Monday, October 06, 2014

Bantam Van F600DGA Motorhome Review

This is a review of the Bantam F600DGA motorhome that we recently hired for a mini break   (to be documented in the coming weeks).

Bantam, Pilote Foxy Motorhome tour

This is a Fiat Van conversion and is a re-branding of the Pilote Foxy Van

We earlier had hired a Coachbuild motorhome in the UK and this is a test to see if a Van conversion is really more manoeuvrable, faster and less rattling since it is based on a commercial van made from steel sides.  A Coachbuild motorhome is a Van base and then a custom, usually plastic walled body on top.  More potential for squeaking!

Best Features

Simple 2 burner stove.  We would never need more

Bed can tilt up and be used to dry washing

Dimensions of van extremely compact.  Tested up French mountain passes and in town centres.

 Anonymous: With small size and dark (not white a la Motorhome colour) this passes as a van most of the time not a Motorhome.

Bad Features

Flimsy cupboards under sink

Door could not close (easily) from inside

Door Cabinet locking hinges flimsy and rattle during transport

Table mounting breaks over time

Average Features
Dash is basic and average

Only one mains socket so adapter is necessary.  Also position is by sink, not ideal.

Our Inexperience

Took us about 2 hours initially to setup the Thule rear bicycle mount.  Thereafter its about 20 mins to dismount and reattach bicycle components (saddles, lights ) before ready to cycle.

Levelling wedges were a bit scary but our first time. Next time it will be easy!

Executive Summary

  • The Bantam van was manoeuvrable even on the tightest mountain passes
  • Dimensions are 6m length, 2.6m height, 2.05 metre width including mirrors.
  • It was comfortable to 100Km/h on the Motorway using the 130BHP Fiat 2.3 litre engine
  • It could climb even the steepest mountain roads in 2nd gear
  • It rattled a little, but certainly less than the UK Coachbuilt motorhome that we previously hired
  • The bathroom contained a combined shower with curtain.  To our great surprise this was usable for occasional use.  The curtain did not stick to us whilst showering as we had feared.
  • The dark coloured van is very anonymous and we felt comfortable leaving in French town centres without fear or ticketing or theft

Pilote Motorhomes Fr
Pilote Foxy Van