News - November 9th 2010
New hand-built compact motorhome features
slide-out to sleep four in comfort
Chameleon sets new standards for space and luxury
A luxury, hand-built motorhome about to be launched on the British market features a major UK first – a rear slide-out section which enables the vehicle to sleep four people in comfort.
The new Chameleon is available built on a choice of two leading long-wheelbase panel vans, the Mercedes Sprinter and the Fiat Ducato. The Sprinter-based version can also be supplied in a more compact medium-wheelbase version, with comfortable sleeping for two.
The Chameleon team have solved the problem of fitting four berths into a compact motorhome with a revolutionary rear slide-out, the first in the UK to be fitted to a panel van. Extended when the vehicle is parked, it provides more living space by day and more sleeping space at night. The original Mercedes doors are retained to provide security and weatherproofing on the road.
In the LWB version, a generous space at the front of the living area features a pair of seats which can be folded flat to function as a double bed, while two people can use the 360 degree swivelling front seats and four can sit around the dining/lounge area at the back, allowing eight to be seated in comfort.
The slide-out runs on heavy-duty guides. Once the vehicle is parked, you simply draw it into the open position and lock it in place. Drop-down rear corner steadies attached to the chassis ensure the vehicle does not rock or sway.
The space at the front can be used as a separate dining area. Alternatively the double seat can easily be removed and the space used for transporting equipment or bulky loads – anything from a PA system to a quad bike.
A disabled option can be specified, with a single seat fitted instead of the double one and provision for a wheelchair to be bolted down in the space created.
Chameleon is thought to be the first motorhome in the world to be built using aluminium composite material (ACM) for the furniture and fittings. ACM is stronger than conventional plywood, as well as being fireproof and damp-proof. The walls and roof are insulated with 3M Thinsulate.
The vehicle has been built to satisfy the most demanding tastes. Luxury touches include top-quality acrylic worktops, a 110-litre compressor fridge, a thermally-broken Alucore subfloor, TVs front and rear and an electrically-powered step for easy access through the sliding side door (full width on the LWB version). Aluminium composite material has been used throughout for quality, durability and dimensional stability, while the thermally-broken interior provides effective insulation.
A methanol-fuelled EFOY fuel cell is available as an optional extra. The EFOY cell uses a new technology which generates electricity from methanol in complete safety. It allows you to tour for months without ever having to hook up to a power source – perfect for wild camping.
All versions of Chameleon are comfortably below the 3.5 tonne limit at which a category C1 driving licence is required, so it can be driven on an ordinary car licence for category A (pre 1997) or B.
“We believe Chameleon offers more and better accommodation than any other compact motorhome on the market” says Owen O’Neill, Managing Director of Chameleon Motorhomes and a lifelong motorhome user, who has developed the vehicle. “There is nothing on the market to touch it, yet we have kept the price to a competitive level for a luxury compact motorhome.”