Practical Motorhome's expert Gentleman Jack gives his verdict on the Auto-Trail V-Line 635 SE – the longest 'van in the more affordable V-Line SE range
Auto-Trail is adamant that its newly expanded V-Line range shouldn’t be known by the generally accepted term for this type of motorcaravan – panel van conversion or PVC. Instead it wants it referred to as a compact leisure vehicle (CLV). At first I thought it was being precious over something that was self-evidently an accurate description. However, mature reflection has led me to the conclusion that it has a valid point, especially when trying to attract first-time buyers. Having ‘van’ in the title isn’t exactly appealing and the finished conversion doesn’t feel anything like white van man’s finest.
All current Auto-Trail V-Line models taken forward into 2016, though, will henceforth be known as ‘V-Line Sport’ to differentiate them from the new V-Line SE range. You can read more about the range of 2016 Auto-Trail motorhomes here.
On the road
Lounging & dining
As this front dinette area works so well, we wouldn’t have any qualms about leaving the rear lounge made up as a (semi) permanent double bed when away for extended periods. Efficient and comprehensive insulation combined with the 4kW Combi boiler should allow comfortable year-round use in temperate climates.
The rear lounge is absolutely spot-on – perfect for relaxing, entertaining or dining; speaking of which there is a large rectangular table top with single leg for when dinner is served and a smaller round one for drinkies, laptop tapping, and for resting the Kindle or penny dreadful.
Less is more with the window embellishment – the functional, elegant simplicity of the curtain-less openings really appealed.
There's also a half-height wardrobe and the overhead lockers have excellent positive-locking catches to keep your items safe in transit. The rear lounge seat boxes have gas struts so that you can stash the bedding away in the mornings without the lid falling onto your fingers.
|Layout||Van conversion, rear lounge|
|Fresh/waste water||68L / 68L|
|Leisure battery||75 Ah|
|Gas tank size||25kg|
|Number of gas tank compartments||1|
Thetford C-200 toilet
The Auto-Trail V-Line SE models are a welcome addition to the portfolio. Tweaking this 635 SE layout to offer the option of single beds in future would address its only Achilles heel.
This is an accomplished two-berth high-top panel van conversion (or compact leisure vehicle). Overall we've awarded the 2016 Auto-Trail V-Line 635 SE a four-star rating. And to see other Auto-Trail motorhomes for sale, click here.
- Well equipped kitchen
- Fridge still works if you're wild camping
- Rear lounge turns into a large transverse double bed
- No fussy curtains, just blinds and flyscreens
- Cab air-con is standard
- ESC and traction-control
- Back doors open
- Wind-out awning and LED awning rail lights are standard
- No opening rooflight or window in the washroom
- Microwave is placed rather high up for safety
- Twin sofas are too short to be used as single beds