Even with the launch of the vaccine, it’s not clear how soon it will be for overseas vacations to become the norm again. That means many Britons plan to stay in 2021 to avoid travel and possible financial losses on canceled trips abroad.
That means the RV appetite, which hit an all-time high in 2020, will continue to grow. More and more drivers are interested in getting their hands on converted delivery vans to take their families on vacation in the country or by the sea.
Now there is a new model on the market. Vauxhall unveiled its Vivaro Elite campervan this week, which will cost from £ 46,000.
And because it’s built in the UK, the price won’t be affected by any increase in tariffs as a result of Brexit, which means it’s among the cheapest on the market.
Staycation 2021 resolved: Vauxhall is the newest automaker to offer an official camper a conversion of one of its vans
Vauxhall has revealed details of the UK-built RV and says an electric version – based on its multi-award-winning Vivaro e-van – is also in the pipeline.
From launch, the RV will only be available with Vauxhall’s existing diesel engines, likely 2.0 liter units that deliver 148hp or 178hp.
The diesel engines use Vauxhall’s BlueInjection technology to limit pollutant emissions – although they still emit around 200 g / km of CO2 – and should return between 36 and 38 miles per gallon, although no economy or performance figures have been confirmed yet.
What we do know is that the starting price is £ 46,000 and the camper will go on sale early next year.
The Vivaro Elite Campervan is based on the premium commercial vehicle built by Vauxhall in Luton
The model is available through the brand’s partnership with Barnsley-based specialist Wellhouse Leisure
It will go on sale to customers early next year, starting at £ 46,000. However, there will be a variety of options to increase the price
That said, it’s nearly £ 10,000 cheaper than the market-leading Volkswagen California and up to £ 15,000 less than the Mercedes V-Class Marco Polo and Ford Transit Custom Nugget (see details below).
The Vauxhall RV is built as a Vivaro Elite Van by Luton, but converted by Wellns Leisure specialists from Barnsley.
And since the elite motorhome was built in the UK, it is unlikely to be affected by World Trade Organization tariffs, which could be added to the price of EU vehicles if negotiators cannot reach an agreement with Brussels before December 31st .
From launch, the motorhome will likely be available with Vivaro’s existing two-liter diesel engine in one of two outputs, one 148hp and the other 178hp
According to Vauxhall, an electric version is also in preparation based on the multi-award-winning Vivaro-e
The Vauxhall Vivaro Elite Campervan comes standard with front and rear parking sensors as well as a rear parking camera, head-up display, semi-adaptive cruise control and Vauxhall’s Multimedia Navi Pro system with integrated navigation system
A move to WTO rules could see the price of the VW California rise by at least £ 5,500 starting next year.
Vauxhall’s RV offers a four-seat arrangement.
The rear seats can be folded into a bed and there is the option of an additional mattress for the high roof system, which has a canvas construction and a small window in the front.
In the rear, the camper offers space for two more passengers who have access to a fold-out table. For the night, the back seat turns into a double bed for two people
There is a storage compartment for additional camping equipment under the back seat and bed. The back of the van has a couple of closets
A gas-powered kitchen with two hobs and a sink is included as standard. The panels can be folded over the devices to create additional work space
Each model is supplied with a 25-liter compressor refrigerator, an on-board water tank, 12 V and 240 V units and a 2.2 kW heating system.
Also standard is a gas-powered kitchen with two hobs, a washbasin and full interior lighting.
A built-in leisure battery and 100 W solar panel provide the van with electricity and can help with charging devices.
Both the driver and front passenger seats have a swivel function so that they can be rotated towards the rear seats. Buyers can optionally add a fifth seat.
Each model comes with this 25 liter compressor refrigerator, which offers enough space for the supply of food and drinks on the weekend
Left: There is an external power supply when owners show up at a campsite. Right: There is an internal control panel for all switches, temperature functions and sockets
Both the driver and front passenger seats swivel to create a living room-style space at the back. Buyers can also add an optional fifth seat
As with most campers on the market, there is a nifty folding table in the back, an awning attachment on the side of the vehicle and storage space for an outdoor picnic kit.
The Vauxhall Vivaro Elite is equipped as standard with 17-inch wheels, front and rear parking sensors, a rear parking camera, a head-up display, semi-adaptive cruise control and Vauxhall’s Multimedia Navi Pro system with integrated navigation system.
The fully approved van conversion comes with Vauxhall’s three year / 100,000 mile warranty.
Here are some of the vans it will race against in 2021 …
CAMPERVAN RIVALS THE VAUXHALL RISES AGAINST
Price: from £ 55,399 to £ 75,238
Sleeps: up to 4 people
The RV Daddy: The first vehicle most people will think of is the VW California. It is the only factory made RV sold by a manufacturer
The Vivaro Elite Campervan’s biggest rival is undoubtedly the VW California, which is the only one made by an in-house manufacturer.
It sleeps four and is available in two trim levels (Coast costs £ 55,339 and Ocean costs £ 63,817). With a built-in table, refrigerator, double gas range, sink, and cabinet, it’s still the dad of the industry.
In terms of price, however, the Vivaro already undercuts it considerably.
The current model, which is already available in the sixth generation, has been available in stores since 2015. Last year, however, it was thoroughly revised by VW to make it more practical, more convenient and – with new functions – more secure.
The latest version receives an improved dashboard with the more recent infotainment system from VW, but also improves the already impressive workmanship with high-quality door handles and better hinges for all fold-out devices.
You can have a California with just one engine choice – VW’s proven 2.0 liter 148 hp diesel. It is only available with a DSG automatic transmission
The Coast model has a manual pop-up roof, while the higher-quality Ocean has a drive system to extend the height of the interior and provide a double bed in the roof space
In the trunk door there is a secret compartment in which two picnic chairs can be stored and a small table can be removed from the sliding door
The roof bed now also has plastic springs instead of wooden slats, although the second bed, where the back seat is dropped flat and folded over a built-in mattress, remains unchanged.
All Californians have a pull-out awning on the side of the van, while the trunk door has a compartment with two hidden picnic tables. The trunk is also quite large, although the camper comes with features for living space.
Volkswagen also decided to switch to an electromechanical power steering system compared to the previous hydraulic setup.
This enables more active safety functions, such as B. the standard crosswind support to make the high-sided camper more stable on gusty motorway journeys.
The driver’s food and passenger seat both rotate so you can seat four people around the extendable table after parking
There is a double gas stove (with space for a gas bottle in the back), a sink and a small fridge in the countertop compartment
The pull-out roof section offers another bed that is ideal for children. The front part can be zipped down during the day
Do you want something bigger? Buyers with a little more money can indulge themselves on the long wheelbase Grand California. It is longer and offers more space inside, but can only accommodate up to 4 people in 2 double beds
The California has only one engine option – a 2.0-liter diesel with 148 hp and a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. According to official fuel economy tests, this is good for an average of 33.6 mpg and emissions of 221 g / km.
The more expensive Ocean benefits from double-glazed windows, a built-in navigation system and an electric pop-up roof instead of manual. This is Money Editor Simon Lambert spent two weeks in a final year, totaling 2,100 miles – you can read his full review here.
And if you want the ultimate in luxury, you can specify up to the long-wheelbase Grand California, priced between £ 72,745 and £ 75,238 – although it can only sleep up to four people in two double beds.
The demand has already increased. Inquiries for quotes for the California standard model rose 250 percent in April versus March, while inquiries for the larger model in Grand California rose 100 percent.
Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo
Price: from £ 57,980 to £ 69,880
Sleeps: up to 4 people
Mercedes-Benz also has its own motorhome – the little-known V-Class Marco Polo
Like Vauxhall’s agreement with converter Wellhouse Leisure, Mercedes’s offer is the result of the acquisition of a specialist company that converts its vans into premium campers.
Mercedes has been selling the Marco Polo Camper – based on the V-Class MPV – since buying the camping conversion specialist Westfalia around 20 years ago.
Like the VW California, the V-Class Marco Polo also has an awning that expands to provide campsite-friendly coverage
The built-in unit has (from left to right) a refrigerator, a double gas stove and a sink. When not in use, the lid can be closed to create a countertop
The trunk is divided by the mattress for the lower bed, which can be fully extended when the rear bench is lowered
If you’re looking for a premium experience than the Vauxhall, there’s the Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo.
It has not always been available in the UK market and, despite being sold through authorized MB dealers, is still relatively little known.
There are four different equipment variants, including an AMG-Line version with large wheels and lots of bling.
It can accommodate up to five people (depending on specification) and four people.
The Marco Polo is an inexpensive alternative at a competitive price to the market-leading VW California
The same dashboard and instrument cluster is used in the MPV model of the V-Class
The two front seats rotated so that once the who group stopped to stop, the who group could interact
As with the Vauxhall, the two front seats swivel, the rear chairs fold flat to form the bed on the first floor, and there is a retractable roof that extends into the sleeping areas upstairs.
In the main part of the cabin there is a unit on one side that houses a sink, stove, refrigerator and a handy set of cabinets, drawers and cabinets that can be used to store cooking utensils and everything else when you are on the move .
There is also an external power outlet that can be plugged into a campsite power supply so owners can provide power to equipment – such as an electric heater if you dine outside in the evening.
A table protrudes from the side unit and offers the occupants plenty of legroom
This closet door even contains a cosmetic mirror and offers an additional storage solution
With the power roof down, this is the large bed that can be used in the upper part of the vehicle
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel from Mercedes with two outputs – one with 161 hp or a more powerful 236 hp – and a 9-speed automatic transmission is hidden under the bonnet. Both will average around 36mpg, according to official statistics.
The Range Topper is the exclusive version of the V300d Long, which is child’s play with a 360-degree camera, additional driver assistance packages and luxurious massage and reclining seats in the rear with even footrests. It also has a massive sound system if you want to have a party on the go.
While there is a retractable awning attached to the side of the vehicle, there isn’t as much storage space for picnic chairs and tables as there is in California, meaning they take up some trunk space.
You have to pay more for a Mercedes to be attractive – at least £ 10,000 more than the Vauxhall without the effects of Brexit.
Ford Transit Custom Nugget
Price: from £ 59,608 to £ 63,334
Sleeps: up to 4 people
The Transit Custom Nugget might have a terrible name, but it’s a motorhome that comes with some features that others just don’t
Of all the models in the list, this one has by far the worst name.
But look beyond that and the Ford Transit Custom Nugget has a lot going for it against more premium competitors.
As you’ve already guessed, it’s based on the transit van – the most iconic of all commercial vehicles out there. However, this is a full makeover sold through Ford dealerships and is listed as an official model on their website.
Prices for the Ford Transit Custom Nugget range from £ 59,608 – more than the VW California
The bed system is different from what we saw before and it disappears into the kitchen area of the motorhome
There is also a bed in the pull-out roof compartment. There is a hard top conversion model (pictured), although the standard version has a manual popup with canvas pages
As you are used to from the motorhomes already supplied, it has an awning on the side of the vehicle, a camping table and chair that are attached to the trunk door when not in use, and its own outside power connection point.
Inside, the two front captain seats can be rotated 360 degrees to create a living room setup, while the rear bench can be neatly folded into one of the kitchen sections to convert it into a bed for two.
A manually extendable roof increases the sleeping capacity for a total of four people.
The kitchen layout is also unique with a small refrigerator, a double gas stove and a sink in an L-shaped unit. There is even a cutlery drawer
When the rear seats are upright and the front seats are rotated, there is an extendable table for dining
There is an external shower system on the back and the motorhome even has its own connection for the fresh water supply
In the kitchen area, which is located behind the back seat, the owners get a 40-liter refrigerator, a gas stove and a sink with its own water supply.
What sets this model apart from other models is the fact that it has its own connection for fresh water supply, an outdoor shower and a 400 watt auxiliary heating system for adjustable fuels for cool evenings.
There are three motor-gearbox combinations to choose from. You can only have a 2.0 liter EcoBlue diesel engine, but with two outputs of 128 hp or 183 hp (we would go for the latter).
In the cabin, the interior is based on the transit van, which is more like a car than ever before
Customers can only have a 2.0 liter diesel in two power levels. We’d choose the more powerful 183 hp version
Both come with a six-speed manual transmission, though the more powerful powerplant has the option of a six-speed automatic transmission – and is the most expensive at over £ 63,000.
The smaller engine has a claimed fuel efficiency of 30 MPG, while the least economical is the more powerful performance with the auto transmission, which averages just 25 MPG.
There are also optional extras that annoyingly include air conditioning for £ 960 on top of the large sum you’ve already spent. There is also a practical bike rack.
This will drive up the already expensive price. Costs start at just under £ 60,000 – around £ 14,000 more than the Vauxhall.
Sussex Campervans Manhattan / Paradise (Renault Trafic)
Price: from £ 41,995 to £ 51,995
Die in Horsham ansässigen professionellen Konverter Sussex Campervans werden aus einem Renault Trafic-Lieferwagen mit Spitzenleistung zu einem Bruchteil des Preises von werkseitig hergestellten Wohnmobilen ein Zuhause auf Rädern machen
In ganz Großbritannien gibt es eine Reihe hochwertiger Umbauunternehmen, die Wohnmobile zu niedrigeren Preisen als der Vivaro verkaufen. Einer von ihnen sind die etablierten Sussex Campervans.
Das beliebteste Modell, das es produziert, sind die Umbauten von Manhattan und Paradise, die auf dem preisgekrönten Renault Trafic – oder dem Schwesterwagen Nissan NV300 – basieren.
Das in Horsham ansässige Unternehmen kauft die Transporter direkt beim Hersteller und baut sie dann nach Maß zu einem kompakten Mobilheim zusammen.
Die beliebtesten Modelle der britischen Firma sind Manhattan und Paradise, die beide auf dem Renault Trafic oder seinem Schwesterwagen, dem Nissan NV300, basieren
Jedes Modell verfügt über eine klassische Seitenkücheneinheit mit zwei Kochfeldern und einem Waschbecken
Wie bei allen guten Wohnmobilen gibt es ein hochklappbares Hochdach mit Platz für ein Kingsize-Bett
Der Trafic hat sich als eines der leistungsfähigsten Basisfahrzeuge erwiesen und beeindruckt durch seine Kombination aus fahrzeugähnlicher Fahrdynamik, vorhandenen hohen Standardspezifikationen, Verfeinerung und verfügbarem Platz.
Das Unternehmen verfügt über eine erstklassige Ausstattungsvariante für Sport, die von einem 1,6-Liter-Turbodieselmotor mit 143 PS und einem Sechsgang-Schaltgetriebe mit 46,3 MPg angetrieben wird.
Der Van verfügt bereits über Standardfunktionen wie Satellitennavigation, DAB-Radio, Bluetooth, Klimaanlage, Parksensoren hinten, automatische Lichter und Scheibenwischer sowie Tempomat mit Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzer.
Je nach Platzbedarf können Sie zwischen einer Version mit kurzem oder langem Radstand des Renault-Lieferwagens wählen
Eine clevere klappbare Rückbank verwandelt den Rücken in ein massives Bett. Sogar der Holzboden ist hochspezifiziert
Unter der Motorhaube befindet sich ein sparsamer 1,6-Liter-Dieselmotor, dessen Kraft über ein serienmäßiges Sechsgang-Schaltgetriebe auf die Räder übertragen wird
Beim Umbau des Wohnmobils werden eine klassische Seitenkücheneinheit – einschließlich eines Kochfelds mit zwei Brennern und einer Spüle – und ein aufklappbares Hebedach hinzugefügt.
Die Rücksitze lassen sich flach zu einem Kingsize-Bett zusammenklappen, während Sie im Pop-Top-Dachbereich auch die gleiche Schlafmöglichkeit angeben können.
Alle Modelle sind außerdem mit einer thermostatischen Gasheizung ausgestattet. Das teuerste Modell der Serie – das Paradise Deluxe mit langem Radstand (ab 51.995 GBP) – verfügt sogar über eine eingebaute Spültoilettentoilette auf der Rückseite.
Kunden können ihre Bestellungen spezifizieren, um Solarmodule für die Stromerzeugung unterwegs zu haben.
Randger R499 / R535 (Fiat Talento)
Preis: von 41.995 £ bis 43.995 £
The Randger R499 and R535 are based on the Fiat Talento commercial vehicle. The names refer to their length, with the 4.99-metre version being the short-wheelbase model and the 5.35-metre example being the longer camper
Another conversion that’s cheaper to purchase than the Vauxhall Vivaro Elite Campervan is the Randger, available in two versions called R499 and R535.
Those names relate to each version’s length, with the short-wheelbase measuring in at 4.99 metres and the long-wheelbase being 5.35 metres.
The donor vehicle is the Fiat Talento – a commercial van that’s not immensely popular in the UK but shares many parts with the Renault Trafic and is the ideal mule for a camper conversion.
To make the pricing structure simple, both models come in one specification with the only choice for customers being which of the three exterior colours to pick
The front cab seats swivel round so you can face the rear-seat passengers and there’s a table, which is stored in the boot, that can be clipped into place for the full dining effect
Under the bonnet is Fiat’s 1.6-litre twin-turbo diesel unit. It’s mated to a six-speed manual gearbox to produce 125bhp and average fuel economy in the region of 40mpg
Power comes from a 1.6-litre twin-turbo diesel engine producing 125bhp and returning in excess of 40mpg (claimed). You only have the option of a six-speed manual gearbox, so there’s no choice of an auto.
Randger, a French brand, is part of the Marquis Leisure dealer network – the largest of its type for motorhomes and caravans in the UK – with 12 dealerships across the country and every model is sold with a two-year warranty.
To make the pricing structure simple, both the short- and long-wheelbase come in one specification with the only choice for customers being which of the three exterior colours to pick.
The kitchen area comprises a stainless steel sink, double gas hob. Fold the rear bench down and there’s a decent-size bed
In the kitchen area is a built-in fridge with a freezer section that’s hidden away in the beautifully finishes unit
All models come with the pop-up roof area, which offers a double bed that’s suitable for children
The driving layout is a like-for-like with the Fiat Talento van with a 7-inch touchscreen media and nav system, cruise control and air conditioning for the cab
Inside, the cab seats swivel round so you can face the rear-seat passengers and there’s a table, which is stored in the boot, that can be clipped into place for the full dining effect. Fold the rear bench flat and it becomes a spacious bed.
There’s plenty of sound-deadening too, with high-impact polymer coated walls to keep the cabin well insulated – apart from the canvas pop-up section, which has a double bed designed for children rather than full-fledged adults.
As well as a number of spacious cupboards and lockers, the kitchen gets double-burner gas hobs, a stainless steel sink, a 41-litre fridge and both a fresh and waste water tank.
The shorter Randger R499 costs £41,995 while the longer-wheelbase R535 is just £2,000 more, with the one-spec model costing £43,995
The additional length doesn’t add more sleeping quarters but does include a fully-working toilet and a little saloon door for a bit of privacy (left). The restroom also gets another sink and a shower head that can be attached to the taps (right)
The interior of the R535 shows the slightly different table layout with an additional stool chair
All examples come with a built-in fire detector (left). The Randger range also have CO2 detectors fitted as standard (right)
Stretch the budget to the £43,995 R535 and the extra space means you get the added benefit of a washroom, with a cassette toilet with electric flush and 18-litre wheeled holding tank. There’s also a washbasin as well as a shower system and a towel holder.
Safety wise, every example comes with not smoke and CO2 detectors.
Volkswagen Caddy California
Preis: from £27,000 approx
The Volkswagen Caddy Camper, due to arrive in the UK from next year, will be one of the smallest, and therefore cheapest, campervans on the market
Volkswagen will next year add a new model to its California range of campervans – and it is its most compact, and cheapest, yet – significantly less expensive than the Vauxhall.
While prices are yet to be confirmed for the UK, VW has hinted it will cost from around £27,000.
The Caddy California is designed for holidaying couples rather than family getaways, featuring just the one double bed that folds out over the rear seats.
VW’s smallest campervan comes with a bespoke tent to increase the sleeping quarters. Without it, it sleeps just two people
The Caddy California camper even has a section to store this lightweight picnic chair and table set. No prices for the vehicle have been released for UK buyers, but expect it to be quite a bit cheaper than the larger California
The one-metre long bed folds-up to just a third of its overall length so it can be stored in the back. Unlike other models, the bed isn’t incorporated into the rear seats, so these can be removed entirely if not in use – thus increasing luggage space
But if you do want to take a bigger group on a staycation, VW has added the option of a specially-made tent that attaches to the back of the van to double the sleeping capacity.
And users will even be able to cook for their guests from the comfort of their mini-motorhome, as it comes equipped with a micro-kitchen on rails that extends from a small compartment in the boot.
The bed, which when folded away is a third of its total length and has to be unfurled from the boot section and lays across the rear bench, is two metres long and features the same ‘cup springs and a high-quality mattress’ you get in the bigger California and Grand California models.
The bed features the same ‘cup springs and a high-quality mattress’ you get in the bigger California and Grand California models
While the bed is two metres, it does mean there is just sleeping for two inside the vehicle. But there is the option to sleep another two people…
An optional tent, which fits to the boot section of the Caddy California, means you can take another two people (or more, looking at these images) on tour with you
If you do plan a couple’s getaway, you can remove the rear seats entirely, providing van-like luggage space and means you can have the bed folded out at all times.
In the boot is also a lightweight set of camping chairs and a table and a pair of storage bags.
These have a dual function: first to carry heavy items from your home to the van and back; second as a set of curtains that can clip to the rear windows for additional privacy while your have a kip.
There’s a mico kitchen which slides on rails from a compartment slotted into the boot
It features a single hob, space for a gas canister, sections to keep some (but not much) food, and a cutlery drawer
VW UK says the Caddy Califronia isn’t confirmed for the UK yet, but if there’s enough demand it will be introduced to showrooms. Prices in Germany are to start from €30,000, including the tent. That means an entry price in the region of £27,000 if sold in the UK
Buyers will also have the option of a micro kitchen, which slides out of a unit under the bed.
Pull the section out and it handily sits underneath the raised boot lid, so you don’t need to worry about getting wet while you’re cooking.
It comes equipped with a single hob, a section to house a gas small canister to power it and a draw for your utensils.
New for this model is the addition of a 1.4-metre panoramic glass roof, which allows owners to star-gaze from their double beds in the evening.
And if they have friends or family travelling with them, there’s the option of an add-on tent that’s made specifically for the Caddy campervan.
The Caddy California will be the smallest camper in VW’s range, sitting below the standard California and enormous Grand California
A lightweight set of picnic chairs and table can be stored in a second compartment in the boot, next to the micro kitchen storage
With the coronavirus pandemic hammering the travel industry, more people are considering holidaying in the UK. The Caddy California could be the ideal vehicle for a new era of staycations
It uses ‘air poles’, which VW says makes it easier to erect than a conventional tent, and with direct access to the boot of the compact California has space to sleep an extra two people.
Powering the tiny camper is diesel engines with power outputs of 74bhp or 120bhp.
Volkswagen, which has been embroiled in the Dieselgate scandal since 2015, says these motors are not only fuel efficient but also green, with a double-dose of ‘AdBlue’ fluid in the exhaust system watering down the emissions to make them ‘among the cleanest engines in the world’, the brand claims.
Buyers will also have the option of front-wheel drive or – for those who want to take their camper off the beaten track – 4Motion four-wheel drive, which will be at a premium.
Carry bags in the boot are used to transport goods to and from the van but also have a second purpose…
The bags also double as curtains by clipping onto the window frames. Buyers can also spec this huge glass panoramic sunroof
There’s plenty of tech crammed inside the Caddy California, too.
This includes the optional ‘Innovision Cockpit’, which is made up of a 10-inch touchscreen, VW’s ‘Discover Pro’ navigation system and an online connectivity unit with integrated eSIM so users always have internet access.
The driver can link this system to the ‘California on Tour’ app, which has been created for the model range to locate campsites, legal locations to pitch-up for the night and leisure activities that are available in close proximity to where you’re staying.
The Caddy is also fitted with ‘Travel Assist’, which is an automated driving mode to be used in heavy traffic.
This is just one of 19 driving aids buyers can choose in the compact campervan, which also includes ‘Trailer Assist’ for those using the vehicle to tow.
The system helps the driver when trying to reverse a trailer or hitched caravan into a spot.
If you’re looking for a van that’s more compact, easy to drive and fuel efficient to use on a daily basis, this might be the better choice than Vauxhall’s Vivaro Elite Campervan.
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