Base vehicle: Ford Transit Custom/VW T6.1 Travel seats: 2-5 Berths: 2/4 Gross weight: From 3,000kg Payload: From 550kg Length, Height & Weight: Depends on base vehicle Price: From £41,500
There are so many campervans to choose from because we’re all different – we each have our own specific requirements based on our individual needs and plans for using our campervan. The trouble is, you may still struggle to find exactly what you’re looking for amongst the haystack of choices. You might love the bed in one campervan but find it doesn’t have enough travel seats, or perhaps it does – but the travel bench lacks the sliding system you liked in that other campervan you looked at…
That’s why Auto Campers offers a Swiss Army knife approach that allows you to have anything you might ever want and need. To keep things simple, it offers a choice of four models, which are fully customisable using its menu selection system.
All four models in the Auto Campers range are offered (primarily) on the Ford Transit Custom and VW T6.1. Of course, you get the usual manufacturer options, too, such as short-wheelbase or long-wheelbase, automatic gearbox, etc.
The model we’re looking at here is the MRV, which is described as being the best one in the range for off-grid performance balanced with versatility.
Priced from £41,500 on the Ford base, you’ll get a Custom in ‘Limited’ guise, which means it comes as standard with things like front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, heated and electric mirrors, automatic wipers and lights, cruise control, cab air-con and 128bhp engine, amongst other things.
Opt for a VW T6.1 with a pop-top and that will hike the price up to £54,500, but you will be getting a Highline-spec model with the 148bhp engine for that. However, the Ford has proven to be the most popular choice. Apart from its attractive price tag, you also get the choice of three roofs, which makes the MRV (and other Auto Campers) super-flexible and versatile when it comes to specifying your perfect camper.
Out of the factory, the Custom is available with a Lo-line roof (regular van height) or Hi-line (high-top), while Auto Campers also offers of a pop-top. The Lo-line is favoured by people who use their campervan as a daily drive and perhaps live in towns and cities where height is an issue (note that not all pop-top models will go under all car park barriers).
The Hi-line is especially popular with couples (being a two-berth) who camp in all seasons, due to the extra storage and insulation offered by the fixed roof while the pop-top version is, or course, well-suited to families, being a four-berth.
Whichever roof you opt for, the conversion comprises of twin sliding doors to give access to the indoor/outdoor experience combined with swivel passenger and driver cab seats.
Auto Campers’ engineering knowledge of wheelchair-accessible vehicles and systems is evident in the MRV’s four-rail floor system – an M1-certified aluminium extrusion interlocking blank section that is bonded to the vehicle floor with structural adhesive – to which single fold-flat removable seats (£750 each) can be fitted. Using quick- release load-restraining D rings, all kinds can be loaded into the back, too, in order to accommodate a motorbike, kayaks or trips to Ikea, for example.
Other features of the conversion include a slide-out 50l fridge/freezer, a glass-topped two-ring gas hob and sink unit, a cutlery drawer and a useful flip-up table that sits on the back of the kitchen unit, for use outside when the door is open.
The main tabletop lives on the inside of the (LH) sliding door and this has a double pivoting leg, which enables the table to be set adjacent to the worktop for food prep and then manoeuvres to the swivelled cab seats to dine.
There’s also a cupboard for a portable loo (£100 option) with space for toilet rolls and chemicals, a 100Ah leisure battery, 100W solar panel, 40l fresh water and 40l grey waste underfloor tanks. Perfect for mini breaks and longer trips away!
Auto Campers began in 2011 and the campervans were built by independent Ford Transit specialist, Roy Wood Transits, in Reading. It has a heritage going back over 50 years representing various motorhome and campervan manufacturers, and has a wealth of engineering knowledge and type approval work with Manchester University as well as being a former Westfalia importer for the UK.
In 2014, a partnership was formed between multi-award-winning Firth Campers and Roy Wood Transits, with production increasing and moving to Sheffield. In Scotland, you can also hire and try before you buy with Highland Auto Campers, and get a £500 rebate on your campervan if you go on to buy.
Auto Campers South Roy Wood Transits, 429 Reading Road, Winnersh, Wokingham, Berkshire RG41 5HU
Auto Campers North Firth Campers, Unit 7B Hoyle Mill Lane, Sheffield S36 9PZ
Highland Auto Campers Rivulet Cottage, Milton Redcastle, Inverness IV6 7SQ