The 2012 Front­line Ad­ven­turer is built for light­weight travel. But for many, that’s just part of the at­trac­tion.

Motorhome & Caravan Trader - - 2012 Frontline Adventurer -

Cam­per­vans aren’t for ev­ery­one, that’s for sure, but they are ex­cel­lent for those who love light­weight travel or for those who still work and need around-town trans­port as well. Also, as Front­line Camper Con­ver­sions pro­pri­etor Peter Far­ru­gia pointed out with a smile, there are those who owned a VW Kombi in the ’70s and want to re­live their youth… or some­thing like that.

All these pro­found thoughts passed through my mind as I looked over this Volk­swa­gen T5-based 2012 model Ad­ven­turer camper­van from Front­line. There are still plenty of rea­sons for own­ing a camper­van and even this writer, who prefers not to

Our re­view Ad­ven­turer came with the 103kw mo­tor and the auto gear­box. This is a good com­bi­na­tion for most driv­ers, but if you want a lit­tle more re­sponse then the 132kw mo­tor would be a bet­ter choice.

The VW cab comes with all the usual fea­tures and safety items that are ex­pected in a mod­ern ve­hi­cle. The only slight dis­ap­point­ment is that the stan­dard VW ra­dio/cd player doesn’t in­clude a 3.5mm socket for an ipod/iphone/mp3 player con­nec­tion.

From the out­side, the Fi­amma awning, fridge vents and wa­ter fillers are some clues that the VW T5 is a con­verted van. The pop-top roof is in­te­grated very well into the van’s pro­file, es­pe­cially as the van is white. Op­tional tinted win­dows were in­cluded with this ve­hi­cle.


Set­ting up the Ad­ven­turer for day use doesn’t take long at all. It’s just a mat­ter of open­ing the slid­ing door, re­leas­ing the four pop-top roof straps and push­ing up the roof, which is made quite easy by the gas struts. There are var­i­ous styles of pop­top roof, ei­ther hinged at the rear or the full roof. Front-hinged or even side-hinged, which are used in Europe, are less com­mon here. An ad­van­tage of the full ris­ing roof is that air cir­cu­la­tion is most ef­fec­tive in warmer weather.

Un­less the weather is re­ally cold, the op­tional Fi­amma awning does a good job of pro­tect­ing the side of the van from both sun and rain. Many peo­ple only think of awnings in terms of the sun but a par­tially-open awning is very ef­fec­tive in keep­ing the rain away from an open slid­ing door.

As I men­tioned ear­lier, the T5 has a flat floor which makes ac­cess to and from the driver’s cab quite easy. It also al­lows a swiv­el­ling pas­sen­ger seat to be in­cor­po­rated into the de­sign.

The Ad­ven­turer’s lay­out is quite sim­ple, with a kitchen/stor­age cab­i­net along the off­side and a day/ night lounge tak­ing up the mid-sec­tion. The lounge can be used for pas­sen­gers and has two op­tional seat belts fit­ted. It can be used for sit­ting on when stopped or folded down into a bed by night. A sin­gle pole-mounted ta­ble, nor­mally stored be­hind the driver’s seat, can be used in con­junc­tion with the rear seat. The rear area has a plat­form and large cush­ion for that pur­pose.

Di­rectly be­hind the pas­sen­ger seat is a swivel­mounted cab­i­net that has a cup­board be­low and an Origo two-burner cook­top above. It uses methy­lated spir­its for fuel, mak­ing the Ad­ven­turer LPG free. The metho-fired cook­top might be a lit­tle slower but does save on the space needed for a gas cylin­der. Hav­ing the cook­top on a swivel mount means it can be used in­side or out. It is def­i­nitely eas­ier to use out­side, with the added ben­e­fit of min­imis­ing cook­ing odours in­side. The swiv­elled cab seat can only be used when the cook­top cab­i­net is swung out.

Fit­ting out the kitchen in a van con­ver­sion can be chal­leng­ing but the Ad­ven­turer ar­range­ment shows

years of ex­pe­ri­ence. On the bench­top is a stain­less steel wash­ing up bowl with a flick-mixer tap which leaves room for a bit of bench space. An 80L En­gel fridge is fit­ted un­der a good-sized drawer be­hind the driver’s seat. Next to the fridge is a small wire bas­ket pantry with a shelf above, leav­ing room for the op­tional mi­crowave with drawer above and cup­board be­low. The 12V fuse and switch panel is also lo­cated here. It might sound a bit cramped but old hands will recog­nise that it’s quite a work­able ar­range­ment.

Fill­ing the rest of the off­side rear is a slid­ing door cab­i­net with shelves and a small hang­ing space. Right in the rear cor­ner is a small shelf which, on this van, holds the op­tional ex­ter­nal shower hose.

Set­ting up the bed is rel­a­tively sim­ple – re­lease the catches on ei­ther side of the rear seat and lay it flat. The bed mea­sures 1.88x1.29m (6ft 2in x 4ft 3in)

Front­line VW T5 Va­ca­tioner NSW Front­line VW T5 Ad­ven­turer

Clock­wise from top left: Pop the top and you’re set to re­lax; the re­view van was a 103kw VW T5; the flat floor de­sign makes the T5 a good op­tion; cab com­forts.

Clock­wise from top Left: The lounge is fit­ted with seat belts; easy ac­cess to un­der­bed stor­age; off­side kitchen; swivel-mounted cab­i­net with two-burner cook­top.

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