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Fun with the X Factor

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On a recent jaunt up the south coast, I had the opportunity to put the Discoverer FunX 4X4 motorhome through its paces on a drive that would take me on a 1 700km roundtrip. Now, I’m familiar with larger motorhomes, both on-road and off-road variants, but this was my first time in a smaller motorhome, and I was pleasantly surprised. The clever design and layout of the interior allows for ample storage and packing space, it has a sink with running water, a two-plate gas cooker and a dinette that folds down into a comfortable double bed. There is also a toilet in its own curtained cubicle for use in emergencies, but we opted to use the ablutions at the various campsites we visited.

So, what makes the Discoverer FunX different from the traditional motorhomes that are typically seen on our roads? Well, firstly it’s the smaller size of the FunX that makes it oh-so-easy to travel with. It’s not much bigger than an average sized SUV, driving is effortless and parking is easy. After travelling close to 2 000km in one week, I can safely say that I have a very good feel for this motorhome.

So what did I think? Well, it was the perfect vehicle for two of us and offered all the comforts and conveniences we needed. The driver’s cabin is spacious for driver and passenger, and the standard radio/MP3 player allowed for road trip music along the way. The aircon offered welcome relief to the cabin when the outside temperatures increased, and the move away from the old bench seat to two bucket seats offers better long distance driving comfort.

One of the main differences between larger motorhomes and the FunX is that there is no access from the cab to the living area at the rear, though this didn’t faze us on the trip.

QUICK GUIDE TO FUNX SPECS


• Chassis/cab: Nissan NP300 LWB single cab
• Engine: 2.5-litre turbo diesel
• Power: 98KW
• Torque: 304NM
• Fuel consumption: +- 12-litre/100km
• Length: 5 600mm
• Height: 1 900mm
• Width: 1 900mm
• Approach angle: 25 degrees
• Departure angle: 18 degrees
• Power steer: yes
• ABS: yes
• Radio/CD/MP3: yes
• Aircon: yes
The FunX came standard with a wide variety of extras including everything from cutlery, crockery, camping chairs and table, to bedding and duvets. The fridge/freezer is great for keeping groceries cold and frozen during the trip, and there is ample zip-up storage.

The FunX makes use of the Nissan NP300 LWB 2.5-litre turbo diesel single cab and has two rear-mounted spare wheels. The motor delivers a healthy 98KW of power and 304NM of torque and is coupled to a 5-speed manual gearbox with high and low ratios. It has power steering, ABS brakes and radio/ CD/MP3 player. Fuel consumption hovers around the 12-litre/100km and the cabin is air conditioned. Interior features of the motohome section include an 80-litre fridge/freezer, cold water tap and basin, a chemical cassette toilet, a two-burner gas stove fed by a 3kg gas bottle and a lockable safe. There is a 50-litre water tank and the vehicle has a 75-litre fuel tank, with an additional jerrycan.

The electrical control panel for the FunX is set inside the rear living area on the right-hand side as you step in. The control panel has six buttons, which when pressed check the fresh water level, the leisure battery level, the car battery level, has a main switch, a water pump button and an external light switch. There is also an indicator that shows the rear batteries are charging through the vehicle’s alternator and an LED indicator showing the vehicle is connected to a 220V power source. Commercial grade tyres are used on the FunX and this is indicated on the tyre itself with the depiction of a ‘C’ after the tyre size indication.

The Discoverer FunX has a length of 5 600mm, a height of 2 750mm and a width of 1 900mm. Its approach angle is 25 degrees and the departure angle is 18 degrees. During the trip we did a lot of dust and gravel road driving and the vehicle handled these conditions very well. I also took the vehicle down a very steep and slippery gravel incline and decline, and the vehicle handled this without a problem. I didn’t even have to engage the low range gears to accomplish this. This made it clear to me that more difficult off-road terrain, with low range engaged, will be very easy to negotiate. In other words, the Discoverer FunX will handle more taxing off-road conditions, something that many other motorhomes cannot accomplish. What’s more, the reduced size of the FunX allows it to be driven into tighter spots, allowing it access to more confined areas that larger motorhomes will have difficulty negotiating.

We are completely sold on a motorhome after a week’s long trip in one. We’ve discussed it in length, and now all we need to do is paint the right picture to bring the motorhome of our dreams into our existence. It’s a matter of clear intent and focus to realise our dream, and outlay some cash, of course.

Thanks to Dennis Bouwers and Rikus at Motohome World for the kind use of the Discoverer FunX. It certainly does have the X factor.

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