Many Practical Motorhome readers might think the Auto-Trail V-Line was the brand’s first panel van conversion range.

It wasn’t, but it is their first in quite a long time, since the mid-1990s, in fact, when the manufacturer, which features in our best motorhome brands guide, made the SEVEL-based Badger and Fox, along with the rather short-lived Ford Transit-based Stag.

The V-Line burst onto the scene back in 2007, when some Auto-Trail models featured a stylish GRP forehead and crown to the standard Ducato high-top.

These ceased in 2017, after which, our featured generation of V-Line commenced, all on the standard high-roof version of the ubiquitous X/290 Fiat Ducato. There are currently 11 direct descendants, plus a further five close relatives, and also many ‘Tribute’-badged doppelgängers.

The majority of pre-owned examples for sale are from the V-Line SE and Sport ranges. The most significant difference between Sport derivatives and the rest is that Sport replaces
the rear doors with a one-piece moulded GRP infill with boot-style exterior-access storage.

The lounge area is always going to be important when choosing the best campervan. In the case of the Sport, this has facilitated the inward-facing rear settees morphing into a palatial U-shaped lounge. Sport also adds flush-fitting windows to the side panels, for a sleeker, more automotive, look.

U-shaped seating in Sports model
All Sport models replace the rear doors with a one-piece moulded GRP infill panel with full-width window, exterior-access boot-style storage, and palatial, sociable U-shaped seating

V-Line S/SE ranges are bedrocks of the genre – SE adds 16” black alloy wheels, as well as an underslung steel spare wheel and tyre.

The baby of the range, the 5.41m (17’ 9”) 540SE packs a great deal of accommodation into a manoeuvrable, short-wheelbase Ducato derivative. The 540 has a nearside kitchen and an offside washroom ahead of the rear lounge – which converts into a transverse double bed.

Stretching the tape to 5.99m (19’ 8”) is the 610SE. It’s similar to the 540, only with longer rear settees, which provide the option of sleeping in two easy-access longitudinal single beds. The 635SE and 636SE are conversions of the 6.36m (20’ 10.5”) XL version of the long-wheelbase panel van.

Both have a rear lounge that converts into a transverse double bed, with the 635 adding the option of two single beds. Immediately behind the driver, the 635 includes an extra low-level cupboard, but the 636 replaces that with a half-dinette (including two additional travel seats).

Cupboard behind drivers seat
635 variants include a low-level base-unit cupboard immediately behind the driver

The 610/635/636 layouts are repeated in the flagship Sport range. The original V-Line S-range includes similar campervan layouts to many in the SE range, but with different numbering. (Why?)

Anyway, 610SE becomes 660S; 635SE changes to 670S, and 636SE is renumbered as the 680S.

The S range is also home to the 669S, with a fold-away permanent transverse double bed at the far rear.

Confused already? There’s more. Expedition is the current entry-level Auto-Trail PVC and it precipitated the phasing out of the V-Line S models.

Kitchen with two-burner hob and sink, with separate oven/grill
Kitchen in S and Expedition models features a slim one-piece stainless-steel two-burner hob and sink, with separate oven/grill below

Both Adventure models (55 and 65) are really V-Line SEs, with the addition of a rear-hinged elevating-roof and additional double bed to the high-top crown. Expedition 55 and (longer) 65 both use the layout of the 636SE.

Three-burner hob/oven/grill
SE/Sport and Adventure have deeper slot-in domestic-style three-burner hob/oven/grill

Recent improvements to all A-T PVCs include a change to a cut-away overcab, known as ‘Cab Plus’, and the cost-option of adding a super-sized (opening) glazed skylight above the cab – monikered ‘Panoview’.

Whale provides the underfloor units for space and water heating and all derivatives share the same design of washroom (so far anyway!), which includes a fold-away basin, shower
tray, cassette toilet and storage.

The LPG locker on the Adventure PVCs was designed for two Calor 3.9kg (exchange) propane cylinders… which Calor has now withdrawn. Flogas and Campingaz provide alternatives.

The rest of the range have a 25-litre underslung LPG tank, which holds around 12.7kg of gas.

Auto-Trail V-Line essentials

  • This generation built 2018-present at Europarc, Grimsby, North Lincolnshire
  • Three-door and five-door high-top panel van conversions
  • Overall length: 5.41m (17’ 9”) to 6.36m (20’ 10.5”)

What we like:

  • Wide range of layouts available at each price-point
  • Stylish interiors
  • Not perceived as inferior to Auto-Trail coachbuilts
  • All available at 3500kg
  • Good storage

What we dislike

  • Fold-away basins (personal opinion)

What to look out for in an Auto-Trail V-Line

Base vehicle

As always, look for a full service history based on time, not mileage, intervals. Early examples of this generation had a 120bhp Multijet turbodiesel engine as standard; most were later upgraded to 140bhp, with automatic transmission available as a cost-option.

All will be to the Euro 6 emissions standard, the newest to Euro 6D (final).

The only common fault to look for concerns the cab airbags, indicated by an illuminated red warning light within the instrument nacelle.


North Lincolnshire-based Auto-Trail have been making V-Lines for yonks now, plus they also convert panel vans for other European manufacturers within the global Trigano Group.

Although Auto-Trail are very good at vehicle conversions, they can’t be responsible for the correct installation of after-fit accessories.

Check around these thoroughly, especially for signs of water ingress. Insist on a recent habitation service with a written gas/230V safety report and evidence of a comprehensive body-integrity inspection.

Our pick

All benefit from practical layouts and there are no lemons. For use as an only vehicle: 540SE. For solo travellers and couples: 610SE/Sport. For families: Adventure 65. Fiat ComfortMatic or automatic transmission preferably, but it’s not a deal-breaker.

What to pay

Most of this generation of V-Lines will be over £55,000 on dealer forecourts. Earlier models from £40,000, trade and private.

Alternatives to consider

Built by A-T on Fiat Ducato: Tribute PVCs, Roller-Team Toleno. UK-built on Peugeot Boxer and Fiat Ducato: Auto-Sleeper Warwick/Warwick XL, Kemmerton XL, Kingham, Fairford/Fairford XL. On Ducato: Swift Carrera.

You can also find out more about other models from the brand, such as the Auto-Trail Grande Frontier or the Auto-Trail F-Line.

See what our writer has to say about how to prolong the life of a motorhome.

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