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ACRV – The Simple Vanlife – June/July 2017

If you could ask for only two things in your next campervan, I reckon you’d want them to be simplicity and elegance. With just those two traits, you get a mobile home that’s easy to use, unlikely to cause problems, good looking and comfortable. And that’s what the updated Horizon Banksia is all about.

One of three Horizon campers built in the updated Fiat Ducato extra-long wheel base van, the Banksia is set apart by a permanent forward dining area and permanently made-up double bed. This creates a huge under-bed storage area that shames many bigger, coach-built motorhomes.

For a commercial van, the Ducato is well ahead of the game, having met all  the requirements for Euro 6 emissions standards. Always a solid performer in both power and economy, the changes haven’t made significant advancements in either, but driveability has really improved. Still with 150kW and 400Nm, the 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel is energetic, especially because the Banksia is completely confined within the original Ducato body, without any large non- aerodynamic appendages to slow it down.

The best change to the Ducato is an improvement to the six-speed Comfort- Matic automated manual gearbox. In previous years, the transmission has
been really slow to make its automated changes, which resulted in a jerky motion, especially as it changed up. While there’s still a similar motion, it’s much reduced and the gearbox seems to be managing the clutch-work more smoothly, improving the driving experience and especially in traffic.

A further boon is that Horizon’s build quality is so good there’s very little noise coming from the back. On my drive there’s no rattling or squeaking from cabinets or furniture, and only the low rumble of the van’s diesel engine to break the peace of a northern NSW road trip.

The Banksia’s floor plan follows a tried and tested format that fits everything in without any overboard fanciness. The driver and passenger seats both swivel
and the forward area of the van quickly becomes the main living area. A third seat faces forward and also has a seatbelt and child seat anchor with a small, removable dining table. I’m a big fan of the swivelling passenger seat in the Ducato. As in the majority of…
Related Tag: Touring Campervans

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ACRV- The Simple Van Life – June/July 2017