At first sight, the Lido S 42 SL offers no surprises. A fairly compact body contains a layout based around twin single beds in the rear, above a garage.
Ahead is a centre kitchen and a washroom, with a European-style lounge up front. It’s all pretty standard stuff for a continental motorhome, and you’ll find plenty of others like it at different price points. Inside, the décor is plain and modern and the mid-tone wood with cream surfaces and highlights looks very acceptable. Upholstery, too, presents in an unfussy fashion.
I expected – at this price point – to discover a standard chassis frame, but no, Fiat’s superior (lower) Camper chassis is fitted. There’s no spare wheel though (to save weight and cost). And in spite of the brochure quoting the engine as a 115bhp unit, it’s the 130bhp motor that’s under the hood.
Climb into the cab and you discover electric locking and windows, but not much else. No stereo, no passenger airbag, no cruise control... The worst ‘lack of’ is, perhaps, the missing power mirrors – not too much of a problem if there’s only one driver, but a potential pain if two are driving and mirrors need to be adjusted frequently. You can upgrade the cab with the £1,499 Comfort Pack, which adds cruise control, air-con and a passenger airbag, but alas, still no electrically-operated mirrors.
The lounge has no overcab sunroof, nor a Heki-type rooflight, so it’s a tad gloomy in here. Cab seats swivel easily to face the table, though, which is a good size even though it narrows at the wall end. The rail mount is of the lift-and-slide variety so there’s some adjustment on offer.
On the other side of the table, the rear travel seat looks unremarkable, but its steel frame extends, full-width, right up to headrest level. The squishy headrests aren’t attached in an automotive fashion to the frame, but this travel seat is better supported than many. The final pew in the lounge sits across the aisle. Inward-facing and rather small, it’s a bit of a perch, thanks to the fact that a wardrobe sits directly behind – quite a shallow unit, it takes hanging clothes transversely, a slide-out rail improving access to jackets and the like.
An estate agent would describe the kitchen as ‘easy to keep clean’ or ‘space-saving’. Yes, you’ve guessed it, this galley is small and quite basically equipped.
The cook only gets a three-burner hob, but there’s a designer, square bowl sink and the fridge is a good size. The cold food department is not a basic one either – rejoicing in electronic controls and a removable freezer compartment. In fact, it’s a model I’ve not seen before as it includes a battery box that can provide a back-up power supply. The box is exposed when you slide out the control panel.
As much as the kitchen is rather basic, though, the washroom here might grace any motorhome, even one costing tens of thousands of pounds more. These bathing facilities are of the kind that include a semi-separate shower – one that is incorporated into the room, but fully enclosable.The loo is the ubiquitous Thetford C250 and there’s a good amount of space to sit. Thankfully, the seat is not too high off the deck, so easy to use for all.
And so to bed – or in this case beds, as this is the department of the big decision: anyone who buys an S 42 SL will do so because of the twin singles. The beds are approached easily by a set of stairs and both are a good length – the longest an impressive 6ft 7in. They are not sited in a completely separate bedroom, but a curtain pulls across to give privacy here.
The mattresses are rather basic, but proved comfy, while the heads rise on ratcheted frames – a potentially useful sit-up-in-bed feature. However, the high-level lockers across the rear loom rather large, limiting the effectiveness of those tip-up bases – read, risk of head banging!
This review is an extract from April 2014 MMM magazine. Read the full review by ordering your digital copy online here.
For great digital Which Motorhome subscription deals, click here.
For great digital MMM subscription deals, click here.