The spirit of Ford adventure
Ford’s Transit Custom is gaining a foothold as a base vehicle for campervan conversions. Hardly surprising when you look at something like this, from bespoke specialist Rolling Homes.
The Custom is the smaller of its Transit vans, and just that bit more car-like for it – especially as equipment levels tend to be higher. It’s certainly an interesting alternative to Volkswagen’s Transporter – the dominant base vehicle in the campervan sector.
No doubt about it, either, in its 10-year history, Rolling Homes has set itself up as a producer of superior campers in terms of its build standards. A key feature of most (but not all; other finishes are available) of its conversions is its real wood furniture – the distinctive oak finish here is typical. It’s lightweight, too, so there are no payload penalties. Complementing it on this Kingsley is an optional leather upholstery, but again there are alternatives.
There are few surprises with the layout of this campervan. It’s a straightforward side furniture format, with the usual two-ring hob and sink combination for food preparations, all set in a superior Corian worktop. A Dometic Waeco 50-litre compressor fridge with freezer box is also standard.
In daytime mode, the lounge comprises both cab seats swivelled to face the fixed rear seat, plus a free-standing table on a pedestal leg with tripod base, which can also be used outdoors. When not in use, the tabletop stows away neatly in a recess in the sliding door.
The rear double travel seat is from RIB. It’s generally highly regarded, but worth noting it sits rather high. You’ll soon learn the routine for folding it out into a double bed, although it’s not the biggest, at some 1.90m x 1.12m. Note, also, the fabric backing to the topside of the mattress (preferable, surely, to sleeping on the leather of the rest of the covering). Full night-time blackout is provided by Van-X window-hugging curtains, complemented by thermal screens for the cab area.
It’s all topped off by an elevating roof from German specialist producer, SCA. It might not be the easiest to operate, but few would argue with its quality. Plus, you get one of the best roof beds available in terms of comfort as well as dimensions – plastic springing for support and ventilation under a one-piece mattress, 2.00m x 1.27m.
There are plenty of other quality touches here. Everything from the handbrake cover, to eco-friendly Irish wool insulation, to downlighters in the opened tailgate.
Just as impressive is this latest Ford base vehicle. It’s as car-like as they come, with a genuine quality feel to the materials and a particularly user-friendly steering wheel. Standard kit ranges from an 8in touchscreen, to air conditioning, cruise control, heated windscreen heating and door mirrors, DAB radio with Bluetooth connectivity, and much more. Plus those rear parking sensors will get you a small discount on your campervan insurance with Caravan Guard.
At the back, open the tailgate and you get a generous luggage area (certainly sufficient for the kind of drive-away awning that complements a campervan so well). There’s also access to the floor-to-ceiling locker here that has shelving and hanging space for clothes, as well as accommodating a freshwater container and sealed gas compartment.
Pricing starts the right side of £50,000, but don’t be surprised if you exceed that with any of the options on offer – not least on the Ford side. It’s a decent enough two-litre 128bhp unit as standard, linked to a slick six-speed manual gearbox, but attractions include 168bhp power and automatic transmission.
As mentioned, Rolling Homes likes to think of itself as a bespoke producer. Although the layouts are fixed, across its whole portfolio of campers there’s a degree of flexibility on offer in terms of equipment and little tweaks to each overall design – that’s everything from lighting to electrical sockets and more.
It’s all topped by a three-year warranty on the conversion work, matching that given by Ford on the base vehicle.
Verdict: Top quality camper
Plus: Quality conversion work, a treat for Ford fans
Minus: Over 2m tall, heating only an option
There’s more information on the Rolling Homes campervan range on the Rolling Homes website. Find out more about insuring this or your current campervan on our campervan insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Autohaus GT Spartan, Wellhouse Trento
Rolling Homes Kingsley factfile
|Model||Rolling Homes Kingsley|
|Base vehicle||Ford Transit Custom Trend|
|Dimensions||4.97m L x 2.08m W x 2.08m H|
|RRP||From £48,995 on the road|
|Safety & security||Electronic immobiliser, remote central locking, ABS, Thatcham Cat 1 alarm/immobiliser, rear parking sensors, automatic driving lights and windscreen wipers, front foglights with cornering function|
|Key options||170PS engine (£2,725), automatic transmission (£680), colour coding of side trims and rear bumper (£800), Sat nav with 8in screen (£800), Webasto heater (£1,145), leather upholstery (£2,195), mug cupboard (£395), portable toilet (£110)|