Lowdhams re-enters the VW camper market
Motorhome and caravan dealer, Lowdhams, with branches in Nottingham and Huddersfield, is the latest major leisure retailer to re-enter the Volkswagen campervan market.
It launched its own campervan brand, Summit, in 2019 with a range of Ford Transit Custom-based pop-top conversions and has now launched its first VW-based models.
The last time Lowdhams marketed VW campers was in 1996, when it imported T4-based Malibu models from Carthago.
"Following two successful years of our Summit Ford campervan range, we’re delighted to add the iconic VW to our Summit brand. We feel both award-winning base vehicles offer their own unique benefits and we wanted to increase our offerings in this expanding sector of our market,” said Steve Sharpe, Group Managing Director.
The new VW Summit range has been developed in association with leading campervan manufacturer, Hillside Leisure, and is exclusive to Lowdhams. The vehicles have European Whole Vehicle type Approval and National Caravan Council (NCC) approval and are built using recognised, high-quality components such as an RIB seat/bed and German SCA elevating roof.
Lowdhams will be offering a range of models, all based on the short-wheelbase Transporter T6.1 in a variety of colours (five solid finishes and eight metallics). Manual and automatic gearboxes are available, as well as power outputs from 89bhp (90PS) up to 196bhp (199PS).
All the Summit campers come with electric heated door mirrors, air-conditioning, a leather steering wheel, DAB radio with 6.5in touchscreen and Bluetooth, cruise control, Driver Alert system, ESP and City Emergency Braking.
The range kicks off with the Summit Trail (from £39,995 with the 89bhp engine) with a full side kitchen layout, including a 50-litre compressor fridge and two-burner hob, plus driver and passenger seat swivels.
It comes with a leisure battery with split charging, underfloor water tanks (60-lire fresh, 30-litre waste) and is backed by a three-year habitation warranty.
The Summit Hi-Trail (from £49,495) gets the 108bhp (110PS) engine as standard and also boasts a higher spec. This includes 16in alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, body-coloured bumpers and front foglamps.
The habitation side gets a larger fridge (65 litres), a grill, Eberspächer diesel heating, integrated blinds and flyscreens, an exterior hot and cold shower, and a Dometic portable toilet.
The Summit Peak also starts off with the 108bhp motor and is priced from £51,995. It has a two-tone exterior paint scheme and the latest SCA 290 pop-top with panoramic opening front section. Leather upholstery is optional on this model, while the kitchen counter is in Corian (in a choice of two colours) and a fitted microwave is included.
A wide range of engine, cab and living area options is offered on the Trail, Hi-Trail and Peak campers, with the seven-speed DSG gearbox available on the two higher-spec models.
Finally, the range is completed by the Summit All-Trail, built on a four-wheel drive version of the Transporter. This model comes with the 148bhp (150PS) engine and a six-speed manual gearbox (£55,395) or the range-topping 196bhp (199PS) motor and auto’ transmission (£60,285).
On Lowdhams going back into the Volkswagen camper market, Steve added, “It’s taken some to find a converter whose standards meet ours both in terms of quality and safety standards. The Summit VW comes with extra safety assurances, boasting NCC approval, along with full European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval, the highest approval possible for our industry. Every single one of our Summit VW campervans come with a certificate of conformity to prove that it is one of the safest campers around. We are also a Volkswagen-registered Transporter T6 bodybuilder and we only use our industry’s best suppliers for our conversions,”
He warns that, “We see a growing number of customers joining this sector by purchasing two to three-year old van conversions and, in many cases, these conversions have been done privately or indeed without recommended approvals. That’s why we’re excited to offer our Summit Trail VW from only £39,995 OTR for a fully approved brand-new vehicle.”
The Summit VWs are now starting to arrive at Lowdhams’ Nottingham and Huddersfield branches and full details and brochure downloads are available on the company’s new website. The dealer can also offer an online virtual viewing on Zoom, WhatsApp or via its NOVAS no contact system.