Wingamm disguises a fiberglass monocoque motorhome as a Ducato camper van
Wingamm motorhomes and caravans are always head-turners, but one in particular will make you do a double-take. Smart and stylish, the new City Twins looks at first like a fairly standard Fiat Ducato camper van, with just a touch of extra white sheen. But this camper isn't built into a Ducato van at all, relying instead on a custom-built fiberglass shell planted on a Ducato cab chassis. This van-sized fiberglass monocoque construction creates a quieter, cozier, more insulated mobile living space.
In the past, Italy's Wingamm has grabbed our attention with its sleekly styled VW Micros camper and its Rookie caravan lineup. But the City Twins didn't actually grab our attention when we first saw it at last year's Düsseldorf Caravan Salon — it looked so much like dozens of Ducato camper vans at the show, we mistook it for yet another. But things changed when we went to step inside and realized the sliding door was gone, replaced by a swinging door camper entry. Look a little closer still, and you realize that pearly white fiberglass isn't your typical Ducato sheet metal.
Wingamm's expertise lies entirely in the construction and outfitting of independent fiberglass living modules mounted to or towed behind motor vehicles. Every one of its vehicles feature this construction, so the City Twins isn't actually a simple Ducato camper van, as it might look to the untrained eye, but a van-styled fiberglass bodyshell mounted atop a Ducato chassis.
The Twins' fiberglass monocoque is sized precisely to drop in and match the Ducato van's 5.99-m (19.7-ft) overall length and 2.05-m (6.7-ft) overall width, looking like a natural van. The roof is shaped similarly to the mid-level Ducato roof, though at 2.77 m (9.1 ft), it stands closer in height to the highest roof. The roof is also a bit smoother and more curvaceous up front above the windshield.
So why not just use a stock Ducato van and save the trouble of building an independent fiberglass monocoque? Unlike, say, a Westfalia or Winnebago, converting stock vans simply isn't what Wingamm does.
Wingamm developed its first fiberglass monocoque camper four decades ago in an attempt to separate its motorhomes from the competition with a more modern, stylish appearance. More importantly, the joint-free monocoque construction eliminates the leaks that can occur at the seams of more traditional multi-piece constructions. Wingamm says the double fiberglass shell construction and polyurethane foam insulation also offer superior thermal and acoustic performance, creating a comfier, quieter interior for more relaxed camping.
Another advantage of Wingamm's monocoque is that it eliminates the rear van doors. While rear doors do offer advantages of their own, we find that a solid rear wall creates a cozier, homier interior. That's certainly the case with the City Twins, which uses its sealed-off rear as a bedroom area, housing the namesake twin beds, split by a wardrobe and drawers.
Unlike the usual two-sleeper camper van, with one full/queen-size bed great for a couple but not as great for a couple of buddies, the twin bed layout accommodates two travelers who prefer to retire to their own beds. Those who want a single bed for two will find it in the City Twins' older sibling, the City Suite.
The City Twins' beds aren't quite identical twins — the passenger-side bed measures 189 x 71 cm (74 x 28 in), while the driver-side bed is a little shorter at 177 x 71 cm (70 x 28 in). That decreased driver-side sizing helps to accommodate the wet cell. Constructed of fiberglass and warmed up with a wood-look HPL laminate, the wet bath includes a toilet, shower and sink.
The kitchen block is located on the passenger side, just ahead of the entry door. It houses a dual-burner stove and stainless steel sink, both with flush covers, and a 96-L refrigerator. After being prepared on that block, meals are served across the aisle at the dinette with two-seat bench and swivel cab seats joined together by an extendable, adjustable dining table.
According to the pricing sheet that accompanied the City Twins we checked out in Düsseldorf, the van starts at €61,400 (approx. US$68,750). The City Suite that fills out Wingamm's "City" lineup starts a little lower at €51,600 ($57,800), as listed on Wingamm's website, and includes the option of a drop-down bed for a four-sleeper configuration.