You should buy this motorhome primarily for its big, comfortable lounge, but the rest is pretty good, too, though the drop-down bed doesn’t lower far and lighting could be improved.
Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 705kg
The invention of the over-lounge, drop-down bed has brought many benefits to motorhoming – just one of which is the ability to have a great lounge and a comfortable, ‘permanent’ double bed in a very compact ’van.
External differences include a habitation door moved forwards (now between the wheels, not aft of the rear axle) to suit the revised layout, but the most obvious change sees a longer wheelbase chassis.
Interior changes revolve around the repositioning of the kitchen. Now, the main unit is situated along the offside, where before it was ranged across the rear. The wardrobe has been shifted, too, from a position cheek by jowl with the rear of the lounge to next door to the washroom, against the far rear wall. This makes the biggest difference – the interior now feels far more open and spacious.
The road-going experience brought plenty of verve from the Fiat 130bhp motor but, if you want more, both the 150 and 177bhp alternatives are on the options list, as is the Comfort-Matic robotised gearbox. A chassis upgrade to 3,850kg is a cost-free option, too. So, if your licence allows you to drive a heavier ’van, a stonking payload of over 1,000kg can be had.
L-shaped, spacious and incorporating the two belted travel seats, the 590 ST’s lounge/diner has a maximum capacity of eight drinkers and nibblers. There’s very comfortable dining for four from the big tabletop that, unlike some, adjusts enough not to block free movement through from the cab to the kitchen and beyond.
Above, the drop-down bed base looms and so precludes the inclusion of a rooflight – a situation that (as in all other motorhomes using this design) can make the lounge rather gloomy. Four downlighters mounted in the bed base, a window on each side, and an overcab sunroof provide illumination, but it’s not quite enough and points are lost for the lack of reading lamps elsewhere. A couple of downlighters on each side, under the lockers affixed to the drop-down bed, would be easy to fit and restore the score.
The upholstery is worthy of note, too, as it includes on-trend, diamond stitched panels, but mostly just because it’s beautifully done.
The centrepiece of the kitchen is undoubtedly the hob/sink unit that’s pretty to look at but, more importantly, also very well designed. Pans are easier to get at from drawers and all three pans are easy to fit on a hob with three burners arranged in a line. The design also frees up a useful bit of countertop in front.
Drawers-wise, this galley provides a couple and they’re adequate, but valuable storage space has been lost to the UK market addition of a Thetford oven/grill. Work surface is a bit scarce, but as the unit turns the corner towards the washroom, there’s a slab big enough for a cutting board.
In spite of the oven, storage is pretty good, with a pair of overhead lockers (expected) and a neat and spacious dresser-style locker (unusual, but very good) with a pull-down tambour door.
The fridge includes automatic energy selection and pleasing details such as indicator lights that are extinguished when not needed.
The 590 ST’s washroom eschews current fashions, simply providing items that should work well in the space.
The bench-type toilet fills the width of the room and, with no nooks and crannies, it’s easier to keep clean than the swivel-bowl alternative. Above, the space-saving drop-down washbasin has been updated and incorporated into a stylish mirrored cabinet. That leaves a large floor area with an integral shower.
Two up and two down provides sleeping space for four in a pair of transverse double beds. The upper bed descends electrically, with its mechanism being heroically engineered to inspire confidence in a world where other designs have failed.
But the heavy-duty engineering does mean there’s a price to pay, and that’s the fact that its bulk limits the bed’s length to no more than six feet. And, unlike some others, this double cannot descend right down to sofa level when there are just two of you on board – the overhead lockers mounted underneath and the travel seat backrest prevent it. So an access ladder is needed.
Quite a thin mattress is fitted, riding on a domestic-width bed that proved comfortable enough, provided good headroom and included a pair of reading lights.
The lower bed is a construction that sees the table descend on its column leg, a support frame pulled out from the side sofa and the various cushions applied to create the sleeping surface.
The storage provision follows conventional lines with overcab shelves, overhead lockers and under-seat storage.
The life support systems are conventional, with Truma heating and hot water running on gas, mains, or both together. A nice touch is the provision of a 12V socket next to the fresh water filler, which allows on-pitch top-ups using a submersible pump and water porter.
Both water tanks are a tad smaller than expected. The fresh tank is inboard, located beneath the fridge and not the usual place in the forward-facing seat base (this is home to the Truma heater).
The waste tank is, as expected, underslung and it’s insulated and heated by warm air ducted around it. Cleverly, the feed can be switched off when not needed.
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