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ALL-NEW LOOK!

ENJOY THE BEST OF

Autumn! ■ EAT WELL ON TOUR 18-page special on where to find the best food and drink ■ SCOTLAND BY CAMPER Go whisky tasting in the Highlands wilderness

PRE-OWNED BEST BUYS

■ SECRET NORFOLK All the highlights of this hidden touring gem

Secondhand European stars that make for a brilliant bargain

Our FULL verdict on the extraordinary new German-built camper

TECHNICAL EXPERT TIPS REVEALED

ISSUE 227

DIGITAL EDITION

REVIEWED VW GRAND CALIFORNIA

Must-read advice on motorhome servicing, security and the legalities of lighting


welcome TALK

sarah wakely Editor-in-chief

The eagle-eyed among you will notice that we’ve an all-new look this month – we’ve introduced some new features, and freshened up the overall appearance of the magazine. I hope you love it as much as we do, but this is your magazine, of course; so let me know what you think – and if there’s anything else you’d like to see featured in these pages! In a previous issue, I asked whether you wave to other motorhomes on the road, and loads of you got in touch. A particular mention has to go to reader David, who wrote: “My wife and I are newbies to motorcaravanning. In the times we have been away in hired ’vans and our own, I love to see the wave and wave back. I think it’s great to wave – provided it is safe to do so.” It’s fantastic to read all your views – do email me if you’ve anything else to add. sarah@practicalmotorhome.com

4 Where in the world A look at the Scottish Highlands 6 Talk/Connect Readers share their views 11 New gear Our round-up of essential foodie kit 13 Nightstops Save at our motorhome-friendly stopovers 14 Ask the experts Technical problem? We can help!

touring 19 This month Claudia Dowell reports on the latest events 22 Breakfast in Brighton This bustling seaside resort is now a popular foodie destination 26 Campsites near farm shops A baker’s dozen of the best places to find great local produce 32 Foodie festivals Celebrating the UK’s diverse cuisine 38 Outdoor cooking gear 10 brilliant BBQs, ovens and grills 42 Keep cool on tour! Pack your fridge for optimum efficiency 46 Your tour: Western Scotland Emma Leask and family explore the dramatic scenery of remote Ardnamurchan 52 Local Authority: Norwich Inside information on this historic and imposing cathedral city 54 Road sense: M74 All you need to know about the main route south from Glasgow

tested 57 New-model news Peter Baber has the latest updates 60 ’Van review: VW Grand California VW’s innovative and stylish new campervan has a great deal going for it 66 ’Van review: Chausson 778 The French manufacturer’s latest launch provides an unconventional layout 68 ’Van review: Bürstner Lyseo M 690 G Harmony Line Want an upmarket rear-wheel-drive ’van? This might be for you 70 ’Van review: Dreamer Living Van Ingenious design touches combine with Continental style in this spacious four-berth 73 Awning review: Prima Motordeluxe Infinity 260L Easy to set up and good value for money, this is well worth a look 74 NEC Show 2019 round-up The latest launches from this year’s essential event for motorcaravanners 78 Our ’vans: Carthago Liner-for-Two I 53 Updates on our luxury long-term-loan model

pre-owned 81 Pre-owned news Nick Harding reports from the forecourts 84 Used ’van challenge Three upmarket Continental models 90 Used ’van buyer 1996-present Murvi Morello and Morocco

TEchnical On the cover 1 We’re celebrating brilliant foodie tours in this issue – see p22

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2 Don’t miss our review of the new Volkswagen Grand California, on p60 3 Looking for a used Continental model? Our must-read test is on p84

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4 Our brilliant new-look technical section starts on p93

93 Diamond Dave Our technical expert has the lowdown on replacing wheel bearings 96 Know how… Annual habitation service Sammy Faircloth outlines the importance of annual servicing 98 Know how… LED lights and the law Retrofitting LEDs in your motorhome? Check the legal angle first 102 Maxus makeover part 4 Concentrating on cabinetwork 104 Safe & secure Simple steps to protect your motorhome 106 Subscribe and save Take out a subscription and receive a free Sealey Toolkit worth £45! 108 Buyer’s Guide: Low-profiles New-model data 122 Blast from the past Motorhome life in April 2007

www.practicalmotorhome.com | January 2020 3


ASK THE

Got a burning question about motorcaravanning? Our expert team can help! Simply email one of the addresses below, or practical. motorhome@futurenet. com, and we’ll do our best to answer it

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Our expert panel Sarah Wakely Editor-in-chief sarah@practicalmotorhome.com

Peter Baber Reviews editor peter.baber@futurenet.com

gentleman jack Contributor askjack@practicalmotorhome.com

Claudia dowell Features/travel editor claudia.dowell@futurenet.com

nick harding Contributor practical.motorhome@futurenet.com

diamond dave Contributor practical.motorhome@futurenet.com

14 January 2020 | www.practicalmotorhome.com

IS the mobilvetta K-Yacht the motorhome for us?

We are considering buying a Mobilvetta K-Yacht 80 and we would like your opinion as to its functionality and reliability, please. Ann F

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Gentleman Jack answers… As it happens, I have experience of Mobilvetta motorhomes going back nearly 35 years. I conducted the very first test of a UK import in 1996. A couple of years ago, I undertook a live-in test of the K-Yacht 79. In summary, we enjoyed our test, which was carried out in winter, and feel that the K-Yacht range is a good all-seasons motorhome. The only thing that really concerned us (personally) was how dog-proof the no-option upholstery fabric might be. Points to ponder if you are looking at the K-Yacht 80 (1): Both beds are transverse, which means one partner will have to climb over the other for nocturnal visits to the toilet or if bedtimes are not synchronised. This isn’t the case with the 79 and the 85. In addition, the 80

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is the only model without a full-sized garage, which may or may not be important to you. It is available at 3500kg, but in my opinion, this has insufficient payload for this size of motorhome – especially if you are going to add items such as a wind-out awning, spare wheel and tyre, and/or a bike rack and bikes. Much better to purchase one on a 3650kg or 4400kg chassis. However, this has driving licence implications and all drivers will require category (group) C1 on their licence to drive a motorhome over 3500kg. C1 can be added to young drivers’ licences by taking a course of tuition. Older drivers lose C1 at the age of 70, unless they pass a medical.

the early devon sapphire is an absolute gem! I’m looking for my ideal spec panel van conversion, which in layout terms is the older Devon Sapphire: longitudinal fixed rear bed, shower and toilet beside the bed on the nearside, midships L-shaped kitchen offside, and lounge/diner at the front offside. Apart from the shower and

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foodie special

Breakfast in

BRIGHTON Claudia Dowell revisits bustling Brighton to enjoy a foodie’s tour

Motorhome Bailey Advance 76-2T Duration 2 nights When Autumn Why? Brighton is a popular destination in its own right, but food lovers will be in their element here

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was rather excited. A visit to Brighton in the autumn would take me back to my student days. Back then, returning to Brighton after long summers spent elsewhere always gave me a thrill of anticipation. The low light on the iron-grey sea would simply dazzle, and in the evening, thousands of starlings would take to the sky in fluid murmurations above the dark silhouettes of the piers. The cool air always felt edgy and I knew I would feel really energised. But would things still be the same a lifetime later? These days, my nephew Ben feels exactly as I did all those years ago about this city by the sea. He has been living there for 15 years or more, so can lay claim to it being his city now. I’ve passed on the baton – although I do visit annually in the spring for the Brighton festival fringe event of the Artists’ Open Houses, I rarely venture into central Brighton.

A foodie reputation

1 Flour Pot Bakery, Sydney Street, has great artisan foods and coffee 2 Café society in North Laines 3 The iconic Palace Pier 4 Claudia takes a break at Mange Tout 5 Ben spoilt for choice in the Flour Pot Bakery 6 The famous Summer Pavilion

A great deal remains the same about this vibrant place, but a generation on, many things have changed; not least that Brighton has gained itself a reputation as a food and drink capital, with a plethora of cafés, restaurants, pubs, bakeries, wineries and distilleries to enjoy. For 15 years, the Brighton Food and Drink Festival has been at the heart of the city’s food and drink revolution, but clearly the organisers feel that their work is done, because last year’s festival was the final one. Now the city’s reputation is sustained by other means for visitors to enjoy. For example, Brighton Food Tours (www. brightonfoodtours.com) offers four different guided walking tours, which cover street vendors, brilliant beer and food pairings, microbreweries, home-grown spirits and fine English wines. It’s a great way to explore all of the interesting nooks and crannies of this bustling city and meet the people injecting it with life. My plan, though, was to meet up with Ben and use him as my guide. I reckoned after 15 years,

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he had pretty much sorted out the best spots for breakfast and lunch – and where to go for an early evening cocktail.

A site for the sights

Less than three miles from the Royal Pavilion, George IV’s exquisite summer palace, is the Brighton Caravan and Motorhome Club Site. From here, it takes about 30 minutes to get into the city by bus, which includes a walk to the bus station or the marina, depending on the bus route that you choose. This is probably the simplest way to get into Brighton, though, because parking in the centre can be difficult in a motorhome. For me, it was going to be a real treat to leave the ’van behind and just bus it into town for a leisurely brunch, some sightseeing and shopping, and a cocktail and dinner, before getting the bus back to the site.

Let breakfast begin!

I began with Joe’s Café, just off Dyke Road, and reputed to be one of the best places in Brighton for breakfast – clearly one of those hidden gems only known by locals. I travelled by bus – number 7 to the Old Steine and then number 27 along Dyke Road – getting off at Port Hall Road. Joe’s is quite a modest-looking place, but my breakfast of crushed avocado on sourdough bread, topped with two of the best-tasting (and best-presented) poached eggs I have ever had, and scattered with chili and spring onions, was absolutely delicious. Another customer was tucking into his daily nosebag of Lucy’s Healthy Brunch, comprising a great combination of smoked salmon, poached eggs, avocado and mushrooms. Further along Dyke Road is the Booth Museum of Natural History, a Brighton curiosity that began life as a Victorian gentleman’s private collection of birds, butterflies, fossils and bones, and is well worth a look. And if you feel energised by that great breakfast, you could venture further along Dyke Road up to the South Downs and Devil’s


your tour foodie brighton

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ADAM BRONKHORST

ADAM BRONKHORST

ADAM BRONKHORST

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foodie special

Campsites &

NEARBY FARM SHOPS John Sootheran reveals 13 top sites with great local produce close by

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ouring is foodie heaven! One of its many joys is cooking delicious meals in the ’van or outdoors, and enjoying specialities from the region you’re visiting. Many campsites have shops selling local produce, and some also have full-on farm shops nearby. Here are some of our favourites.

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Somerset ■ Cheddar Mendip Heights C&CC Site and the Priddy Good Farm Shop This spacious C&CC site is in a fabulous location at the top of Cheddar Gorge, close to many Somerset attractions. Handily, if you turn left out of the gate, you’ll find the Priddy Good Farm Shop just up the road. (It’s near the village of Priddy – geddit?) This is a working farm, and in the shop, you’ll find a range of the best meats you’ll ever taste, the livestock having been raised on the farm. We had delicious steak for the barbecue. PGFS is also famous for its tempting pastries, award-winning pies and unbeatable scotch eggs. Recently, a café has been added to the shop, and its breakfasts are supposed to be brilliant. The staff are super-friendly and helpful when it comes to recommendations, too. ■ Cheddar Mendip Heights C&CC Site Priddy, Somerset BA5 3BP Tel 01749 870 241 Web campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk 26 January 2020 | www.practicalmotorhome.com

■ Priddy Good Farm Shop Townsend Farm, Priddy, Wells BA5 3BP Tel 01749 870 171 Web priddygoodfarmshop.co.uk

Bedfordshire ■ Top End Farm Caravan Site & Farm Shop This open, level and verdant campsite is immaculately kept and offers roomy pitches, great facilities and a fun play area for the kids. It also boasts the best farm shop in the area, with fresh, local produce arriving daily. Tasty fruit, vegetable boxes, qualityreared meats and free-range eggs are on offer, and you can be reassured that the ‘food miles’ have been minimised. Top End Farm Shop also stocks a range of general food, household essentials and daily newspapers. ■ Top End Farm Caravan Site & Farm Shop Colmworth Road, Little Staughton, Bedfordshire MK44 2BY Tel 01234 376 426 Web topendfarm.co.uk

Cambridgeshire ■ Sacrewell Farm Sacrewell Farm is ideally situated for a long journey north or south, as it’s less than a mile off the A1 at the A47 junction, just north of Peterborough. The flattish site offers electric pitches and has many facilities, which it shares with the ‘activity farm’ next door. The site also has a farm shop and café. The shop sells lots of quality brands, but not necessarily local ones. These include Grasmere meats and pies, Marshfield Farm dairy ice cream, Mrs Bridge’s preserves and Driver’s pickles. The free-range eggs are local and the Two Chimps coffee is blended in nearby Lincolnshire. Right next door is Riverford Organics, the boxed organic produce people. You might be able to arrange a delivery to your ’van door! ■ Sacrewell Farm Thornhaugh, Peterborough PE8 6HJ Tel 01780 782 254 Web sacrewell.org.uk


fridge power

foodie special

Keep cool

AND CARRY ON

Most modern motorhome fridges are absorption units with no moving parts. Cleverly, they can work on three different power sources: gas, mains electricity (230V) or 12V. It’s important to check your fridge functions in all three modes, as you wouldn’t want extended periods – a long drive on 12V power, for example – where the contents are inadequately chilled because of a fault 1

Whatever temperatures you encounter when you travel, John Sootheran has ice-cold (or thereabouts) tips on how to get the most from your fridge when out on tour

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h, the humble refrigerator. It’ll keep on quietly chilling away for years without a whimper. In fact, modern fridges are so good, we get complacent – until they go wrong, that is. Then it’s like being plunged back into the listeria-filled Dark Ages. Here’s some sound advice to help your motorhome fridge work at its best.

General overview and maintenance

■ 230V mains electricity gives the best fridge performance. Gas is second best, while 12V is generally considered to be the least effective. ■ A well-maintained motorhome fridge will chill brilliantly, even in extreme temperatures. I toured in 42°C temperatures in France, a few years back. I was concerned about fridge cooling, but shouldn’t have been. On mains hook-up the (brand new) Thetford refrigerator performed perfectly, arguably better than our fridge at home. ■ Some modern fridges have a removable icebox which can be taken out to expand the chilling space. ■ Keep your fridge clean by washing the inside with warm water mixed with bicarbonate of soda. If there’s a persistent bad smell, place half an onion inside, to absorb the odours. 42 January 2020 | www.practicalmotorhome.com

■ Keep your freezer box full, because it will freeze more effectively. ■ A fridge’s top shelves deliver the most consistent temperatures, while the bottom shelves are coldest. ■ Always completely empty your fridge between trips. ■ When the motorhome’s not in use and the fridge is switched off, leave the fridge door slightly ajar for better airflow. Some fridges have catches to hold the door in this position. ■ Never overload your fridge so that it doesn’t close properly. ■ You can buy some handy clips to prevent your containers and canisters moving around in the fridge, when you are out on the road. Camco 44033 Fridge Clips cost around £14 for a pack of two online.

why it matters Inadequate refrigeration of certain foods can cause really unpleasant foodborne illnesses, such as listeriosis. This is caused by the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria (pictured). The symptoms include fever, sickness and diarrhoea, and that’s a best-case scenario. You wouldn’t want these symptoms at home, but in a motorhome? Let’s not even go there!

Prepping and using your fridge

■ Ideally, you should pre-cool your ’van’s fridge-freezer before packing it for your trip. Turn it on for at least three hours, but preferably 24 hours, before you need to load the contents. Once the fridge is down to the correct temperature, you can load it up with pre-chilled food. ■ If your motorhome’s on your drive, run an extension power cable to it, so that you can power the fridge on 230V mains electricity. If it’s out on the road, use gas cooling. ■ Pack the contents carefully, ensuring they don’t cover or touch the cooling fins at the back of the fridge, because these need to absorb heat from the compartment. Also, make sure there is space around the various items, so that cold air can circulate and chill all of the contents evenly and effectively. ■ Putting chilled-drinks tins and bottles, or frozen icepacks, in the fridge might help it achieve its cooling temperature faster. ■ Take care to buy cool-box icepacks, which fit in your freezer compartment. ■ Your fridge should remain cool for several hours – for example, on a ferry crossing – as long as you don’t open the door. For longer crossings, buy meat and fresh veg/fruit on arrival.


Journey from

THE EDGE

Dramatic volcanic craters, abandoned villages and soaring eagles… Emma Leask and family head to remote Ardnamurchan, the most westerly point on the UK mainland Motorhome VW California Ocean

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Duration 5 days When Autumn Why? Relax on pristine beaches, admire the plentiful wildlife, then enjoy the gorgeous scenery – and the whisky

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ork deadlines, school runs, after-school activities and children’s parties… each year our busy family life seems to get more hectic. For us, the antidote is to throw some sleeping bags in a campervan and head to the Scottish wilderness for a slower pace, fresh, clean air and empty expanses of land packed with wildlife and few people. This time, for the October school holidays, we were heading to the most westerly point on the UK mainland – the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Accessed only by a windy single-track road, the area came to fame recently when TV series Eden (a modern take on television’s first reality show Castaway) was filmed on one of the beautiful white sandy beaches.

Corran ferry and Loch Sunart

Getting to Ardnamurchan is an adventure in itself. After the dramatic drive through the towering mountain pass of Glencoe, our kids loved sailing on the toy-like Corran ferry, which takes 10 minutes to cross the narrow neck of Loch Linnhe, the only sea loch on the Great Glen Fault. As we drove up the side of Loch Sunart the sky was azure-blue and the autumn colours glorious. The single-track road was fringed by rocky outcrops and pine trees on one side, and sunlit orange bracken and yellow silver birch trees on the other. Heron, oystercatchers and curlew dipped into the loch as we passed by. We hadn’t anticipated just how narrow and windy the 46 January 2020 | www.practicalmotorhome.com

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road would be. No matter: our campervan, Iona, a brand-new VW California Ocean from Clark Commercials, took the bends smoothly, gliding in and out of passing places with ease. What we love about the California is that it drives like a normal car, yet has a roomy interior with kitchen, double bed, and spacious roof bed (opening at the touch of a button) – ideal for our family of four. There’s nifty storage space (extra tables are cleverly designed into the doors) and, importantly for a remote trip, a deep fridge that allowed us to stock up on supplies before leaving. Sunart Camping in Strontian is a sensible firstnight stop. Situated in the village centre (think mini-market, café and pottery), the family-run site is tranquil and has mountain views. The toilets are a bit dated, but there’s plenty of hot water and a campers bothy with wood-burning stove. Our kids loved the huge conker tree, playing football in the field and


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the nearby deer. It’s a great spot to take to the water: next to the campsite is Source To Sea canoe adventures, operated by Colin Skeath MBE, a highly skilled canoeist who completed the firstever circumnavigation of Britain by open water Canadian canoe in 2017.

Kilchoan to Ardnamurchan Distillery

At just four years old, Ardnamurchan Distillery is the area’s first legal spirit distiller (there have been a few under-the-radar operations in the past) and boasts the title of ‘the UK’s greenest distillery’. Entirely reliant on woodchip as fuel, the distillery is supplied by trees felled on the Ardnamurchan estate. The narrow road to the peninsula dictates the amount of whisky made – only 3.3 metre-wide mash tuns (copper pots) could be trucked in along the tiny track, leaving just centimetres of clearance each side. A distillery tour is worthwhile: highlights for the children included smelling the fermenting foamy ‘wort’ and, for the designated adult

non-driver, sampling the whisky, including an unpeated spirit at 63% alcohol. Round the next bend is Ardnamurchan Natural History Centre, a turf-roof building that’s home to nesting birds, bats and pine martens – and a café with local crafts and a cosy fire. Then a few miles on, at Kilchoan, there’s a village shop and ferry, where locals commute half an hour to work in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. Named by The Times as one of the 30 best places to camp in Britain, Ardnamurchan campsite is set on a croft with grass-tiered pitches that run down to the seashore, and has legendary power showers. Reception is a stone cottage filled with fossils from the rocky shore, from where otters, orcas, minke whales and dolphins can be seen. While we were chatting to campsite owner Gordon Lightburn – who left his Lake District home to move here after falling in love with the Highland wildlife – a white-tailed sea eagle flew past low over the waves – as if to prove his point. With its abundance of local walks and history, this is a great spot to base yourself for a couple of nights. Despite the narrow road, plenty of large motorhomes had successfully made the trip. At nearby Swordle Bay, the first intact Viking ship burial in the UK mainland was unearthed, but our plan was to visit Sanna Bay and the Ardnamurchan lighthouse.

1 It takes the Corran ferry 10 minutes to cross the neck of Loch Linnhe 2 Sometimes the rate of progress is determined by the animal population! 3 Ardnamurchan Campsite: listed by The Times as one of the 30 best places in the UK to camp 4 Idyllic Sanna Bay is the location for castaway reality TV series Eden

Across a volcanic crater to Sanna Bay

Ardnamurchan is famous in geological circles, attracting many international rock experts. They come to study its massive volcanic crater, created by a ring of volcanoes 60 million years ago.

5 Ardnamurchan Distillery is proud to call itself the UK’s greenest distillery

www.practicalmotorhome.com | January 2020 47


’van review

VOLKSWAGEN GRAND CALIFORNIA

Innovative, stylish and solidly built, the latest offering from VW has a great deal going for it. But does it justify the price tag? Peter Baber takes a look inside

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wo years after making its debut as a concept ’van – known as the California XXL – at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, the new OEM vehicle from Volkswagen, based on the second-generation VW Crafter, is finally here in right-hand drive form. It is quite a change from the concept vehicle, which featured considerably more roof glass and one or two extra techie features that presumably didn’t make the final cut. The ’van is available in two versions: the 600, with a transverse bed and a bulbous, hard GRP roof housing an optional bed, and the longer 680, with fixed single beds in the rear. In the week that VW started taking orders for the new models, ready for delivery in spring – and before their appearance at the NEC this autumn – we took the 680 out for a spin.

j Price £71,395 (680 model) j Sleeps 2 j Belts 4 j Base vehicle VW Crafter j Engine 2.0-litre 177PS Euro 6 turbodiesel with 8-speed automatic gearbox j Length/width/height 6.84/2.04/2.97m (22’4”/6’7”/9’7”) j MTPLM 3880kg j Payload 421kg j Water (fresh/waste) 110/90 litres j Leisure battery 92Ah j Gas 2 x 11kg cylinders

2.97m (9’7”)

6.84m (22’4”) 2.04m (6’7”)

Outdoor lifestyle

It has to be said, the Grand California isn’t as romantic as its smaller sibling. You don’t look at it and immediately want to grab your surfboard; although there are some elements that fit in with such a lifestyle, such as the external shower (with temperature control, no less) that rolls up into its own drawer just inside the rear door. With no bulbous roof, the 680 is sleeker and more attractive than the 600, but that Crafter nose still sticks out a bit. Exterior decals are on the distinctly utilitarian side, too, although you do get alloy wheels and there is an

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Contact Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Address Berliner Ring 2, 38440 Wolfsburg, Germany Web www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk Tel 0800 717 131

option of having one of four different two-tone colour schemes. The ’van makes for a very smooth ride, particularly with the eight-speed gearbox in our test model. The 680 has an MTPLM of 3880kg, so it can’t be driven by anyone without a C1 licence, but it doesn’t feel quite as boxy as the Ducato, which usually can be.

Our test drive took us on a variety of roads, and there were only a couple of country road bends where we didn’t feel as though we were driving something much lighter. You can just see out of the back with the rear-view mirror, and there is good vision out of the sides, too. When the T6 was launched, easily the most significant development from the T5 was the huge range of safety options. These are also included on the new Crafter. So you get Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, Cross Wind Assist and Hill Start Assist, as well as front and rear parking sensors all fitted as standard. Other options include Adaptive Cruise Control and a rear-view camera. The dashboard is fairly pared back, but you do get two plastic cups with holders, and two other drinks holders. You need never get thirsty in this ’van!


’van review VW grand california

1 You get alloy wheels and a choice of one of four two-tone colour schemes 2 The beds at the rear sit on sprung plastic and come together to make a comfy double 3 The separate cab blinds VW supplies rely on magnets and a pole system for their attachment 4 Although this is a two-berth, there are still two travel seats in the front dinette, with Isofix fittings for a child seat 5 The dashboard is fairly pared back, but you do get two plastic cups with holders, and two other drinks holders

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There is a USB socket with an audio input on one side, and a 12V socket on the other, and cubbyholes above the glove box, next to the gearlever and above the sunshades. Even with right-hand drive, the sliding door is still behind the driver on the Continental side, so you need to be careful getting out by the side of the road. Apparently, VW has no current plans to change this design.

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Step out and step in

One unusual quirk is the step: in Camping Mode (turned on, along with all other habitation controls, by a touchscreen inside), it slides out when you start opening the door, and slides back when you close it. This is almost undoubtedly a help, but if you are not used to it, it could be a bit of a shock, particularly if you are squeezing up to the edge of the ’van in a car park. The inner step is also slanted and not that big. We were impressed with the door flyscreen, however, which comes together in two parts, lessening its chances of jamming or warping. Immediately inside, you will find all the controls you need for the lighting in this ’van, including a switch for the awning light and dimmable rocker switches for the ambient lighting. There are no spotlights in the cab, however. That seems an odd omission

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9000

technical In this month’s section 94 workshop Replacing the wheel bearings

diamond dave Has satellite TV had its day? I see more and more people using streaming services now. In all but the remotest areas, high-speed broadband is accessible – at reasonable cost. We switched our home broadband from fibre-optic to a HomeFi system three years ago, and we frequently see download speeds of up to 50Mb/s, fast enough for ultra-HD video streaming and both of us browsing the internet at the same time. We use a MiFi device in our motorhome, whereby we insert a SIM card into a small gismo, which connects to the chosen network for broadband in most places. Many motorcaravanners now use similar systems for fast internet and to stream TV – it can be used abroad as well. Thirty years ago nobody would have believed we would be able to hold a video conversation with someone on the other side of the world, but here we are!

Our technical expert outlines the stages for wheel bearing replacement in a couple of older Ducato-based motorhomes

96 know-how Annual habitation service Sammy Faircloth explains why the annual service is so important, and offers tips about what to expect from the procedure 96

98 legal advice Keep your lights on the right side of the law Peter Rosenthal outlines what you need to know before you consider installing LED headlights on your motorhome 98

practical.motorhome@futurenet.com

back to basics

Essential tech issues explained Some technical issues can be confusing no matter how long you’ve been motorcaravanning. This month we explain driving licence implications that you need to know.

70, you must submit a medical form to renew your licence to continue driving a ’van over 3500kg, and do this every three years.

■ If you passed your test ■

If you passed your test before 1 January 1997, you can drive a motorhome with an MTPLM of up to 7500kg on your B+C1 licence. When you reach the age of

on or after 1 January 1997, you can drive a motorhome with an MTPLM of up to 3500kg on your B [car] licence. To drive one that’s heavier, you must pass a C1 test.

102 maxus makeover Installing the furnishings In part four of our series on DIY conversion, Gentleman Jack and friend Grant are concentrating on the internal cabinetwork

104 special feature Safe and secure It’s crucial to keep your motorhome safe, both at home and away – and with our advice, you can do just that

106 subscribe and save! Get your favourite magazine for less Take out a subscription to Practical Motorhome www.practicalmotorhome.com | January 2020 93

Profile for Future PLC

Practical Motorhome 227 (Sampler)  

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Practical Motorhome 227 (Sampler)  

You can subscribe to this magazine @ www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk