British motorhome manufacturer Auto-Trail presented the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show last week with what it classifies as its first dedicated sports motorhome. Toss a pair or two of bikes into the all-new Expedition 68, ride it to a trailhead or road trip, and it becomes the perfect post-ride shelter, whether that’s a base camp for one-day riding, multi-day vehicle support or a crash pad when the extended touring loop is complete. And it could also work for climbing, skiing, hiking or whatever adventure you choose.
The Expedition 68 features a floor plan quite similar to those we’ve seen many times in Germany, the UK and other parts of Europe, but with a few handy tweaks. Many other garage motorhomes we’ve reviewed over the years focus on lifting or rolling bikes and motorcycles in and out of the back garage, but Auto-Trail focuses on sliding bikes into and out of the speed plateaus. The available pair of pull-out trays add a little extra convenience when loading and unloading. We’re guessing storing four bikes as neatly as shown in the photo up top will require a bit of extra jigging and won’t be possible with every style of bike, but the double-deck garage certainly looks like a great way to transport a duo or quartet of bikes carefully packaged for adventure.
Above the garage, the Expedition 68’s 74″ x 55″ double bed allows campers to stretch the full width of the van to rest their screaming leg muscles. A lower bed height, compared to other rear garage RV layouts, provides more head and bedroom space. The downside is having to remove a wheel from each bike rather than just loading them fully assembled.
At the back of the bedroom, Auto-Trail splits the difference between a hard wall and an open bed setup by installing a zippered mesh back panel to provide an airy, starry night’s sleep. On rough nights, campers can protect themselves from the weather by simply closing the double van doors. The bedroom area also includes hanging cabinets and a wardrobe.
Those looking to make it a four-berth can add the optional pop-up roof with a 200 x 130 cm (79 x 51 in) double bed.
Back on the van floor, the Expedition 68 features a simple layout that puts a passenger-side kitchen across from a wet bathroom. The kitchen features the usual British layout which adds an oven/grill combo to the more universal mix of double burner cooker, sink and 12V fridge/freezer. bathroom sink.
The front driver’s side of the van features a dining area with a two-seat passenger bench seat, swivel front seats in the cabin, and a folding dining table. More overhead cabinets and a storage area above the cabin add plenty of extra storage space.
Campsite power comes from a 75Ah leisure battery and standard solar panel. A Whale furnace/water heater combo conserves interior space with underbody frame mounting. Seventy liter tanks hold fresh and waste water.
The new 68 floor plan comes above a 636 cm (250 in) Fiat Ducato with a gross vehicle weight rating of 3,500 kg (7,716 lb). Auto-Trail skips the 120hp engine and offers the base £46,085 (around US$61,000) van standard with a 140hp MultiJet four-cylinder. Optional 160 and 180 hp upgrades are also available. The pop-up roof adds £5,789 ($7,650) to that base price, and each sliding rear tray adds £310 ($410). Other options include a second leisure battery and media pack with a 22-inch smart TV, 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with satellite navigation and selectable rear camera view.