Base vehicle: Ford Transit Custom SWB Price from: £36,999 Berths: 2/4 Travel seats: 5 Length: 4.97m Width: 2.08m Height: 2.08m Payload: 795kg
The Danbury Fun! is no new kid on the block but, as old the saying goes: don’t fix what’s not broken, right? And it's still fun...
We loved this little campervan so much back in 2016 that it won the Campervan of the Year category in MMM’s (our sister title) National Motorhome Awards. And if you read our live-in test of its sibling, the Danbury Go!, in the last issue of Campervan, you’ll know how much we love that, too.
Like the Go, the Fun is based on the Ford Transit Custom SWB. In standard fettle, you’ll get the base model, which comes with a 2-litre EcoBlue 104bhp engine and has a well-equipped and comfortable cab with features like an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat with armrests, a radio with remote controls, USB and iPod connectivity.
There’s plenty of storage and a couple of 12V power points, too. For £2,534 you can upgrade to Trend spec, which adds stuff like the 128bhp engine, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, Quickclear heated windscreen and colour-coded bumpers.
However, when it comes to camper conversion, that’s about where the similarities between the Go and the Fun end. While the Go is quite traditional in
that it features a side kitchen layout with an (optional) sliding bench/bed system, the Fun, instead offers something quite unusual for a campervan of this size – a humongous double bed, measuring 1.90m x 1.43m. This is rock ‘n’ roll style and, for £399, you can upgrade to an electric folding bed, which folds and unfolds at the touch of a button.
In order to squeeze that very wide bed in, the kitchen sits behind the driver’s seat rather than down the side of the campervan, so if you’re designated driver and are on the taller side, just make sure the seat goes back far enough for you. The unit itself is well-designed and makes clever use of space, with a 50-litre compressor fridge/freezer with a cutlery drawer above that faces towards the sliding door.
On the top there is a combined sink and hob unit with two gas rings, while below there are a few cupboards, a pull-out chopping board and a couple of three-pin sockets. It’s a neat set-up. Other features include black-out curtains (insulated screens for the cab), a pole-in-the-hole type of table that clips into the sliding door when not in use, and three seatbelts on the rear bench. Optional extras allow for things like a roof bed (£599), Webasto blown-air diesel heating (£1,338), and a portable chemical toilet (£99), to name but a few.
Think Danbury and you automatically think campervan. The name is synonymous – much like Hoover is to the vacuum cleaner.
Danbury was founded back in the 1960s, and became known for its VW splitty and bay window campervans. Although production of the T2 ceased in Europe in 1979, they were still built in South America and Danbury had a stint at reviving nostalgia during the early 2000s when it started importing them from Brazil.
You’ll probably have spotted some of these on the road, as the front grille on the modern Brazilian T2 is quite different from the original European bay. Sadly, (or perhaps not, if you’ve ever driven one!), Brazil stopped manufacturing these in 2013 but Danbury cashed in on a bulk buy and there are a handful of stunning used conversions still up for grabs at its premises in Bristol. Alternatively, if you love a VW but a classic isn’t for you, it also offers a range of lovely modern T6-based campervans.
Danbury was bought up a couple of years ago by French campervan and motorhome manufacturer, Pilote.
As a result, the Danbury line-up now includes the Avenir; a Fiat Ducato-based panel van conversion that’s available in six variants to suit all tastes.
While the Avenir is built at the Pilote factory in France, Danbury’s VW and Ford-based campervans continue to be manufactured in the UK.