In an era that seems to be dominated by mass production, lowest bidder components and diminishing quality control, it is very refreshing to road test a vehicle that is custom crafted with care using the highest quality materials.
Text and photos by Norm Rosen
Pleasure-Way Industries, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, has built an enviable reputation for excellence in the class B motorhome sector. The company offers six models, with a range of décor options that are modern, attractive, and ideally suited for active RV enthusiasts.
We visited the brand-new showroom of Owasco RV in Bowmanville, Ontario, one of three Pleasure-Way dealers in south-central Ontario, where we picked up our demo unit for this road test feature.
There are several reasons why we selected the Plateau TS model: it is a very compact yet fully-featured class B motorhome, it represents the quality that matches the excellence of the Mercedes chassis and it is proudly built in Canada for the Canadian RV experience.
Lots of storage, a big bathroom and a big fridge are unusual characteristics for a class B motorhome, but this model incorporates features that reflect many years of design experience, and decades of input from enthusiastic customers. The result is a distinctively different interior floorplan, catering to the needs of experienced travellers.
On the Road
The Plateau TS is a pure pleasure to drive, with a full range of features at your fingertips. The Mercedes Benz Sprinter chassis is powered by a 3-litre diesel engine, and has power steering, power brakes, 5-speed automatic transmission, chassis air conditioning, and cruise control. Pleasure-Way owners report fuel efficiency of 18-22 mpg on the highway.
In-dash navigation and back-up camera, Bluetooth connectivity so you can pick up apps from your smartphone, and a full range of driving amenities make the Plateau TS a very driver-friendly unit, and the driver and navigator chairs are supremely comfortable, with our test vehicle featuring Ultraleather® upholstery.
In a world where apps and gadgets can be a serious distraction for drivers, the Pleasure-Way engineering team has provided all of the features with few of the interruptions that reduce the driver’s concentration; for example, the tilting Smart Wheel has phone controls and audio system controls that you can access without talking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road.
The seating configuration provides easy access from the interior of the motorhome, and fully adjustable Captain’s chairs are supremely comfortable for a wide range of drivers. Visibility from the driver’s seat is excellent, and the power remote side mirrors are easily adjusted. For campsite or parking lot maneuverability, the rear vision monitor system works like a charm.
Mercedes-Benz engineering is evident in the many safety systems incorporated into the chassis. While technology is never a replacement for driver attentiveness, it is comforting to note that the chassis has front collision avoidance, lane assist, blind spot monitoring, and high beam assist.
The ingenious design of the Plateau TS interior takes advantage of the passenger side galley to provide an array of windows that are ideally placed to allow you to see traffic on the right side of the vehicle as you drive – this is an unusual but very clever feature, and one more instance where the RV experience of the engineers at Pleasure-Way have enhanced the safety and functionality of the vehicle. There is a 4,220-pound capacity hitch and trailer wiring connection for times when you want to tow a boat, a trailer, a snowmobile, or any of a wide range of recreational items.
In the Campground
Once you arrive at your campsite, the Plateau TS can be set-up for an overnight stay in a matter of minutes. All of the RV system hookups are conveniently located, and your hoses, cables, and gauges are easily accessed in their storage compartments.
The Plateau TS has a Fiamma automatic patio awning that features a one-piece mounting bracket, LED light strip, and wind sensor that will retract the awning on a windy day.
Moving in and out of the Pleasure-Way is a breeze, thanks to the large side sliding door. The door system features a very clever roll-up screen that zips into position and provides magnetic seals to allow quick entry and exit from the vehicle. Similar system protects the rear of the vehicle when you open the back door to access your batteries and storage compartments.
Pleasure-Way is at the forefront of RV technology, utilizing a touch control panel to activate all of the electronic systems, from lighting to heating, A/C, and RV systems. The main control panel is located on the bulkhead in the lounge area, with a second touch screen control panel located on the side of the galley, easily accessed when you open the side door.
Exterior features of the Plateau TS include a hand held shower, LED porch light, exterior 110V plug and exterior LP fitting/quick disconnect for your grill or other accessory. For your convenience, a Cummins Onan generator can power your unit when you take a break by the side of the road or camp in remote areas.
The Pleasure-Way team strive to craft each vehicle with the finest fit and finish possible. Each Pleasure-Way motorhome is the culmination of more than 400 man-hours of skilled workmanship, with hand-crafted custom made parts specifically designed for each vehicle – this eliminates the mass-production flaws that could potentially arise because of the dimensional variance inherent in the chassis manufacturing process. In fact, when you consider that seemingly identical chassis can differ by as much as a quarter of an inch in some areas, it only makes sense that to achieve accurate fit and finish, some components must be custom measured and carefully installed. That’s why, for most custom orders, you could be looking at a six-week delivery time… but the result is definitely worth the wait! Of course, each Pleasure-Way dealer carries a selection of the most popular units, for immediate delivery.
Pleasure-Way builds the RV components into the Mercedes Benz Sprinter Chassis starting with a precisely fit tubular steel cage, to which all of the components of the floor, walls, and roof will be attached. The unibody construction of the chassis is reinforced where required, and the crew installs the custom cut molded fiberglass components. Exterior surfaces are formed with a paintable gel coat exterior surface, and each component is carefully engineered to provide the strength and structural integrity that will assure long term durability and high-quality finish. The construction of steel and fiberglass is achieved by bonding the components with Sika Flex adhesive, the industry standard for quality results. This process eliminates the need to screw or rivet components to the chassis, which dramatically reduces the possibility of moisture penetration and resulting corrosion and leaks.
All of the Pleasure-Way motorhomes use a special Glasurit® gelcoat automotive finish, which is the same product used on luxury automobiles from Rolls Royce, Bentley and Mercedes-Benz. The finish is primed, sanded, painted, and clear coated by hand to produce the finest possible result.
This attention to detail and reliance on the skills of master craftsmen and women is the key to Pleasure-Way’s enviable reputation for building one of the finest RV products on the road… and this has been the cornerstone of the company’s success. Every Pleasure-Way vehicle is carefully examined by quality control experts throughout the manufacturing process, and every unit is seal-tech tested and thoroughly test-driven to assure perfection before it is proudly offered to the customer with the confidence that it has been built to the finest standards, without compromise.
Pleasure-Way back each coach with the Pleasure-Way Five Year 60,000 miles / 100,000 kms Freedom Coach limited warranty. The Mercedes Benz basic limited warranty coverage for the chassis is 3 years or 36,000 miles / 60,000 kms, and the diesel engine limited warranty coverage is 5 years or 100,000 miles / 160,000 kms. The Sprinter chassis comes with three years of Mercedes-Benz Roadside Assistance.
While you might imagine that building the interior cabinetry in a class B motorhome would be a simple process, the Pleasure-Way engineers approach the task with the goal of creating a luxurious living environment for their customers.
Instead of stapling sticks of wood and luan panels to the frame of the vehicle, Pleasure-Way uses steel angle brackets and wall blocking to build an interior that will be solid and rattle-free for the life of the vehicle. Cabinets are secured to the sub floor and screwed to the wall blocking that is adhered to the inside wall of the coach. Upper cabinets, wall partitions, and end gables are screwed in place – not stapled, as in most of the RVs in the industry.
The interior cabinetry in a Pleasure-Way is crafted in the factory’s mill shop, where hard wood maple is transformed into high quality doors, moldings, and cabinets. Precision cutting techniques and expert finishing distinguish every component, and the finished product is assembled with mortise and tenon joints, glued and clamped until the cabinets and drawers are strong, solid, and aesthetically perfect.
The cabinetry is finished with three coats of high quality stain and two coats of water-based lacquer – an environmental consideration that also provides a safer workplace. On average, it takes 22 person-hours to finish a set of cabinet doors for one Pleasure-Way coach.
One of the most impressive new features in this motorhome is the use of twin 7” touch screen control panels, which use multiplex wiring to give you fingertip control of the dimmable LED lighting throughout the vehicle, and easy access to the 2.5 Onan LP generator, the 45 Amp converter (with lithium battery charger), and the 2000-Watt pure sine wave inverter. Your 12V electrical system runs on dual 100AH lithium coach batteries, with a Chargeline disconnect that allows you to manually disconnect the battery of the coach from charging sources, preventing inadvertant charging of Lithium Ion batteries in cold temperatures.The control panel also incorporates your RV system monitor panel, showing you the levels in your fresh, grey, and black water tanks, as well as the LP gas level and battery condition.
When it’s time to kick back and relax, the Plateau carries some of the most impressive entertainment technology available in a modern RV. Sit in the rear lounge and watch your favourite TV shows on the 24” LG Smart LED TV, or stream content from your laptop or smart device – the TV is on a swing-out arm so you can view the screen from the rear lounge or swing it around to watch a movie while you prepare dinner in the galley. The Plateau TS we tested was equipped with a Blu-ray player, and featured cable TV hook up and a Winegard Digital TV antenna with signal booster.
Whether you enjoy watching TV with home theatre quality sound, or the finest audiophile recordings, the acoustics from the Bose® Bluetooth® soundbar are spectacular – the interior of the motorhome becomes a giant speaker enclosure… the sound is really impressive!
Comfort and Convenience
The Plateau TS is engineered for all-year travelling enjoyment, with a
11,000 BTU roof top air conditioner to keep you cool on hot summer days, and a 16,000 BTU auto ignite LP furnace to take the chill out of a cold winter evening.
In the Galley
You will be amazed the spacious and well-planned Plateau TS galley. With a six-foot long Corian® countertop crowning an array of solid maple drawers and cabinets, and a very well-appointed array of appliances, this campground kitchen is fully equipped for your dining enjoyment. You may be surprised to find a 6 cu-ft double-door three-way (gas, 12V, 110V) refrigerator in a vehicle of this size, but that is standard equipment in the Plateau TS, along with a microwave convection oven, two-burner flush mount LP stove, and all the space you need for your own kitchen appliances. The placement of a large wardrobe closet adjacent to the refrigerator gives you the opportunity to expand your pantry space by creative adjustment of the closet dividers.
The rectangular stainless-steel sink is mounted below the counter, with a Corian® sink cover that fits perfectly, and is just the right size to double as a serving tray. The single lever residential style faucet is elegant, and the detachable spray nozzle makes food preparation and cleanup a breeze.
As you might expect, all of the surfaces in the galley are smoothly finished, with travel latches and full extension ball bearing drawer glides for fingertip operation. There is a flip-up counter extension to increase your gourmet galley space, and the mechanism is smooth and solid.
Dining in the Plateau TS is a delight, with the ingenious new pedestal table adapting to a wide range of positions.
Designed primarily for two people, the Plateau TS has a wonderful Ultraleather convertible couch at the rear of the motorhome, that converts into a bed with a fingertip touch on one of the two main touch screen electronic control panels. It only takes a minute to transform the vehicle into your personal master bedroom, and you can convert the two rear side seats to enlarge the sleeping area. The memory foam cushions are great, whether you are touring in the lounge (two three-point seat belt positions are provided) or snoozing on the queen-size bed.
For your guests, the Plateau’s front seating is convertible to a sleeping area that can accommodate one person.
In the Bathroom
Nothing seals the deal for the selection of a compact RV model better than a well-designed bathroom, and the Pleasure-Way Plateau TS has one of the largest and best designed concepts in the industry. We were particularly impressed with the design of this bathroom – not only is it very spacious, it is finished with interior laminate that matches the décor of the motorhome – a most unusual and refreshing new approach to RV bathrooms!
The Plateau “comfort station” features an enclosed wet bath with shower, a Thetford residential style china bowl foot-flush toilet, a vanity with storage, a medicine cabinet, and a vanity with storage cabinet and stainless-steel sink mounted in a Corian® countertop. Above your head, a low-profile Fan-Tastic Vent fan with rain sensor exhausts the humidity from the shower and enhances flow-through ventilation throughout the vehicle.
Pleasure-Way vehicles feature the latest in RV shower technology, utilizing the technology of the Truma AquaGo Comfort Plus on-demand hot water heater to provide an essentially endless supply of hot water without the need for the bulk or weight of a standard RV hot water tank. The water flow is controlled by a ShurFlo demand water pump that pressurizes the fresh water tank to send water to the galley, bathroom, and exterior shower faucets. For winter travels, there is a water heater bypass valve, and the system can be drained from the water hookup compartment.
The Bottom Line
As a Canadian publication, we take great pride in the fact that Canadian manufacturers excel in the class B motorhome market. The Plateau TS is a very fine example of Canadian quality and ingenuity, and an excellent value within the luxury class B sector.
If you are interested in renting a Pleasure-Way motorhome before you make your buying decision, there are several rental operators in Canada who operate these units. Please contact Canadream for more information.
To discover more about this unit, and hear what Pleasure-Way owners have to say about their RVs, check out the video archive at the Pleasure-Way website –
|Engine||3.0L V6 Blue Tec Turbo Diesel|
|Rear axle ratio||4:18|
|Torque rating||3.0L V6-325 LB-FT@1,400-2,400 RPM|
|Fuel Capacity||Diesel 93L (24.5 US Gal)|
|Exterior Width||7′ 11″ / 241cm – retracted mirrors: 7′ 1″ / 216cm|
|Exterior Height||9′ 8″|
|Interior Headroom||6′ 3″ / 190cm|
|Fresh Water||91L (24 US Gal.)|
|Grey Water||132L (35 US Gal.)|
|Black Water||45.9L (12 US Gal.)|
|LP Tank||31L (8.1 US Gal.)|
|Towing capacity||1,914 kgs (4,220 lbs.)|
|MRSP starting at||$150,755 CDN|
Many thanks to the team at Owasco RV for their assistance with this road test project.