Check out the Practical Motorhome review of the Horizon Innovation 1

Design

The Innovation is sold as a day ’van but, thanks to its versatility, it’s a very capable weekender. It is available at an entry-level price which is lower than that of other, similar conversions. And because of its manageable Transit base and four travel seats, it can be used for days out and trips into town.

Another selling point is the options list for those with restricted mobility, including hoists, grab handles and special wheelchair chassis.

The dark grey bodywork is attractive and unspoilt by the conversion. But the rear windows are standard Ford, so they don’t open.

The ‘swoosh’ decals down both sides are eye-catching, and the colour-matched grille and front bumper are improvements to the old Transit. The strong step-plates built into the front bumper allow you to reach the windscreen to clean it – useful on long journeys.

On the road

At times, the 2.2-litre engine feels a little underpowered and needs to warm up before it will cruise comfortably at motorway speeds. But if you plan to tour hilly landscapes 
or over long distances you can always plump for one of the two available engine upgrades.

The five-speed manual transmission is well matched 
to the engine and, on the whole, the Innovation 1 copes competently with country roads. However, because it is a high-top vehicle built on a short-wheelbase chassis, it can feel a little top heavy when cornering.

Behind the wheel, the drive is comfortable. The Transit 
is well equipped with a CD/radio player, air-con, PAS, rain-sensing wipers and handy storage pockets. The leather captain’s chairs, despite having only one armrest each, are soft and welcoming and provide good visibility from their high position. However, the height of these chairs means that you need to stretch awkwardly to reach the handbrake.

Lounging & dining

With the cab seats swivelled there’s plenty of room for four people to relax on single seats. Or, you can drop the offside rear seat (at the push of a button) so that it meets the driver’s chair. Then, with the long hard-backed cushion placed against the wall, you have a two- to three-person sofa. At the foot end of the sofa, beside the kitchen, is a TV shelf which swings up from the wall.

The lounge works for short-term touring and, with the Fiamma F1 awning extended and the big, nearside, sliding door open, it is a large and pleasant space.

The dining table is stowed neatly behind a clip in the garage, and the leg in the rear nearside cupboard. It’s easy to erect and is sturdy, but only comfortably seats three. It is large enough to accommodate four diners but it’s a stretch from the nearside rear seat however the table is positioned.

Kitchen

Considering that this is a short-wheelbase van conversion, and quite compact, the kitchen is superb. Storage space is generous, thanks to the two overhead lockers and the deep cupboard, which also houses a slide-out cutlery drawer.

It’s relatively high-spec, too. There’s a 50-litre Waeco compressor fridge, three-burner hob and a sink with an adjustable mixer tap. But what really stands out is the amount of worksurface, which is superior to many large coachbuilt ‘vans. It stretches out from the right-hand side of the hob and sink unit, and there’s a big square section above the door to the garage. This is removable, so aids access to the garage, too.

Sleeping

There are two options when it comes to bedtime. First, dropping the two rear seats and spinning the cab chairs makes two long singles that will accommodate six-footers. Second, to create a double bed, you bridge the gap between the two seats using the stowed block and the sliding support bar. The infill cushion that doubles as the sofa back then slots in to create the mattress.

The bed is easy to assemble but the shaped cushions are 
a little uncomfortable. You can sleep lengthwise on an extra-large double bed if you put the handbrake cover-and-cushion (£112 option) in place.

Washroom

What is, effectively, a cupboard, is situated behind the rear nearside seat. There’s no washbasin or shower but there is a swivel cassette Thetford – a luxury in a van conversion.

The door is hinged in the middle and swings out to meet the kitchen, sectioning off the toilet to provide privacy.

Storage

There are two overhead lockers above the lounge, which are handy for clothes. The deep cupboard above the cab holds the bed/sofa cushions so is of little use for anything else.

The main storage space is the garage – measuring 1.07 x 0.99 x 0.59m (WxHxD) it proved handy on test and easily stashed a bike with a weekend’s live-in kit. And, thanks to the door into the kitchen, it can be accessed from both sides. Overall, the ’van has an impressive payload of 498kg.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM2800kg
Payload498kg
Length4.86m15′11″
Width1.97m6′6″
Height2.77m9′1″
Waste water30L
External Options
Integral awning
Kitchen Equipment
Waeco Compressor Fridge, 3-burner gas hob
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet

Verdict

A well-built and good-value motorhome, ideal for buyers who want a versatile vehicle that’s good for short-term touring.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Great kitchen; workable lounging and dining space; superb options for those with mobility issues.

Cons

  • Beds are a bit too uncomfortable for longer trips.
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