Go away everybody, I’m trying to… ugh! I love the M25. This bed is…UGH! Hello! We are at Wyatt’s Covert Caravan and Motorhome Club Site near Denham to the west of London. Now this site is right next to Denham airfield, so I apologise right now for any noise from aircraft throughout this video. We are here with this; the Auto Camper MRV. That stands for Multi Recreational Vehicle, and it is a gorgeous camper! The reason I asked Auto campers if I could test this van is because I absolutely love it! It is really versatile – what Auto Campers call ‘intelligently versatile,’ and it can carry the motorbike. You can see where this is going can’t you? So in this review we’re going to cover the exterior, carrying the motorbike, and the driving… cab comfort, finishing off with the interior both day and night. So we shall crack straight on with a little preamble and the exterior of the MRV.The auto campers MRV is normally converted from a Ford Transit. However you can get a VW Transporter conversion if you wish. The Ford variant comes with three choices of roof: you can get a low line, a pop top, or a high top, where the VW variant only comes with a pop top. Prices start at about £40,000 for a low line. This fully loaded pop top with the 170 engine passes through the tills in about the mid fifties thousand pounds. Both the Ford and the VW variants are under five meters in length, however the Ford pop top as we see here travels at a height of 2.1 metres; that’s really unfortunate as many height barriers you will find are 2 metres.One thing may surprise you and that is that a step is not standard. An electric step is a £480 option, and as you can see the height into the cabin is approximately 56 centimetres. A removable Witter tow bar is on the options list, and let’s have a look at the gas storage compartment which has the space for a camping gaz 907 cylinder. Above that here is the outlet for the exterior shower – that’s also an option – and then we have storage here for things like your silver screens, hoses, wedges and so on. The Fiamma awning is a £600 option, and you can see here that it is mounted slightly unusually on the offside and that’s because the kitchen’s here. You can use it as a screen while use using the kitchen from the outside. What’s great as you can see is the 50 litre compressor fridge you can also access from both inside and outside the van. Finally at the rear you can see this van’s been
fitted with the optional cycle rack and all vans are fitted as standard with a 100 watt solar panel.So let’s take a look at the m RV with the motorcycle already loaded. There we go, there’s my baby, there’s my Thruxton. So you can see straight away what one of the great advantages is of the Auto Campers mRV and that is this M1 approved floor track system. You’ve got four rails in the floor for a variety of uses: you can have seats single seats, double bench seat, as you can see here a motorcycle grab, obviously you can also have mountings for wheelchairs so wheelchair users don’t need to transfer they can travel in their wheelchair… so I am hugely impressed with the fact that I can strap my bike in. This ramp is the ramp I use to load into my pickup truck so it’s a huge ramp; you wouldn’t need a ramp this big if the MRV was your everyday vehicle, you could have a much smaller more discreet ramp.It’s just that because I usually load into a pickup I’ve got these huge foldable ramps. Let’s take a look from the back…. here we are viewing from the back. We have these lugs that slot into the floor track system hold the bike nice and secure. I mean that is just not going absolutely anywhere! I can just about manage to to wiggle it. So there you have it from the back. So one of the great advantages of this wheel grab that auto campers fit is the fact you don’t need to rely on the motorcycle’s stand.So even if you’ve got a centre stand which I don’t have- I’ve only got a side stand which doesn’t even pull out because of the because we’ve got the lashing strap there – you run the bike straight in and you run it literally straight into that grab, and those flanges there they keep the bike upright while you are strapping it down, which is awesome! Also this comes out. You’ve got little spanners that can take this out. You can stand it outside so if you need to work on your bike and like mine, again if it doesn’t have a centre stand (or any stand if it’s trials bike) then that will hold your bike up right outside. Happy days! Another thing you might be thinking is ‘Well with that huge grab, surely you can’t turn the seats around?’ Well actually yes, you can! Let me show you.Ta-da! So you can see that was really really simple. So that is basically how you can use this fantastic floor tracking system. Just to repeat – not just for motorcycles, it’s also for wheelchairs, single seats so you can
have two proper single travel seats at the back belted so it’s a proper four berth, back seat passengers can travel in real comfort, and on top of that you have a frame for a bed- I’ll show you that later. So you can have a downstairs bed if you don’t need to use this area for storage. So let me now unload the motorcycle, show you how I do that which is basically the opposite to how I load it. So let’s go through the unloading process. So as you can see I’ve removed the straps that that grab is supporting the bike, it’s keeping it upright without any straps so that when you’re loading the bike and unloading it as I am now, you can unstrap it and strap it and that will support the bike, keep it upright without the need of a centre or a side stand damaging the floor. And as you can see the the floor of the van is nice and low to the ground, so it’s not too steep, the ramp is nice and shallow to run the bike in and out.OK, so that’s the motorcycle loading and unloading, now let’s jump in and talk about the driving and cab comfort of the van. So what is the auto camper MRV like to drive? Well, to demonstrate, I’ve brought you onto one of the worst sections of the motorway that I know which is the M25 southwest of London roundabout… well there’s the A…We’re just coming up to the A3 turn off to Guildford and Kingston and it’s the old fashioned concrete surface which, as you may be able to hear, can be quite noisy. So I thought ‘Well this is a really good place to bring you for a bit of a noise demonstration.’ Tarmac! And it’s not too bad actually. Obviously you’ve got this huge cavern behind us, I’ve taken the motorcycle out just to… because we’re having a day out today. You can hear road noise obviously through the cabin, but it’s not terrible, it’s not bad, I mean it’s there but you can still maintain a conversation at normal speaking volume so you don’t have to shout or anything like that.There are no major squeaks or rattles. I’ve not removed the anchors in the floor which you would do normally; I’ve just been in a bit of a rush this morning so they might jump – that’s just purely my laziness, I should have taken them out. They’re very easy to pop out of the runners in the floor. The only very slight noise has come from behind the cab; here is a table leg clipped into the bulkhead, a couple of times it has just rattled a little bit which you could very easily stop just by putting in a cloth or a
napkin around there just to stop it, but you can hear now even on this rough concrete motorway it’s not rattling.So that’s absolutely fine. Comfort! Oh oh my goodness me, this level of Transit is amazing! The seat goes up, down, forwards, backwards, recline, it’s got a lumbar support, the steering wheel goes up and down, in and out… If you can’t get comfortable in this van seat- wise, then it’s not the van’s fault. I’ve got one criticism which I need to take up with Auto Camper, because it might be an option, and that is: There is an arm here under my left arm… great, an armrest…. there is no armrest here under my right arm. and I feel quite unbalanced driving like this. I would really like an armrest under my right elbow. Technology. Well it’s got Apple Car Play, so I’m sure it’s got Android, the Google equivalent which as many of you may know I had on the Sanyo Rexton Ultimate that I used for two months at the end of last year and I absolutely loved it! The interface of the phone…So this morning I put my destination into Google Maps, and you just plug the phone in bring Google Maps on the screen in the van, and away you go! You can dictate text messages and listen to text messages… I really like the integration with… the full integration with a smart phone. That is awesome! Needless to say it’s got everything like air conditioning and heated seats all those little luxuries. So all in all the cab comfort is spot-on. The technology is just right, and even on this really awful section of motorway which I can’t wait to get off, I mean this is the same when I’m driving my car and my caravan, it’s absolutely appalling this section of motorway, and you can hear even with this awful motorway, this really bad road surface, we’re not getting an obsessive amount of noise and vibration from the rear, that’s really good. As far as power goes this particular model has got the 170 PS engine so we are currently doing 65 miles an hour and it’s tickling 1,700 revs so that’s really good. You know you’re not going to have any problems towing with this van.Having towed with commercial vehicles before, I know that because you have the long wheelbase, very short overhang, stiff suspension, and then it’s amazing engine, I know you will have no problem towing with this particular van, awesome! But it’s so relaxing… you’ve got cruise control, really quiet… just smooth and really relaxing. So yes, you
can drive all day in this van. really really good. Visibility. It has got great all-round visibility, nice big mirrors with blind spot mirrors on the side, despite the fact there is a cycle rack of the rear tailgate you’ve got view-through, if that’s not good enough, on this particular spec, you’ve also got a reversing camera and you’ve got parking sensors. So parking this thing is absolutely no problem. Cup holders! How could I forget? I have two cup holders: a cup holder for my coffee, a cup holder for my water, Happy Days! So that sums up the driving now let’s head back to site and talk about the interior of the MRV.Now we’ll have a closer look at the interior now that I’ve taken the motorcycle out. Obviously you can take the motorcycle grab out as well so you can have a little bit more space with the seats here, I’m just too lazy! Nice comfortable seats and I have since found out since driving the van from auto campers, that you can get second arm rests and they are £200 apiece, £200 per seat for a second armrest. Moving around to the kitchen area, and I’ve prepared a meal already on the kitchen; my usual giant beans with pasta.Very impressed with spark-ignition to the hob, only cold water to the sink which I’ve just knocked, so as you may see when I fill up the pan that pump is a bit chattery and causes a few splashes everywhere. And there are your controls… so under the kitchen we have our utensil drawer we have storage for crocks in there and then under here is the optional toilet that you can wheel out for those nighttime emergencies. Now this van, I must once again stress, has been configured for the motorcycle. Now this framework you can see here that is the framework for the sofa and Normally the sofa cushions would live here, and then when you’re on site or if you’re travelling (but they’re not travel seats) you would have the sofa mounted across here. When that sofa becomes a double bed you can see you can have it at this lower setting or at this higher setting. So if you’ve got dogs… larger dogs in crates… you can set the bed to a higher setting…see the two settings here…And have dogs underneath. And the other important thing to note is if you have the seats in the rear which, let’s be honest, 99% of people will have the seat here, it will give you storage below and behind the seat because one thing that I’ve noticed with the van configured like this is there is
hardly any storage, because obviously all the space is taken up for the motorcycle there’s nowhere to put larger pots and pans in the kitchen, just a collapsible kettle. There’s a small shelf here which is handy for bits and bobs, and of course you’ve got the wardrobe or cupboard here so… so there’s that. There’s a modicum of storage here, you’d have to be really minimal with your packing… some rugs there for Dougal…And there is a hanging rail there; can you see the hanging rail? So you would take this shelf out if you wanted clothes to hang up. So you do have that wardrobe there so it’s not terrible, but as I say, if you don’t have that seat in – and let’s be honest, 99% of people are going to have the seat there – and that will give you space below the seat and behind the seat. If you’re carrying your motorcycle your canoe or anything large like that, and you don’t have the seat in place, then you won’t have that storage around the seat area. You have one mains socket and a 12 volt socket there at the kitchen, and then you have a second mains socket and a second 12 volt socket down there under the passenger seat. Now one thing I’d like to draw your attention to is the great sensible height of those seats. Many panel van conversions you’ll see the cab is raised up from the floor of the van, and sometimes you’re left with your legs dangling.But in this particular van seats are nice and low, the cab isn’t too highly stepped from the base of the cabin and therefore you’d not left with dangling legs, so that’s a big thumbs up for the height of the seating there in the cab. I’m just gonna close this door, try and close some of that helicopter noise out before we now move on to the optional roof bed… which comes with these stalk lights – very handy! You’ve got ventilation on both sides – very handy. So you’ve got flyscreens in there, at the front you have a huge window, second flyscreen here see here. This is a bit… You’ve got the strut of the bed in the way… you’ve got to push past that. Hopefully these will loosen up with wear, and we will bring the roof bed down. There’s the second stalk light there.So obviously these stalk lights come in handy for reading when you’re in the cab and also when you’re in bed. And here is the roof bed. Now then, when you’re on site with the roof up you can leave all your bedding on the roof bed. So you can leave your pillow, a sleeping bag… that can
all stay here and you can still raise the bed. However when you want to bring the roof down, I found I can only leave this thin sleeping bag on the bed, I had to remove the pillows and if you had a duvet you’d probably need to remove that as well.This bed is 4ft wide and 6ft 6in long – for those of you watching in colour that’s 1200mm wide and 2000mm long – and the downstairs bed from the sofa is 4ft wide again, same width 6ft 3in long that’s 1900mm, so it’s very comfortable up here. And another thing you might notice is at the top here is this permanent ventilation. You cannot block off that little slit of ventilation there, and even with no heating last night I think it got down to about 10 degrees, it stayed really toasty up here even without the heating on. So it does get really warm up here and I think in the summer you’ll definitely be grateful for these flyscreens in the side to get some extra ventilation up into this space. But yeah, really comfortable. One thing I would say also is that it did require a certain amount of gymnastics for me to get my legs up from the seats up into that area. So that is the interior in the daytime, we’ll wait for nightfall and then I will show you that in the evening.Right, we’ve had our dinner washed up cleaned up and now it’s evening time so I thought it’s a nice little chance to talk to you about the van in the evening. So first of all you’ll notice that there are no cab blinds, you get these thermal screens, so it’s a little bit of a faff to put on. They live in the cupboard at the back of the van. Plenty of LED lighting around, in fact the the twinkly ones that are on the back of the bed are a little bit in your eyes but that doesn’t matter because you can turn them out, and then you’ve got these two – I’ll show you in a second – you’ve got two little stalk lights there and you’ve also got two lights over at the kitchen. I don’t if you can hear I’ve also got the Webasto diesel heater going, so that’s toasting my ankles very nicely too. So I’ll quickly show you around, hey Dougal? Yeah, he’s not impressed.The two lights over the kitchen, so you’ve got plenty of light in the kitchen, also you’ll be pleased to notice that the curtains here are on runners at the bottom as well, so even though you must be very careful if you’re using this gas ring at the back, at least the curtains won’t flap. Obviously you’ve got to make sure that you leave those
curtains well away from the flame here but yeah, you should be okay with that, that’s no problem.So with the roof bed up, yes you have those LED lights in your eyes, they’re a bit…aww… they’re a bit bright in your eyes, but like I say you can turn them off. So we’re sitting here now, Dougal and I, with this huge cavern because the motorbike is outside, and the great thing about this is if you don’t have the seat in like we don’t have the seat in, you can use this wonderful space for other hobbies instead! So that just about wraps up the practical side of the auto camper MRV. Now then, as a conclusion, we’ll talk about what you can do with a vehicle like this. Now I had this in mind of actually using it in conjunction with the Airstream, towing a caravan with it, putting the motorcycle in the back, and then using it both to transport the motorcycle and also when I didn’t have the caravan, to use as a camper van with the rear seat in situ.And that’s really interesting; if you are going to carry a motorcycle in this van, be aware that the fact that with the bike inside, you have the danger of petrol vapour. Now that doesn’t matter while you’re driving because the air flow in the cab is going to keep the air flow going out the back of the van, you won’t be affected while you’re driving. But you will not be able to use the cooker because, obviously, you could just explode the whole thing while the bike’s inside. Also you can’t sleep in the van with the bike in there even in the roof bed, even though you could physically fit, because of the petrol vapour you would have to remove the motorcycle or quad bike whatever you got in there before you can actually use any of the habitation stuff in the van. So that’s something to be aware of. If you’re going to use it just to transport the bike and then say, for a bike meet, then no problems at all. But if you’re going to use it as a touring camper van, then carrying a motorcycle is going to compromise that.Of course once you’re on site you can actually erect an awning, a drive-away awning, and you could put the bike in there. But then you’re losing that spontaneity, the flexibility of a camper van, so it’s just something I want you to be aware of is that it is fantastic, it’s truly versatile, but if you want a true camper van experience… touring, up and go, freedom, then carrying something like a motorbike is going to hamper that experience somewhat.
But without something like a motorbike inside and with the rear seats in situ, because you’ve got things like the the solar panel, the diesel heating if you have that fitted ,you can keep going and going and going off grid for a few weeks at a time. Obviously you’d need to be quite frugal with your packing but with the rear seat in place you can put more stuff under the seat and of course behind the seat.That sounds like an aeroplane, so that’s a good place to wrap up this review. I hope you enjoyed it, I hope you found it useful. As ever I will leave links to Auto Campers in the description below this video, please do give Dougal and I a follow on social media- we are on both Twitter and on Instagram, I’ll leave those links both in the description and probably here. So of course you’re all waiting to see the star of the show…come on Dougal… here he is! Right, so I hope you enjoyed that review. If you did, you know what to do folks, give us the thumbs up, subscribe if you don’t already, and it just leaves me to say from Dougal and from me… Thanks for tuning in! Right, do you reckon we should buy one Dougal, hmmm? Do you think we should get one? Are you impressed with the MRV? Are you impressed? Do you think is a brilliant van? Are you…? Are you…? He never smiles. .