If you're looking for compact campervans, read our verdict on the new Adria Twin 500 S to see how this short high-top van can offer such a good washroom

Overview

There’s no doubt that good things can come in small packages but in the case of the Adria Twin 500 S, we do wonder how they managed to fit it all in. There’s a lot: two berths, a four-seater lounge, kitchen and washroom – all on a body length of five metres (16'3"). 

With its twin sliding doors, the Twin 500 S was one of several compact campers with doors on both sides that debuted at the October 2014 NEC show in Birmingham. It instantly removed one common objection to buying a Continental panel van conversion, that of having to unload passengers through the offside door. Now that process can be carried out in safety on the nearside. 

Design

What makes this Adria Twin 'Titan' different from the new wave of twin-sliding-door campers, though, is the Fiat Ducato base vehicle, here in high-top, short wheelbase flavour (the 500 S's rivals ride on the Ford Transit Custom, Mercedes Vito and Peugeot Boxer). Although it is close in length to the SWB VW T5, the Twin 500 S sports rear barn doors rather than a hatchback.

In development for a couple of years before launching for 2015, the Twin 500 S features several clever touches to maximise space inside. One of these is a false floor in the lounge – designed to avoid the need to store the lounge table in the small overcab compartment. Instead, the table slides into a cavity under the lounge floor, which means you’ll have to open the sliding door and exit the campervan to store or retrieve the table. The use of the high-top Ducato means that with the false floor, there’s still a headroom of 1.85m (6ft 0.6in).

On the road

With its 2.3-litre engine producing 130bhp and an all-up weight of 3300kg, the Twin 500 S has a good power-to-weight ratio. Drivers Pack chassis options as fitted to our test ’van comprised cruise control, twin airbags and air conditioning, and a handy gear change indicator is included as standard on the sixth-generation Ducato.

Lounging & dining

The centrepiece – quite literally – of the Twin 500 S is its midships lounge. A pair of sturdy belted seats is mounted behind the cab seats; they’re comfortable with good support, have adjustable headrests and their own reading light. Two extra persons can join proceedings, thanks to the captain’s chairs in the cab. These swivel easily and have stitched-in Adria logos – a mark of quality. For mealtimes, just retrieve the table and its leg from under the lounge floor.

Further refinement is apparent in the quality of the cabinetwork. With a silver finish as part of the ‘Titan’ colour scheme, the overhead lockers and work surfaces match well the black and grey upholstery. Radiused edges and a textured finish on the cabinetwork’s leading edges add further sophistication.

Kitchen

The Twin 500 S’s galley is located on the nearside. Equipment comprises three gas burners arranged in a ‘V’ shape, next to a small round sink, and a compressor fridge with freezer compartment. A window in the side of the ’van, and task lights above, provide illumination.

Sleeping

At night, the two rear travel seats convert easily into a pair of flat beds, by pulling the hinged seat squab forwards and dropping the backrest into the resulting space. The gap between the two single berths offers handy access to the washroom, but an optional wooden infill and cushion can be placed between the two seats. The twin beds each measure 1.95m x 0.70m/0.55m (just over 6'4" x 2'3"/1'9").

Washroom

Squeezing a washroom into a space as small as the Twin 500 S is no mean feat, especially when it includes a shower, toilet and hand basin. The shower arrangement demonstrates more clever thinking: when not in use, and to maintain a level floor, the shower tray has a wooden cover. To use the shower, remove this cover, swivel the toilet out of the way, pull up the shower head from the tip-up sink (where it doubles as the mixer tap) and hook it on the wall. A shower curtain on a U-shaped track will keep spray at bay, while for privacy the bi-fold wooden washroom door can be unfolded to block the rear of the ’van from the front.

Storage

Storage space is surprisingly generous in the Twin 500 S. In addition to a small compartment over the cab, there are overhead lockers on both sides of the ’van, as well as a narrow half-length wardrobe. Underneath the wardrobe is a gas locker that houses one 11kg bottle and one 5kg bottle. This location necessitates lifting the gas bottles well into the ’van, which may not be ideal for all users. The kitchen unit has two drawers and two cubbies, and two compartments are located in the floor – ideal for valuables. Space is also available under the offside rear travel seat; the nearside one houses the Truma Combi 4 boiler. The washroom offers a mirrored vanity unit at chest height.

Equipment

The Adria Twin 500 S comes with 60-litre fresh and 40-litre waste tanks, a Truma Combi 4 boiler for heating and water heating, a small fridge-freezer and three-burner hob. The soft furnishings are black to contrast with the silver 'Titan' interior. Outside table bracket, table extension, windscreen blind, sliding door stopper, electric heated and adjustable outside mirrors, darker cab windows, driver airbag, trip computer, electric cab windows, swivelling and adjustable cab seats, with upholstered armrests, front wheel drive, manual transmission, right hand drive standard (left hand drive optional), double electric door mirror with demist, radio, DRL halogen daytime running lights, swivelling chemical toilet, shower tray, shower curtain, LED ceiling, awning and spot lights, Mid Heki rooflight in lounge, gas and CO2 detector, preinstallation ready for TV and rearview camera (should you choose to have them).

Technical specs

LayoutVan conversion, rear washroom
Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM3300kg
Payload545kg
Length4.96m16′3″
Width2.05m6′9″
Height2.63m8′8″
Engine (capacity)2300
Engine (power)130
Fresh/waste water60L / 40L
Leisure battery105 Ah
Gas bottle size7kg
Number of gas bottles2
External Options
Aluminium sidewalls, Awning light, Directional TV aerial, Electric step
Kitchen Equipment
Waeco Compressor Fridge, 3-burner gas hob
Washroom
Thetford C-200 toilet, Bi-fold shower door, Shower curtain
Heating
Truma Combi heater

Verdict

A test of the Adria Twin 500 S confirmed what we felt when we saw it at launch: this is a cracking compact motorhome with a functional kitchen and washroom. There are also many pleasing design touches and those twin sliding doors means you’ll always be on the ‘right’ side, even when touring in Europe.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Ingenious full washroom
  • Short 'van (similar to a VW T5-based camper)
  • Four belted travel seats
  • You could use it as your sole vehicle

Cons

  • No oven or grill
  • The location of the gas cylinders may not suit all buyers
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