La Strada goes drop-down bed and big garage with new camper van
The Regent S 4x4 wasn't the only new La Strada camper van on show at CMT 2019, where the German converter also highlighted the roomy Avanti H Plus. Building upon the Avanti H it launched two years ago, La Strada adds extra van length to create a more spacious rear garage. Inside, the new van's floor plan strays from ordinary by raising the bed up to the ceiling and filling the back with a dry bathroom. Front- and four-wheel-drive options make for a truly capable and versatile two-person camper van.
The Avanti H Plus is built upon a 636-cm (250-in) Fiat Ducato, adding an extra 37 cm (14.6 in) of length over the 599-cm (236-in) Avanti H. Instead of stretching the interior for added space or sleeping capacity, La Strada dedicates the entirety of that 37 cm to the rear garage, creating a more capable cargo hauler.
The garage is sealed off from the interior, so you can't pass long items through into the greater cabin, the way you can with more open camper van load areas. La Strada does say you can store a bike, e-bike or baby stroller vertically. We reckon you'd also be able to fit in various lengths of boards, skis and other long gear.
The folding shelf units directly inside the load doors increase storage flexibility, organizing cargo or clearing out of the way for extra open space. The large shelving unit in the middle folds flat against the face of the back wall, and the narrow shelves on the driver side fold toward the passenger side to create one tall compartment. The passenger-side wall includes a shelving unit of its own, along with roller doors to secure small cargo in place. Available mounting track on the face of both cabinets can be used to tie cargo down.
As you can gather by looking at that rear garage, the Avanti H Plus doesn't have the rear bed so common in full-size European van conversions. The minute you step through the sliding doorway, you realize it has a very different layout that pulls the sleeping quarters up front and up high.
The raised bed lifts away during the day to clear out space and access to the dinette, then drops down at night, with a removable ladder for climbing up. The 200 x 130-cm (79 x 51-in) cold-foam mattress rests atop a Froli spring system for extra cushion and comfort. A skylight above lets the two campers fade to sleep while looking up at the stars.
The underside of the Avanti H Plus bed includes built-in lighting, serving as a seamless part of the ceiling when stored up and away. The greater van also makes use of dimmable, indirect LED lighting for a more natural, ambient atmosphere.
By using the stowaway bed, La Strada keeps the rear of the van clear for a full dry bath, rather than the slim wet cell it'd likely use in a fixed-bed layout. This bathroom is still compact, but the shower is separated from the toilet and sink on the other side.
Beyond the bath/bed switch-up, the Avanti H Plus looks like virtually any other camper van. Its compact kitchen block with triple-burner stove, sink, and fold-up and slide-out countertop extensions stands just across from a four-person dining area with two-seat bench and swivel driver-area seats. The adjustable dining bench includes seat belts for two and Isofix points for a child seat. The standing-height 138-L refrigerator is across the aisle from the kitchen block, a little farther back.
La Strada surrounds the various interior rooms and living spaces with plenty of storage cabinetry and drawers. It has also created a double floor with concealed storage running through most of the cabin in front of the bathroom, below hinged floor panels.
The standard Avanti H Plus is based on a 129-hp front-wheel-drive Fiat Ducato and starts at €57,213 (approx. US$65,550). La Strada also offers the van on a Citroën Jumper 4x4 base, but its announcement doesn't include a base price. The Plus model is not yet listed in the Avanti 2018/19 pricing catalog, but looking at the seven other Avanti variants, the Jumper 4x4 option adds between €13,716 ($15,725) and €16,190 ($18,550) over the entry level Ducato versions.
Source: La Strada