Base vehicle: Renault Trafic Price from: £42,450 (conversion-only £17,950) Berths: 2/4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 5.40m Width: 1.96m Height: 2.04m Gross weight: 3,050kg Payload: 500kg
Words: Peter Vaughan
Photos courtesy of Greenline
If you’re not sure a side kitchen layout is for you, or you’re put off by the cost of VW-based campervans, Greenline Leisure Vehicles might have the answer. Its rear kitchen layouts offer a completely different feel, the possibility of single beds, and also incorporate a clever slide-out toilet arrangement. Better still, they have prices starting at under £40k for a short-wheelbase model.
The RG 500 was originally developed on the Renault Trafic base, with a Ford Transit Custom version added more recently (available from £43,950). Both vans can be converted with a factory high-top or as a pop-top version and you can choose from either short or long-wheelbase derivatives.
It’s the LWB rising-roof Renault that came under our scrutiny. For some, this will be the sweet spot in the range, offering more room, quite a lot of extra storage, a low overall height and the French van’s keen pricing.
As standard, Greenline uses the Business spec Trafic with the 125bhp engine. Upgrades (up to 70bhp) are available, as well as an automatic, but you’ll have to find extra funds for features like metallic paint (£400), air-conditioning (£600) and parking sensors (£150). If you need to keep costs down, Greenline can also convert used base vehicles (including sister vans from Nissan or Vauxhall).
The demo model seen here had the unusual extra benefit of twin sliding doors – a feature that works especially well with this layout’s four forward-facing seat format for travel. Greenline uses its own design of seat as these give a wider entrance through the side door(s) than with an RIB unit, while the Renault has seatbelt mountings already in situ.
The RG 500’s seat bases and backrests are completely flat, which is great for bed-making, but the angled squabs and adjustable backrests mean that they’re better as seats than they appear. Then, at night, they simply pull forward and flatten to make a pair of 580mm-wide single beds – 1.84m long on the nearside, 1.78m on the offside. Bed lengths are slightly greater on versions with rear barn doors instead of the tailgate seen here, while a 1.47m-wide three-quarter double bed (sleeping lengthways but with a gap between the cab seats) is also possible by filling the void between the twin beds. This extra cushion can also be used to convert the offside travel seat into a side settee when you’re camping.
The lounge and beds are the same on SWB and LWB models but the RG 500 gains quite considerably in the kitchen with its longer iteration. There’s more worktop forward of the cooker, as well as an extra drawer and cupboard on the nearside, while the offside gets a full-height locker forward of the generous wardrobe. If you’re planning longer trips in your camper, all this extra space will make the £2,500 extra cost seem well worthwhile.
The galley also includes a 50-litre compressor fridge mounted at a convenient height, while cooking is not restricted to the usual two-burner hob – the LP Voyager unit also includes a gas oven (although this can be swapped for a microwave, if you prefer). The LWB model already has a reasonable amount of worktop but there’s a slot-in extension panel at the rear to make an L-shaped galley.
For many buyers, though, the most important feature of this conversion will be the fitted cassette toilet. Unlike rivals where this is fixed, the Greenline’s loo slides out from under the fridge, so it takes up a lot less space.
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