The baby of the range, the 540 has been spruced up for the new season, but you'll probably want one or two of the options packages, says Nick Harding
Let's hear it for the short stuff. It's only in recent years, after all, that 6m has been considered a 'normal' length for a van conversion.
The 540 is the smallest in the Cliff range from Sunlight, at 5.41m. It's not all change for 2019, but it has been spruced up and specified down. Previously, models were slightly quirky in their offerings (such as the larger, 120-litre fuel tank), so some subtle changes mean a lower starting price than last year.
However, there's a bit of 'buyer beware' here. It starts at an eye-catching £37,499, but there are three package options: Basic, Chassis and Chassis Comfort.
You'll need to research these for ourselves, but you might end up deciding that at least two are essential.
The example we're looking at, from Lowdhams, has the first two, plus other extras, which take it up to £41,803 - slightly beyond the £40,000 price point at which I'd have said this was stunning value.
It might only sleep two (there's a perfunctory third berth option), but there's travel for four; although it's a rather upright rear seat.
Sunlight might be part of Erwin Hymer Group UK, but it has fewer than 10 UK dealers. Fine if there's one near you, but something to consider when you buy.
On the road
No surprises to find it's based on Fiat's Ducato, in plain white and on 15in steel wheels as standard; ditto the 2.3-litre 130bhp engine.
We think it would be better for those travelling in the rear if their side window was a slider that could be opened while on the move.
Lounging & dining
The compressor fridge is set underneath, so it can be accessed from inside or out. It does impinge on locker storage, but there's a drawer and two slim lockers.
The ledge to the right will come in handy, as will the two hooks on an inset rail.
Quibbles? Lockers over the bed lack dividers. It'll also be great when continental firms discover the advantages of refillable gas tanks.
It's more a question of nailing that price at the equipment levels to suit your needs. You'll also want to ask about the time between placing your order and actually deliver.
|Layout||Van conversion, transverse bed|
|Fresh/waste water||100L / 90L|
|Leisure battery||95 Ah|
Waeco Compressor Fridge, 2-burner gas hob
So, do you keep things basic, or go all-out for luxury in your van conversion? Sunlight's Cliffs make the case for the former, without compromising on build quality. But you'll need to do your own research to reach your ideal specification. The 540 is also compact enough to carry out daily duties.