Base vehicle: Peugeot Boxer L1H1 (Fiat Ducato or Citroen Relay also available) Price from: £34,999 Travel seats: 5 Berths: 4 Length: 4.96m Width: 2.05m Height: 2.36m Gross weight: 3,300kg Payload: 112.5kg
It was while on holiday in their own large six-metre-long high-top campervan that Richard and his family got the idea to build something that still offered enough space inside for comfortable family living yet was small enough to easily park and drive around town or down country lanes.
Having always built on the larger Fiat Ducato and Peugeot Boxer vans, it was a no-brainer to look at the smaller versions of these, and so the Trouvaille was born.
Coming in at under five metres long, these base vehicles are comparable in length to a short-wheelbase VW T6.1 or Ford Transit Custom but, being wider, the Peugeot and Fiat provide the extra space necessary to offer a roomier living area.
With the base vehicle chosen, the rest of the campervan developed from there.
In order to create good headroom, a wide elevating roof was installed, using (optional) extreme weather canvas to mitigate the cold and draughts that Richard and wife, Sonya, had experienced in numerous pop-top campervans previously.
The option to add two swivel cab seats, upholstered to match the rear seats, creates more space up front and provides a family-friendly living space, too.
With a traditional side kitchen layout with good storage, the Trouvaille certainly feels like a much larger home-on-wheels when compared to the smaller VW or Ford.
All the usual appliances you’d expect to find in a campervan are present, including a Dometic compressor fridge, a two-ring cooker and sink combination unit with glass lids that double as worktop space.
Clean lines and a modern take on the furniture make the campervan feel airy and bright and deep pan drawers instead of cupboards make accessing your essentials easier. Storage is good, thanks to a larger than usual wardrobe with fully accessible doors at the rear and overhead lockers in the kitchen and living space.
There are plenty of 12V and mains sockets to hand, plus LED lighting throughout.
Behind the M1 tested triple-seat travel bench (with Isofix child seat fixing points) is a large boot area for storing larger items or mucky gear when on the move, while space down the side provides room for things like skis. More storage is available underneath the bench, which is also where the portable toilet is stored.
With warmth, noise reduction and comfort in mind, Polyvision double-glazed windows featuring internal blinds are fitted. These have an advantage over standard factory-fitted glass windows usually found in window vans as they offer better insulation. The Trouvaille is also well insulated to allow for all-season camping, and there is the option to have a heater, such as the Propex gas-fired one fitted to the model here.
Come night-time, the bench converts to a double bed measuring 1.83m by 1.37m (manufacturer's figures) while the option of a further two berths is available in the pop-top. With two more berths optionally available using Cabbunk bunk beds in the cab, the Trouvaille can be configured to sleep six people, if required.
Orange Campers is a small family run company with over 20 years of experience. Being campervanners themselves, Richard and Sonya Tomlin feel lucky to work in a trade that they love so much, so it’s no surprise that they are passionate about all things campervan and, as a result, can offer a wealth of expertise and knowledge when it comes to building you a bespoke campervan to match your tastes.
They’re dedicated to building high-quality, handcrafted, bespoke campervans using modern technology and also pride themselves on guiding their customers through every step of the way, offering excellent advice and aftersales service.
The all-new Trouvaille was due to be launched at the National Motorhome and Campervan Show at the Peterborough Showground earlier this year, which has been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately.
In the meantime, Orange Campers is still open for business, if you’d like to find out more about its new campervan.
Unit 3b, Thornhill Industrial Estate, Hope Street, Rotherham S60 1LH
Telephone: 07931 868529/01709 252626