Is the truck yours

Starting off hobbies Autonews Rapido 855F mobile home: the complete short timer on video

It is the most compact!

In the large family of recreational vehicles, the truck is featured as Tom Thumb! In terms of compactness, it is the best: 4.90m for a Volkswagen California, 4.97m for Stilesvan Oakland on the Ford Custom or even 5.08m for the Hanrod Trek 4 or 5 on the Renault Trafic and 5.14m for the Mercedes Marco Polo. With a width of 1.90 meters to 1.99 meters and a height of almost two meters, we are moving away a little from the standards of large sedans. Like the majority of recreational vehicles, the truck is driven by a simple “car” license: it is as comfortable in the city as it is on small roads or highways. In terms of mobility and versatility, it is the most flexible of the mobile homes!

Tombstone, pop-up roof

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The fabric-side pop-up roof is part of the truck’s DNA. In the low position, it is perfectly integrated into the car: aesthetics and consumption are not affected. The pop-up has a dual function that is fairly easy to understand. When placed on the stairs, it allows you to stand upright in most parts of the car: an added advantage of convenience. Another plus with the sleeping area: lifting surfaces, bed bases and mattresses. We generally get a mattress with a width of about 115/120 cm and a length of 190 cm. This is sufficient in most cases.

“Standard” layout

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Most of the trucks have the same interior design, inherited from the legendary VW Combi. Cab swivel seats, a removable or non-removable table, a bench that converts into a bed, a kitchen unit and a storage unit arranged laterally on the driver’s side: that’s it. Some rare trucks, such as the Ford Nugget, offer an L-shaped galley unit in the aft.

All amenities on board…

In the van we find (almost!) all the comfort elements of a classic motorhome but with more modest “values”. The space for meals, the dinette, is more measured. The clean water tank capacity is usually about 30 liters to 40 liters. Usually a pressure refrigerator offers a capacity of 50 liters. Trucks are generally equipped, as standard, with forced air heating that runs on vehicle fuel and diesel in most cases.

…or almost

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It is better to find out. The compact vans have neither a hand shower nor a shower tray. They also ignore the toilets and the hot water production system. To get these services, you have to turn to the tallest and most expensive models. Like the Font Vendôme Autocamp XL on the long Renault Trafic (5.40 m, 53,990 euros) or the Westfalia Kepler Six on the long VW Transporter (5.30 m, from 57,970 euros).

For weekends or short holidays

The vast majority of trucks offer 4 or even 5 seats with registration documents. But let’s be honest, they are more designed to travel in twos or threes. Even in the summer! For two double beds, it is necessary to convert the sofa bed. The process is not complicated. But with the low bed installed, there was no longer any question of turning in the truck. Hence the fabric walls of the lift ceiling do not invite winter use: heat loss is obvious! Weekends, short vacations for 3 or 4, or longer vacations, but for two, are the truck’s favorite “playgrounds.”

Versatile par excellence

Getting the kids to school, going to work, running errands, and getting away on the weekends: it’s possible in a truck! This unique versatility is evidenced by the presence of sliding seats on the bars, or even sliding and removable armchairs like the Westfalia Kepler Six. On the driving side, truck “steering” is closer to car steering than to utility. You can count on driving aids, powerful enough engines and excellent seats at the level of the driving mode.

Our dear trucks

In the truck category, you won’t find the most financially accessible recreational vehicle. Pickups start around €55,000 and go over €75,000 for top models fitted on Volkswagen or Mercedes bases. For example, the Stylevan Auckland in the Ford Custom 130 hp has a base price of 55,170 euros. From the same manufacturer, the Durban starts on a 150-horsepower VW T6.1 on its part, at €69,960. On Hanroad, prices start at €54,900 for the Trek 4 on Renault Trafic and €60,400 for the Trek 5 + XL (5.48m long) on ​​the same carrier.

to summarize

Autonews mobile specialist offers you a guide to find out if the camper van is the right vehicle for you: its dimensions, number of beds, layout and equipment, type of use possible without forgetting the question of budget.

Elliot Ovan

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