Yep, the bride cast an envious eye over that accessory too.
The electrical system of the 260SL is also innovative. It’s based on the EC325 power supply unit that in effect manages all the on board electrics. On board power is provided by two 120 amp hour house batteries in conjunction with a 12v 100 amp hour vehicle battery. Wirraway’s digital control panel allows easy monitoring of on board power and water systems.
Gas supply is centered on three, 4.5kg gas bottles with changeover gas regulator. Water supply is provided by a 118 litre fresh water tank, filtered cold water delivery to the kitchen and a 52 litre grey water tank. Electronic level monitoring and digital level display allow easy water management. Hot water is supplied via an electric start gas or 240v system.
An automatic electric entry step and full length roll out awning is fitted, along with a roll out bbq, outside table and an outside shower.
But it was the internal layout and finish, along with the spaciousness provided by the slide out, that really had her looking.
The standard of external fittings and finish of the 260SL is right up there with the best. These vehicles are hand built by folks who take pride in their work, and it shows. There’s a real feeling of class and quality, enhanced by the beautiful styling in materials and design.
The slide out compartment extends from behind the driver’s seat through to the bathroom wall, incorporating a side-facing lounge, fridge and microwave console, bedside tables with mirrored overhead cabinets above, overhead lockers and, of course, the east west bed.
Up forward the twin leather captain’s chairs swivel around to face the dinette area. The dinette table is adjustable and with the side bench forms a comfortable area that suits dinner with friends or maybe a card game or two. You’ll find plenty of storage within the dinette area, with overhead lockers and a full height pantry. There are personal lights and big windows on each side, with pelmets and curtains for privacy.
The kitchen area is centered opposite the lounge/fridge console to the rear of the entry door. A grill and oven are fitted beneath the four burner cooktop, with a stainless steel sink alongside. The galley is bright and airy, with a big window behind the kitchen bench and good overhead lighting. Storage lockers are fitted above the kitchen bench, with a range hood positioned in the overhead above the cooktop. A nest of eight drawers is fitted beneath the sink/bench area.
The bedroom area is very comfortable, with the slide out providing easy access around the foot of the bed. Big curtained windows at the head and foot provide plenty of light. A full height mirror is positioned at an angle in the rear corner, and above the window opposite the bed is a locker complex including a neat illuminated wine glass storage hatch. Between this overhead console and the kitchen bench is a flat screen telly, with a satellite dish up top to provide remote area reception. I could see the bride comparing this luxurious bedroom to the more Spartan sleeping arrangements in our camper. Is envy the right word?
The bathroom/en suite occupies the rear of the 260SL and is easily accessed from the bedroom. It can be closed off for privacy with a concertina door, and features two elements, a loo and a shower. The shower features a distinctive curved sliding door opaqued for privacy. The loo and vanity area is off to the driver’s side and is certainly roomy enough, with a stylish blue glass basin with storage beneath and a mirror above. A set of shelves is fitted alongside the toilet console, with a towel rail above the loo.
Throughout the 260SL there is a feeling of cosy comfort, from the quality flooring to the air conditioner in the roof, and the quality of workmanship and materials throughout the vehicle. The cabinet work, joinery and the trim and finish of the overhead lockers and cupboards is outstanding.
The Wirraway 260SL is an exceptionally comfortable, well built and well finished motorhome. It’s been designed to suit a couple who wish to tour Australia in a good measure of comfort, with a minimum of fuss. The slide out creates an abundance of space that really makes for extremely comfortable long-range touring. Back in the camper that night Lorraine had that faraway look in her eye that suggested she’d rather be camped in the Wirraway than in our slide on. I have to agree with her. It’s a really beaut motorhome.
Manufacturer: Wirraway Motorhomes
Model: 260 Slide Out
Body Length: (7.9m)
Price: From $239,000 + ORC
Find Out More
Rob and Mandy Tonkin
6 Hynes Court, Mildura Vic 3500
Tel/Fax: (03) 5023 0230