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Revolution Motorhomes’ new model is unique and worth celebrating

REVIEW Revolution Envy

Campervans, by accepted definition, are designed as mobile accommodation for those predominantly living the outdoor life. They have neither the interior space nor facilities to make long periods of time indoors an attractive proposition and are basically the next step up from camping. A motorhome, by comparison, has more living space and, most importantly, a bathroom.

The HiAce – Toyota’s legendary delivery van – has long been the weapon of choice among the entry level campervan set. Relatively cheap, its boxy body is a paragon of internal space efficiency, while near-bulletproof reliability and good resale are a big part of its appeal. The fact it has the driving characteristics and pleasure of a home appliance and is just about as comfortable – and safe in a frontal collision – has never seemed to deter campervan manufacturers (nor buyers eager to jump in the air to celebrate that special ‘feeling’).

Where its campervan credentials do fall down is in its mechanical layout, which sees the driver and passenger sitting on top of the engine and over the front wheels. Not only does this make for a relatively uncomfortable ride, it prevents walk-through access to the living area. It also means the front seats can't swivel because their bases are bolted directly to recesses in the raised front-floor crossmember.

ABOVE Walk-through access is a HiAce letdown but is overcome here with swivel seats  // BELOW Crisp white cabinetry greets you in the living quarters  

HIACE WITH A SLIDE-OUT

CREATING CAMPERVAN ENVY FOR THIS

WORDS AND IMAGES RICHARD ROBERTSON

Lightforce LED Headlight Upgrade Kits are easy to install.
They last 50 times longer than standard halogen globes
and deliver great performance.

KEY FEATURES INCLUDE:
• Natural white light output
• Increased light volume
• Reduced glare and driver fatigue
• Optimal contrast for enhanced visibility
• Easy plug and play installation.

For more information about the range
of Lightforce LED Headlight Upgrade Kits
visit www.lightforce.com/led-headlight-upgrade-kits.

ADVERTISEMENT

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

BLURRING THE BOUNDARIES
For many people, from those who want to use their campervan as a daily driver, to solo travellers or those simply uncomfortable with a bigger vehicle, the holy grail of RV design has been a campervan-sized vehicle with full motorhome facilities. Enter Revolution Motorhomes’ Envy.

The Envy blurs the boundaries between campervan and motorhome by providing Tardis-like living space in a small vehicle, including a (rudimentary) bathroom. Its innovative and industry-leading party pieces comprise a slide-out bedroom on the driver’s side and swivelling cab seats: both a HiAce first. Not so obvious is the special carbon fibre reinforced roof, which is designed not only to enhance the body’s structural strength, but to fully support the weight of something like an air conditioner. Also, in place of the standard HiAce windows, Dometic double-glazed acrylics are fitted.

Slightly ironically, given the weight problems on the caravan side of the RV industry, the Envy – with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 3200kg and a Tare of just 2480kg – has a payload of 720kg. It’s a figure most travellers won’t be getting close to, given the HiAce is more in keeping with lightweight travel.

ABOVE Having the slide-out (right) allows the use of the small bathroom and to avoid wetting the bed BELOW That's a pretty inviting space right there

“The Envy blurs the boundaries between campervan and motorhome by providing Tardis-like living space in a small vehicle”

SEAL OF APPROVAL
The observant might notice that the slide-out doesn’t have an outer-edge flange, which is something normally used, along with a seal, to keep water out when closed. The disadvantage of the flange system is that the top can collect leaves and twigs that become wedged in with the seal. What Revolution has done is use a regulated air pressure seal inside the vehicle wall, so that the seal is in contact with the slide-out module all the time, effectively wiping it clean and dry of water on retraction. It also makes it easier to repair, should there be a problem.

It’s the slide-out that allows for both the fixed double bed and a small bathroom area at the foot of the bed. Meanwhile, the swivelling cab seats get around the problem of having a dinette taking up valuable internal space. Instead, a removable and adjustable table is provided for each seat. About the only conventional interior item is the kitchen bench along the driver’s-side wall, but even that is different as a second bench is located in part of the sliding side door space. It’s small enough to allow for a compact wardrobe that butts up against the bedroom/bathroom area. To say the least, the overall effect of this design is quite amazing.

ABOVE The slide-out employs clever tech to keep it running sweet // BELOW Drain channels to make sure the water runs away

BELOW Carbon fibre reinforced roof will support an air con unit

Something not used in the fit-out of the Envy is the time-honoured marine ‘carpet’, so often used on walls. Instead, vacuum-formed streamlined panels are employed, something essential in the rear ‘wet’ area. Even the rear door has had a makeover from the usual campervan finish, with slimline blinds on the rear window that are not only functional but look good too. Not so obvious is the high-tech insulation used throughout, even under the floor, to improve the thermal characteristics.

“There’s no doubt the Envy kitchen is a cut above the standard campervan arrangement and puts some motorhomes to shame”

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.
Airbag Compatible
and Certified
Tailor made for
your vehicle
100% Waterproof
Fabric 
Made in Australia

KITCHEN
There’s no doubt the Envy kitchen is a cut above the standard campervan arrangement and puts some motorhomes to shame. There are the usual items like a combo three-burner cooker/stainless-steel sink and an 80-litre compressor fridge, but there are also soft-closing drawers and a surprising amount of bench space, aided by a slide-out bench extension.

On the opposite side of the van, the waist-high bench contains a microwave, a couple more soft-close drawers and yet more bench space. Handy to this area are both 240V and 12V/5V USB outlets.

DINING
The swivelling cab seats are the star attraction here, using patented rotating bases with a central compressed-air-operated ram to raise them for easy rotation. Once swivelled you release the air and they drop down into place. Innovation aside, it’s no exaggeration to say they transform the interior ‘usefulness’ of the vehicle (even though you still can't walk through).

Having individual tables for the front seats is a clever idea. Both the 0.6m x 0.4m (2’ x 1’ 4”) are quite stable and there’s even a cushion on the engine cover to make sliding across the seats easier. Both seats have reading lights, which are in positions that are user-friendly even when driving. Easy TV viewing is assured because the purpose-built high-tensile alloy TV bracket, not the more common swivel mounting, sits atop the kerb-side wardrobe and can be swivelled so as to be seen from either the bed or front seats.

ABOVE Neat design but Porta Potti still for close friends  // BELOW Magnetised shower curtains!

DOUBLE BED AND BATHROOM
The 1.88m x 1.38m (6’ 2” x 4’ 6”) double bed has its head in the slide-out. When extended, it allows for a walkway at the foot of the bed to the rear door, which also doubles as a bathroom. To maximise available space, the bed lifts up and a floor-to-ceiling curtain slides around a roof-mounted track to enclose the shower area. To minimise water going everywhere the molded, recessed shower base has water drainage slots as an integral part of the floor. For those who dislike wet shower curtains sticking to them, magnets are fitted to the bottom of the curtain and there’s powder-coated steel in the floor for them to stick to. Given the position of the shower hose, it can also be used outside the motorhome.

“To say the least, the overall effect of this design is quite amazing”

From the makers of

AQUA KEM is the only brand recommended for your THETFORD toilet.

Buy online here

VERDICT
To say the Envy is an amazing design is an understatement. It’s radical and yet those features have been carefully thought-out and engineered. And that’s not to mention a number of innovations like the slide-out seal and composite roof.

All this comes at a price of course and the Envy certainly isn’t cheap, especially if you tick the options boxes. Revolution Motorhomes has just advised us that future production models will have a full-length slide-out that will also incorporate the kitchen, making the inside absolutely huge! No wonder we say Viva la Revolution!

PROS
• Slide-out
• Swivel seats
• Bathroom
• Build and engineering quality
• Compact dimensions
• Toyota reliability
• Liveability

CONS
• Price
• HiAce driver appeal and safety

SPECS
Make/Model: Toyota HiAce SLWB
Engine: 3.0-litre turbo-diesel (opt)
Power: 100kW @ 3400rpm
Torque: 300Nm @ 1200-2400rpm
Gearbox: Four-speed auto (opt)
Tare Weight: 2480kg
Gross Vehicle Mass: 3200kg
Max Payload: 720kg
Braked Towing Capacity: 1400kg
Overall Length: 5.38m (17' 8")
Overall Width: 1.88m (6' 2")
Overall Height without a/c: 2.61m (8' 7")
Overall Height with a/c: 2.69m (8' 10")
Internal Height: 1.88m (6' 2")
RRP From: $125,345
As Tested: $134,253

For more info: revolutionmotorhomes.com.au

REVIEW Revolution Envy

Revolution Motorhomes’ new model is unique and worth celebrating

Campervans, by accepted definition, are designed as mobile accommodation for those predominantly living the outdoor life. They have neither the interior space nor facilities to make long periods of time indoors an attractive proposition and are basically the next step up from camping. A motorhome, by comparison, has more living space and, most importantly, a bathroom.

The HiAce – Toyota’s legendary delivery van – has long been the weapon of choice among the entry level campervan set. Relatively cheap, its boxy body is a paragon of internal space efficiency, while near-bulletproof reliability and good resale are a big part of its appeal. The fact it has the driving characteristics and pleasure of a home appliance and is just about as comfortable – and safe in a frontal collision – has never seemed to deter campervan manufacturers (nor buyers eager to jump in the air to celebrate that special ‘feeling’).

Where its campervan credentials do fall down is in its mechanical layout, which sees the driver and passenger sitting on top of the engine and over the front wheels. Not only does this make for a relatively uncomfortable ride, it prevents walk-through access to the living area. It also means the front seats can't swivel because their bases are bolted directly to recesses in the raised front-floor crossmember.

ABOVE Walk-through access is a HiAce letdown but is overcome here with swivel seats  // BELOW Crisp white cabinetry greets you in the living quarters  

CREATING CAMPERVAN ENVY FOR THIS

HIACE WITH A SLIDE-OUT

WORDS AND IMAGES RICHARD ROBERTSON

Lightforce LED Headlight Upgrade Kits are easy to install.
They last 50 times longer than standard halogen globes and deliver great performance.

For more information about the range of Lightforce LED Headlight Upgrade Kits visit 
www.lightforce.com/led-headlight-upgrade-kits.

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

BLURRING THE BOUNDARIES
For many people, from those who want to use their campervan as a daily driver, to solo travellers or those simply uncomfortable with a bigger vehicle, the holy grail of RV design has been a campervan-sized vehicle with full motorhome facilities. Enter Revolution Motorhomes’ Envy.

The Envy blurs the boundaries between campervan and motorhome by providing Tardis-like living space in a small vehicle, including a (rudimentary) bathroom. Its innovative and industry-leading party pieces comprise a slide-out bedroom on the driver’s side and swivelling cab seats: both a HiAce first. Not so obvious is the special carbon fibre reinforced roof, which is designed not only to enhance the body’s structural strength, but to fully support the weight of something like an air conditioner. Also, in place of the standard HiAce windows, Dometic double-glazed acrylics are fitted.

Slightly ironically, given the weight problems on the caravan side of the RV industry, the Envy – with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 3200kg and a Tare of just 2480kg – has a payload of 720kg. It’s a figure most travellers won’t be getting close to, given the HiAce is more in keeping with lightweight travel.

ABOVE Having the slide-out (right) allows the use of the small bathroom and to avoid wetting the bed BELOW That's a pretty inviting space right there

“The Envy blurs the boundaries between campervan and motorhome by providing Tardis-like living space in a small vehicle”

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ABOVE The slide-out employs clever tech to keep it running sweet // BELOW Drain channels to make sure the water runs away

SEAL OF APPROVAL
The observant might notice that the slide-out doesn’t have an outer-edge flange, which is something normally used, along with a seal, to keep water out when closed. The disadvantage of the flange system is that the top can collect leaves and twigs that become wedged in with the seal. What Revolution has done is use a regulated air pressure seal inside the vehicle wall, so that the seal is in contact with the slide-out module all the time, effectively wiping it clean and dry of water on retraction. It also makes it easier to repair, should there be a problem.

It’s the slide-out that allows for both the fixed double bed and a small bathroom area at the foot of the bed. Meanwhile, the swivelling cab seats get around the problem of having a dinette taking up valuable internal space. Instead, a removable and adjustable table is provided for each seat. About the only conventional interior item is the kitchen bench along the driver’s-side wall, but even that is different as a second bench is located in part of the sliding side door space. It’s small enough to allow for a compact wardrobe that butts up against the bedroom/bathroom area. To say the least, the overall effect of this design is quite amazing.

BELOW Carbon fibre reinforced roof will support an air con unit

Something not used in the fit-out of the Envy is the time-honoured marine ‘carpet’, so often used on walls. Instead, vacuum-formed streamlined panels are employed, something essential in the rear ‘wet’ area. Even the rear door has had a makeover from the usual campervan finish, with slimline blinds on the rear window that are not only functional but look good too. Not so obvious is the high-tech insulation used throughout, even under the floor, to improve the thermal characteristics.

“There’s no doubt the Envy kitchen is a cut above the standard campervan arrangement and puts some motorhomes to shame”

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.
Airbag Compatible
and Certified
Tailor made for
your vehicle
100% Waterproof
Fabric 
Made in Australia

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ABOVE Neat design but Porta Potti still for close friends  // BELOW Magnetised shower curtains!

DINING
The swivelling cab seats are the star attraction here, using patented rotating bases with a central compressed-air-operated ram to raise them for easy rotation. Once swivelled you release the air and they drop down into place. Innovation aside, it’s no exaggeration to say they transform the interior ‘usefulness’ of the vehicle (even though you still can't walk through).

Having individual tables for the front seats is a clever idea. Both the 0.6m x 0.4m (2’ x 1’ 4”) are quite stable and there’s even a cushion on the engine cover to make sliding across the seats easier. Both seats have reading lights, which are in positions that are user-friendly even when driving. Easy TV viewing is assured because the purpose-built high-tensile alloy TV bracket, not the more common swivel mounting, sits atop the kerb-side wardrobe and can be swivelled so as to be seen from either the bed or front seats.

DOUBLE BED AND BATHROOM
The 1.88m x 1.38m (6’ 2” x 4’ 6”) double bed has its head in the slide-out. When extended, it allows for a walkway at the foot of the bed to the rear door, which also doubles as a bathroom. To maximise available space, the bed lifts up and a floor-to-ceiling curtain slides around a roof-mounted track to enclose the shower area. To minimise water going everywhere the molded, recessed shower base has water drainage slots as an integral part of the floor. For those who dislike wet shower curtains sticking to them, magnets are fitted to the bottom of the curtain and there’s powder-coated steel in the floor for them to stick to. Given the position of the shower hose, it can also be used outside the motorhome.

KITCHEN
There’s no doubt the Envy kitchen is a cut above the standard campervan arrangement and puts some motorhomes to shame. There are the usual items like a combo three-burner cooker/stainless-steel sink and an 80-litre compressor fridge, but there are also soft-closing drawers and a surprising amount of bench space, aided by a slide-out bench extension.

On the opposite side of the van, the waist-high bench contains a microwave, a couple more soft-close drawers and yet more bench space. Handy to this area are both 240V and 12V/5V USB outlets.

“To say the least, the overall effect of this design is quite amazing”

From the makers of

AQUA KEM is the only brand recommended for your THETFORD toilet.

Buy online here

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

PROS
• Slide-out
• Swivel seats
• Bathroom
• Build and engineering quality
• Compact dimensions
• Toyota reliability
• Liveability

CONS
• Price
• HiAce driver appeal and safety

SPECS
Make/Model: Toyota HiAce SLWB
Engine: 3.0-litre turbo-diesel (opt)
Power: 100kW @ 3400rpm
Torque: 300Nm @ 1200-2400rpm
Gearbox: Four-speed auto (opt)
Tare Weight: 2480kg
Gross Vehicle Mass: 3200kg
Max Payload: 720kg
Braked Towing Capacity: 1400kg
Overall Length: 5.38m (17' 8")
Overall Width: 1.88m (6' 2")
Overall Height without a/c: 2.61m (8' 7")
Overall Height with a/c: 2.69m (8' 10")
Internal Height: 1.88m (6' 2")
RRP From: $125,345
As Tested: $134,253

For more info: revolutionmotorhomes.com.au

VERDICT
To say the Envy is an amazing design is an understatement. It’s radical and yet those features have been carefully thought-out and engineered. And that’s not to mention a number of innovations like the slide-out seal and composite roof.

All this comes at a price of course and the Envy certainly isn’t cheap, especially if you tick the options boxes. Revolution Motorhomes has just advised us that future production models will have a full-length slide-out that will also incorporate the kitchen, making the inside absolutely huge! No wonder we say Viva la Revolution!