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Motorhome review: Lowdhams Summit Peak campervan

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Key Features

  • Model Year : 2022
  • Class : Rising Roof
  • Base Vehicle : Volkswagen T6.1
  • Engine Size : 2.0TD
  • Maximum Weight (Kg) : 2800
  • Berths : 4
  • Layout : Campervan

AT A GLANCE

Base vehicle: VW Transporter T6.1 Price from: £55,850 Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 4.89m Width: 1.90m Height: 2.01m Gross weight: 2,800kg Payload: 500kg

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Model Year
2022
Manufacturer
Hillside Leisure
Class
Rising Roof
Range
Lowdhams
Base Vehicle
Volkswagen T6.1
Engine Size
2.0TD
Payload (kg)
400
Belted Seats
4
Maximum weight (kg)
2800
Price from (£)
55850
Length (m)
4.90
Width (m)
1.90
Height (m)
2.01
Berths
4
Main Layout
Campervan
Price from (€)
Campervan Test Date

DETAILED REVIEW

Words & photos: Peter Vaughan

 

Page contents

 

The Lowdhams Summit Peak

When Lowdhams decided to enter the overcrowded market for VW campervans, it used the experience it had already gained with its first foray into pop-tops (with the Ford-based Summit) to pick a converter with pedigree.

To sit alongside its mainstream motorhome marques, the VW Summit range would have to tick all the boxes. It needed NCC (National Caravan Council) approval, European Whole Vehicle Type Approval and be part of Volkswagen’s own Motorhome Qualification Scheme.

This certainly narrows the field, but it ensures that latest Summit campervans are not only safe, but they also have a three-year warranty across both the base vehicle and all the habitation fittings.

All this needn’t cost the earth – or even be pricier than less thoroughly tested campervans – with the Summit range kicking off at £42,495 for the Trail version based on a 90PS Startline Transporter.

However, here it’s the flagship of the four-model range that we’re interested in – appropriately, it’s called the Peak, and it’s priced from £55,850.         

 

The specification

Starting point for this model is a T6.1 SWB Highline with 110PS and a five-speed manual gearbox, but 150PS or 199PS motors are available, along with the DSG automatic transmission and 4Motion all-wheel drive. If you want the oomph, the auto and 4x4, you’ll need to find almost £70k down the back of the sofa…

As a Highline, the standard spec includes 16in alloy wheels, body-coloured bumpers and mirrors, adaptive cruise control, an alarm, immobiliser, front and rear parking sensors, automatic wipers and headlights, Climatic cab air- conditioning, front fog lamps and electrically folding door mirrors. To that list, this show model added bling-tastic 20in alloy wheels (£1,095 extra) and full LED headlamps (at a rather pricey £1,338), plus an automatic high beam function (costing a further £174). The duo-tone finish, achieved with a body wrap on the lower half, rather than paint, is standard on the Peak and you can choose from a variety of colours.      

 

The layout

In the cab, you’ll instantly notice the full leather upholstery – that’s another feature that’s included on this model, complete with smart hexagonal contrasting stitching. There’s another expensive option here, though – VW’s Discover Media Package, including sat-nav, voice control, wired and wireless app connect and internet, for £1,386.

All the VW Summit models have a top-quality rear-hinged pop-top from renowned German brand, SCA, but only the Peak has the 290 roof with Panoramic View. As well as the two-colour canvas, that means that the front section can be fully opened to the elements – fantastic in Fréjus, not so nice in Nottingham…

The roof is secured with SCA’s usual ‘belt and braces’ approach of two catches on either side and there’s a plastic trim panel in the cab ceiling to keep everything looking neat and tidy, with no dangling canvas. When raised, there’s more headroom to the rear than with some roofs, so you might contemplate sleeping with heads to the back of the camper. Whichever end you place your pillows, though, you’re assured a good night’s kip as the 30mm-thick mattress lies on a bed of Froli plastic springs.

When you’re parked up for the evening, you’ll also appreciate the strip light that runs right around the roof cut-out, while floor-level lighting and long LED strips over the galley and above the sliding door, mean there’s a greater range of illumination here than in many such campers. There’s a single flexible wand reading light over the back seat, too.

The whole VW Summit range uses the well-proven, crash-tested RIB rear seat, which is mounted in a fixed position but comes with a pair of height-adjustable head restraints – as well as that hide trim, of course. The bench has a good automotive shape for rear passengers’ comfort but it is a tad high for those whose legs are more guinea pig than giraffe.

For dining, the table and its island leg store at the end of the galley, behind the driver’s chair. It’s quite a small tabletop and slightly wobbly on that single support – clipping it to a rail on the front of the galley would have probably worked better.

On site, you also have the use of the two swivel cab seats. As always with the Transporter, you have to release the handbrake to swivel the driver’s seat but, with the DSG gearbox of this example in park, at least you don’t have to worry about putting it in gear. And the design of the Peak’s kitchen leaves more room to use the rotated driver’s seat than in the rest of the Summit range.  

 

The kitchen

The galley here is quite different from the other models, although it still follows the side kitchen layout invented when VWs were still air-cooled and had their engines where your shopping should go. There’s a simple aesthetic to the galley design, with a two-tone finish (grey/ wood) to complement the exterior. Corian-style worktops (in a choice of two colours) include covers over the hob and sink for a neater appearance than the usual glass lids (as well as a more practical food preparation area).

The galley includes three drawers, as well as a large cupboard next to the rear settee. More unusual is the inclusion of a fitted microwave, but this is concealed behind a door that rather gets in the way when open. More practical is another less-than-usual fitting, the drawer-style 50-litre compressor fridge. There’s no upper shelf or mini-cupboards over the kitchen, which obviously means less storage but also makes for a more open-feeling interior.       

 

Night-time

At night, blinds are fitted instead of curtains and, as ever with an RIB seat, bed making is simple and the mattress is completely flat (if not the biggest), while a chaise longue position is ideal for your morning cuppa. The rear boot area – such a vital part of a camper of this type – is also a good size, while also providing rear access into the under-seat cupboards. A Dometic portable loo is a standard fitting and stores below the bench. Even the diesel heating is included in the spec (with its control conveniently above the rear view mirror, so you can flick it on before you get to your campsite).     

 

Summary

With the Peak, Lowdhams has come up with a stylish and comprehensively equipped camper that offers the reassurance of all those approvals, combined with competitive pricing.

 

 

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Hillside Leisure

Chequers House
Chequers Lane
Derby
Derbyshire
DE21 6AW
http://www.hillsideleisure.co.uk
[email protected]
Conversions. Used motorhomes. Accessories, awnings, finance and insurance.