Renault has rejoined the expanding motorhome market after almost a decade in a bid to highlight its new rear-wheel-drive Renault Master cab-chassis platform.
Partnering with Sunliner, a second-generation family owned Australian business, the new Renault Master motorhome chassis forms the basis of a number of mobile home creations.
Sunliner started in 1974 by improving camper conversions of the Volkswagen Kombi. While the business does create caravans and other towable RVs, the main focus is on self-contained motorhomes. The Victoria-based business last used Renault Master chassis back in 2005-06, and says it is delighted to again be working with the French brand.
Celebrating Sunliner’s 40th anniversary is the Sunliner 40. The luxury-focused RV is complete with slide-out annexe, full ensuite bathroom and an electronically operated drop-down double bed.
Limited to 40 units, the Sunliner 40 is the first of a range of new models to use the updated RWD Master motorhome chassis, which, in its standard configuration, can be driven on a regular car licence.
Sunliner will offer a number of variants including the entry-level Renault Master ‘Vibe’ which will be priced at approximately $110,000 driveaway, and the ‘Holiday’, starting at $150,000 and tipped to be the volume seller thanks to its vastly customisable nature.
Sunliner managing director Nick Hunter says the current trend of holidays on the road “is seeing strong growth in the motorhome market".
“It’s no longer just the 60-plus retirees packing up and hitting the road, but a new segment of 45- to 65-year-old buyers wanting the freedom to travel from place to place, but with the ease of driving a car,” Hunter said.
“The Renault Master and commitment of support from Renault gives us that flexibility.”
In Australia last year more than 20,000 recreational vehicles (caravans, camper trailers and motorhomes) were produced.
The Renault Master Motorhome chassis features a 110kW 2.3-litre turbo-diesel, producing 350Nm of torque low in the rev range (1500-2750rpm) and claiming fuel economy of about 12.0 litres per 100 kilometres. The chassis can be ordered with a six-speed manual or six-speed ZF automatic transmission.
All the RWD Master chassis are fitted with dual 16-inch rear wheels, an Eaton rear differential lock, ABS, ESP, traction control and front driver and passenger airbags. Exclusive to the motorhome chassis are swivelling front chairs which remove the option of side-impact airbags.
To aid Sunliner, and any one of the other 200-plus RV manufacturers in Australia, with the motorhome body development, the chassis includes a longer wiring loom, direct CAN Bus interface with the Master’s ECU, and easy facilitation for the addition of fuel and water tanks or even a chassis extension beyond its standard 6749-millimetre length.
Renault Australia Managing Director Justin Hocevar said: “Renault’s dealer network has grown from 21 in 2010 to 45 this year. With a new service outlet opening in the Northern Territory soon, Renault will have full national service coverage, which is ideal for the motorhome market.”
All Master-based motorhomes receive a three-year or 200,000km warranty with roadside assist (both of which can be extended), and fixed price servicing of $349 per year with 30,000km service intervals.