A van conversion to reach for
A change of ownership has done nothing to curb van conversion specialist Vantage’s enthusiasm for quality and practicality. It sells direct from its manufacturing base in Leeds West Yorkshire… and yes, at this level, you do pay a premium.
It’s probably not a motorhome for newcomers. There’s an extensive list of options – the main ones opposite only tell part of the story – as befits a specialist manufacturer targeting discerning customers. Yes, it definitely helps to have previous experience of motorhoming in this scenario.
Currently, there’s a 12-model line-up of Fiat Ducato-based conversions of varying lengths. Sky is one of two new models introduced for 2020 that feature travel seating for two extra passengers – a first for Vantage – and come in at the top of the range.
Using Fiat’s extra-high roofed, 6.36m long Ducato, means Vantage can add in an electric drop-down double bed over the rear lounge of the Sky motorhome. There’s also a half-dinette behind the driver’s seat, which means everything adds up to make this a full four-berth. Indeed, technically, at least, the Sky could sleep five.
That drop-down double is the star, of course. Just note it only comes down to sufficient height to allow you to still use the seating below – or you can convert the settees into two single beds or a double.
Typical of so many van conversions, the kitchen and washroom facilities are mid-‘van. The nearside kitchen centres around Thetford Triplex cooker that’s ideal for space-efficiency – boasting three gas rings and a combined oven and grill.
Left of the hob, a deep stainless steel sink comes with washing-up bowl and a plastic cover designed to double as a drainer. The rise-up Powerdock sockets (230V and USB) here is a fitting long used by Vantage, plus there’s a handy, fold-up worktop extension.
There’s a microwave oven in the Vantage Sky, neatly housed in the overcab area, but that’s an optional extra.
Across the corridor, the washroom has the usual Vantage-only hallmark fittings. The Thetford bench toilet is easier to clean around than swivel-bowl variants.
Extending from the tap to the corner basin, the shower is trigger-operated – it saves water. The full plastic lining to this room feels reassuringly solid.
As for the base vehicle, Vantage is one of the very few converters who specify its Ducatos with twin leaves, for what is otherwise a rather bouncy rear suspension. That high roof means extra upper-level locker storage inside, too. Needless to add, you can discuss any of the engine upgrades as well as the newly-introduced nine-speed automatic transmission option.
Fiat’s perfectly decent 140bhp engine is standard in the Vantage Sky, and it’s a more than capable performer. You’ll want to go easy on that payload, though, unless you’re happy to upgrade from the standard 3,500kg maximum weight.
Not totally unique, but Vantage does also offer you the opportunity to come and see exactly how it does its conversion work, whilst getting the overall specification right for the motorhome of your dreams. That includes delving into the options list for security devices to make sure your motorhome insurance company will cover such a vehicle, plus safety options, like a reversing camera, for some extra insurance discounts.
Verdict: Top-drawer build… now with extra berths
Plus: Excellent build quality throughout, lots of practical features
Minus: Pricey, direct sales only won’t appeal to all buyers
In-a-nutshell: Quality unlimited… now with added bed!
There’s more information on the Vantage website. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Dreamer Camper Five, Globecar Campscout Revolution, Knaus Boxstar 630 Freeway
Vantage Sky factfile
|Base vehicle||Fiat Ducato|
|Dimensions||6.36m L x 2.26m W x 2.88m H|
|RRP||From £67,950 on the road|
|Safety & security||ESC (electronic stability control) with ASR (anti-slip regulation), electronic immobiliser, remote central locking, MSR (drive torque control) and EBA (electronic braking assistance), smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, twin leaf rear suspension, spare wheel.|
|Key options||Diamond Edition Pack (£4,950), 160bhp engine (£1,000), 180bhp engine (£2,895), automatic transmission (£2,995), cab air conditioning (£1,000), cruise control (£275), reversing sensors (£395), reversing camera and monitor (£750), satnav (from £550), Thatcham Cat 1 alarm (£500), alarm and tracker (£650, plus subscription), mudflaps (£200), metallic paint (£600), colour-coded front bumper (£590), alloy wheels (£675), leather upholstery (from £950), Eco Off-grid Kit (£2,600), Truma iNet (£280), extra reading lights (£250), solar panel (£695)|