Putting on some high-top style
It was a big decision for specialist campervan producer Autohaus to turn its attention away from its usual Volkswagen conversion work to this – a Fiat Ducato-based high-top – but, it’s done so with aplomb.
If you prefer a more modern look to your motorhomes, this meets that demand. At the same time, it introduces a few new ideas to the typical van conversion that caters for up to four in a layout that includes back and front lounges, with a kitchen and full washroom in between.
There are a few exterior details of note beyond the graphics – the location of the mains input and gas outlet sockets, for example, plus the presence of a reversing camera as well as rear parking sensors.
In the cab, standard fittings include air conditioning, cruise control, stereo with sat nav, padded steering wheel with controls, plus blinds to the windscreen and side windows.
The cab seats swivel to join the rest of the living quarter, forming a front lounge with the double travel seat. A notable feature of Autohaus’s conversion work is the use of vinyl rather than carpet lining for the walls. Also, because it is an independent manufacturer selling direct (the Kingston also has one other retailer outlet, the Motorhome Dealer Group), Autohaus will happily accommodate any particular design tweaks you might have. For instance, if you want something different to the standard, single pedestal leg table that can be used in either lounge, do ask.
Arguably, it’s the rear lounge that will be preferred when you’re on-site. Stretch out on the settees and you can fling the back doors open to enjoy the views and abundant fresh air!
At night-time, both lounges convert to double beds, albeit both are slightly narrow, at 1.22m, with the rear that bit longer, by just a couple of centimetres, at 1.83m.
Between the beds/lounges, it’s the kitchen that takes up the nearside, while the washroom is on the offside. Both are above average for the class. The kitchen starts off with a standard enough stainless-steel two-burner hob and sink combination, but it’s set in a worktop called Tristone, and there’s a Dometic oven/grill. There’s a slide-out worktop extension, with drawers for storage and, overhead, a two-doored locker. There’s also a 90-litre compressor fridge, set high to the chef’s left hand.
Across the corridor, access to the washroom is via a tambour door. Step inside and it’s all fully plastic-lined. The mixer tap outlet for the fixed sink extends for use as the showerhead, although there’s just the one plughole below and ventilation is restricted to just a small outlet in the ceiling.
There are, however, toilet roll and towel holders, plus a vanity unit for storage. The swivel-bowl toilet is set just a bit higher, for easier use.
Hot water is supplied via a Whale system, with 90-litre fresh and waste water tanks. Another handy fitting is the 25-litre underfloor gas tank, which will save you money on LPG refills as well as space (it means not having valuable room taken up by an on-board gas locker).
Rounding of what is a very grand specification are fittings like an Avtex TV and satellite aerial, solar panel and 100aH AGM leisure battery.
Look out also for a new development – a two-berth variant.
Verdict: Stylish newcomer to medium-size van conversions
Plus: Modern styling and good build quality
Minus: Corridor effect, narrow second double bed
In-a-nutshell: Ducato with a difference
There’s more information on the Kingston on the Autohaus website. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Auto-Sleeper Fairford, Globecar Globestar 600L, Swift Select 144
Autohaus Kingston factfile
|Base vehicle||Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre, 130bhp, Euro VI|
|Dimensions||5.99m L x 2.05m W x 2.64m H|
|RRP||From £47,995 on the road|
|Safety & security||Immobiliser, remote central locking, ABS and Brake Assist, twin airbags, rear view camera and parking sensors.|
|Key options||Engine upgrades, Comfort-matic transmission, alternative furnishings and furniture finish.|