This new diesel-powered, four-wheel-drive motorhome adapts easily to RVers’ adventure and storage needs.
By Robbin Gould, Editor
“The possibilities are endless.” Most of us have heard this phrase. It’s a fitting way to describe the versatility of the Recon 4×4, a new Type B motorhome from Pleasure-Way Industries. This 19-foot-long RV is built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 4×4 chassis and includes a host of flexible features, enabling RVers to customize the vehicle to their particular travel and activity needs. They can sleep, eat, and enjoy the road their way — wherever that road takes them.
Pleasure-Way is a family-owned company whose employees know more than a few things about RVs; they’ve been producing Type B motorhomes since 1986 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Recon 4×4 is being launched as a 2022 model.
Pleasure-Way is a recognized Mercedes-Benz MasterUpfitter. Technicians from both companies worked together on some of the Recon 4×4’s design points.
This RV gets its “go” from a 3-liter, 188-horsepower V-6 diesel engine paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. It rides on Toyo all-terrain tires and Black Rhino wheels. Driving safety is accentuated by active brake assist, crosswind and hill start assist, electronic stability control, and blind spot and active lane-keeping assist. A 360-degree rearview camera helps drivers survey their surroundings.
The unit has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 9,050 pounds and a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. Pleasure-Way literature notes the RV’s 1,650-pound occupant and cargo carrying capacity (OCCC) — an important consideration for RVers embarking on off-road, gear-laden adventures. Other features enhance the Recon 4×4’s ability to travel off the beaten path. For example, waterlines, holding tanks, etc. are installed inside the coach rather than being added to the undercarriage. This retains the original Mercedes-Benz design, including an 11-inch ground clearance.
The coach has a 40-gallon fresh-water tank — substantial for an RV of this size; it also is installed inside, between the rear wheel wells, which helps with weight distribution. A ducted Truma 11,500-Btu VarioHeat furnace circulates warmed air around the tank to prevent the water from freezing. Gray water is contained in two portable 5-gallon tanks that can be removed when it is time to empty them. A 5-gallon cassette-style black-water tank in the wet bath also detaches for emptying.
The coach includes a ShurFlo automatic demand water pump. Hot water is supplied by Truma’s AquaGo Comfort Plus instant water heater.
Of particular note to boondockers are the electrical components. The Recon 4×4 comes with a bank of four 100-amp-hour Eco-Ion lithium batteries, a 400-watt solar panel package, and a 2,000-watt pure sine wave inverter. These systems can be monitored via two 10-inch touchscreen control panels, which relay information such as the battery and solar system status, including the estimated run-time remaining for 12-volt-DC power.
The RV includes 3M Thinsulate insulation, which helps to keep heat in or out, depending on the climate, and makes for a quieter interior. Dual bidirectional FanTastic Vent fans circulate air. Roll-up screens on the side and rear doors allow for additional ventilation.
Folks who typically bring along skis, surfboards, golf clubs, and other gear may be interested in the Recon 4×4’s rear garage/bedroom. This cleverly designed space converts to serve a variety of uses, be they storage, sleeping, a workspace, or a combination.
This area measures 44 inches wide by 72 inches long. When used strictly for stowing and toting items, it offers 124 cubic feet of storage. An integrated L-track tie-down system enables RVers to strap down cargo, secure bikes, and hang a variety of other accessories. Cargo doors at the rear of the vehicle open wide to allow access to the items stored inside.
Two single-size Murphy beds, which stow vertically against the sidewalls when not in use, swing down to create a 70-inch-by-72-inch bed. The bed is oriented from back to front and fills the width of the coach. With the bed in place, 52 cubic feet of storage space remains under it. Rather than traditional overhead bedroom cabinets, flexible cargo nets hang on the walls to increase headroom. The undersides of the bed platforms have securing hardware also.
Solo travelers can choose to deploy only the bed on the curb side and leave the other side of the RV open for storage. Another option: removing the cushions from the street-side bed to provide access to its 22.5-inch-by-72-inch platform — a large area that can function as a workstation or a counter/kitchen food prep area. When it’s time for a meal or a snack, occupants can set the RV’s portable one-burner induction cooktop on this counter (or take it outside). Nearby is a 13-inch-by-11-inch stainless-steel sink equipped with a corner high-rise faucet.
Across the aisle, near the side door, is a Truma 2.1-cubic-foot top-loading, chest-style refrigerator/freezer. This unit runs on 12-volt DC and 120-volt AC and is portable. Take it out and about if desired. (It holds up to 96 beverage cans.)
The Recon 4×4’s versatile design continues in the combination bathroom/gear locker. For use as a traditional wet bath, it contains a hand-held showerhead and a swiveling toilet with the aforementioned cassette. If soggy items need a place to go after an outdoor outing, or if more storage room is desired, RVers can insert an available rod and one or two shelves. Boots, bathing suits, snow pants, and other items can drip and dry, assisted by the shower drain and heating duct in this area.
The pilot and copilot seats rotate rearward. A Lagun table can install between them to create a front dining area. A flip-down workstation behind the driver contains USB and 120-volt-AC ports. In fact, the Recon 4×4 contains seven 120-volt power outlets throughout.
Small but smartly designed, Pleasure-Way’s Recon 4×4 can take travelers to many places a larger RV cannot. Plus, its four-season capability and its customizable features pave the way for RVers to enjoy many types of road adventures year-round.
SPECS | PLEASURE-WAY RECON 4X4
Pleasure-Way Industries, 302 Portage Ave., Saskatoon, SK S7J 4C6; (800) 364-0189; www.pleasureway.com
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 4×4
3-liter V-6 diesel; 188 horsepower at 325 pound-feet torque
3.92 to 1
Toyo 245/75R 16 all-terrain
four-wheel disc brakes with ABS
chassis — (1) 100 amp-hours;
house — (4) 100-amp Eco-Ion lithium
19 feet 5 inches
85 inches (mirrors retracted);
95 inches (mirrors extended)
9 feet 4 inches
6 feet 3 inches
GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR)
GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)
OCCUPANT & CARGO CARRYING CAPACITY (OCCC)
FRESH WATER CAPACITY
HOLDING TANK CAPACITIES
gray water — (2) 5-gallon portable tanks;
black water — (1) 5-gallon cassette
FUEL CAPACITY / TYPE
24.5 gallons / diesel
20-pound removable cylinder
Truma AquaGo Comfort Plus instant water heater
Truma VarioHeat, 11,500 Btu, ducted
Truma 2.1-cubic-foot, 2-way (120-volt AC, 12-volt DC); top-loading; portable
chassis — 3 years/36,000 miles;
coach — 5 years/100,000 miles
BASE MANUFACTURER’S SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE