For a company that only started out as a specialist van converter in 2006, before joining up with France’s Rapido Group in 2017 (which sees it sitting alongside van conversions from Westfalia and Dreamer, as well as Rapid itself), WildAx has never been afraid to try something a bit different.
This latest model, the Wildax Altair is definitely no exception.
It’s a “gas-free” vehicle, using a more sophisticated all-electric power source arrangement to work its onboard appliances. Central to all this is a system comprising a 3kW inverter and solar panelling capable of processing up to 300Watts via twin lithium leisure batteries rated at 100Ah each. Plus, there’s an upgraded battery-to-battery charger. It means you have 12V as well as 230V power wherever you go.
Heating and hot water is courtesy of a Truma Combi D fitting, using electricity and/or fuel from the base vehicle’s diesel tank. And there’s still mains hook-up should you need it.
The appeal of the Wildax Altair is not just to those who want to venture off-grid, but there are also benefits to not having to worry about where your next fill-up of gas is coming from when touring abroad. Or simply if you’d rather forego gas altogether.
Just as interesting is WildAx’s choice of base vehicle. It’s MAN’s TGE (a direct equivalent of Volkswagen’s Crafter). It’s the mid-length version that’s used by WildAx, and you will probably want to speak to the converter about a huge array of MAN extras, including all-wheel drive and all kinds of options packages.
There’s a beefy feel to the cab, with its more rugged plastics, but they certainly don’t hide what is a very sophisticated vehicle to drive.
In this walkthrough video, we take a look inside the 2023 Wildax Altair campervan:
The Wildax Altair campervan comes as a four-seater for travel, with three sleeping berths. Up front is a lounge with a forward-facing bench seat and both cab seats swivelled, with a side-fixing table attaching to a short section of rail along the offside, with a mains socket nearby.
That bench seat is rather upright, although it does come with Isofix and adjustable head restraints.
At the back of the Altair is where you’ll probably prefer to do your main lounging. Here, the seating is U-shaped, with upper-level locker storage to all three sides, a rooflight and four opening windows, all with concertina blinds and flyscreens.
Those locker doors have a white gloss finish (which should be easy to wipe clean) as well as ambient lighting above and below. A hanging wardrobe is on the offside, but you should be able to fit your feet under when in bed mode.
That rear lounge can be made into a lengthways double or two singles, although the offside one is rather short (1.71m), compared to 1.95m on the nearside), as is the third sleeping berth, made from the front lounge seating.
The Wildax Altair’s kitchen has an induction double hob (you’ll need to pitch on the level to prevent any accidental slipping of the pans on a smooth surface like this). One advantage here is the direct transfer of heat to the base of any pan meaning you don’t have to worry about breezes affecting your cooking when the sliding door is open – and the flyscreen will keep the bugs out.
There’s also a flip-up extension to the kitchen worktop here, while storage includes six drawers and a slide-out vegetable/bottle rack.
A Dometic microwave oven complements the hob – and yes, it can be operated wherever you go!
Meanwhile, over on the offside, the fridge/freezer has a whopping 154-litre total capacity.
Also on the offside, and squeezed in between the fridge and the lounge, the tambour door for the washroom is a real space-saver. Inside, there’s a Dometic swivel toilet with ceramic bowl, plus a countertop handbasin that’s served by a tap that also pulls out for showering (it has a single fixing point).
There’s an opening window here, and a mirror above that, but storage is limited to a single high-level locker, along with the usual toothbrush, toilet roll holder and towel ring.
Key to this whole campervan, however, is the WildAx promise that all the facilities will operate when you are off-grid (i.e. away from mains hook-up). Could that make this the ideal getaway vehicle?
To find out more about insuring a WildAx Altair or your current campervan visit our campervan insurance page.
Verdict: An air of independence
Plus: Quality base vehicle, well executed off-grid concept
Minus: Hefty starting price, short single beds
In-a-nutshell: Off-grid, let’s go
Alternatives: RP Rebellion
WildAx Altair factfile
|MAN TGE 3.140, 2.0-litre, 140bhp
|6.84m L x 2.04m W x 2.85m H
|From £92,995 on the road
|Safety & security
|ESC (electronic stability control), stop-start, automatic lights and windscreen wipers, LED day-running lights, parking sensors
|Automatic transmission (£2,000), awning (£1,400), additional mains socket (£95), motorhome wi-fi (from £575), TV Pack (£550), water filter and tap system (£650)