Singletons and parent-and-child duos would love the Vikenze as a fuel-efficient four-seater car, work van and camper. An awning would be a must-have for gear.
Low running costs
Can’t raise roof from inside
Smallish upper bunk
Following his success with the Skamper, Stephen Wheeler of Wheelhome in Essex has come up with the versatile Vikenze – another ingenious micro-camper for one or two people.
He and his two sons have built it on the little Fiat Fiorino Combi van with a 1.3-litre diesel engine. The resulting campervan can take you just about anywhere, from multi-storey car parks to mountain roads. It’s easy to drive and for an extra £990 you can specify automatic transmission. The camper’s reversing sensors are hardly needed, either, since rear-window visibility is good.
The kitchen, back seats and under-seat lockers unbolt, so it can be used as a four-seater car, a two-seater van, or a campervan. Height barriers and width restrictions hold no fears. It’s very economical to run, returning around 52mpg and road tax is just £30 a year. At traffic lights it saves fuel by going into ‘stop-start’ mode when you put it into neutral with the handbrake on; as soon as you touch the clutch, the engine obligingly revives.
Pulling away is a bit sedate when fully loaded, but once it’s up to speed, you can drive it comfortably in the outside lane on A-roads and motorways. In the Welsh borders, it was the perfect campervan for hilly terrain.
Once at a campsite, the roof needs to be raised, the front seats tilted forwards and the rear seats unrolled to form the lounge seating. It isn’t difficult once you’ve got the hang of it, but it can’t be done without stepping outside, which can be a pain in poor weather.
Inside, the Vikenze has a popular campervan layout: with a push-button rising roof, side-kitchen and a two-person dinette, which converts into the main single bed. Our test vehicle had an extra bunk bed in the roof, which we loved, because we could leave a sleeping bag laid out even when on the move. The top bunk is 1.8m (6’) long and 0.63m (2’1”) wide at the top, tapering to 0.53m (1’9”) wide halfway down. The top bunk is therefore better suited to children or an occasional guest.
Interior space is tight and we did trip over my fan heater and folding chair on a couple of occasions. However, it’s quick and easy to set up on site, even if you do have to stand outside of the ’van to do it. We were quite taken with the Vikenze: it’s inventive, full of character, well designed and we’re proud that it is British-made.
|Shipping Length||3.90 m|