Next up was my only non coachbuilt motorhome based on a 1972 mk1 Ford Transit van, the 2000cc V4 engine was quickly replaced by a 3000cc V6 making it very entertaining to drive but also extremely poor on fuel. Steady driving would get you about 12 to the gallon, it’s a good job petrol was a lot cheaper in the eighties!
Not the most attractive camper, my friends use to say it looked like a van that delivers pies and pasties to petrol stations, the inside though more than made up for this, who ever converted it had done an excellent job, it was very spacious and practical and even had a shower.
A change of circumstances meant it would be ten years before my next motorhome and Carole’s first. A 1980 coachbuilt MK11 Ford Transit 5 berth, it was ideal to give Carole an idea of what spending time away in a camper would be like, she loved it so much she even made a set of curtains for it. It was the slowest vehicle I have ever owned and it leaked like a sieve but it was still enough to give Carole the camper bug.
After 5 years of faithful service from the Transit we decided a motorhome upgrade was in order and as luck should have it a friend of ours had one for sale, A 1991 Fiat Ducato based Autotrail Cheyenne 6 with a 1.9 turbo diesel engine. We loved our old transit but this in comparison was like a palace. A full size shower and our first ever van with a cassette toilet, the amount of storage was amazing and when set up the beds were large and very comfortable, and it even had a heater in the living area.
Performance wise when you got to a hill you could maintain the same speed or even accelerate if you wanted to, not something that we could ever have experienced in the old transit! However, despite all this it didn’t have power steering making manoeuvring at low speeds very entertaining. We travelled far and wide in this old girl in the 5 years we owned it, even venturing to France and Southern Ireland without any problems. While writing this post I thought I would do an MOT check to see if its still around and sure enough it’s just passed its MOT taking it up to June next year. It’s nice to know that someone is still getting good use out of it.