Nick HardingSee other motorhome reviews written by Nick Harding
The campervan specialist is taking a rather canny sideways step to enter a new market sector with this cleverly designed van conversion.
'Made in France' usually suggests a gastronomic delight. Here, it signals something with roots across the Channel, but with the kind of input that makes it more suited to UK customers.
In 2017, Bristol-based campervan maker Danbury was bought by French firm Pilote Group, allowing both parties to evolve in the van conversion sector.
Hence the Avenir. With roots in Pilote's Foxy line, Avenirs are made at its plant in Angers. But it's Danbury that represents 'all things van', selling from its base near Bristol and via five dealers across the UK.
As a demonstrator, this 'van shows off Danbury's Comfort, Exterior Style, Interior Style, Relax, Media and TV Sat option packs and sure enough, each makes a big contribution. You'll need to decide what's best for you - I'd have the lot, but then it's not my money!
The conversion provides two fixed single beds, a lounge with swivelling cab seats, a half-dinette double travel seat and a midships kitchen and washroom. The floorplan means easy access from bed to kitchen, washroom and lounge, and you can have swivelled cab seats and the half-dinette around a side-fixing table.
You'll pick up on the modern interior styling, too, with lots of gloss white finishes.
On the road
Access via the sliding door can be a little tricky, but under that worktop, you can access storage space from inside the 'van or out.
There's more storage in the main kitchen, thanks to a large drawer (with removable waste bin) and three smaller drawers - all soft-closing.
The shelves here will be useful, and to their right is a Dometic three-way absorption fridge with freezer (capacity is 80 litres), set over a Thetford Duplex oven/grill combination.
What looks like the facility to change the angle of the cushions for sitting up in bed is actually a way of offering extra storage.
The bedroom is served by two adjustable reading lamps, four downlighters and two side windows.
Adjacent, another space-saver: the mirrored section on the sidewall is a folding soakaway. Elsewhere in the washroom you get lined walls, two rails, upper-level locker and open shelving, rooflight and duckboard, with one (albeit upmarket) plughole in the shower tray.
|Layout||Rear single beds|
|Fresh/waste water||110L / 80L|
|Leisure battery||105 Ah|
Dometic Fridge, 2-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Thetford C-402 bench toilet
You're going to have to offer something special if you're to make a mark in the highly populated van conversion sector these days. Danbury has done it, though, with this Avenir. It's well worth viewing if you're in the market for an extra-long model with fixed single beds.
- Competitive price
- Retractable bench toilet to optimise shower space
- Underbed storage
- Entry access with kitchen worktop slide-out in place
- White gloss finish may be difficult to keep looking pristine