Until a few years ago, motorhomes were the stuff of experts. In 1952, when Westfalia started equipping vans, it was the Volkswagen Transporter and nothing else. This is the largest share of camper sales today.
As for the large van, it should be noted that the Fiat Ducato is losing its luster in favor of its cousins Peugeot and Citroën and the Transit 2 tonne. A large van now often has a pop-up roof that allows for a clearer separation of the two sleeping areas so that it can travel with four.
There are two trends in compact vans: the compact van around 5 meters, the classic built-in van and the extended van around 5.40 m which are favored by installers who position themselves in a more luxurious finish.
This year, the trend of offering vans with a large trunk or the installation of a bathroom in the back, with an internal shower, is growing again.
The latest trend, the “light” van. These are 2 m high compacts with a lifting roof, a folding bench and/or a removable storage module. The small stove allows them to move into the VASP category (specialized self-propelled vehicle) and avoid the environmental penalty.
Builders are involved
In addition to providing many bases for various campervan and van manufacturers, Ford has decided to market two camper vans based on the Transit Connect: Nugget and Nugget +.
Nugget Plus, 37 centimeters (5.34 m) longer, requires more comfort than the small model (4.97 m). In the rear part, it has a fixed toilet, a washing basin and a cupboard. In front is a 3-seater bench facing the road.
For the interior equipment, Ford chose Westfalia, a guarantee of quality. Behind the bench is an equipped kitchen and L with plenty of storage space and a 40 l compressor refrigerator. The reserves of clean and dirty water (42 l) are suitable for several days of autonomy.
The Nugget + is also equipped with a rear pop-up roof that increases the height to 2.09 m. Equipped with 130 hp, it costs 70,710 euros (72,630 euros with automatic transmission) with a lot of equipment.
Laika goes to the van
One of the Hymer group’s motorhome specialists, Laika is investing in the equipped van segment with production based on the Ford Transit. Kosmo Urban F100 (4.97 m) can accommodate up to 6 people in the road version.
Made in France in Wissembourg, it derives from the classic interior look that originated in California. The two-seater bench can slide along the side locker which houses storage, a 50-litre fresh water tank and a 41-litre compression fridge with a top hatch. The kitchen area usually has a sink and a stove.
Two versions are available (Urban and Urban plus), the top version of which has 150 hp and automatic transmission as standard. Like the Nugget, it’s 2.09m tall with an opening roof. It was presented at a price of €65,300 in the top version.
Mini van equipped without license
For those who like to get away with it all without a license, Autonomy, the Aixam distributor, has produced a minivan available from 14 years with an AM license (formerly Road Safety Certificate).
The Tiny-Van is based on a small D-Truck utility powered by a Kubota twin cylinder 6hp diesel whose performance is limited to 45km/h. Length is 3 m, width 1.50 m and height 2.15 m; it is equipped with a roof tent on the gallery, and the inner part of the machine is designed for two people.
In good weather, short-term escapes are possible because heating is not provided. However, the equipment is not cheap:
- kitchen cabinet with removable fridge and stove,
- sink with faucet / outdoor shower,
- clean water and waste water reserves,
- electric water pump,
- L-shaped benches with cushions and storage boxes,
- removable table,
- auxiliary battery,
- 220 V internal and external electrical sockets,
- USB socket, cigarette lighter socket,
- interior lighting…
The price is announced at €29,990.