Jim Brown reviews a seven berth family van from the Adria stable The SUN LIVING A70DK
So here I am at Howard’s Motorhomes in Taunton about to review a Sun Living A70DK. They sell this as a family van. I’m pretty well qualified to review family vans as we have spent many years touring with our three kids and a dog.
My first ever motorhome review. Well, I suppose it isn’t my first really. For 30-odd years I have been crawling in and out of motorhomes then deciding, normally in an instant, whether I like them. Invariably when you’re instantly attracted to a van, it’s only when you dig a little deeper and you find things you don’t like, then you start to love it less. It’s why so many people sell their first motorhome in the first year. Most of them deciding they can’t live with the layout they’ve bought. This happens just as they find another van with the exact layout they think they need. Sadly, many of those go through the same process again; not entirely happy with their van until they’ve bought their third!
It’s almost impossible to find a van where everything is perfect and you don’t make any compromise. If I ever find that van, I’ll let you know.
Sun Living are relatively new to the UK they are designed and manufactured by Adria-Mobil, who have been making campers since 1965.
All Sun Living vans are Ducato based with the latest Euro6.d temp engines so you’ll need AdBlue.
Sun Living like to feature younger people and sport in their brochures, and the Sun Living A70DK is no different you won’t see any smiling pensioners it’s all pretty and young people kite surfing, jogging, cycling etc. Much like the official image at the start of this review.
First Impressions of the SUN LIVING A70DK
Seen from the outside, this van with its over-cab bed looks mostly like every other van you’ve ever seen Though this year they’ve added a nice-looking silver cab to the range which adds a touch distinction.
On entering the van, two things are quickly apparent. The first is how open the layout is and this appeals to me, I dislike vans that have a narrow pinch point between say the toilet door and a wardrobe which sort of cuts a van in half. The second thing that strikes me is how utilitarian it looks, no one has tried to make this look too pretty or make you go wow. Everything has clean and basic lines.
Imagine walking into a brand-new Travelodge bedroom, nothing too fancy but everything you need, and you’ll get the idea.
This van has what Sun Living call a “hide-away” bathroom. This includes a shower, toilet and basin; but it retracts away giving valuable floor space in the middle of the van. This gives you that clear unobstructed sight-lines from front to rear, increasing that feeling of space. When in use, the bathroom is not big, but it’s certainly big enough.
The kitchen is on the small side equipped with 3 burner hob, a small work area. You get a large 3-way fridge/freezer, oven and very generous cupboard space.
This van has a lot of storage cupboards, opening them and the drawers is easy, you place four fingers into a generous hole, activate the catch you find with your fingertips and open. It’s easier to do than describe and it is clever and robust. I regularly see broken catches in new show motorhomes. Often these fiddly catches look swish but can’t cope with even a few hundred openings. These Sun Living catches will last.
The Living area
Sitting at the table and looking around you quickly appreciate that whilst it is basic, it’s very well made, which is probably why these motorhomes are so popular on the rental market. Prices help in that regard too but when you’re hiring motorhomes, you need them to be robust.
The model I’m in has two dinettes as in the photo, however, there is a £145 upgrade to make this into a small settee. Should you choose this, you can still extend the main table to reach this settee.
The work and table-tops appear tough and the grey with blue highlights furniture fabric looks like it will survive many spills and be easily cleaned; important in a family van and in a hire van! Overall, I would say that the build structure was good, hardly surprising when you know that Sun Living is made by Adria who have an excellent reputation for building good vans to a price.
The wall lamps have a nice touch of each having a USB charging socket
Sleeping for Seven!
The berths are made up as follows: a large double overhead cab with ladder, that’s two. The dinette into a double, that makes four. The small dinette makes a single and two ingenious bunks at the back, essentially in the garage, making seven.
However, the 6 designated travel seats make this more of a six-berth with a choice of seven beds.
There is certainly enough storage space for six. The bunks fold up and increase the height in the garage, so you lose the bottom bunk but benefit from some excellent high storage, or you can fold both beds and have a useful full-height garage.
Applying our average payload calculations shows there is just enough payload for a couple of adults and four young kids.
However, if you load this up with a few crates of wine from a French supermarket you’ll soon be overweight.
If you have the licence, you can up-rate this van to 3700kg with no changes to the van. If you fitted some air suspension, you could get it up to 3850kg, giving the breathing space a family will need.
As with all new vans I would advise you get it weighed before you part with any money. Rules allow the maker’s figures to be plus/minus 5% of what they claim. So, when payloads are tight, you need to know precisely what it weighs before you own it.
The Sun Living A70DK by the Numbers
- Length 6993mm
- Width 2320mm
- Height 3090mm
- Berths 7
- MIRO (kg) 2904
- Max weight (kg) 3500
- Payload (kg) 596
£50,865. But that is bog standard, you’d likely need to add some of the optional packs,
Pack 1 includes cabin air conditioning, passenger airbag and cruise control and will set you back £1820
Pack 2 probably the best option includes cab air conditioning, passenger airbag, cruise control, front fog lights, leather steering wheel and gear knob, ESP and Traction + with Hill Descent. £2,590
While most will find the £1359 Comfort Pack essential as it includes the Panoramic rooflight, Truma 4E electric heating, matching cab seats in the habitation textile, colour coded bumpers and a flyscreen for the hab door.
If you want the sexy metallic silver cab you’ll need to find a further £890
The Sun Living A70DK well-made family van. If you want to cart a lot of stuff uprating it is a necessity. But it’s tough and will survive a lot of summer holidays.