It’s a case of second time around here. Devon-based Murvi has converted Fords before, albeit a very long time ago in the company’s 30-plus year history.
The latest Transit – an altogether more refined version of its predecessors – has certainly caught the eye of a number of specialist converters, so it’s no surprise to see Murvi re-acquainting itself.
This latest Pimento (it’s still also available based on Fiat’s Ducato) comes on the medium-wheelbase Transit high-roof van, with an interior layout that’s more akin to a shortened version of the company’s much revered, and award-winning, Morello (coincidentally, also available based on Ford for this season).
That still means lots of floor space in a forward lounge that focuses around a superb inward-facing settee, also supplied with free-standing and pedestal tables, that latter for the swivelled cab seats).
At the back meanwhile, there’s a full-specification washroom (with two-way access) in the offside corner, while the multi-choice kitchen extends across the back and along the nearside.
All the usual Murvi cues are here, then. This is a company that long ago learnt that cramming as much furniture as possible into a relatively small vehicle might look good in the showroom, but it’s out in the field – literally – where it really has to perform.
Not only does that settee have the comfort of an extra high backrest, it’s also set along the side to allow plenty of space to stretch out your legs here, while the family pet will also appreciate the extra floor room such a set-up allows. Slide back the side door and it’s as if the countryside is coming to you… assuming you’ve parked up appropriately, of course.
That settee also converts readily to a double bed, some 1.91m x 1.37m, which has you sleeping with your head at the cab end so that your feet can fit under the hanging wardrobe design. Vitally, it still allows access to walk from the cab area through to the washroom and kitchen.
You’ll certainly have few problems seeking out the best scenery in a vehicle as compact and nimble as this. As standard, the Ford comes with a 100bhp engine in front-wheel drive format with six-speed manual transmission. Rear wheel drive is also available (although interior headroom drops from 1.86m to 1.78m), automatic transmission isn’t.
You get a decent enough specification – ranging from twin airbags, to stereo radio/CD with Bluetooth to fully adjustable seats – although, again the list of Ford options is pretty extensive. As you can see from the picture, it’s also a particularly user-friendly dashboard.
Another key Murvi theme is its use of superior quality products rather than simply building down to a price. Hence the washroom includes a Dometic ceramic-bowl toilet, accompanied by GRP washbasin and shower tray, both made to Murvi’s own designs.
The kitchen allows you to make your own choice in terms of cooker and fridge arrangements (there’s also a microwave oven with grill option, at £220), which still leaves space for a sink with drainer as well as plenty of worktop and cupboard storage.
As standard, you get highly useful features such as the underfloor LPG tank. You get savings all round here – from the cost of gas refills to actual storage space (its location certainly frees up some valuable interior locker space)
Heating and hot water is courtesy of Webasto’s Dual Top 8kW model, operating from the base vehicle’s fuel system or mains electricity. Fully programmable, it can also heat the interior while you’re driving, and comes with useful frost-protection mode. There’s also extensive insulation throughout (walls, floor, pipework).
Other standard features such cover twin Banner leisure batteries with 30amp battery charger and energy management system, safety pack, and more. Murvi then goes on to offer a comprehensive choice of upholsteries (including leather), worktop and locker door colours, flooring, even interior wall lining.
Next stop? South Devon. Murvi only sells direct…
Verdict: Exclusively produced for the camper connoisseur
Plus: Proven layout, Transit base vehicle, quality conversion work throughout
Minus: No automatic transmission option
In-a-nutshell: Transit time for Murvi
Cost to insure: £273.50*
- Murvi Pimento
- Ford Transit 35 MWB L2H2 high-roof van
- Dimensions 5.53m L x 2.06m W x 2.58m H
- Maximum weight 3500kg
- Payload 600kg
- Key options: Full list of base vehicle and conversion options from manufacturer
- Security and Safety ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), hill start assist, ESP/EDCC/ASR (Electronic Stability Program/Electronic Dynamic Cornering Control/Traction Control), driver’s and front passenger’s airbags, electronic engine immobiliser, remote control central locking with deadlocks, Safety Pack (smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguisher, fire blanket, first aid kit, spare vehicle bulbs kit, warning triangle)
- MPG estimate 33-38
There’s more information on the Pimento on the Murvi website and to find out more about our low-cost premiums visit the motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Auto Campers Leisure Van**, Devon Discovery, Wellhouse Leisure Giant**
Recommended retail price from £47,290***
*Motorhome insurance cost based on Murvi Pimento retailing at £47,290 fitted with manufacturer fitted immobiliser and Category 1 alarm. UK travel only. Kept in secure storage at TD9 8ED. Motorhome owners – professionals over 50 years old with no claims or convictions 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 06/01/15.
**Launch scheduled for February 2015
***On-the-road, including VAT at 20%