Motorhomes are the greenest means of holidaying. That’s the finding of a report presented recently to the Europe-wide ‘Travel with Confidence’ seminar, arranged by Fiat to publicise a report on the sustainability of touring holidays and to give an up-to-date view on where the Ducato is now.
How green is a touring holiday? Very green is the answer, especially when compared to a holiday with the same itinerary but using a car to travel the distance and staying in hotels. A 15-day motorhome touring holiday by six people will cause 65% fewer emissions, according to research led by Paolo Fiamma, the assistant professor of energy, systems, land and construction engineering at the University of Pisa in Italy.
The report, written in both Italian and English, uses more than 12,800 pieces of data gathered from people on holiday, rather than relying on computer modelling. It goes by the catchy title of Mobile Lodging Unit: First Experimental Research in Italy on the Sustainability of the Recreational Vehicles and was written by the project's leader, Paolo Fiamma, and published by Arnus University, priced at €19.
More miles and fewer fumes
In the report, Fiat cites improvements to the latest X/290 chassis as evidence of its commitment to protecting the environment. A 10% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions over the recently superseded X/250 has now been achieved, thanks to Fiat's Multijet 2 injection technology, lower friction oil and piston rings, stop-start engine control, a gear-shift indicator and the ComfortMatic auto transmission. The weight has been cut by up to 35kg, allowing a higher payload in motorhomes with the same MTPLM.
Currently the Fiat Ducato van underpins three out of four motorhomes built in mainland Europe, and Fiat claims that its ubiquitous LCV is the best in its class.
To see some of the motorhomes built on the Fiat Ducato van chassis, check out our reviews for more on the performance of each model. For instance read our 2015 Swift Rio 340 review, our Carado T 339 review and Benimar Mileo 231 review.
The manufacturer also claims that its vehicles have become the most popular for panel-van conversions in the US after less than two years on the market. Pictured above is a Winebago based on the Fiat Ducato, also known as the Ram ProMaster in the US.
More help if you break down
In further motorhome news, Fiat Camper Assistance – which is free at point of delivery – is being strengthened for 2016 with 400 more multilingual employees operating dedicated computers and phones. Last year, the service responded to 90% of all contacts within 20 seconds. What started off as a breakdown assistance package now operates throughout 17 countries and in 12 languages, covering what to visit en route, stopovers, technical queries, help in finding the nearest approved workshop – in fact, anything that a motorcaravanner may need to know.
Tied in with the organisation is the Mopar spares, an accessories and warranty operation, which will offer five-year warranties on the Fiat base vehicle section of any new motorhome sold.
In case readers aren’t aware of the massive scale of the Sevel plant where the Fiat Ducatos are built, I’d better just say that five million LCVs have rolled off the production lines since it opened in 1968, and that production has now reached 1100 vehicles per day.
With such an efficient production plant, no wonder the Fiat Ducato is Europe's favourite motorhome base vehicle.