Vantage vans ooze quality, from the furniture construction and fittings to the high-end feel of the leather-trimmed upholstery. The Cub is a daring, unique layout, and we love it.
Great quality finishing, and a hugely sociable rear lounge.
You’ll either love or hate the transverse kitchen behind the cab seats, and the absence of an oven and grill will be a deal-breaker for some.
Vantage Motorhomes is the brainchild of Leeds-based furniture designer Scot Naylor, a man with a real passion for motorhomes, having owned several down the years. He and his wife Jane started out converting motorhomes with the arrival of the latest generation Fiat Ducato/Peugeot Boxer.
The firm has recently moved to larger premises in Leeds, and their latest development is the Cub, based on the Fiat Ducato, powered by the 2.3-litre engine, allied to a six-speed manual gearbox. Scot has clearly gone to great lengths to dampen every noise, squeak and rattle on the road, to great effect. But it’s rear of the cab seats where things get most interesting: an innovative layout attempts to deliver a truly spacious lounge that doubles as two 6’3″ single beds in a ’van measuring just 5.4m long. To do this, it gives up a single element – through-movement between the cab and the habitation area. By positioning the kitchen width-ways immediately behind the cab seats, Vantage has reclaimed valuable space, which it assigns to the washroom and rear lounge. Intriguingly, Vantage will offer the same layout on a double-cab pre-owned Transit, making this a viable option for a young family.
Of course, this means you have to go outside to enter the cab from the habitation area, for example to fit the external thermal screens to the cab windows at night. However, after a live-in test with the Cub, we reckon this inconvenience is repaid in spades with a rattle-free driving environment (ie, no cab window cassette blinds) and many evening hours spent in a hugely comfortable lounge area.
The kitchen unit comes with three hinged work-surface extensions, external wire storage baskets, a three-plug socket adaptor that’s concealed when it’s not in use, a two-burner hob and an 80-litre Waeco fridge freezer. Yes, it’s missing an oven and grill, but a Remoska-type electric cooker and low-powered toaster take up little space.
The washroom is fully lined and at 92 x 67cm is larger than many coachbuilt showers. Storage, too, is carefully thought through, with a removable drawer at the rear forming a wraparound lounge, and storage under the raised floor for longer equipment like skis.
Lighting – often a shortcoming in camper conversions – is excellent, with six LED ceiling lights that deliver a much warmer light than those used by many larger manufacturers.
The Cub won the best-high top conversion category in our 2010 Motorhome of the Year Awards.