Let’s go on an expedition for a bargain van
Auto-Trail really is advancing on all fronts in the van conversion sector. Line-ups Expedition, V-Line (incorporating S, SE and Sport models) and Adventure between them account for some 17 vehicles, all based on variants of Fiat’s Ducato.
At the bargain end are two, new-for-2021 Auto-Trail Expedition models – 66 and 67. Both are based on the 5.99m long Ducato. It’s the slightly more expensive latter, that has a rear travel seat to up the travel accommodation to four, that’s the subject of this review.
Note that Expedition motorhomes are only available in black. It’s a clever move, because it means Auto-Trail doesn’t need to go to the expense of worrying about colour-matching bumpers, door mirror trims etc. Graphics are deliberately kept low-key, too.
A big point in favour of all Auto-Trail Expedition models is the 140bhp engine is standard. It’s got plenty of power, as well as a healthy 350Nm of torque that will make your driving even more relaxing. More power is on the options list, as is automatic transmission.
For the conversion, overall build quality is good – further proof that Auto-Trail has the craft of van conversions down to a tee at its modern manufacturing premises. It’s on the specification side where things are pared down, deliberately.
Slide back the nearside door and you’re met by a typical layout for this type of motorhome. There’s travel seating for four, with cab seats that swivel for use on-site.
The main lounge, though, is at the back. Two parallel settees enjoy views out to all three sides, as well as the ability to throw open the rear doors when the weather allows.
At night, the settees convert fairly easily to a transverse double bed (official measurements 1.86m x 1.36m) thanks to slide-out slatted sections.
The location of the Auto-Trail Expedition kitchen and equipment are par for this type of vehicle. Two gas burners plus a grill for cooking, plus a sink, worktop extension and a decent array of storage options, are in the main unit.
There’s a larger than average (85-litre) fridge with removable freezer box to the left of this. The details – two mains sockets, cutlery drawer, wind protection, splashguard – are key pluses here, too.
As a van conversion (rather than just a campervan), there is, of course, a washroom offering the usual toilet and shower facilities.
There’s a space-efficient flip-down basin and a mirrored vanity unit, while the walls have proper GRP linings. There’s only a small roof vent and just one outlet in the shower tray, but the showerhead itself has a trigger operation, which is always handy for saving water.
Thanks also to the underslung heating system and water tanks (they’re properly insulated), there’s better than average storage inside this Auto-Trail Expedition motorhome. A gas tank is also standard, and again helps free up interior space.
Cab air conditioning, concertina blinds to all but the cab windows, decent provision of mains and USB outlets, ditto lighting … some of the standard specification is way beyond what you’d expect of a “budget” motorhome.
You’ll need to sort the radio/stereo/infotainment and/or TV fittings – plus items like solar panel, awning, bike rack etc – via your dealer though. And you can surely source scatter cushions, floor carpet and more yourselves, all to your own taste. You might also want a step at the sliding door.
Verdict: Bargain, with a capital B
Plus: Fuss-free, keenest of prices, clever standard specification
Minus: Some inevitable corner-cutting, in black only
In-a-nutshell: Low-price high-top
There’s more information on the Expedition range on the Auto-Trail website. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Benimar Benivan 120, Elddis Autoquest CV20, Roller Team Toleno L, Swift Select 122
Auto-Trail Expedition 67 factfile
|Model||Auto-Trail Expedition 67|
|Base vehicle||Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre, 140bhp, Euro 6d|
|Dimensions||5.99m L x 2.05m W x 2.53m H|
|Safety & security||Electronic immobiliser, ABS with EBD, remote central locking, twin airbags, European Whole Vehicle Type Approval, fire extinguisher, smoke/CO2 alarm|
|Key options||160bhp engine upgrade (£1,410), 180bhp engine upgrade (£2,820), automatic transmission (£3,354), body integrity warranty extension (£699), 16in alloy wheels (£672), cab blinds (£295)|