Niall Hampton
Editor

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Clever and compact, the brilliantly named and excellently executed Pilote Foxy Van V540G could be all the motorhome you ever need – read on to find out why

Overview

Whatever its origins, all of us at Practical Motorhome think that ‘Foxy Van’ is a fantastic name for a motorcaravan. And the latest addition to the Pilote range is bang on trend, too – joining a succession of new-for-2016 5.4m-long van conversions to appear in our buyer’s guide this season. The V540G joins the V600 and V630, so the popular lengths of Fiat’s Ducato vans are all covered in the range.

Design

The V540G uses the short-wheelbase version of the Ducato, with a sliding door on the UK offside. Barn doors at the rear offer unimpeded loading into the rear storage area and bedroom.

Our test ’van, with extras including alloy wheels (£562) and metallic paint (£555), certainly looked sharp. Subtle side graphics and dark glass windows rounded off the exterior look. Living area insulation is down to 20mm aluminium foil-lined fibreglass panels.

On the road

As supplied, the Pilote Foxy Van V540G has a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine in 110bhp tune. Our dealer demonstrator test unit, however, included a selection of cost option upgrades (see below), plus the Comfort Pack (£3496), which adds a 2.3-litre 130bhp engine, a painted front bumper, a passenger airbag, cab air conditioning, a speed limiter, cab seat covers, concertina cab blinds and a TV bracket.

The V540G’s short body length (just 12cm longer than a long-wheelbase VW Transporter) makes it easy to park and pitch. Driven close to its unladen weight, it was pleasing to drive, with a wheel at each corner offering assured handling. In transit, there was little noise from the conversion to bother the driver, and two belted travel seats feature in the half-dinette lounge.

Lounging & dining

The lounge offers the typical suite of rotating cab seats and dinette table with a movable section, so up to four people can gather at mealtimes. The dinette table can be easily lowered to form the base for the optional third berth, if specified.

Kitchen

With a kitchen fitted out like a campervan, you’ll struggle to whip up a Sunday roast in the Pilote Foxy Van V540G, but resourceful cooks will still get by.

A pair of gas burners sits next to a small stainless steel sink with a mixer tap, itself located above a 65-litre compressor fridge. There’s no lid for the sink to use for additional work surface while cooking, but a tip-up worktop extension is available.

Sleeping

A folding transverse double bed at the rear of the ’van is on standby for sleeping, although one could leave this in the lowered position if not needing to use the bedroom for storing leisure kit.

In use, the bed’s comfortable foam mattress perches on sprung slats. A pair of reading lights is fixed to the underside of the offside rear overhead lockers (for those who prefer electronic entertainment, the TV bracket in the dinette has a folding arm to direct the screen rearwards).

Washroom

Working with such compact dimensions, the Pilote Foxy Van V540G's washroom is of the walk-through variety – one uses two sliding tambour doors to protect one's modesty.

With its wooden infill removed, the floor becomes the shower tray; washroom equipment also features a swivelling cassette toilet, fold-down sink and several recesses for lotions and potions. It’s a good use of the available space, but will favour those built for speed rather than comfort.

Storage

With a 650kg payload, the V540G will accept a respectable amount of touring equipment. Most of it can be accommodated at the rear, in the space vacated by the folding transverse bed, supported by storage units on both sides of the ’van.

Around the motorhome you’ll also find five overhead lockers, an overcab cubby, a hidden compartment in the dinette, and cupboards and drawers in the kitchen, plus a clever sliding wardrobe in the bedroom.

Equipment

Standard equipment on the V540G includes a 3300kg chassis, 15in steel wheels, daytime running lights, an electric entrance step, an LED awning light, a spare wheel, a driver airbag, swivelling cab seats, a cab carpet, LED lighting, a lounge rooflight, a bedroom divider curtain, a bedroom rooflight, pre-wiring for a solar panel, a Truma Combi 4 space and water heater, and a gas inverter.

In addition, our test ’van was fitted with a 3500kg chassis (£600), front fog and daytime running lights (£372), the cabin pack (£372), 16in alloy wheels (£562), metallic paint (£555), a black radiator grille (£222), feather imitation leather upholstery (£372), the Sound+ system (adding a radio/DVD player with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, plus a screen for the reversing camera, which costs £1102), a large flyscreen door (£304), a cycle rack (£220) and Truma Combi 6 electric heating (£646).

Technical specs

Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM3300kg
Payload650kg
Length5.41m17′9″
Width2.05m6′9″
Height2.58m8′6″
Engine (power)110
Fresh/waste water110L / 80L
Leisure battery105 Ah
Gas tank size13kg
Number of gas tank compartments2
Kitchen Equipment
2-burner gas hob
Washroom
Shower curtain
Heating
Truma Combi heater

Verdict

The many cost option upgrades to our V540G test ’van couldn’t obscure a sound design and quality build. This Foxy Van’s layout is available elsewhere, but Pilote’s version is up there with the best.

It’s an easy-to-drive, easy-to-park, go-anywhere vehicle for couples who want to keep things compact. If you can cope without an oven and microwave, the V540G has pretty much everything you’ll need. And to see other Pilote motorhomes for sale, click here.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Its compact footprint – it's just 5.4m long
  • Fit and finish are excellent
  • Clever use of multi-function spaces (washroom and bedroom)
  • There are good storage solutions, including the double floor and the sliding wardrobe

Cons

  • The Comfort Pack is a must-tick option – but it costs £3496
  • There's no microwave or oven
  • The washroom's size won't suit everyone
  • If you're taking bulky items on tour, they'll need to be removed to deploy the bed
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