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Review Of The Toyota HiAce HiLife Campervan Conversion

 For 365 Camping Caravanning

 

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 The Toyota HiAce HiLife Campervan Conversion
(Sleeping Capacity  2 persons)

 

 

The Toyota HiAce HiLife Overview
The Toyota HiAce HiLife campervan is a very basic campervan, albeit based on a fairly high spec light goods van. Mine has a 2.5 ltre TDI turbo - not nippy but a fair top speed. The van as converted weighs in at just short of 1.5 tonnes. The van is just under a tonne, and with a capacity of 2,550Kg it tips the scales as a 3.5 tonne van - so it is limited to 50mph on ordinary roads, 60 on dual carriageways and 70 on motorways. I don't normally drive it above 60mph for economy reasons. On the flat it achieves the mid 30s, but in the Dales, lakes etc. this can plummet as you go down through the gears.

There are many Toyota HiAce campervan conversions - some of the better ones are converted from Japanese imports, often on the long wheelbase version. These usually boast a toilet and shower. Mine is an Elddis - a venture discontinued by the caravan maker. So much so that they denied they made it when it was less then 5 years old, until they were sent a photograph of the builders plate. Even so, they failed to even respond to a request for a part after several requests from an Elddis dealer. The lesson there is, if you buy one, you are dealing with the companies who make the various campervan accessories - not too daunting because most dealers know them and deal with them.

 

The HiLife has fairly basic facilities. It has lighting and power for the water supply (sink) via battery or mains. The fridge is 3 way. The cooker has two hobs and a grill. There is a gas heater - but the supply is in the boot, so in really cold weather you do need to be on propane. It has a 13 amp socket when you have EHU. It sleeps two, if you are VERY friendly. If you are not entertaining, you can get by without folding it right back - so it takes seconds to get ready for bed. If you need more space, you need to remake the bed every day.


The fibre glass hi-top provides adequate headroom in the living area, and the storage above the driver's cab and rear provides very adequate storage for bedding and luggage. It is a dream to drive on the open road - I can drive it for hours without the back problems I get in most cars. It is easy to drive on country roads, being only a few inches wider than a family car, and shorted than some estate versions of family saloons.


Conversion
Conversion by Elddis

Base Vehicle
Toyota Hiace.

 

Pros and Cons  
Pros Cons

Fairly economical and very easy to drive and park. It won't go in an NCP with a height barrier, but will fit into most car parks, including Tesco's, without too much trouble.

No toilet or shower.  The living space is adequate for 2 people to eat, but if the weather is bad it is too small for more than a short period.

.


Verdict:
I love it for what I use it for - weekends away with an easy get away, hassle free travel, very quick set up, practical living, comfort and sleeping for a short time.
 

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Reviewed by Geoff Shumba for 365 Camping Caravanning

Reviewed 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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