FOLLOWING THE RUNAWAY success of its funky Terrier, converter Wellhouse Leisure has announced a new addition to its range of affordable campervans.
The Terrier is based on the ever-popular Ford Torneo Custom, but the new Wellhouse Alphard arrives on a rather less familiar base vehicle, the Toyota Alphard MPV. If that name is new to you then don’t be surprised, because these people-carriers are imported from Japan.
That it’s a used model but still a high-quality base vehicle means that Wellhouse is able to promise a great product for a whole lot less money. Indeed, on the road prices for this campervan start at only £20,000.
So, what do you get for your money?
The standard specification of the Wellhouse Alphard includes swivelling front seats, an elevating roof, a ‘rock and roll’ double bed, 240V electric hook-up, LED lighting, a Webasto heater, air-conditioning, electric folding mirrors, plus powered, tinted windows.
There’s also a kitchen that features a fridge, an oven, a sink and a two-burner hob – plus there’s even a portable toilet, and fresh and waste water tanks.
If that’s not enough, there are plenty of options available for you to customise the camper to suit your touring lifestyle. How about a bike rack, an awning, a bunk in the pop top roof or a solar panel?
Being secondhand models, usually around 10 years old and having covered between about 50,000 and 70,000 miles, some of the Alphards also come with other extras, such as alloy wheels, an electric side door, a reversing camera and parking sensors, both at the front and the rear.
The ‘van can be powered by either a four-cylinder, 2.4-litre petrol engine or by a 3-litre petrol V6, with an automatic transmission fitted as standard. Four-wheel-drive versions are available, too. It’s also great to know that these motorhomes come with a three-year warranty.
Despite the fact that these are not new ‘van conversions, Wellhouse, which transforms these MPVs into fully fledged campers at its factory in Bideford, Devon, says it is committed to ensuring that all of its conversions, new and used, are built to the same exacting standards.
“Although our new models such as the Ford Terrier are proving a huge success, we never forget that there are plenty of people who love camping but have smaller budgets, so we’ve always been proud to offer our imported, used Japanese conversions with all the benefits of a brand new campervan for a much more modest investment,” said David Elliott, managing director of Wellhouse Leisure.
“The Alphard is a really luxurious base vehicle and like a Lexus in terms of quality and specification. It feels like a car to drive and is surprisingly economical, so we would encourage everyone to test drive one to see for themselves how good it is. It also looks stunning and will be a great, more luxurious successor to the Toyota Granvia and Regius that we’ve converted 750 of in the last eight years, so we are looking forward to converting the Alphard for many years to come.”
Wellhouse is going to have its hands full, having encountered huge demand for the Torneo-based Terrier. Some 60 ’vans have been sold this year already, and its success has caught the eye of Ford execs – one of whom has even bought a Terrier for himself. And now Ford is investigating the idea of offering Terriers through its own dealer network, which will mean upping production to around 200 units per year.