Richard Baldwin Motorhomes Caravaggio: the all-seeing VW-based camper
DPS 360. That’s the most significant feature among a number in this special edition campervan, made specifically for West Yorkshire-based dealer Richard Baldwin Motorhomes (RBM).
It’s a CCTV monitoring system that includes rear, front and side cameras, also linked to a top-level Thatcham Cat 1 alarm. And yes, it will get you cheaper campervan insurance premium.
There’s plenty more to add to the attraction of this campervan.
RBM uses the Highline version of Volkswagen’s Transporter as the base for the Caravaggio. It’s a brand new base vehicle, too (whilst there’s bargain potential in using a pre-owned Transporter, you’ll never know exactly where it’s come from). Whereas its other special edition Masters models are coachbuilts and van conversions courtesy of Elddis, the Caravaggio is made to special order by the highly regarded campervan specialist, Hillside Leisure, and is an interpretation of its top-selling Birchover model.
As it’s the Highline version of the T6 Transporter, you get extra equipment that’s particularly pertinent for a leisure vehicle – DAB radio stereo system, padded steering wheel with controls, reversing sensors, electric heated mirrors and more. The mock wood trim is at RBM’s behest.
Also as standard, RBM offers the 100bhp engine with five-speed manual transmission. You might want to investigate the costs of upgrades to both the power and the transmission.
As for the conversion, although it’s a typical side furniture/rear bench seat floorplan, other aspects of note in this conversion start with the slightly lowered, slightly shortened furniture unit – allowing easier use and the facility to swivel the driver’s seat without complication.
The Caravaggio sleeps four, with the upper bed longer but narrower than that made from the rear seat (measurements are 1.96m x 1.10m and 1.80m x 1.22m respectively).
For families, then, ironically it’s the children who are more likely to be using the longer bed (or, you could consider investing in a drive-away awning – there’s space to stow one inside the tailgate, thanks to the fold-up bed section).
Elsewhere, you get everything from a 100ah leisure battery, to solar panel, to Aquaclean self-cleaning fabric, heated driver and passenger seats, external gas BBQ point, Winter Pack, auto-latching sliding door, rear speakers, portable toilet and external shower fitting. There’s even a Dometic portable toilet. It adds up to a lot more than a typical standard campervan offering.
Major fittings are premium items – the elevating roof is from Germany’s SCA, the rear seat/bed is from RIB, and heating is an Eberspächer unit. There’s no surprise with the cooker/sink – it’s a typical unit from Dometic. A grill is also standard, as is a 50-litre compressor fridge.
It’s not perfect, of course. There are aspects where you’ll have to decide if the compromise is worthwhile. It’s a rather small, not especially sturdy pedestal leg table, for instance (you might want to investigate a free-standing unit as more suitable. Curtains are generously cut and lined but seem a bit outdated.
But, take a look at that price again and you’ll see you’re onto something of a bargain here. It’s well worth further viewing – and that’s a deliberate pun, although the added safety of that DPS 360 system is no joke!
Verdict: Campervan-plus thanks to some interesting kit as standard
Plus: Excellent equipment levels (without compromising overall storage), DPS 360 camera system, National Caravan Council-approved conversion
Minus: No cutlery tray/drawer, small table
In-a-nutshell: A bit of a campervan masterpiece
There’s more information on the Masters Collection range on the Richard Baldwin Motorhomes website. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Autohaus Ashton, Bilbo’s Celex, Hillside Birchover
Richard Baldwin Motorhomes Caravaggio factfile
|Model||Richard Baldwin Motorhomes Caravaggio|
|Base vehicle||Volkswagen Transporter|
|Dimensions||4.89m L x 1.91m W x 2.01m H|
|RRP||From £48,888 on the road|
|Safety & security||ABS, engine immobiliser, front airbags, DPS 360 monitoring system, Thatcham Cat 1 alarm/immobiliser|
|Key options||Upgrade to 150PS engine with DSG automatic transmission (£4,728), Teardrop wind-out awning (£650), bike rack (£345)|