For the long run!
There’s a bit of a trend for extra-long van conversions like this – even though they’re sometimes longer than their coachbuilt counterparts. Generally, it seems, some folk prefer the perceived easier driveability and body rigidity of a van conversion. It’s also easy to argue there’s less chance of bodywork leaks in a van compared to a coachbuilt.
The Tribute 680 is the flagship of three Auto-Trail van conversions, although the Tribute name also features in a range that also include coachbuilts.
Using the 6.36m long version of Fiat’s all-conquering Ducato, the Tribute 680 majors on an end lounge layout with twin full-length settees.
But, it also offers seating up front, where you can create an admittedly smaller lounge using the cab seats swivelled and a sculpted bench seat for two extra passengers. The table here even has a swing-out extension. So, this might be where you end up having your meals, leaving the rear lounge for, er, lounging and enjoying the views out of all its windows, as well as via the Heki rooflight – or, when the weather is right, you can fling open those rear doors…?
Such is the space in this van, though, there’s a generous kitchen and a space-efficient washroom with flip-down basin and full shower area.
Also, at night time you can change that rear lounge into two single beds or a double – the latter easily made by pulling both settee bases together. Or, because you still have the front lounge, there could be times when you want to leave the back as a permanent bedroom.
True, there are compromises and areas where space really is at a bit of a premium. Most noticeable, is the small corridor width between the front lounge and the kitchen.
But, there’s clever use of space throughout. The washroom, for instance, features a flip-down washbasin. There’s certainly sufficient room to use the Thetford swivel-bowl toilet, while the shower has a trigger operation (great for saving water), and details include the towel holder and hooks on the back of the door, a mirrored vanity unit and lower-level open shelving.
The shortest of hops across the corridor sees a relatively well-equipped kitchen, with a Thetford Triplex three-ring hob plus combined oven and grill. There’s a flip-up worktop extension to the right of the sink, while storage ranges from lockers overhead and under the oven to a trio of drawers.
To the left of the kitchen, the fridge is set below a wardrobe (which you might prefer to use for food storage). A removable freezer compartment means you can optimise the chiller space.
Talking of space, Tribute’s designers really have put a lot of thought into storage, too. There are six overhead lockers in the rear lounge, for starters. And the seat base areas are easy to access, thanks to hinged supports to the settees and a loop to pull open the travel seat. You can access the storage under each settee via hatches just inside the back doors. There’s even a dedicated locker for safe storage for the rear lounge’s free-standing table.
Also, the underslung LPG tank means valuable interior storage isn’t taken up by a gas cylinder locker. And you’ll save money on your gas refills.
Overall costs are kept down by offering the Tribute 680 in standard trim with Fiat’s newest two-litre, 115bhp engine and six-speed manual transmission. The 130bhp unit kicks off a number of engine options, which means you can also consider Comfort-Matic automatic transmission. One option you will want, though, is the Driver’s Pack – for its cab air conditioning, cruise control, passenger airbag and a reversing camera – and that extra saving on your motorhome insurance!
Verdict: Great value, plenty of style
Plus: Seating flexibility, large rear lounge-cum-bedroom
Minus: Pinch point between front dinette and kitchen
In-a-nutshell: Long van, high practicality
There’s more information on the Tribute range on the Auto-Trail website. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Auto-Sleeper Fairford, Swift Select 184
Auto-Trail Tribute 680 factfile
|Model||Auto-Trail Tribute 680|
|Base vehicle||Fiat Ducato, 2.0-litre, 115bhp, Euro VI|
|Dimensions||6.36m L x 2.26m W x 2.64m H|
|RRP||From £42,086 on the road|
|Safety & security||Electronic immobiliser, remote central locking to all doors, ABS and EBD, EBA (emergency brake assist), smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguisher, underfloor gas tank, daytime running lights|
|Key options||Driver’s Pack (£1,499), 130bhp engine (£900), 148bhp engine (£1,195), Comfort-Matic automatic transmission (£2,040), Witter towbar and electrics (£550), Fiat Mopar Camper Assist extension, from two to five years (£649)|