Bryony Symes
Staff Writer

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Known for its campers based on VW Transporter and Mercedes Vito, Rolling Homes now turns its attentions to Ford's Transit. Nick Harding steps inside

Overview

It was when Ford gave a facelift to its Transit Custom range, earlier in 2018, that Rolling Homes decided the time was right. 

Hence the Kingsley, the Shrewsbury firm’s first Ford conversion. This is also the first to be named after a female explorer (Mary; the rest of the range references male adventurers). 

Design

One of the Ford Custom’s key aspects for RH is the dashboard. Car-like doesn’t even begin to describe it, from the multifunctional leather-clad steering wheel to the touchscreen DAB stereo (and more) system. Needless to say, it comes with air conditioning, cruise control, electric mirrors and more, all as standard.

There are some attractively priced optional extras, such as automatic transmission (£680), and a more powerful but impressive 168bhp engine (£2725 – it’s a real belter).

One downside, though, is the Ford’s height. It sits well off the ground, which means conversions are never going to squeeze under 2m height barriers (Kingsley is 2.08m tall with its roof down).

The hallmark of most RH conversions is superbly finished lightweight oak furniture. The conversion work also includes a RIB rear bench seat and an SCA elevating roof.

Lounging & dining

For mealtimes, occupants sit around a pedestal-leg table (the top’s in matching wood, of course). Although my personal bug-bear – carpet wall lining – is here, it does all seem well finished. Between it and the outer walls is an eco-friendly sheep’s-wool insulation.

I prefer the camper-style curtains used here, too. And there’s space in the roof to stow the insulation panels for the cab windows. Other details of note range from the plastic-faced bump stops for each locker door, to LED downlighting, to CTek smart battery monitoring.

Kitchen

The kitchen sticks firmly to campervan roots. There’s no surprise in the stainless steel two-burner gas hob and sink combination. Nor the 50-litre Waeco compressor fridge.

But you don’t expect to find a Corian worktop in a vehicle like this. However, it’s a bit of a shame that the rather neat mug cupboard, inset into the side of the wardrobe, is only an option.

Standard kitchen storage is provided by a drawer large enough to accommodate a heavy-duty chopping board, plus a shelved cupboard. Fresh water is supplied via a portable container with submersible pump, housed in the cupboard just inside the tailgate.

Sleeping

The fabulous full-size double bed uses a one-piece mattress on plastic springing that offers excellent support and all-important ventilation.

The downstairs bed is a bit smaller. The RIB seat opens out flat for a good-sized sleeping area. And even if you’ve ordered the leather upholstery option, as here, the topside of the mattress is a fabric that most folk will prefer to sleep on.

Storage

The rear seat fitting means that the end section for the bed can be left flat (to help conceal luggage) or folded upright if you really want 
to optimise the clutter-free load area at the back.

Equipment

RH doesn’t shy away from the term ‘bespoke’ – layouts won’t change, but there’s plenty of scope for spec.

You’ll probably consider the extra £1145 for a Webasto heater fuelled by the base vehicle’s diesel worthwhile. People also don’t seem to 
be put off by the £2000-plus premium for leather. 


And on that budgetary note, 2019 sees RH celebrating its 10th anniversary. There will be special editions, including 
a model – special paintwork, walnut furniture, all-Nappa leather interior – that’s claimed to be “the most luxurious VW camper 
that’s ever been built”. We can’t wait to try it out.

Technical specs

LayoutCamper without washroom
Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM3200kg
Payload900kg
Length4.97m16′4″
Width2.08m6′10″
Height2.08m6′10″
Engine (capacity)2000
Fresh water10L
Leisure battery100 Ah
Kitchen Equipment
Waeco Compressor Fridge, 2-burner gas hob
Washroom
No toilet
Heating
Webasto space heater

Verdict

The furniture finish in this campervan is superb, but it's not just impressive because of that. This is a great camper that simply oozes class and quality – in equal amounts. And, if you fancy an alternative to Volkswagen as a base vehicle, Ford's latest Transit Custom is hugely unlikely to disappoint.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Great furniture finish
  • Alternative to VW base vehicle

Cons

  • This is a fairly tall vehicle

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