This is the latest version of the Adria Twin and is a practical and versatile campervan with enormous storage capacity and a great washroom that only takes up a small amount of space. Adria’s Twin was the first – and remains one of the best – of this design and its new overcab Sky-Roof makes for a lighter and more spacious interior than almost all of its many rivals
Berths: 2/3 Travel seats: 4 Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 565kg
Every so often, a new motorhome design takes the market by storm – and is copied by others. Adria’s Van Win of 2004 was just such a hit: a panel van conversion with a fixed transverse double bed over a big storage space, plus washroom, kitchen and lounge facilities all neatly packaged into 5.6 metres. Soon renamed Twin, it’s been a company stalwart ever since – and remorselessly cloned across Europe. Adria has, for 2019, introduced some attractive modifications and the Twin is now a range of five fixed bed campers.
For the first time, like the company’s coachbuilts, the Twins have three levels of trim, starting with Axess, followed by Plus and topped by Supreme. The six-metre Twin (600 SP) with the original layout, available in Axess or Supreme trim, comes to the UK with its sliding door on the British nearside, but the bigger Twins, like the all-new Supreme 640 SGX (with height-adjustable rear bed) and the 640 SLB reviewed here (both built on the extra-long 6.36m Fiat Ducato) revert to being continentally handed, with the door on the offside. T
he longer panel van, now chosen by most converters for their flagship campervans, affords much greater living space than the six-metre LWB, yet still has the same wheelbase and, with all the extra length being behind the rear wheels, manoeuvrability isn’t really affected.
The test Twin was finished in striking metallic Batik Orange, one of five colour schemes but definitely the one we’d choose, the others being white or sombre monochrome shades. The orange, enhanced by smart charcoal and grey decals, 16-inch alloy wheels and LED daytime running lights, is quite blingy but not OTT. In base trim, the price of the 640 SLB is £47,925, but that’s just half the story. Want cab air-con, cruise control or any of the other comforts we now take for granted? They’re all part of Pack 1, Pack 2 or the Luxury Pack, or individual options. By the time you’ve finished, a ‘fully loaded’ campervan will dent your bank balance to the tune of around £59,000.
Apart from the Sky-Roof, there’s a fairly standard van conversion lounge with two swivelling cab seats and a half-dinette containing two forward-facing rear travel seats, all at the same level on an extended plinth. The wall-mounted table has a swing-out extension, so is reachable from all four seats, and it’s near enough to the kitchen to provide valuable extra work surface. With well-sculpted backs and headrests, the rear seats should be comfortable over long journeys and can (optionally) have Isofix fittings for child seats.
As you’d expect, kitchen facilities are compact and extend across the doorway, especially if the extension flap is lifted (but this greatly increases the otherwise fairly minimal worktop). There’s just one mains socket beneath the upper cupboard, so an electric kettle can only be used with the sink lid lowered. There’s no oven, grill or microwave, just a Can combined sink/two-burner hob with split lids (the hob can double as a drainer), but what there is, in spades, is storage, with a large overhead cupboard, three large drawers and two slim shelves on the end of the unit.
The tambour door opposite the kitchen conceals what, initially, appears to be a standard washroom. To the left, below a translucent window, there’s the new Thetford 223 swivel toilet – very smart, though too high for comfort: 22 inches to the seat means you need very long calves! A white acrylic bowl with swivelling mixer tap sits on a shelf to the right, below a large mirror but, though you’re standing on a shower tray with two drain holes, where’s the shower? Ah, basin, mirror and their supporting wall all swing across to the left, revealing a shower head on a bracket in a perfectly practical shower cubicle with plenty of space and smooth, easy clean walls.
The original Twin layout, with a rear transverse double bed, has many followers. However, it has one significant drawback: if the person adjacent to the rear doors needs to get up during the night, it will mean climbing over his or her (now awakened) bedmate to get to the loo. Those afflicted will welcome the 640 SLB’s layout, which offers the more civilised (if less space-efficient) alternative of twin longitudinal singles with a shorter (1.46m) central infill section. The bed is approached by a large, (unmissable, even in the dark) central step, then a modest (73.5cm) hop up onto the thick mattresses.
Panel van conversions frequently have better payloads than their coachbuilt equivalents and the Twin 640 SLB is no exception, being able to carry 565kg (before deductions for optional extras, which were around 165kg on the test ’van). A major attraction of the Twin layout is the massive storage capacity, particularly in the rear, under the bed. The offside bed base and mattress fold up to the underside of the overhead cupboards, being retained by one clip. So, there’s plenty of room here for your bikes, though you’ll need to store them outside at night-time, when the bed is lowered.