Andrew McPhee

See other motorhome reviews written by Andrew McPhee

Find out more about the entry-level Horizons Unlimited Ventura 2 in the Practical Motorhome review

Overview

RWT Campers is a joint venture between Horizons Unlimited and Roy Wood Transits. RWT can transform Ford’s white van-man favourite into a 600bhp custom-built ‘rocket’.

RWT’s Ventura 2 motorhome is, in the firm’s own words, a “stripped down, entry-level” variant of the higher-end Cavarno, allowing that model’s less affluent fans to dip a toe into the motorhome market.

Design

RWT Campers provides its own high-top conversion, which provides ample headroom inside while not being so high as to leave you battling low-flying hazards.
The waste tap, on a flexible hose on the passenger side, is easy to access, and the fresh-water fill and 10A hook-up are on the driver’s side, but there seems a safe distance between them. Gas-bottle and cassette-toilet access are dealt with inside.
Rather than setting your heart alight, the Ventura 2 is sensible. Our test model was finished in basic white, but you’d be surprised at what a deep-coloured metallic paint job and a set of alloys can do for one of these ’vans.

On the road

We’re so used to seeing Transits every day that we simply don’t notice them. However, that bland, ubiquitous quality may be their best asset. Years of mass-market development has actually resulted in a quietly great product.
The Ventura turned out to be a rock-solid all-round performer on the road. Well balanced and easy to handle, even the base engine delivered more than enough power.
After all those years of development, a Transit cab is a very comfortable place to be. The driving position and ergonomics are both excellent, making long journeys less of a chore. In fact, on motorways the Ventura 2 is outstanding. Even for a high-top it’s stable, fast, fuss-free and smoothly capable. You almost feel you could venture off-road in it, although that’s not exactly in the design specification.
If it’s so good, how on earth does RMT manage to market the Ventura 2 for less than £23,000? Well, go in at entry level and you’re buying a brand-new conversion of a nine- to 12-month old Transit with fewer than 10,000 miles on the clock, which has been maintained and run the Roy Wood hire fleet but not used for heavy work. It makes good sense: you bypass the initial depreciation and still enjoy the three-year Ford warranty.
You can also order a Ventura on the brand-new model Transit. Expect the price to be upwards of £26,000. The new Transit, with its sexier cab and front-end redesign, is looking a lot more stylish these days.

Lounging & dining

Given the size of the Ventura 2, the interior feels very airy, helped by the high-top roof. With the front seats swivelled and the Fiamma pedestal table up, you get a reasonable amount of seating space, with dining biased to the driver’s side. The table stores behind a rear door. Another set-up creates a sofa/bench seat along one side. This is good for travel if you only have one rear-seat passenger, as it allows storage of bedding in the Luton locker (where the long cushion normally resides).

Kitchen

The fixed washroom and tall storage cupboard on the rear passenger side are from RWT’s Cavarno. That’s good, but they do limit the width of the galley-style kitchen. The SMEV three-gas burner and sink combination has cupboards (and the gas bottle) below, as well as a reasonably-sized side worktop and one of two 240V points at a sensible height. Underneath the worktop sits the Dometic fridge with its small ice box. What the kitchen sorely lacks, though, is any kind of drawer space.

Sleeping

The easy option is to pull the rear seats flat, adding the folding bridge, support arm and long cushion for a transverse 5ft 10in double bed – I’m 5ft 11ft but found it comfortable enough and it’s useful having the cab space still available. A trickier set-up incorporates the front seats to create a 6ft 4in double bed, but the full kit of levelling cushions and in-fills were not available on our test model.

Washroom

Weren’t expecting a washroom? Think again. The Thetford cassette toilet is positioned in its own fully enclosed GRP washroom with a shelf, mirror and light. You can’t upgrade and add a basin or shower– for that you have to buy a Cavarno – but just for the comforting privacy and useful changing, or large-item storage, space this is an unexpected bonus for your money.

Storage

There are ten well-built lockers in all: four at eye level have two shelves, and the tall rear cupboard has three plus a hanging rail. A false floor adds four inches of depth to the underseat lockers. What’s noticeable is the design and build quality which is on the same detailed level as that in the much pricier Cavarno. RWT uses tough, office furniture-grade edging and materials to make cabinetwork that should stay looking good.

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM2800kg
Payload498kg
Length4.83m15′10″
Width1.76m5′9″
Height2.9m9′6″
Waste water30L
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob
Washroom
Thetford C-402 bench toilet

Verdict

Terrific entry-level camper for active outdoors types.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Price; wonderful base vehicle; rugged practicality; quality of finish

Cons

  • Bit basic for some
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