You can’t get a more car-like drive from a motorhome than in one based on a car, such as this 1.6-litre turbodiesel 75/95/115bhp Ford Transit Connect Grand Tourneo. We’ve come to expect clever conversions from Wellhouse Leisure and the diddy Evie is one of its best.
What a shame that the Grand Tourneo’s hard-to-read instruments have reduced what would have been a five-star score to four.
Fits into multi-storey car parks
Drives like a car
Instruments are difficult to read
“Just remember that Evie is a camper-car, not a campervan,” Welhouse Leisure’s genial proprietor David Elliot said as he handed me the keys to this Lilliputian conversion.
No worries there. In fact, I’m always being asked to recommend ultra-compact motorhomes by recently bereaved members of the Motor Caravanners’ Club. These enthusiasts are looking to downsize to a small dual-purpose vehicle that drives like a car, because that’s how it is going to be used most of the time. However, it is essential that it has a proper residential conversion for spending weekends away, and, if possible, an onboard toilet into the bargain.
In addition there is a similar demand at the other end of the age spectrum, among folk who need accommodation when they pursue their hobbies – everything from birdwatching to attending heavy-metal music festivals. This crowd also needs a proper car for the daily commute that will fit in their employer’s multi-storey car park.
Amazingly, this little camper-car ticks all the boxes for this very diverse group of potential purchasers. Wellhouse Leisure is well respected as a van converter, and the new Wellhouse Evie really can be all things to all folk.
The new Wellhouse Evie really can be all things to all folk
Flexibility is Evie’s strong suit when it comes to lounging and dining.
I’ve pictured the seating arranged as an L-shaped settee which was my favourite for sprawling on.
However, many would have reconfigured the wide portion to make a rear- facing seat which will allow entry and egress via the nearside sliding door and access to the cupboard in the kitchen base-unit.
Another alternative would be to leave the rear passengers’ seat in the car position – great for picnics and when visiting county shows and the like. There isn’t really a table because most of the target market would prefer to have the uncluttered floor space and use a tray.
The key to efficient use of the Evie is to buy a lightweight folding table and chairs for use outside but also that (crucially) will fit in the seat box.
Evie’s great kitchen starts with a little Vitrifigo fridge that holds much more than the 14-litre capacity suggests. It is a top-loader so all the internal volume can be used. I’d specify the mains hook-up (£450) to help the leisure battery power the fridge’s absorption cooling unit for long periods. There’s a small sink built in. Finally the two-burner hob-and-base unit is hinged, so you can cook outside in fine weather.
There is no washroom, but a Porta Potti is provided and stored under the settee.
Sleeping accommodation consists of a large single bed with some floor area left or a long double that takes up all the floor space aft of the cab seats. Thus couples will have to change into and out of their pyjamas in the campsite washroom or in the cab.
Many people will also purchase a drive-away, freestanding awning, so that could be used for changing in as well as doubling the living space.
The bed sizes are: longitudinal double 1.96m x 0.99m (6’5.25” x 3’3”) or a single bed 1.96m x 0.54m (6’ 5.25” x 1’ 9.25”).
The storage provision is very generous for such a small vehicle, though relaxed camping will depend on choosing suitable equipment. For example, nesting saucepans with removable handles; and scatter cushions that double as pillows will help to make the most of the available space. Choose lightweight equipment from camping stores rather than from caravan accessory shops.
|Shipping Length||4.81 m|
|Engine Size||1600 cc|