Base vehicle: VW Transporter T6.1 T28 SWB Price from: £49,995 Berths: 2/4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 4.89m Width: 1.90m Height: 2.01m/2.51m Gross weight: 2,800kg Payload: 450kg (approx.)
While many dealerships offer dealer special models, these are often limited to larger panel van conversions and motorhomes, so it’s great to see a company offering a pair of VW T6.1-based campervans for the 2021 season.
Dubbed Velare and Velum, both of these models are now available exclusively from Heart of England, which has its premises in Northamptonshire.
The converter behind this pair of dealer specials is renowned VW-approved campervan builder, Hillside Leisure, so you can rest assured that these models are built to the highest order, using only top-notch components, and boasting credentials such as European Whole Vehicle Type Approval and NCC Approval.
The model shown here is the Velare, which features a classic side kitchen layout with a RIB bench/bed.
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Priced from £49,995, it’s been designed to appeal to families and couples alike, so it’s available as a four-berth pop-top with a roof bed, or a two-berth high-top.
Whichever you choose, the conversion features a two-burner hob (fed from a Campingaz cylinder in a locker accessed from the tailgate), with an adjacent stainless-steel sink under glass lids.
Unusually for a campervan of this size, there’s also a small on-board hot water boiler, which services the kitchen tap and an external activity shower (electric hook-up is required to heat water), while an Eberspächer blown-air diesel heater ensures you’ll stay toasty warm.
Below the hob, you’ll find a grill and 65-litre compressor fridge with freezer compartment, which is concealed by a handy door cupboard that offers plenty of storage space for things like mugs and jars.
Come mealtimes, there’s a pole-in-the-hole- type table that neatly clips to the end of the kitchen unit when not in use.
Both cab seats swivel and other features include a Dometic portable toilet that’s housed in a cupboard under the bench, window blinds and flyscreens throughout and plenty of LED lighting, plus 230V and 12V sockets, and USB ports.
The base vehicle is the ever-popular VW T6.1 with a 108bhp (110PS) engine with a five-speed manual gearbox, and kitted out in Highline specification.
That means you get, as standard, things like a Thatcham Category 1 alarm and immobiliser, 16in Clayton alloys, front and rear parking sensors, fog lights, adaptive cruise control, cab air-con, colour-coded bumpers and mirrors, and a choice of nine metallic paint colours.
Should you require any engine upgrades, select from the 148bhp (150PS) and 197bhp (199PS) manual or DSG (automatic).
There’s also a range of optional extras available, including bike racks, solar panels, wind-out awnings, and more.
Established in 2002, Heart of England is a family-owned dealership located on the A5 in Weedon, Northamptonshire, just off junction 16 of the M1, where you’ll find a modern showroom and a separate service centre nearby.
From 2021, in addition to being authorised dealers for new Bürstner and Carado motorhomes, the company has been appointed official Swift motorhome dealers, too.
Also this year, the firm has formed a partnership with Hillside Leisure to produce the two new and exclusive Velare and Velum campervans.
Managing Director, Gary Rowlands, explains, “There has been a genuine increase in demand for high-quality campervans in recent years and so Heart of England Motorhomes customers were behind the company’s decision to go into partnership with well-respected manufacturer, Hillside Leisure.
Many of our long-standing customers kept asking about new campervans, so we knew there was a demand but we wanted to offer something of real quality with the right specification, based on what our customers were asking us for, and at a good competitive price.
We believe both these new campervans have outstanding specifications, superb build quality and are available at attractive, value-for-money prices.”