On a recent test drive of the Western Star Roadstar, Diesel News got its luxury truck checked out. Those truckies parked up for the night around me at the truck stop, just east of Ararat in Victoria, were soon inside the cabin and pressing buttons trying to see what each would do. Just poking a head in through the driver’s door makes it clear this is not an ordinary sleeper cab.
It is unlike anything you will have seen in an Australian truck interior. It’s much more like the interior of one of the many Winnebagos plying our highways full of grey nomads. This is not a surprise as one of the campervan designers had a hand in the design and build of this interior.
Standing in between the seats and looking rearwards, the first impression is one of space. There is no visible bunk. Behind the driver’s seat is a counter top, into which is set a sink with a double tap, with drawers and doors underneath. Above the counter and at the rear cab wall is an upright cupboard and wardrobe space.
Across the remainder of the rear wall is a comfortable-looking, leather-clad lounge. Behind the passenger seat is another cupboard with a fold-out desk which is accessible when seated on the lounge. This unit also includes the array of switches and controls needed to run the cabin.
The question which comes to mind at this point is, where is the bunk? The giveaway is the three steel rods fixed to the counter top and the ceiling. These are the guides down which the bed lowers itself from the ceiling.
Hit the button on the console and the bunk begins its downward journey. As it lowers, the wardrobe unit lowers into a space behind the cupboards on the driver’s side of the cabin. Eventually the electric lift motors bring the bunk down to the level where it is resting on the counter top.
Now, simply slide out the small stepladder mounted behind the driver’s seat and climb up into the full-size bunk. There is plenty of space around the bed and nothing to bang your head on, if you wake up with a start in the middle of the night.
The creature comforts continue as we raise the bunk to the roof and investigate the appointments further. The tap in the sink supplies both drinking water and water to wash your hands with. The cupboard behind has a secure lock to ensure doors don’t fly out when the truck is in motion. In fact, all of the doors and drawers are secured in the same way.
Behind the cupboard is a narrow wardrobe with enough room to store a jacket and a few shirts and trousers. To the left are the controls to fire up the Ecowind air conditioning unit, strapped to the chassis.
Below the counter is where the real fun begins. Pull out the top drawer and there is the cup, glasses plates and cutlery needed to live in the cabin. Open the door below this reveals the microwave and at the bottom is the drawer fridge freezer, with plenty of room for the week’s supplies.
The ‘pièce de résistance’ here is the other door in this set of cupboards. Open it up and slide out a fully functioning coffee machine. Grab a coffee pod from the storage cupboard, make sure it has water on board and fire coffee maker up for a fresh brew before heading out on the road, pure luxury!