The 2021 Sunliner Pinto 412 has been designed to meet the demands of the modern motorhomer, in both looks and function. MCD editor Claire Smith reviews.
Sunliner motorhomes are manufactured in Australia and sold here by Road Life RV in Tauranga, owned by Michele and Rhys Hunter. One of the most popular ranges is the Pinto, available in two layouts. For some
years it has been built on either an Iveco or Fiat Ducato chassis, but this year it is available on the VW Crafter, with 4Motion AWD and mechanical diff-lock.
VW’s 4Motion AWD with diff-lock means you can drive on gravel roads or off-road terrain without missing a
beat. It works by allocating power across all four wheels, which prevents wheel spin and locking, while the diff-lock makes starting up and getting out of difficult conditions much easier. You just feel safer, more in control, and more confident about driving off the beaten path.
The Pinto 412 has a drop-down bed over the dinette/lounge up front, a central kitchen and a full-width bathroom at the rear, with separate toilet and shower.
As you step inside, to the left is a lovely, roomy lounge/dining set-up with face-to-face settees and a central dining table. A big storage cupboard by the entry door is a handy addition. The settees will comfortably seat three each side, creating a welcoming space for a couple of dining guests. In addition, both the passenger and driver cab seats swivel into the lounge area. The settee squabs are nice and thick, and there are big windows on either side. It’s easy to imagine relaxing with a glass of wine and views of your choice right outside. What better way to top off a day of travel or exploring?
The bed is a drop-down that sits unobtrusively over the lounge area by day and is electrically lowered at the push of a button at bedtime. It’s a quick and easy process – just remove the back squabs of the settees, pop the table down and in an instant the lounge becomes the bedroom. The east-west bed is very roomy, measuring about 1.37 metres by 1.87 metres. The lounge windows become bedroom windows, so you can enjoy a little stargazing as you drift off, or watch the sunrise from bed in the morning.
The kitchen is compact but very functional, with a Thetford Triplex oven and a three-burner gas hob. There’s good ventilation via a window behind the hobs and an Xpelair unit above. Alongside the hob is a big sink – very stylish in black, with a matching mixer tap. The sink has a glass cover and the hob has a Formica cover for extra bench space when needed. There’s a good amount of storage – three large drawers under the sink for cutlery and cookware, and another under the oven for big pots and pans. Opposite the bench is a lovely big Thetford 190L 3-way fridge/ freezer – enough to hold a week’s worth of shopping. Above that is a microwave with a cupboard above, and for additional storage there are two lockers over the bench.
At 6.7 metres long, the Pinto 412 can be described as a compact motorhome, which often means the bathroom is an all-in-one‘hold your elbows in’ kind of space. But not so in this model. The bathroom runs the full width at the rear, with a separate enclosed shower to the left, the toilet to the right, and a vanity in-between. As in the kitchen, the fittings are black, and the look and feel is all about quality, comfort and class. Everything has been thought of – lots of storage, towel and hand towel rails, and good lighting. Forget about campground ablutions, this bathroom has privacy, room to move and good storage to keep all your items close at hand.
LIGHTING & HEATING Like all Sunliner models, the Pinto has LED lighting throughout, with options to switch between brighter functional lighting and a softer, more ambient effect. To keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, the windows are double glazed and include fly screens and thermal blackout blinds. Air-conditioning is available, but with those large, top-hinged windows that open fully, it’s unlikely you’ll need it. With the Webasto diesel heater, your winter travels will be super snug.
The exterior is just that little bit different from most motorhomes, with accents of grey and black for a more modern look. The black fibreglass bumpers are solidly handsome, and in the event of damage, you can remove and replace them without too much fuss. A nice touch is the backlit Sunliner logo, illuminated in soft green. An electric awning is included as standard – it’s big yet very easy to extend at the push of a button. Once it’s set up, you can bring out the BBQ and connect it using the external gas bayonet. And to really set the scene, the Pinto has external speakers so you can enjoy your favourite music outside while you have dinner. There’s a good amount of external storage, with a lined ‘wet’ locker for safe storage of any wet gear, plus another generous locker at the rear that includes shelves and LED lighting. A very handy addition is the hot/cold external shower – ideal for rinsing off sandy feet before heading inside.
The Pinto 412 comes complete with two house batteries, two 160W solar panels, a 1000W inverter, Fusion Stereo, 19.5- inch TV, automatic satellite dish, electric awning, diesel heater and microwave.
The Pinto 412 strikes me as the ideal motorhome for a couple who love exploring on long weekends. It’s stylish and modern inside and out, and at 6.7 metres, is big enough for relaxing in, but small enough to park easily at the supermarket. The big bathroom is a definite bonus, and the 4Motion AWD makes driving very enjoyable. For more information, visit roadlife.co.nz.