Van converters say they focus on getting everything into as small a length as possible, but there is a sweet spot, below which some buyers won’t go – around the 6m mark.

But there are still plenty of great models that come in shorter than that. After all, Fiat and its partners produce a short-wheelbase van that’s just 5.41m long. So what does that give you in today’s van conversions?

To find out, we took a look at Globecar’s Roadscout R model, kitted out in Elegance spec and on display at SMC Motorhomes, in Newark.

Globecar Roadscout R Elegance models have a more open lounge than D Lines, with enhanced headroom, integrated mood lighting and exclusive upholstery.

Our test model also had the £1995 UK pack, providing a leather steering wheel, cruise control and other extras, taking the total price up to £67,199.

The cab is standard Fiat with drinks holders in the centre, captain’s seats with armrests and a pelmet shelf.

A curved light on the outside of the kitchen peninsula should light up the area immediately outside the vehicle if you enjoy dining outdoors.

A useful set of hooks is by the door, and you will find a pair of USBs by the control panel here. The clip-on table in the dinette is a little narrow, and the two travel seats feel rather upright. But you really appreciate the extra headroom in the Elegance.

The best campervans will provide good lighting options, and that’s something this Globecar excels in. A large Heki lets in plenty of natural light, but you are spoiled for lighting, too, with ambient lighting and two LEDs. There are two more USBs under the locker, and a mains socket.

The kitchen peninsula includes workspace that is large for a van conversion. The two-burner hob is integrated with a sink that includes taps and controls that fold flat, allowing you to use the sink cover as extra work surface.

The kitchen's integrated sink and hob
The kitchen has integrated sink and hob; the taps and controls fold flat, so you can use the sink cover if you need more meal prep space

There is a mains socket to the right of the sink, but not much space for a kettle. The two-way opening fridge is within easy reach.

The washroom extends into the aisle with a tambour door that seals it off, rolling back when not in use.

Thanks again to the headroom, the sealed-off area provides a spacious and well-lit shower room, with the basin tap doubling up as a shower head. The washroom is bit gloomy, as there’s no window. But it houses a large, sleek handbasin that folds away.

A large, sleek handbasin can be folded neatly away
Large, sleek handbasin folds neatly away to allow access to the toilet underneath

A wooden block built into the access hole in the half-partition just behind the washroom makes it easier to climb up into the transverse bed. Once there, you have two spotlights. The switches for the ambient lighting are nearby.

Our model came with an optional third bed, which makes up from the dinette in front and an extra platform. Globecar includes this for every model that is imported to the UK, although technically it is a cost option.

The rear bed folds up to reveal a huge space for storing larger items. On this vehicle’s longer cousins, the frame for the bed can be stashed to the side in transit, but that’s not possible here, so you may need to decide before you set off whether you need this facility.

Apart from the space, the area beneath the bed includes access to the offside water tanks, while two cubbyholes on the nearside between the bed and the gas bottle locker offer secure storage.

Above the bed there are overhead lockers down both sides and across the back. There need to be, too, because there is no wardrobe.

Beneath the bed, you get plenty of storage
There’s plenty of room below the bed to store larger items of kit

There are two more lockers above the front dinette, plus a cavernous space under the travel seats accessed through a flap on the side, and a small cubbyhole in the floor.

The kitchen has two large drawers and a locker. There’s a locker in the washroom, too, and a shelf of sorts.

Practical Motorhome Says…

The Globecar Roadscout R Elegance is a comfortable, elegant little ‘van that should suffice for a couple who need a vehicle they might want to use outside touring, and who only occasionally bring along a guest. The absence of a wardrobe is a bit of a bind, but the kitchen and washroom are both above average for a van conversion.

After more vehicles at a similar price point? Then check out our guide to the best van conversions over £50,000.

Technical specification

  • Price: £58,189 (£67,199 as tested)
  • Sleeps: 2 (optional 3)
  • Belts: 4
  • Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato
  • Engine: 140bhp turbodiesel
  • Length/width/height: 5.41/2.05/2.58m (17’7”/6’7”/8’5”)
  • MTPLM; 3300kg (3500kg as tested)
  • MiRO: 2720kg
  • Payload: 580kg as standard
  • Water: (fresh/waste) 100/92 litres
  • Leisure battery: 95Ah
  • Gas 2 x 11kg

After some more ‘van inspiration? Then see how the Auto-Sleepers Air and the Jöbl Kampa LE compare…

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