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The result of a joint approach from van conversion specialist WildAx and mobility expert Brook Miller, this is a motorhome aimed at wheelchair users but just might find it’s suited to anyone who wants something that really offers loads of interior space.
Fiat’s extra-long Ducato is the starting point here, with a conversion that’s primarily two-berth, but can cater for more if required. WildAx, also, is in a position to build in specific adaptations to suit individual users – selling the Callisto Independence direct from its base in Elland, Yorkshire, where Brook Miller is also around the corner.
It certainly makes the most of the 6.36m long Ducato, offering a huge area of open space – with suitably heavy-duty flooring – just inside the sliding door, making it ideal for wheelchair access.
The options fitted to this demonstrator (listed below) bring the price up to a more realistic £50,440, but the main one here – the £6,750 underfloor lift – is what gives the vehicle its wheelchair accessibility. Other items to consider at build stage include on-board wheelchair restraints (from £495) and a rear seatbelt (£595).
That electrically operated lift does have one downside, however. It’s very heavy. You’ll have to be clever with your payload calculations, or start with a variant of the Ducato with a higher maximum gross vehicle weight.
There’s a short, inward-facing settee just behind the driver’s seat, and a double dinette lounge at the very back, where the double doors also allow access.
It’s the unique washroom arrangement that contributes to all the living space. Mid-‘van offside, WildAx prefers to call it a wet room, with a system of full-height tambour doors to completely enclose it. Here, you get a swivel-bowl toilet and fold-down sink, with a shower set-up that allows you to wash from a seated position.
Directly opposite all this is a good run of kitchen, with generous worktop between the Thetford Triplex cooker to the left and the sink which, in turn, has a worktop extension to its right. There’s also a clever slide-out section under the sink, where you get a cutlery tray and more storage, accessible from both sides.
It’s also here that WildAx has been particularly clever – fitting a wardrobe on rails. It slides over the kitchen for travel and when you want to make the most of the rear lounge. When the kitchen is in use, just slide it back across the nearside dinette seat.
As standard, that rear lounge converts to a double bed, at 1.45m x 1.85m. The layout is such you could actually leave this as a permanently made bed, while among the options are the facility to make a second, 1.85m x 1.0m sleeping area from the front settee.
Verdict: A completely different take on a van conversion
Plus: Lots of customising options
Minus: Restricted payload
Cost to insure: £257.50*
- WildAx Callisto Independence
- Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre, 130bhp Euro V
- Dimensions 6.36m L x 2.05m W x 2.65m H
- Maximum weight 3500kg
- Payload 200-400kg
- Key options: Automatic transmission £1,800, underfloor lift £6,750, metallic Paint £400, alloy wheels £550, hand controls £495, TV £450
- Security and Safety Electronic immobiliser, remote central locking to all doors, ABS and EBD, twin airbags
- MPG estimate 22-28
Recommended retail price from £39,995**
There’s more information on the Callisto Independence at the WildAx website. To find out more about our low-cost premiums visit the motorhome insurance discounts page.
*Motorhome insurance cost based on WildAx Callisto Independence retailing at £39,995 fitted with immobiliser. UK travel only. Kept in secure storage at TD9 8ED. Motorhome owners – professionals over 50 years old with no claims, convictions or health conditions in last 3 years. 4 years no claims bonus mirrored from car policy and 2 years motorhome driving experience. Members of motorhome club doing less than 5000 miles annually. £300 excess applies. Premiums include insurance premium tax at 6% and are correct at 6/05/2014
**Model show, on-the-road including VAT at 20%