Niall HamptonSee other motorhome reviews written by Niall Hampton
If you need a campervan to use as your everyday vehicle, read Practical Motorhome's expert review of the Transit-based Auto Campers Leisure Van Hi-Line
Fans of Ford base vehicles have plenty to cheer about at the moment: the eagerly awaited new Transit will underpin several 2015 motorhome ranges and Wellhouse Leisure’s Terrier, based on the Ford Tourneo people carrier, launched to wide praise last autumn.
Another Ford conversion, the Auto Campers Leisure Van – this time on the short wheelbase Transit Custom, which is the same size as the Tourneo – debuted at the February NEC show. Conceptualised and designed by Roy Wood Transits in Berkshire (a firm that has enjoyed a 44-year relationship with Ford), the Leisure Van starts from an eye-catching £29,995 – £10,000 less than the Terrier’s base price.
The kitchen units are the base for a 1.67 x 1.98m (5’6” x 6’6”) double bed, which is easy to assemble and dissemble with no heavy lifting required.
The Leisure Van is therefore an attractive option for buyers looking for a sub-5m everyday drive that converts easily into a home-from-home when required.
Wellhouse Leisure will conduct the conversion work on production models, so buyers will be getting a top-quality product.
On the road
Lounging & dining
In the high roof version (a £2500 option), the interior of the Leisure Van works well. A person of around six-feet tall can stand up inside, and although its 2.44m height means you won’t be able to sneak the vehicle under a height barrier, the roof is fully insulated and heat loss will be less than in the pop-top variant (£3500 more than the low-line version).
A fold-up picnic table is located next to the fridge, ready for when the rear doors are open. This raises on two arms and allows users to extend the kitchen outdoors. Folding camping chairs will fit in pockets fixed to each rear door.
But if the weather isn’t up to it, you can easily relocate to the midships lounge, formed by rotating the front seats and attaching a tabletop to a swing-out bracket on the offside. This creates a sociable space for up to four people.
A low-power-consumption 42-litre compressor fridge sits on the floor opposite, so spec-wise you’ve the means to fry, boil and store food.
There's a hinged worktop extension flap that you can use when you have the 'van's back doors open, so this encourages al-fresco dining, in true campervan style.
The Leisure Van’s comfortable double bed measures a generous 6’6” by 5’6”. There are spotlights for reading, plus a blue night-light setting.
When it's not in use, the folded bed base secures to the offside wall via Velcro. There’s also storage for bedding, under this flap.
The passenger seat in the cab rotates. There are proper seat belts for five passengers. The fifth seat, in the rear, is removable, to allow better access when you are using the vehicle for camping.
Optional 2KW Webasto unit provides diesel-powered thermostatically controlled blown-air heating. Cab air conditioning is also optional.
|Layout||Camper without washroom|
|Fresh/waste water||40L / 40L|
|Leisure battery||90 Ah|
|Gas bottle size||2.75kg|
|Number of gas bottles||1|
2-burner gas hob
We’re big fans of the Transit Custom base vehicle, and the Auto Campers Leisure Van is a well thought-through camper. Versatile and affordable, this is a viable and appealing alternative to Volkswagen T5-underpinned offerings.
- Lovely big double bed
- Good kitchen
- Choice of roof heights
- No elevating roof to manage
- Based on the Ford Transit
- Cab has cup and bottle holders
- No washroom
- Headroom is good, provided you're not over 6ft tall
- Portable toilet