Stuffing an entire dwelling into a four-wheeled vehicle virtually always necessitates some comfort compromises. In an effort to create a more comfortable, livable space with less compromise, Canada's Leisure Travel Vans skips the usual convertible dinette set in favor of the new Leisure Lounge Plus. The cozy lounge area features multi-adjustable recliners, a fold-out table and a drop-down Murphy bed to better replicate the comfortable living, dining, sleeping and showering experiences of home.
LTV has been offering the Unity MB (Murphy Bed) since 2009. The use of the drop-down wall bed seems like a very effective way to conserve space, and we're surprised we don't see it more often in the motorhome market. There are other manufacturers with Murphy bed models, but convertible dinette sets and fixed beds are far more common. The Murphy bed allows occupants to sleep comfortably at night and quickly stow the bed neatly into the wall when it's not in use, opening up that floorspace in the daytime.
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LTV takes its Murphy bed design to new heights for the 2016 model year in integrating it into the available new Leisure Lounge Plus. Created by Italian designer Angelo Natuzzi, the Leisure Lounge Plus revolves around a pair of oversized Ultraleather electric recliners. The recliners swivel 90 degrees and include pop-out armrests, along with their powered footrests, setting up in a total of six different configurations. The electric wall slide-out behind the chairs provides the added space needed to kick back and recline.
The LLP looks strictly like a comfy TV room when the recliners are facing directly out or pointed at a 45-degree angle, but it quickly transforms into both the dining room and bedroom. A fold-out dining table drops down from inside the mirrored cabinet on the wall and the recliners swivel around to seat two at the table. At night, the backs of the recliners fold flat manually to support the 68 x 74-in (173 x 188 cm) Murphy bed also concealed in the driver-side wall. The area at the head of the bed includes windows, built-in lights and USB ports, and the recliners themselves also have built-in USB ports.
When the wall slide-out is deployed, sleepers have enough space to walk around the bed to the kitchen and bathroom. A safety cover ensures they don't step into the stairwell of the exterior door while half asleep. The bed also fits across the width of the camper with the slide-out retracted, minus the room to walk around at its foot.
Another primary feature of the new lounge layout is the pop-up, dual-view 39-in LED TV. The TV sits behind the glass face of the passenger-side wall console and can also lift up to stand at the top of the console, providing two different viewing angles to make watching TV more comfortable from the various seating and lying configurations.
Beyond that, the Murphy bed and Leisure Lounge Plus open up the interior, which LTV takes advantage of in adding a spacious rear bathroom. The 27 ft2 (2.5 m2) bathroom looks more like a bathroom you'd find in a home than the tiny wash closet you'd expect in a motorhome. Instead of a drain on the floor, it has an enclosed corner shower, a vanity sink, a porcelain toilet and actual floor space between the latter two.
Located between the bathroom and the living/bed/dining lounge, the kitchen has a two-burner LP cooktop, 6.7 cu ft (190 L) refrigerator/freezer, stainless steel sink, stainless steel convection microwave, small recessed garbage can, countertop with flip-up extension, and plenty of pantry, cabinet and drawer storage.
Other standard equipment includes a 15,000 BTU air conditioning unit, 16,000 BTU furnace, kitchen fan, dual 6 V deep cycle batteries, a 1,200-watt inverter, a water heater, 30-gal (113 L) fresh water tank, DVD/CD stereo system with Bluetooth, slide-out awning with integrated LED lights, 55 cu ft (1,557 L) of exterior storage, and skylight with screen and privacy shade. Equipment like solar panels and generators are available as options.
The Unity MB features an aluminum framed gelcoat fiberglass shell atop a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 chassis. That platform comes with a 188-hp/325 lb-ft 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel engine, five-speed automatic transmission and dual rear wheels. The two front seats are Ultraleather swivel seats.
The 2016 Unity 24MB starts at US$127,465, and the Leisure Lounge Plus option tacks on another $2,600. The base 24MB comes with the standard Leisure Lounge, which features multifunctional sofa seating and a pedestal dining table in place of the dual recliners and fold-out table (photo below). That seating doesn't look quite as comfy, but it is still quite flexible.
The Murphy Bed model itself is one of four Unity floor plans, and Leisure Travel Vans plans to reveal a fifth "Flex" layout next month. We look forward to checking that one out, too.
The video below isn't for anyone who's pressed for time, as it runs nearly 25 minutes, but it does an excellent job of providing a feature-by-feature walk-around of the U24MB's exterior and interior. It focuses in on the Leisure Lounge Plus between 9:30 and 13:42 and also gives a quick look at the standard Leisure Lounge toward the end of that segment.
Source: Leisure Travel VansView gallery - 22 images