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					MOTORHOME REVIEW: GEIST PHANTOM                                       caravan
                                                                        & motorhome




                 The mark Of The
Phantom
Words and photography by Gil Schott

                             The Geist Phantom is a new migrant in
                             motorhome land, and some of the locals
                             are really getting spooked. We took a
                             sneak peek at the Phantom prototype




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MOTORHOME REVIEW: GEIST PHANTOM




N
                 ew blood has always             It’s the same with recreational vehicles.     all smooth curves and rounded edges –
                 proved beneficial in most    New ideas and new approaches to space            streamlining that’s typical of Geist.
                 scenarios by the introduc-   and weight-saving issues can only benefit        Understated yet stylish decals decorate
                 tion of new ideas, new       the motorhome industry, and more impor-          the smooth, flat flanks, rear and the
                 ways of approaching prob-    tantly, motorhome buyers, in the long run.       brow over the cab.
lems and, of course, the prevention of           The model we looked at in February               The prototype featured a large boot
reinforcing anomalies through inbreeding.     and at the shows was a prototype, but by         mounted right across the rear, which is
   Even in the world of Aussie                the time you read this, the Phantoms will        accessible from both sides. Within this
motorhomes, a bit of new blood never          be on the road and available in Oz.              boot you could store a whole bunch of
hurts. The Oakhurst Boys from                                                                  stuff – pushbikes, an inflatable boat
Maryborough have injected their little bit    The Vehicle                                      and outboard, and, of course, stacks of
of diversity into the motorhome gene                                                           fishing gear.
pool with the introduction of the new         The Phantom is fully built in Germany util-         The boot also stores the spare wheel
Geist Phantom motorhome range. (Here          ising the tried-and-proven long-wheelbase        and batteries. There will be a model
endeth Motorhome Biology 101.)                Mercedes Sprinter 316 CDI. It’s powered          available with a smaller rear boot, which
   The fully imported Phantom really got      by a 2.7L common-rail turbo-diesel with a        gives more room inside in the bedroom.
tongues wagging when it was introduced        good bit of poke and features a six-speed           There’s an awning along the driver’s
back in February, and it made even more of    sprint-shift auto gearbox.                       side above the entry door. There was
an impression on the caravan show circuit.       I didn’t get to drive the Phantom (save       some talk about the legality of this door
   I hear there are a few local players       for a bit of paddock-bashing at the              position, but since the cab has a flat
who have got a little twist in their          Oakhurst property in Maryborough), so I          floor and entry to the rear can be
motorhoming knickers about this new kid       can’t tell you what it’s like on the road, but   gained from there, I’m told legality is
on the block.                                 I can say that the captain’s chairs make         not an issue.
   Maybe they’re suffering some sort of       for a super-comfortable driving position.           Above the entry door is the standard
cultural cringe, but let’s face it, the                                                        Geist bank of lights – neat and functional
                                                                                   8
White Australia Policy is well and truly      On The Outside                       10
                                                                                               – and there’s an electric step below. Gas
buried these days, and we can all learn                                                        bottles are stowed in a hatch on the dri-
and benefit from overseas influences in       Ahh, you’ve gotta love that European             ver’s side. There are also storage hatch-
some ways.                                    styling. The Phantom’s fibreglass body is        es along the passenger’s side.

                                                                                                                                                  AD



                                                                                               Left: The dining/lounge area is very comfortable
                                                                                               – front chairs swivel around to face the table
                                                                                               Above: Shelves, mirrors, storage, a beaut vanity
                                                                                               and room on the loo – it’s pretty user-friendly


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MOTORHOME REVIEW: GEIST PHANTOM

                                    7.5                                              8
In The Kitchen                      10          At The Dinette                       10

Sited on the passenger’s side opposite          The dinette/lounge is positioned behind
the door, the kitchen features a slightly L-    the driving seats and is a real feature. It’s
shaped benchtop, which is fitted with a         practical, spacious and bright, with plenty
Cramer three-burner gas stove and a             of room for a mini-party at happy hour.
Cramer round stainless steel sink. A               The front seats can be swivelled to
Spinflo oven is fitted below the burners.       face the dinette, though you’ll have to
   Behind the sink, against the passenger       stretch out a bit for your chardonnay
wall, are two small waste bins (they can        from the driver’s seat.
double as ice buckets if you wish).                There are two forward-facing seats at
   The sink is interesting, as it is set well   the dinette table and both are fitted with
below benchtop level, as is the tap, to         seatbelts and head restraints. Opposite
allow the sink cover to fit flush. This pro-    the dinette is a lounge running from the
vides extra working room on the bench,          access door to the driver’s compartment.
which is necessary, as space is limited.           There’s stacks of storage overhead in
   There are curved lockers above the           this area. Shuttered lockers and shelving
kitchen area, a drawer below the oven           are fitted above the access to the driving
and a good-sized pull-out pantry below          compartment, and there are bi-level curved
the sink concealed behind a snappy              lockers running back on both sides.
curved screen.                                     The dinette/lounge area is well lit by
   Alongside the cooktop is a 150L              flanking windows and the forward wind-
Dometic fridge/freezer, and above that is       screen, with swivelling lights positioned
a cupboard with a TV slide-out, antenna         all round beneath the lockers and a main
jack and power point, which is concealed        room light in the centre.
behind a sliding screen.
                                                                                     7
   A window adjacent to the bench pro-          In The Bedroom                       10
vides light and circulating air, and a light
above the benchtop will illuminate the
whole kitchen.
                                                The main bedroom encompasses the rear
                                                of the Phantom. Access is via a set of
                                                                                                                                                  AD



                                                                                                Top: The kitchen is small but functional, but
                                                                                                bench space is limited
                                                                                                Above: The shower in the Phantom is all class
                                                                                                Left: The double bed is mounted at the rear
                                                                                                over the ‘garage’. If you prefer a bit more
                                                                                                head clearance, a smaller ‘garage’ is an option


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                                                                        MOTORHOME REVIEW: GEIST PHANTOM


                                                                                                    To the right is a swivelling Thetford
                                                                                                 toilet with a neat drawer behind it
                                                                                                 beneath an extension of the vanity bench.
                                                                                                 The vanity area is sensational, with a styl-
                                                                                                 ish curved bench and an oval basin fitted
                                                                                                 with a flick-mixer tap.
                                                                                                    More mirrors back the vanity, with a
                                                                                                 mirrored, lockable medicine cabinet to the
                                                                                                 right. There are downlights above the main
                                                                                                 mirror as well as a main overhead light.
                                                                                                    Beneath the sink is a curved folding
                                                                                                 screen that conceals a cupboard to store all
                                                                                                 the necessaries. At the left-hand end of the
                                                                                                 vanity is a classy soap holder/cup stand.

                                                                                                 Worth Buying?
                                                                                                 As a new player in the motorhome mar-
                                                                                                 ket, the Phantom will definitely get the
                                                                                                 locals talking, and so it should. It is one
                                                                                                 heck of a stylish motorhome.
                                                                                                    Internally and externally, there’s not a
                                                                                                 lot to grizzle about. The finish is excellent
                                                                                                 and the design and layout is thoughtful
                                                                                                 and practical. Admittedly, the model we
                                                                                                 looked at was a prototype, but it has all
                                                                                                 the features of the soon-to-be-released
                                                                                                 Aussie models.


AD                                                                                                  With a retail price of somewhere
                                                                                                 around $160,000, this Phantom will sure-
                                                                                                 ly leave its mark on the Aussie
                                                                                                 motorhome scene.


                                                                                                 Left: Seatbelts fitted to the fixed, forward-fac-
                                                                                                 ing dinette seats allow passengers to travel in
                                                                                                 safety (and legally)

     neat steps between the bathroom and              Overhead lockers above the bed ends
     wardrobe. It’s an east/west configuration      provide even more storage, and there is a    FACT FILE
     well lit by curtained side windows, an         shelf running across the rear of the bed-     Manufacturer:                         Geist
     overhead skylight and both roof and per-       room for additional bits and pieces.          Model:                     Phantom LWB
     sonal lighting.                                                                              Vehicle:        Mercedes Sprinter 316 CDI
                                                                                      8.5
        While the bed is comfy, there’s not a lot   Keeping Clean                                 Overall Length:         23ft 8.5in (7.23m)
                                                                                      10          Overall Width:             7ft 7in (2.32m)
     of headroom, which my cheese and kisses
     reckons would not suit her. This is due, of    Hey, it’s a Geist, so it’s going to have a    Overall Height:             9ft 7in (2.2m)
     course, to the bedroom being positioned        flash bathroom. Positioned along the dri-     Gross Vehicle Weight:              3800kg
                                                                                                  Approx Price:                    $160,000
     over that cavernous rear ‘garage’.             ver’s side between the access door and
        The Oakhurst Boys tell me that there        the bedroom, the bathroom is a beaut.
     is a model available with a smaller               To the left as you enter, the shower
     ‘garage’, which will provide more space        features a tri-fold door with one panel
                                                                                                 THANKS TO
     in the bedroom.                                mirrored. (That’s a nice touch, but           Wayne Moller and the Oakhurst Boys at
        Alongside the steps is a huge wardrobe      I’m not sure I need reminding how             Oakhurst International Caravans
     with a cupboard beneath. There is plenty       gravity has got me down over the              185 Nerada Road
     of room here for hanging clothes, shoes,       years.) An overhead hatch provides            Maryborough QLD 4650
     socks and scanties.                            both light and ventilation.                   Tel: (07) 4121 4479



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