Nick Harding

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Wellhouse continues to make the case for Ford-based campervans, with this latest luxury item, the four-berth Trento. Nick Harding gets beyond the bling.

Overview

You just never know with Ford. Is it really taking the motorhome market into account? Latest versions of its otherwise all-conquering Transit are superb, to say the least,  yet there's always the slight feeling that it should be paying a little bit more attention to motorhomes.

Timing is everything, of course, and there's also the small matter of Volkswagen's near-total dominance of the campervan sector. And yet - you've guessed - there's a but coming here. Actually, a couple of buts: Wellhouse Leisure and the Transit Custom Tourneo, a combination resulting in this, the Wellhouse Trento.

Among a clutch of other qualifications, Wellhouse is one of just two campervan makers to have been granted QVM (Qualified Vehicle Modifier) status with Ford. This is a considerable feather in its cap. Also, thanks to using the Titanium version of the Tourneo, it 'out-specs' any equivalent VW (which is still the base vehicle to beat when it comes to campers).

Better still, important upgrades - such as the 170PS engine (£1500) and automatic transmission (£1620) - cost significantly less than VW equivalents.

Design

The Trento is also available using the long-wheelbase Transit Custom. Or you can have a high-top. It's the short-wheelbase elevating roof model reviewed here.

The elevating roof is made by UK specialist Drivelodge, to Wellhouse's specifications. It's simplicity itself to raise and lower, and has an acrylic front window section and side mesh panels, each with zipped blackout covers.

If you find the metallic Orange Glow paintwork a bit too 'outré', don't worry: there are nine other colours.

Premium pointers range from the 17" alloy wheels to intensive bodywork trim.

On the road

The Tourneo cab is even more impressive; indeed, possibly the closest a vehicle with commercial roots has come to providing a car-like environment. Those seats have eight-way adjustment plus heating function. The dashboard beats its van rivals for sheer ergonomics and quality of fittings. And the list of standard equipment is all but endless.

It's also an absolute pleasure to drive, although I would prefer the auto option over the rather high six-speed manual transmission.

There's just one downside. Such is the overall height of the Transit, there's no way the conversion can get below the magical 2m mark that means you can squeeze under height barriers.

Lounging & dining

Despite the Tourneo's twin sliding doors, Wellhouse has gone for a classic campervan side-furniture floorplan. That rear seat is configured for up to three passengers. It's from German firm Schnierle, and has the bonus of being on rails, so you can vary the seat location/rear-storage ratios.

The main furniture unit comes from Italian specialist Tecnoform. There's a definite state-of-the-art feel here, with its easy-clean white gloss finish and radiused edges, and better-than-usual storage capacity.

There's lots of floorspace, too, with the rear seat at its farthest setting and both cab seats swivelled. There's even a second table. Ignore the ladder for the upstairs bed, though - it's cumbersome, so best left at home.

Kitchen

The kitchen appliances are a standard camper two-ring hob and sink, plus Dometic compressor fridge and good drawer storage. The grill seen here is a £400 option.

Equipment

There are loads of clever touches - high-level lockers, the fresh-water filler in the driver's doorwell, plenty of LEDs, reading lamps with USBs, the solar panel and Eberspächer heating. Plus, the largest floor locker is home to an emergencies-only portable toilet.

Technical specs

LayoutCamper without washroom
Sleeps4
Travel seats5
MTPLM3200kg
Payload650kg
Length4.97m16′4″
Width2.08m6′10″
Height2.07m6′9″
Engine (capacity)2000
Fresh/waste water40L / 40L
Leisure battery100 Ah
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 2-burner gas hob
Washroom
Porta potti
Heating
Eberspacher space heater

Verdict

PRACTICAL MOTORHOME SAYS....

This is a classy campervan. Ford's top Transit Custom is a very sophisticated base for an equally impressive conversion, thanks to Wellhouse's know-how - it's been making campers for some 16 years now and certainly isn't afraid to tackle something a bit different. In Trento we trust!

Conclusion

Pros

  • Base vehicle upgrades cost less than VW equivalents
  • Clever design touches

Cons

  • Height prevents access under height barriers