Andrew McPhee

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It's a great 'van for one or two people – find out more about the Devon Provence in the Practical Motorhome review

Overview

Devon seems to have struck gold with this new layout. An L-shaped lounge, centre kitchen and end washroom is a layout popularised by IH Campers, but while that firm’s ‘vans cost around £40,000, Devon has priced its Provence at just over £30,000, on the long-wheelbase Renault chassis.

The Provence is ideally suited to a couple or single person. At 19ft 4ins, the Provence is longer than most, but for many people its narrower width will make it preferable to a coachbuilt. The basic price of £32,892 (plus delivery and road tax) should also ensure keen interest.

On the road

The Renault Master, with its 2.5 DCI turbo-diesel engine and six-speed gearbox, has proved popular with motorhome convertors.
More powerful engines are available, but this unit should prove quick enough for most drivers. If there’s one criticism of the base vehicle, it would be the robustness of the rear bumper. Given that this is a door area that is likely to be used quite a lot, we question how long it will be before it either cracks or gives way.
Although the handbrake is on the left-hand side of the driver’s seat, it does not create an obstruction, and Devon has neatly boxed in a large proportion of it which makes an otherwise rather agricultural piece of essential kit look, well, less agricultural. There is also a locked storage area under the passenger swivel seat.
Another feature which we thought beneficial was the positioning of an internal light over both the side and rear doors – great for when you return late at night, especially on a site that isn’t well lit.

Lounging & dining

The living space in the Provence has a light and spacious feel about it, primarily due to the L-shaped seating area.
The sofa is extremely comfortable and ensures that there is plenty of space to walk from the cab to rear of ‘van without the usual coming together of knees. There is a freestanding table, admirably sized for a ‘van made for two, which stores neatly behind the washroom when not required.
The living area of the Provence doesn’t benefit from a large Heki roof light, but the amount of natural light via the windows seemed more than adequate in the show stand setting. There are two directional spotlights over the lounge seat. Elsewhere there is strip lighting in the ceiling.

Kitchen

The kitchen, and specifically the worksurface, is very user-friendly. The tapered shape of the kitchen creates plenty of worksurface, which is maximised by the position of the sink and four-burner hob. There is also a further small worksurface on the opposite side above the fridge, suitable for a TV.
This ‘van also benefits from a SMEV mini oven and grill with electronic ignition and there is an innovative dedicated shelf for crockery.
All these features, and an easily accessible 70-litre fridge, make this a very satisfying and sociable kitchen.

Sleeping

The bed is very easy to make up with only one small cushion needed, and this is stored in the overcab area. Switching from day to night mode simply requires you to lift a lever and pull the seat out, allowing the back cushion to fall into place. The bed is a good size: 4ft wide by 6ft 6ins long on the offside, and 6ft long on the nearside. There are blinds on all the windows so privacy is maintained when necessary. Also, once the bed is made up the passage from front to back is not impeded.

Washroom

The washbasin is fixed and neatly set into a solid wood surround. There’s a handheld shower head, a full-length mirror, a vanity cupboard and a bench cassette toilet. There is no window, but there is a roof light which helps aid ventilation. Overall, the white and chrome finish certainly give this washroom a quality appearance.

Storage

There is no dedicated outside locker although inside the ‘van there is a plentiful amount of storage space. The gas locker is accessible from inside the Provence and holds two 4.5kg bottles. There is storage space under the lounge seating, beneath the fridge and in the wall of the ‘van, as well as a usefully large floor-level cupboard in the kitchen. The wardrobe, which is positioned at the rear of the ‘van is a good size and has the benefit of a small shelved area for clothes as well as a hanging rail. Devon has gone for a large 110A battery, with a 77-litre fresh water tank and a 38.5-litre waste tank. Both tanks’ drain-down taps are easily accessible.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats2
MTPLM3500kg
Payload1010kg
Length5.9m19′4″
Width1.99m6′6″
Height2.59m8′6″
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 4-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet, Shower curtain

Verdict

This ‘van has a lot going for it: comfortable lounge and sleeping area, good storage, an admirable kitchen specification and a well-fitted washroom. This, coupled with quality workmanship and a very respectable price tag, make this a motorhome well worth considering.

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