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Atrium 40′

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Charles Darwin had it all wrong; it takes more than brute strength to survive. It also
takes convenience, comfort and sophistication. That’s why the hot-new catch phrase among
luxury-motorhome manufacturers has nothing to do with horsepower or performance; it’s
residential living. And, as Darwin might have observed after viewing Gulf Stream’s Class A
Atrium, it’s still evolving. The Atrium takes its name from a common residential feature:
an atrium, or sunroom. It’s an increasingly popular item among traditional home buyers –
and completely transforms a motorhome when applied to a huge, 10-foot-long curbside
slideout. It’s actually just one of three slideouts featured on the 40’9″ luxury coach (the
master bedroom and galley also open) – but when the Atrium is extended to its full 42-inch
depth, you don’t immediately notice anything else. Framed with expensive hardwoods, the
glass-encased slideout features four almost floor-to-ceiling dual-pane Lexan windows,
joined by similar-size glass on each side, along with four more skylights in the ceiling.
The change wrought by the Atrium is as dramatic as opening closed curtains on a window.
Once you let the light in, however, you can’t help but notice everything else this coach
has to offer. It incorporates every “living concept” feature found in the company’s design
arsenal — from luxury brass and hardwood appointments throughout, to a master bedroom
suite with sitting area and 7-foot-high ceilings. Based on a Freightliner chassis, the
Atrium is just as refreshing outside. Front and rear caps smooth out the corners and
aerodynamic front fiberglass (fitted with high-intensity Mercedes ML headlights and
top-mounted mirrors) help fuel mileage. Standard power is a 330 Caterpillar diesel, but our
test coach had the optional Cummins ISL400 power plant, which easily powers the
27,220-pound coach. The Atrium won’t take you anywhere you can’t get to by other means; it
simply lets you enjoy it more once you get there. For full test impressions and
specifications on the Atrium 40′, pick up the September 2003 issue of MotorHome on the
newsstand. Then subscribe
to MotorHome
— so you can stay informed on the latest motorhome tests and previews,
products, technical information and travel destinations.

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