Snappy camper van slims and swings to make the most of space
One of the latest camper vans to emerge on the scene, the new 2017 Hobby Vantana relies on a few smart, space-saving features to give it a leg up on the competition. In a claimed world first, Hobby has replaced the typical refrigerator box with a "SlimLine" fridge that hovers above the kitchen counter like an overhead cabinet. The German camper specialist has also injected a few other unique features and styling elements into its latest van.
The Vantana would look like a completely unassuming German camper van based on the ever-popular Fiat Ducato, but for its distinctive styling. The multi-color exterior teases open road exploration with its wind rose graphic and definitely looks a little more fun and adventurous than a plain white van.
That exterior design makes you want to climb aboard, and when you do, you'll find it's the interior that really shines. The big news on the new Vantana is the SlimLine refrigerator, which Hobby developed in collaboration with Dometic. Hobby is quite excited about it, stressing that it's unlike anything available in the segment.
In a market that's all about conserving space, the SlimLine does its part by blending the two lift-access refrigerator compartments and central pull-out drink drawer seamlessly into the overhead cabinetry. It's an interesting alternative to the stand-up box refrigerators that otherwise seemed inevitable, giving the new Vantana a more open design and an added work/storage top when compared to the 2016 models with floor-to-ceiling refrigerator consoles.
The standard SlimLine also offers more cooling space, a total of 90 liters versus the 2016 Vantana's 50- and 80-liter units, and seems like it might prove more convenient, keeping some refrigerated items right above the kitchen block where you'll be cooking and preparing them. Hobby has wired controls into the greater Vantana TFT control panel and available MyHobby app.
Another slick, space-optimizing feature of the 2017 Vantana design can be found in the new compact washroom option. The washroom in any camper van tends to be the most cramped space you'll spend time in, so anything a manufacturer can do to increase space without encroaching upon other living areas is a bonus.
What Hobby has done is carve out a storage nook for the Thetford swivel toilet, allowing it to be moved out of the way during showering. This option is designed to give you a comfortable amount of shower space while keeping the washroom compact enough for added bed size or floor space outside, when compared to floor plans with larger washrooms. The compact washroom with swivel toilet solution is available on the K60 Fs and K65 floor plans.
Beyond those new features, the Vantana remains a versatile camper van hungry for travel and adventure. Hobby offers seven different floor plans, including double-bed and dual single-bed options. Each floor plan seats four and sleeps two, with the option to add a third sleeping berth. The rear bed hardware can swing out of the way or remove completely, allowing storage of larger items like bikes and skis, which load easily through the double doors.
Van size varies by floor plan, but all Vantana models come with Fiat's 130-hp 2.3-liter Multijet II engine and six-speed manual transmission as standard. Other powertrain options and alternative Ducato chassis options are available, dependent upon floor plan. Other standard features include a kitchen unit with two-burner stove and sink, Truma Combi 6E heat and hot water, 95L fresh and 90L waste water tanks, a 95Ah AGM battery and 25A charger, and LED lighting. Options include a rear bike rack and roof-mounted air conditioner.
Hobby announced the Vantana earlier in the summer and is showing it at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, which runs through this weekend. Base pricing ranges from €41,710 (approx. US$46,525) for the K55 F floor plan to €45,740 (US$51,000) for the K65 Es.
For more of the Vantana's nuts and bolts, take a look at the PDF brochure and/or the Hobby link below.