It’s a campervan revolution. Seemingly everywhere you look at the moment, there’s another leisure vehicle dealer announcing it’s going into the campervan sector with a range of its own, specially commissioned models.
Straight for the Heart
Here’s a prime example. Northamptonshire-based Heart of England Motorhomes is a family-owned dealership that’s long had an excellent reputation for looking after its customers. For 2021, it’s announced it’s going to sell campervans made by the equally highly renowned Hillside Leisure, but made to Heart of England’s specifications.
Enter the Velum and Velare campervans, both coming with whole European Type Approval as well as UK trade body NCC (National Caravan Council) accreditation – more than just rubber-stamping exercises, these give genuine authenticity to any such campervan. It also bodes well for trade-in time. It’s no surprise, then, that Heart of England is comfortable in offering a conversion warranty of three years to reflect that of the base vehicle.
It’s the more upmarket Velare campervan that’s under the spotlight here. Also available with a high-roof, the elevating roof version here is a particularly well-equipped model that justifies its sub-£50,000 starting price.
As standard, power is via the 110PS engine with five-speed manual transmission, although Heart of England is happy to offer a full range of engine and transmission options. Of these, the 150PS with DSG automatic gearbox could well prove a favourite.
It’s Volkswagen’s T6.1 Transporter in Highline trim, so you get a whole host of goodies as standard – alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, DAB radio stereo system, Climatic automatic air conditioning, padded steering wheel with controls, electric heated folding door mirrors and more. Those parking sensors will attract a small campervan insurance discount too!
The Velare’s conversion work is that classic VW-based camper formula – kitchen and storage unit along the side, rear seat that converts to a double bed. But, note the equipment involved is all top-of-the-class – hence the SCA elevating roof and RIB rear seat, for starters. These two key components are not only regarded for their quality and safety, there’s also the knowledge of knowing that they’ve been fitted correctly – and, again, safely.
However, the lower bed in the Velare campervan is not the largest – 180cm x 120cm. If you want more length, the roof bed is some 200cm and a similar width. It also has the bonus of better foot space than many – thanks to SCA’s design as well as a proper bed with mattress on sprung wooden slats that also optimise ventilation.
The cooker/sink follows the same theme – it’s typical for most campers: a combination unit from Dometic in hardwearing/easy cleaning stainless steel.
Directly below the hob, a grill is standard, as is a 65-litre compressor fridge, both of which are covered by a door that opens to reveal some useful shelving as well as providing the slimmest of worktops. Both cab seats are on Volkswagen swivels, too.
Blown air heating is one of a number of key standard features, courtesy of a diesel-powered Eberspächer unit. There’s also a water heater, fresh and waste water tanks, external shower point, Dometic portable toilet and more.
All this still leaves you with some final choices in terms of exterior finishes along with a small selection of rather desirable extras. Over to you!
Verdict: Top-drawer camper with extra exclusivity
Plus: Quality conversion with decent equipment levels
Minus: Small table, rear seat is fixed only (i.e. non-sliding)
In-a-nutshell: Top-notch campervan with added exclusivity
There’s more information on the Velum and Velare campervan range on the Heart of England Motorhomes website. Find out more about insuring this or your current campervan on our campervan insurance discounts page.
Heart of England Velare factfile
|Model||Heart of England Velare|
|Base vehicle||Volkswagen Transporter|
|Dimensions||4.89m L x 1.91m W x 2.01m H|
|Safety & security||ABS, Volkswagen factory alarm and immobiliser, front airbags, front and rear parking sensors, hill hold assist, electric stabiliser control, front assist with city emergency braking system, automatic headlights, automatic windscreen wipers|
|Key options||Upgrade to 150PS engine with DSG automatic transmission (£3,400), Thatcham Cat 6 tracking system (£599), mobile wifi (£450), towbar (from £595), solar panel ( from £595), wind-out awning (£799), additional 230V/12 sockets (£166), additional USB socket (£176), bike rack and uprated tailgate struts (£495), two-tone paint schemes (£3,495), lower bodywork wrap (£1,500), Diamondbrite paint and interior protection (£399)|