As you like it

Story and photos by Alexandra Dunsford-White

Vista Motorhomes stopped off at Caravan & Outdoor Life magazine’s offices on the way to deliver a new Vista 6 motorhome. We took a look inside to inspect the configuration ordered by their happy customer, as well as to find out more about the many different custom configurations for this sought-after motorhome model.

Though offering a choice of three standard builds for their Vista 6, the Vista Motorhomes team are open to customisation and welcome input when it comes to designing and building a customer’s motorhome. The three standard layouts offer a choice of the French bed, island bed or rear-lounge configurations. The French bed offers a popular, European- style layout that includes the rear fixed bed. This layout has been a hit overseas due to the convenience of having a bed which is permanently set-up, as well as a separate, fully functional lounge-cum-dinette.

The rear-lounge layout includes a separate and spacious lounge at the back of the motorhome, and this can be converted into a double bed. Families and larger groups often prefer the rear-lounge option as it offers the maximum space during the day.

The standard build of Piet Pool’s Vista 6, the lucky owner of the motorhome we photographed, is the island bed model, which also happens to be the favourite in the South African market. This layout offers a fixed double bed that is easy to access at the rear of the motorhome and gives the illusion of a roomier bedroom area. Not only does the Island bed look impressive, it’s also more user- friendly for couples and provides a more spacious and luxurious bedroom. The island bed does, however, result in a slightly longer overall motorhome length, so if you are looking for a more compact unit then the other two configurations are more suitable.

The Vista 6 boasts a total of six berths and sleeping configurations to cater for anywhere between two and six people, with seating for either four or six. All three of these standard setups come with a lounge/dinette that converts into a bed for another two people, plus the option of a luton bed. Situated over the driver’s cab, the luton bed provides a sleeping space for an additional two people – and the introduction of sliding windows makes the over-cab area more airy. For couples or long-term tourers, this space is usually utilised for extra cupboards and storage.

Piet has requested exactly this with his Vista 6. The island bed and lounge/dinette area combined offer a total of four berths for his motorhome. The area in the overcab of Piet’s Vista 6 has been converted into extra storage and cupboard space rather than being utilised for the luton bed. An extra pull-out metal storage drawer was also installed in his Vista 6 for storage purposes, and this can be pulled out from the exterior wall of his motorhome. The standard Vista 6 models are all made using high-quality components and fittings, including double-glazed, high-impact acrylic Dometic Seitz S4 windows (with integral blinds and fly screens – a great touch), Dometic doors, imported seatbelt structures and Thetford electronic flush toilets.

Optional extras include Dometic Freshlight air-conditioners, multimedia and Navi systems, awnings, solar panels, skylights, towbars, roofracks and satellite dishes. Piet chose a number of these added-extras to customise his motorhome to his liking. The kitchen area is kitted out with a Samsung microwave, and three-plate gas stove with Dometic extractor fan, as well as a very handy dishwasher to avoid having to do the dishes by hand while on the road! And instead of opting for the standard under-counter fridge, Piet chose the largest fridge in the Vista motorhome range – the 270-litre fridge-freezer combo from Waeco.

The large skylight and casement type windows with built-in blinds and flyscreens ensure that the motorhome is bright and airy on the inside. Piet also opted to install a motorised awning, a flat-screen television in the rear bedroom, air-conditioning throughout, a tow bar and solar panels on the roof, which, each in its own way, adds a touch of convenience and comfort to his Vista 6 motorhome.

Lawrence of Vista Motorhomes: ‘They’re a useful addition which give you a lot of flexibility, especially with the ample roof space of the Vista 6, and they are also coming down in price. When coupled with an inverter, solar panels allow you to be almost completely self-sufficient.’

According to John, the microwave is one of the most commonly requested optional extras they install, and in recent months the Vista team has also had requests for air suspension, an outside shower, extractor fans and a gas oven (the latter has only recently been released by Dometic). The fridges they install range from the smallest 90-litre undercounter unit (which helps make the galley area look smaller) to the standard 110-litre … and even up to a 270-litre fridge!

The optional in-car entertainment system that offers a full house of touch-screen LCD CD/DVD player (connected to the rear TV), radio, MP3, reverse camera, GPS, USB and Bluetooth features is also a popular choice for those who like their gadgets.

‘The options are plentiful,’ John told me. ‘It’s such a personal choice … and it all depends on what the customer wants.’


Vista 6 motorhomes are all built using a standard-base vehicle – the Fiat Ducato Maxi motorhome chassis. This base was designed specifically for a motorhome and is the European chassis of choice. Known for its smooth driving, the 2.3-litre multijet turbo-diesel engine has plenty of torque and, coupled with the charming 6-speed gearbox, ensures a pleasurable and fuel-efficient ride. The wide rear track of the Ducato provides a solid and stable base that is able to cope even in high winds. The front cab of the Vista 6 is roomy and, combined with the ergonomic front seats (with fold-down, adjustable armrests that can swivel both ways as well as dual airbags, front and rear air-conditioning, electric windows and mirrors), provide for a safe, spacious and comfortable journey. After spending some time in the driver’s seat, you can understand why the Fiat Ducato is Vista Motorhome’s preferred chassis.

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