2013 Tribute 669 review: Britain’s best-value high-top motorhome?

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  1. Nick W says:

    I’d suggest the best way to really learn if you can live with it is to hire one for a few days. That’s our plan anyway. The Tribute website has a list of suppliers and a section for hire companies.

  2. Brian and Josie Warren says:

    My wife and I are thinking of buying one of these. The specification seem terrific. The problem for us is that we’ve got used to an excellent Autosleepers ‘Trident’ (2.5l) TDI but it is now getting older and we feel like a change. However, we are concerned about the extra length of the Tribute – and its width. Would this be a problem? We both drive both in the UK and in France and in France particularly, it seems an ideal vehicle for travelling long distance down to the south. At home, we have just about enough space to park it – and have a large carport.

    • Hi Brian and Josie,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I can’t imagine the width of the motorhome causing you problems. Suggest you speak to your local dealer to see if there’s a way of arranging a test drive? If you do decide to buy, practice makes perfect so try and get as much driving in on quiet, familiar roads here in the UK before you head over to France.



  3. Nick Walker says:

    Hi Ross

    Thanks for you encouraging comments, it was the 670 I will get with the windows, as we only need one double / sleeping for two. Good to hear storage is OK too, as we’ve yet to buy a van we’re going to hire one to check it out before we buy.

    Thanks to Lucie too for adding the question to the Facebook site. It’ll interesting to see what other folk think too.

  4. ross says:

    A good buy– we purchased a 669 last year and did about 5,000 miles in 7 months- the only quibble i found was that the bed area side panels were wasted with no windows (what could be better than a cup of tea in bed looking at a view)I plan was too get some put in- but we went to the show last year and, there was a 670 with windows so i bought it.Now, we are very fussy folk so if it works we accept it- and Im more than happy with it- the 670 has more storage and separate controls for water and heating, and windows.
    Have fun

  5. Nick Walker says:

    Very interesting. My wife and I have looked at a number of vans at dealers and the NEC 2014 show. This one particularly impressed us because it seems to be so flexible. (Only competitor with same layout is the Autotrail Accent far as I can see.) The rear lounge by day and bed by night is such good use of space. Yes I know it limits storage but with only 2 up I think we’d cope. Having the ‘dinette’ also means you can keep the bed in place and rest when driving / eat at the front. The 4 belted seats are an attraction for us as we want to take grand kids, though we realise that means camping for the boys. Webasto heating seems ideal with a tank of diesel you’ll never run out of heat. Only concerns are about build quality and some technical snags noted by others. Would love to hear from some longer term owners about the pros and cons.

    • Hi Nick,

      Thanks for getting in touch. It’s fantastic to hear that you loved the Tribute 669 and understandable that you want to find out as much as you can from owners.

      I’ve asked the question on our social media pages (see: Facebook / Twitter / Google+) so hopefully we’ll get some good responses.

      Caravan Guard

  6. D Morris says:

    We where looking to down size as my wife did not like driving the larger motorhome with the overhead bed etc.
    Having looked around at the various other van conversions and almost about to give up we found the Tribute. With its large open space after taking the double beds out at the rear. this would enable us to fit in the size of crates to fit our dogs. I had to extend the single bed to a 3/4 size and fit it on the high level brackets. This now gives good access to our dogs from inside and the rear doors. We new that no van would be just what we wanted but this comes very close in such a practical size. All the parts taken out have been put in to storage ready to be refitted.
    The van is great to drive with plenty of power and handles very well. Comfortable on long journeys in the UK and Europe. Great for drive and stop with all the facilities.
    We found that the centre table was to heavy and large so replaced it. It would have been great if the dinning area could have converted in to a single bed. I don’t think this would have taken much designing at the factory.
    When the side door is open a small fan starts to keep the fridge vented. This is a little annoying when it also operates even if the fridge is switched off, it would be a serious drain on battery power if the door is left open all day.(which ours is as we use the van for day away at shows etc). I have connected an override switch to by pass the fan. I see this as a design fault with either the position of the fridge or the cooling fans.
    The wardrobe is too small for use as a wardrobe so it has been kitted out with shelves to make it more practical and hangers fitted at the back doors for Coates etc.
    The missing spare wheel was a concern especially as my wife would be driving in Europe and the glue might work as a temp measure to get to a refuge area. I could not find any suitable under van fittings suitable so used a bike rack and with some conversions made a more than competent rear wheel carrier.
    The toilet waste carrier is standard size for the very compact vans and lasts approx 2 days. There is plenty of space to have designed for the larger waste carrier so unsure why they went for the small version. A 3/4 door opening stop on the side door would be helpful both for the fridge venting and closing etc. This will be our 5th motorhome/camper all have been subjected to some kind of modifications. It would make for good deign if some models where available as basic shells with fitting out options. With all the above taken on board the van itself is great and has enabled us to enjoy more holidays.

  7. c wilson says:

    I bought Tribute 669 at the end of March 2013 with 2 Double beds Air Con Pioneer Radio cd thule Step now put on extra 110amp battery 100Watt Solar panel 1500Watt inverter with plug on outside of dinette insurance approved alarm and tracker been away twice 2 adults bags of room for lugage pots pans put plate and cup rak in cupboard above dinette with ample room for other storage 19inch tel and status 550 ariel if u want to take more adults u can use a stand alone awning while meals being cooked for 4 are five people good van. Dealer Alan Kerr Devon i have had several motorhomes /vans off them and found them helpfull

  8. Steve Hayes says:

    We’ve had ours for less than two months, have had one night on hook-up and three nights wild. Where else can you get a high top to sleep four with no need to dismantle the living room to assemble a bed? Cocoa mugs/wine glasses (delete as required) can be left until morning. Works for us. Seminal design – could lead to further similar layouts as the Adria Twin did a few years ago

  9. edward sutton says:

    If Clive Chapman could contact me on (Caravan Guard do not recommend adding telephone number to posts – we would suggest either replying on this blog or exchanging email addresses) his comment of Alan kerr ltd as i,m having problems with my new Motorhome purchased also from Alan kerr. regards E.Sutton

  10. Graham Bartlett says:

    I picked up my 669 Auto in February 2013 and having been on two camping trips since, I love it. Its exactly the layout I wanted and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a 2 berth. I think 4 people would be too crowded for this size van though.

  11. Nigel says:

    Got My 669 From Brownhills under the published price to include aircon+extra bed+Caravan Guard Insurance+tracker+bike rack+leisure battery+radio/cd+full tank of fuel,taxed on the road. Happy Bunny .Even folded up lower bunk ,to move a friends bed & mattress ,What a load carrier.Can even turn rear into double bench lounge. With a bit of imagination this van is very versitile. !
    Why not just join Caravan Club, You get alot of benefits.

  12. MykCamper says:

    I have had a 665 for the past 18 months, build quality was poor, fresh water leaking into floor area when filling up, shower pullout won’t stay on unless held, both cured by my dealer’s own modified replacements (Todds of Lancs). The idea of replacing the spare wheel with a repair system is not practicle, running flat, even slowly for a few metres, damages the side walls so badly, the tyre needs replacing! If the fresh water tank was placed opposite the gray water tank, the spare wheel could still be retained at the rear. Liked the 2 mtr long double bed in the rear, with loads of storage underside.. Pity the 669 dos’nt have this option! l will be staying with my 3ltr auto 665 for it’s comfort and economy, even though I have to carry a spare wheel under the bed !

  13. Tony Dibsdall says:

    As a proud Tribute owner I think Auto-Trail Owners have severe case of

    “Petty Snobbery”

  14. John Cleave says:

    A few years ago, Auto-Trail introduced a new range, Excel (now discontinued). Originally this model was labelled in a similar way to the Tribute, with the Auto-Trail name in small lettering, without prominence.
    The Club Members, who have the final word on the Club Rules, decided that, unless the Excel range was clearly an Auto-Trail product, it would not be allowed into the Club. Auto-Trail revised the badging so that it complied with our rules and Excels are allowed to join and we have a significant number of owners of those models with us.
    It would take either a Club Rule change or an Auto-Trail badging change for Tributes to be permitted to join.
    Auto-Trail owners are very proud to be such and generally feel that, if the product is good enough to be clearly badged as an Auto-Trail, then it should so be.
    I am not belittling the Tribute range, it has many qualities that make it attractive to a certain market sector at which it is aimed, very successfully.
    For a Rule change to be implemented, it would require a current Club Member to put forward a motion at the AGM, duly seconded by another current Club Member and the rest of the Members would need to vote in favour of the proposal for it to become valid. Alternatively, the motion could be put forward by The Board Of Directors. However, it would still need to be passed by a majority of the Members.
    In my personal view, this is unlikely to happen.

    There is nothing to stop Tribute owners from forming their own club. I did hear something about a “Tribby” group that might be worth owners investigating if they are so inclined. As I understand it, and I may be wrong, the panel van Tribute owners and the coachbuilt Tribute owners don’t want to be mixed either.

    John Cleave (Editor, Auto-Trail Owners’ Club Magazine)

  15. John Cleave says:

    Our Club rules state clearly that, in order to qualify for Club Membership, you have to own a motorhome “Manufactured by and prominently badged Auto-Trail…”
    The Tribute range, although produced by Auto-Trail, are not prominently badged as such, although they do have the name in small letters somewhere on the bodywork.

  16. goldi says:

    no electric step, big mistake.

  17. Clive Chapman says:

    I bought the fore runner of the 669 the 665. The quality is very poor. I complained to the dealership and auto trail. Auto trail could care less. The dealership in my opinion, Allen Kerr are even worse. Due to the amount of faults and the lack of any after sales care the vehicle has been rejected under the Sales of Goods Act and I am in court in the next few months.

  18. ross says:

    good review –but why wont auto-trail accept it in there “club”

    • Hi Ross, thanks for your comment. We’re not sure why Auto-trail Owners’ club don’t accept Tributes, but John Cleave, the Club’s Magazine Editor may know more. We have contacted him for further details on this, and will let you know of his response as soon as we can.

  19. Don Sadkowski says:

    With the rear bed across the van its too short for someone my height (5′ 10″) to stretch out, don’t forget to fit a pillow, and get a good nights sleep.

  20. David Marsh says:

    I’m in the market place to buy a new or newish automatic motorhome this next month (June). I’m looking to exchange my 2003 ’03’ registered Eura Mobil Contura 706 on the Mercedes 316 Sprintshift chassis having covered a mere 36k miles.
    On looking at the 669 and adding to it the additional costs incurred for air conditioning,the second double bed and the comfortmatic gearbox I get a sum of £37705 plus delivery. I would be wanting a television aerial, solar panel and a tellevision bracket as standard. Surely, this is just the maximum starting price? I would expect the price, in these difficult trading times, to be adjusted downwards. What sort of money, taking into account my motorhome, would I really be being asked to pay?

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