Nick HardingSee other motorhome reviews written by Nick Harding
Moving up a class? Camper specialist Hillside Leisure is branching out with a high-top conversion of Volkswagen's Crafter. Nick Harding steps inside.
Bigger? Better? These are questions that demand answers when it comes to this new model from specialist campervan producer Hillside Leisure, whose products up to now have peaked at 'vans based on VW's Transporter.
The Hopton is one of two models on the Transporter's bigger sister, the Crafter. It offers a full van conversion with washroom, using an original factory high-top.
I couldn't dispute that the Crafter feels a more sophisticated vehicle. Better equipped, too; although Hillside adds to the Trendline spec, so your Hopton will come with cab air-con, front and rear parking sensors and individual cab seats, in addition to staples such as the Composition Media DAB+ with 8in touchscreen, and heated windscreen.
On the road
Lounging & dining
The lounge benefits from strip and reading lights, the latter more substantial than you'll get in most similar set-ups. There's storage in the base of both sofas, as well as overhead lockers.
Talk to Hillside about your table preference. This model has a single pedestal leg fitting, but a freestanding unit could be more practical - it's likely to be sturdier as well as easier to move past.
Also in the main kitchen unit is a Dometic oven/grill combination, surrounded by three drawers, the largest of which is at floor level. Across the corridor, this Hopton has a Thetford 90-litre fridge (with freezer box). A clever feature under the fridge is a section of pull-out worktop. There's also some storage - the slimmest of wardrobes plus a trio of soft-close drawers between fridge and washroom.
There's an obvious lack of ventilation here (no window or rooflight), while a mirror would be helpful, as would some storage.
|Layout||Van conversion, rear lounge|
|Fresh/waste water||85L / 48L|
|Leisure battery||95 Ah|
|Gas tank size||20kg|
Thetford Fridge, 2-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
There are a few refinements to come, but the Hopton is a very promising newcomer.
A test drive should be sufficient to convince you not just of the Crafter's capabilities, but also of the quality of the conversion work. Note, also, that Hillside is a Volkswagen-recognised converter.
PRACTICAL MOTORHOME SAYS:
The Hopton is a promising marriage of Hillside Leisure's campervan production credentials and the sophistication and quality of Volkswagen's Crafter. The model is fairly pricey, but it has been smartly converted and everything inside feels very classy.
- High quality conversion
- Classy, sophisticated interior
- Pull-out worktop beneath fridge
- VW Crafter base vehicle
- Shower tray could do with additional plughole
- Lack of ventilation in washroom