Peter BaberSee other motorhome reviews written by Peter Baber
Luxurious two-berths from Vantage are hugely popular, but this year the van converter is branching out into three berths. Peter Baber gets a sneak preview.
Leeds-based Vantage Motorhomes has built up a following since 2007, making Fiat Ducato-based fixed-roof van conversions with rather luxurious interiors. So far, however, these have all been two-berths.
Feedback from customers suggested many want an extra bed, and two new models were launched at the NEC in October 2019. We had a sneak preview of the three-berth, four-belt Rio.
Our test model came with alloys (£675) and a colour-coded bumper (£590), sat nav and a reversing camera (£1045). As standard, it has an underslung gas tank.
Vantage has gone for the central locker dashboard in the cab, with its own swivel mechanism on Fiat seats.
Rather handily, it has also fitted two extra USB sockets in the gangway on the side of the driver's seat.
Lounging & dining
There is a slight step down from here, but the bench seat is perfectly comfy. A dimmable striplight is fitted by the window, and a large non-dimmable one down the centre of the 'van.
The rear lounge includes U-shaped seating, but the Rio is the first Vantage where the central part of the U slides away to provide a gangway out the back and parallel seating.
Two cushions in the rear corners should make it easy for two of you to watch TV, which can be positioned above a shelf at the front of the lounge, by 12V and TV sockets and two USBs.
You get a choice of pedestal tables: a small circular one is stowed in the wardrobe with the pole; a larger rectangular one is stowed in the shelf above the cab. The only snag with the latter is that, as it forms part of the third bed, it has slightly obtrusive fixtures on the side.
The half-height fridge sits above the wardrobe so is easy to reach, and there's a small shelf above.
The pièce de resistance is that third bed, made up by lowering the clip-on table and clipping the second table to it and a rung on the sliding door. You get a proper folding mattress, too.
Two facing mirrors, both lit by LEDs, make the room seem larger. The cupboard over the bench toilet also provides a mirror.
|Layout||Van conversion, rear lounge|
|Fresh/waste water||90L / 70L|
|Leisure battery||105 Ah|
|Secondary leisure battery||105 Ah|
|Gas tank size||12.5kg|
|Number of gas tank compartments||1|
3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Thetford C-402 bench toilet
The Rio is a commendable entry into the world of family 'vans for Vantage. It is beautifully turned out, and although with all of the extras, the overall price may be rather high, that third bed is an ideal solution for grandparents on holiday with a grandchild.
- Storage space beneath the front and rear seats;
- Third bed
- Limited workspace in kitchen
- Hefty price tag for a family van