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Video Test – Renault Trafic AreaNomad (2022): Comfortable vanlife comes at a high price

In quick

transformed van

2.0L 170hp diesel engine

Model examined: 72,300 euros

Available from 61,900 euros

Our contemporaries are freedom lovers. And they’re able to do something, or nearly, to get pleasure from it with none hindrance. According to a latest survey, 44% of them are able to be “vanlifers” and would think about spending their holidays in a transformed van. A quantity has elevated by 8 factors since 2021. The causes for his or her alternative are apparent to some and extra obscure to others.

Thus, though it’s conceivable that these transformed utilities have some great benefits of a automotive, for his or her ease of dealing with, their decrease tolls and simpler parking than a motorhome, it’s surprising to say that the decrease value argument is forward of them by 31%. At least.

The reality stays that the passion for the sort of machine can’t be denied (gross sales have elevated by greater than 20% per 12 months for 2 years), producers are tempted to seize a market that till now was within the palms of specialised corporations (Pilot, Font Vendôme, Rapido, Hymer , and many others.). Suddenly, Volkswagen entered the dance with its T6 California, Mercedes and its Marco Polo, Ford and its Transit Custom Nugget whereas Renault performed indifference. It’s over. After trials in Switzerland and Belgium, Rhombus now provides a model of its site visitors and is named AreaNomad in France.

Video Test – Renault Trafic AreaNomad (2022): Comfortable vanlife comes at a high price

A transformed van is each a automotive and a house? So strive each by taking the highway to a welcome nook of the countryside. In the town, the 5.08 meter machine is as simple to drive as a automotive. A really massive automotive is analogous, with rearward visibility being tremendous-decreased, even when the producer takes care to filter a ray of sunshine from the rear window.

Complete equipment, but the air conditioner remains manual.
Complete tools, however the air conditioner stays handbook.

At the wheel, you are feeling such as you’re a great driver who controls his world and the encircling site visitors by steering the machine fairly horizontally on the steering wheel. The 6-pace, twin-clutch EDC computerized gearbox fitted to this mannequin is comfy, particularly because it’s paired with an engine acquainted to Renault: the 170 hp “blue” DCI 2-liter diesel. Its 380 Nm of torque goes very effectively with the field in query, even when it is a bit reluctant to train engine braking, which is not its forte.

Driving in site visitors? A removed from excellent

Beyond congested roads, and as quickly as a freeway and a nation highway are discovered, the site visitors is completely relaxed. Despite its 2.4 t, it may well’t hit 130 km/h and above. A superb pace has been reached breaking the startling silence that reigns on board, each at the extent of the engine that it performs quietly and at the extent of wind noise that we imagined, due to the massive roof opening that acts as a mezzanine when it’s uncovered. We’re not using in a enjoyable automotive, however we have been afraid of driving this site visitors far.

So we settle down and attempt to park. Here is a good automotive park in a nook of the inexperienced beneath Yvelines. Damn, an opposing motorhome barrier is obstructing our manner. No downside. We repeat it; The AreaNomad, like all vans, is below 2 meters and may be parked in all places. But not right here. The bar has been set at 1.90m to intimidate these new nomads and it’ll take all of the grace of the city corridor brokers of Les Mesnouls (78) to make them swear that we are going to not spend all our paid holidays of their space, in order that they open the bar for us. It is that our site visitors is 1.99 meters high, and passes proper by, however actually beneath the toll gate for vehicles set at 2 meters. Obstacles which we overcome once we so maintain our breath.

Unfolding awnings requires skill...
Unfolding awnings requires ability…
...and a little time.
…and a little time.

The instrument is positioned on the sting of the wooden in its lovely body? It’s time to find its secrets and techniques and the tiny habitats it hides. Starting with the well-known sunroof opening. Two hooks to unclip, one panel to push and also you’re performed. This mezzanine hides a fairly comfy mattress, three mini bay home windows and the icing on the cake the geek : Two small pockets to retailer your smartphone, every geared up with a USB socket to recharge it. Two LED bulbs even allow you to learn in mattress.

Upstairs is a cozy bed room, for those who can entry it. Because nothing is designed for this and climbing is finished with each toes firmly planted behind the entrance seat. Once this operation is accomplished, lean over the aspect of this mezzanine performing a swish pirouette that can make the tenants of the beds beneath snicker. Because the folding three-seater bench on the bottom flooring additionally turns into a mattress for 2. But in contrast to the primary mattress, the underside one is as laborious as strengthened concrete. So we are going to choose deformation and ascent to leisure.

A practical and good quality interior.
A sensible and good high quality inside.
A mezzanine bed with a comfortable mattress and adequate ventilation.
A mezzanine mattress with a comfy mattress and satisfactory air flow.

Yet we relaxation assured: we is not going to sleep below the celebs. But you even have to consider dinner. To do that, nothing is simple. Just open the massive tailgate and extract, mounted below the trunk, a desk that unfolds and lands in entrance of the seat in a sitting place. To convert this cabin into a true eating room, flip the entrance seats and once more, it is kid’s play.

A transparent awning

On the opposite hand, the set up of awnings, normal from entry degree, is reserved for older, fairly expert youngsters, and if there are two of them, the matter is a little simpler. If we observe, as we did, a Youtube tutorial of the model Thulé, which makes the thing in query, and with out it, we are going to at all times be fully confused with the canvas in a single hand and the bend within the different.

But we eat contained in the machine, or we are able to arise fully if the roof is up, or whether it is awkwardly positioned below the roof, we are able to get pleasure from small meals cooked on a good high quality two-burner range. Beside a small stainless-steel sink. Ignores a fairly respectable 42L fridge by itself. Crockeries, but in addition varied belongings of Vanlife campers will discover their place in quite a few storage areas totaling 225 l, to not point out the massive trunk of just about 600 l.

A small sink and a very practical two-burner stove.
A small sink and a very sensible two-burner range.

It might be understood, the residing areas as a cowl are fairly effectively handled on board this AreaNomad, since for the autonomy by way of electrical energy, it reaches 48 hours and 72 hours with the essential van because of a method obtainable solely at the top- off-the-vary end: pop- Up is a photo voltaic panel mounted on the roof. Beyond that, you will must plug into {an electrical} outlet at a campsite. A spot the place you get a probability to bathe correctly, because the outside bathe, accessible from the machine’s tailgate, is sweet for cooling off in case of heatstroke.

Designed with out a actual bathe or bathroom, this van is nonetheless absolutely geared up to accommodate two and even 4 folks. Its tools is made from sturdy supplies and completely assembled, even when the design of this selfmade cabin doesn’t appear to be Renault’s major concern. But anyway, would the diamond be a motorhome fitter?

Spacenomads leave Sanduville to transition to Angers
Spacenomads depart Sanduville to transition to Angers

It is just not so. The Traffic in brief or lengthy model 2 l DCI 150 or 170 variations (4 variations obtainable) are constructed at Renault in Sandouville, earlier than shifting to Pilote close to Angers the place they’re transformed into a house on wheels. Angevin House is a specialist within the style however nonetheless wants 9 days to arrange a fundamental site visitors. A straw in comparison with present supply occasions as Sanduville nonetheless suffers from main shortages of assorted parts and particularly semiconductors.

Despite these delays, which might take as much as a 12 months, the pilot workshops are operating at full pace and the order guide is full. If there is a component of objectivity among the many causes for this frenzy, since weekends and holidays happen in full freedom (or nearly) and permit vanlifers to be autonomous for his or her housing and meals, then there’s nothing left. The machine, for a mean of 70,000 euros, permits you to spend 700 nights in a mean resort. There are some issues to consider earlier than investing.

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