What Motorhome

Auto-Trail

Last year, Expedition campervans arrived, now there are budget coachbuilt­s, too

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Expedition range expanded

ONE of the biggest news stories of the 2021 launch season was the Auto- Trail Expedition. Here was a Fiat van conversion equipped with everything you really need but featuring a price tag that seemed to belong in the past. At £36,995, it certainly had everyone wondering how Auto-Trail had got that price so low.

Like every manufactur­er, Auto-Trail has since been faced with increased component costs and, especially, a pricier base vehicle now that Fiat has facelifted the Ducato, but the entry model, Expedition 66, stays under £40k this year (now £39,743). However, a third layout joins this budget camper line-up in 2022, the Expedition 68, priced at £42,538. It’s the first ’van in the range to be based on the extra

long (6.36m) Fiat. It’s also the first Expedition model to have a pop-top – as a £5,500 option – making it a full four-berth.

Like the Expedition 67, the new 68 layout has a half-dinette and swivel cab seats up front, with a wall-mounted table, and, like other Auto-Trails with this arrangemen­t, its rear seats are designed to have a shapely automotive look for better passenger comfort. Where the newcomer is completely different, though, is in having a fixed bed at the rear, rather than a lounge. Better still, underneath the slatted bed base is room for bikes on optional slideout trays. Uniquely, though, the bed area is protected by a fabric screen when the back doors are open.

The Expedition 68 layout also incorporat­es the

expected galley adjacent to the sliding door. Here, you’ll find a two-burner hob, oven/grill and waistheigh­t fridge. Opposite, the washroom includes a fixed corner basin, rather than the usual Auto-Trail tip-up unit.

But that’s not the only news as far as the Expedition name is concerned. The same moniker is being used in 2022 for a new range of entry-level coachbuilt­s, with prices starting at £46,995 – almost ten grand less than the cheapest Imala.

The Expedition Coachbuilt range is based on the latest Series 8 Fiat Ducato with a 140bhp engine and the cab finished in on-trend, pale, non-metallic Expedition grey. All four models are overcab coachbuilt­s, or Hi-Lines as Auto-Trail calls them;

the upstairs bed measures 1.89m by 1.18m. Styling is classic Auto-Trail with an appearance similar to many previous models.

The line-up kicks off with the 6.34m-long C63, featuring a large front lounge with ‘L’ and straight settees, a rear corner washroom with separate shower and a galley across the back wall – it’s the return of a classic layout. The other three layouts (each priced at £50,745) are all 7.25m long; they are the C71 (island bed), C72 (front and rear lounges) and C73 (transverse rear double bed). All models come with four belted travel seats as standard but the C72 and C73 can be upgraded to six belts. Every model in the new range is available on a 3,500kg chassis but they can also be uprated to 3,650kg.

In addition to the alternativ­e lounge layouts with extra travel seats, the new Expedition motorhomes can be enhanced with alloy wheels, cab blinds, a double DIN radio with Apple CarPlay and an additional leisure battery, all of which are offered as factory-fitted options.

AN EXTRA F

While the Imala range has been reduced for 2022, the Ford-based F-Line gets an additional layout, taking this popular model up to six layouts. The new F68 fits between the existing 5.99m and 7.32m versions with a new overall length of 6.80m. It also introduces a classic two-berth, rear lounge layout to the F-Line.

Just like the other models in the range, this

£50,229 motorhome can be upspec’d with Driver’s and Lux packs priced at £1,499 each. It also comes in a choice of five cab colours and features an overcab sunroof and external storage below the rear U-shaped sofas.

Inside, the settees are long enough (2.01m and 1.87m) to be used as single beds, while a transverse double can alternativ­ely be created using pull-out slats. The L-shaped kitchen includes a Duplex oven/grill and a tall 142-litre fridge, while the bathroom features a proper separate shower, as is usual Auto-Trail practice.

The F-Line 68 is based on the 130PS version of the Ford Transit but can be uprated to 170PS and an automatic gearbox is also available. It is a 3.5-tonne motorhome offering a 550kg payload.

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Not just a garage but proper bike storage with these optional slide-out trays
Not just a garage but proper bike storage with these optional slide-out trays
 ??  ?? Expedition 68 gets automotive-style rear passenger seats
Expedition 68 gets automotive-style rear passenger seats
 ??  ?? Large rear U-shaped lounge makes the newest F-Line a spacious two-berth
Large rear U-shaped lounge makes the newest F-Line a spacious two-berth
 ??  ?? Expedition C63 sees the return of the end kitchen layout
Expedition C63 sees the return of the end kitchen layout
 ??  ?? Expedition Grey cab as standard on Fiat-based Expedition coachbuilt­s
Expedition Grey cab as standard on Fiat-based Expedition coachbuilt­s
 ??  ?? L-shaped kitchen in the F68 has a tall fridge opposite
L-shaped kitchen in the F68 has a tall fridge opposite
 ??  ?? A new length option for this two-berth F-Line on Ford Transit
A new length option for this two-berth F-Line on Ford Transit

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