Vanco Deluxe Camper

By: Steve Vermeulen

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They’re small and relatively humble compared to the Volkswagen or Mercedes-based campers now popular, but Vanco’s cleverly designed and well-built campers are reason to fall in love again

Vanco Deluxe Camper
Vanco Deluxe Camper
  • Value for money for occasional travellers
  • Fits in your garage
  • The Deluxe version is totally self sufficient
  • Comfortable to manoeuvre around in
  • High standard of craftsmanship

Vanco has announced a new cut-price ($35,000) entry spec model and, even with this higher spec model’s $59,000 price tag, it still represents one of the most complete, cost-effective campers we’ve come across.

If you need something to facilitate a getaway for two every other weekend, Vanco’s attractive and user-friendly offerings are great examples of just how rewarding simplicity can be when it’s executed well.

Vanco’s owner, Robert Baillie has honed his cabinet-making and upholstery craft through 45 years’ experience of caravan and motorhome building, and now has a four-strong team.

Affordable base vehicle

Vanco’s entry level rear-bed camper is a quality product with a distinct focus on practicality, without out-to-lunch pricing.

The base vehicle is a used, petrol-engined Toyota Hiace, but Robert ensures only top quality vehicles are selected.

"We stick with exceptional quality, low mileage vans. Usually between 30,000 and 40,000 kilometres. The man we source vehicles from knows how high our standards are and seeks out only the best available vans to start with."

Robert will soon adapt the design to suit the current Hiace, the larger dimensions and increased demand will up pricing slightly, but the squarer body will offer space advantages also. Alternatively, Robert’s team of builders can adapt the conversion to your own vehicle.

Self-contained habitation

Robert champions self-contained habitation, stating he wouldn’t bring a product to market that couldn’t effectively clean up after itself.

"Self-containment is self explanatory," he says, "all our camper range has portable toilets and the Deluxe camper offers a generous 60-litre waste tank. There’s no excuse for roadside dumping of waste, and I’m proud of our camper’s fully self-contained capabilities."

Located under a seat squab, that portable toilet is really just in case you’re caught short away from land-based conveniences; still, with 60 litres of fresh water and a gas-heated outdoor shower on board, longer stays without the reliance on holiday park facilities aren’t out of the question with the addition of a pop-up shower/toilet tent.

The new entry level model is sans shower and with just a manual water pump.

Well equipped

The vans’ fit and finish is tidy and attractive, and everything has been well thought-out. For example, the 15-inch television doesn’t impede on the compact quarters and a dust cover hides it from passers by. The heavier items, like the portable loo and the two 4kg gas bottles (single bottle for entry spec model), are located for easy lifting and there’s discreet rubber stoppers to protect the three-burner hob’s glass-lid when open.

There’s a dedicated house battery to supply power and it’s boosted by a smart charger system, 240-volt inverter and 90-watt solar panel (deluxe model only), all monitored by gauges mounted below the cook top. A double 240-volt outlet is also incorporated.

The bench spans half the length of the living area, offering more than enough room for food preparation, while the sink and mixer offer the volume to wash-up full-size plates and platters. At the end of the bench the fridge houses a couple of days’ supplies. The whole interior is kept fresh with a sizable roof vent, the side and rear door, and a three-metre Fiamma awning adds an extra dimension.

The campers can be ordered as a dual single bed or a double bed arrangement. The couch/double bed is converted simply enough with the legs all stored in the overhead stowage area – where you could keep bedding and pillows also. The mattress is created by assembling four pillows together.

No less than nine cupboards are within reach and there’s a double wardrobe at the end of the bed.

Modern design

Clever use of clean, white cabinets and lighter hues on the upholstery ensure the space feels open and airy.

Obviously, there’s a degree of compromise you need to accept with any camper of this size, but at least there’s no compromise in clever design and build quality. And what I like best about this plucky range of campers is you essentially have everything you need and plenty of surprise and delight extras at your fingertips without going down the rental route.

Read in-depth RV reviews in the latest issue of Motorhomes, Caravans & Destinations magazine, on sale now.

Specifications: Vanco Camper Basic

Base vehicle 2004 Toyota Hiace
Engine 2.4-litre Petrol
Transmission Automatic
Power 85kW @ 4800rpm
Torque 200Nm @ 2600rpm
Power supply 12-volt / 240-volt. House battery with smart charger.
Fridge 12-volt 45-litre
Gas hob Three burner
Berths 2 x single beds or 1x double bed
Fresh water 20 litres. Manual pump.
Grey water 20 litres
Gas 4kg LPG
Toilet Portable
Shower Nil
TV Nil

Specifications: Vanco Camper Deluxe (pictured)

Base vehicle 2004 Toyota Hiace
Engine 2.4-litre Petrol
Transmission Automatic
Power 85kW @ 4800rpm
Torque 200Nm @ 2600rpm
Power supply 12-volt / 240-volt. House battery with smart charger, 90-watt Solar.
Fridge 12-volt 45-litre
Gas hob Three burner
Berths 2 x single beds or 1x double bed
Fresh water 60 litres. Pressure pump.
Grey water 60 litres
Gas 2 x 4kg LPG
Toilet Portable
Shower Outdoor
TV 15" LCD


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