Higher fuel prices have hit the RVer hard during the past year and many are trading in their large Class A motorhomes for smaller Class C or B units to save money on fuel costs. However, even the smaller Class C motorhomes seldom get better than 10 miles to the gallon. Class B units
generally are more fuel efficient, getting mileage in the low to mid
teens, and some are even more economical. A case in point is the
elegant-looking Freedom II Serenity by Leisure Travel Vans.
Built on the sturdy Freightliner Sprinter cab/chassis, the Serenity
model utilizes the fuel-efficient Mercedes-Benz 3.0-l V-6 turbodiesel
coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission to deliver fuel economy
in the 22-mpg range â€” while comfortably accommodating up to four people
in its 24-foot, 4-inch overall length.
The Sprinter cab/chassis combo features a sleek, aerodynamic design, and Leisure Travel Vans
continues the theme with a painted fiberglass body in silver grey, so
that the overall effect is one of smooth elegance and grace. When I
completed my initial walk-around, I was impressed with the continuity of
design and the way the exterior storage lockers blended unobtrusively
into the body structure. I also liked the tasteful maroon, gold and blue
striping and noticed that a coordinated awning was also part of the
Entry to the motorhome is via a door located just ahead of
center, and an electrically operated step slides out to make
ingress/egress easy. As I entered the cabin, I immediately noticed that
this model did not have the usual dark wood tones or plush carpeting
common in many units. Instead, my eyes were greeted by light-colored
Honeybirch cabinetry constructed of real wood and wood grain vinyl
flooring. The company also offers darker Cherry and Maple interiors, but
I prefer the lighter wood tone as it delivers an airy and almost boaty
feel to the interior, which is complemented by light beige Ultraleather
upholstery on all seating areas. This is no accident, either â€” with a
7-foot, 5-inch-wide interior and a cabin length of about 18 feet, the
designers needed to deliver an open-feeling space, and were influenced
by the current trend in European boat and RV interiors. Adding to the
Euro feel are the marine-style push-lock cabinet handles and a
walk-through dinette, just aft of the driverâ€™s compartment, which
features a table with dual folding sides.
The dinette will easily seat four adults and also converts to a bed by
removing the table from its floor mount and laying slats across the gap,
which are then covered by the seat back cushions.
The galley, located across from the entry door, features a
two-burner LP-gas stove built into the counter and a round, medium-sized
sink on the centerline island countertop. Both include hinged, tempered
glass covers that expand counterspace when the appliances are not in
use and, when they are, the stove cover doubles as a spatter shield.
Under the stove and sink are storage areas featuring pull-out racks that
latch firmly into place when the vehicle is underway.
To the left of the galley is a large closet with drawers underneath and
opposite is the six-cubic-foot, three-way refrigerator with a
two-cubic-footâ€“sized freezer. The microwave/convection oven, with its
pull-out shelf underneath for resting hot dishes on, is located just
over the refrigerator/freezer.
At the rear in the curbside corner is a dry bath featuring a
shower stall with folding door, china bowl toilet and small sink with
vanity. Privacy is assured by a pull-out accordion-type curtain. In the
opposite corner is an optional wraparound sofa that electrically extends
across the cabin to make a roomy double bed. Apart from the two
Flexsteel, swiveling captainâ€™s chairs, the sofa, equipped with three
seatbelts, is the only seating area designed for use while underway.
Amenities in the motorhome include two 19-inch flat-screen TVs, center
skylight hatch with sun shade, Dometic A/C with heat strip, day/night
shades with valances and a coffeemaker built into one of the overhead
Overall, the Freedom II Serenity
is a quality-built weekender that is efficiently packaged and well laid
out. I particularly appreciated the Euro-style interior. European flair
comes at an appropriate price, however, as our unit had a base msrp of
$121,550. Including the extra options, such as the Ultraleather
interior, Flexsteel captainâ€™s chairs, twin 19-inch TVs, back up camera
and Onan AC generator, brought our suggested price up to $137,560
(including a $2,360 delivery charge). Still, the high quality, engaging
layout and promised 22 mpg make this unit one worth checking out.
For more information, call (877) 288-8088 or visit Leisure Vans.