Protec expanding motorhome pops its flanks for a roomy stay
Space-enhancing slide-outs are a tool found on many a motorhome, keeping things compact during the drive while opening up a larger living space at camp. Slide-outs can even turn a basic truck into proper hotel. Germany's Protec takes everything good about the slide-out and makes it bigger. Its Q18 motorhome blows out its full side walls to give occupants plenty of room to stretch out at camp, without the need to maneuver a full-size bus on the way there.
Protec calls its Class B+ motorhome the world's first motorhome with full-length slide-outs on both sides, and while we've seen plenty of sectional slide-outs on other motorhomes, we're not used to seeing them spread their full wings quite like the Q18. Based on an Iveco Daily chassis, the motorhome measures 26 feet (7.9 m) in total length and 7.5 feet (2.3 m) in width. At the push of a button, the fiberglass sandwich cabin flanks extend out to give it a total width of 11.5 feet (3.5 m), adding 55 percent more space inside.
Unlike in something like the Beauer 3X trailer, the furniture doesn't fold or nest, and in fact is configured to leave enough space for campers to use the entire motorhome in compacted drive mode. During short stops or overnight stays in tight parking spaces, where expansion is impractical or impossible, occupants will still have access to the kitchen, beds and bathroom. The compacted interior footprint does cut down on sleeping, dining and living space, however.
Between its moving walls, the Q18 is a well-equipped motorhome with a five- or six-seat convertible dinette set, full kitchen, and dry bathroom with separate shower and toilet areas. The kitchen includes a three-burner cooktop, 160-L fridge with freezer, sink, 49 x 23-in (125 x 58-cm) countertop and additional pull-out worktop. The kitchen also has plenty of drawers and cabinets for storage and a space for an optional flat-screen TV or oven.
The Q18 sleeps between three and eight people, depending upon the model and options selected. The "Classic" model includes a rear bedroom with transverse double bed, so coupled with the convertible dinette, it has four berths. The "Vario" model has two longitudinal double-bed rooms, for a total of six berths when you factor in the dinette. Both the Classic and Vario models are available in "Plus" configuration, which adds an over-cab alcove with double bed.
The fully equipped Q18 has plenty of features and comforts, relying on a central hot water heating system to fend off cold outside temperatures, a 290-L fresh water tank to keep the faucets running, and a 230V electrical system with 160Ah AGM battery to keep the LED lights shining. There are also 230V sockets in all rooms, a 260-L waste water tank, an onboard air compressor and an LCD control center. Options include air conditioning, lithium-ion battery storage, satellite TV and solar power.
The Iveco chassis comes standard with a 3.0-L four-cylinder turbo-diesel and six-speed manual transmission teaming to send 180 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque to the dually rear wheels. The truck includes traction control, electronic stability control and cruise control, and a rear differential locker is available optionally. Also available are an eight-speed automatic transmission, adjustable pneumatic suspension and Bluetooth satellite navigation system.
Protec started Q18 production last year, following several successful camper expo showings. The model starts at €218,400 (approx. US$262K), and the company also works with buyers on custom configurations and options.