Custom Toyota HiAce
Make & Model: Toyota HiAce custom built by Southern Spirit Campervans
Mileage now: 5000 km.
Licence required: Car.
Base vehicle: Toyota HiAce.
Engine: 3.0-litre turbo diesel.
Average fuel economy: N/A
No of berths: 2.
No of seatbelt-equipped seats: 4.
Why I choose it: Combination of own design and advice of Southern Spirit Campervans.
First vehicle or replacement: Downsized from camper trailer.
Options fitted: Solar panels, fridge, gas stove.
Best features: Easy to be in, comfy, convenient to pack and unpack. Every little thing has been thought through thoroughly.
Worst features: Not enough time to travel in it!
Warranty issues: None.
Dealer support: Toyota proved a lemon but the manufacturer has more than made up for it.
Manufacturer support: Southern Spirit have become almost family, and their support is amazing – nothing is too much trouble no matter how dumb our questions are.
Recommend to a friend: Most definitely – the whole experience of designing and getting our van built has been fun – a steep learning curve but a fun one. Our van was built in Brisbane and we live in Wollongong. This is because we could not find anyone closer that would do the conversion we were keen on. Many didn’t even respond to phone calls or emails. One could expect then that the process of long distance campervan construction with picky clients like us would be hard. It wasn’t. Would recommend Ollie and Pia of Southern Spirit to anyone keen on a professional van fit out that is efficient, clever and very personal.
We were quite decided on what we wanted and how we wanted it. This was so easily accommodated and added to by Southern Spirit. Many manufacturers offer custom building but in the end try to sway you into what they want to build. Southern Spirit listened to us and improved on our ideas rather than change them. For us this was very important so consequently we are more than delighted with our van. The fit out is so expertly constructed with an amazing attention to detail that is so often lost on mass produced vans.
Little things make the difference, like accommodating my wish for a space to chop the tucker near the stove – yep, complicated and hard to fit in such a small area – but Ollie did it! A seat with an approved seat belt for the dog harness next to the window – no problem! Down lights on the rear door – easy. A place for my early morning cuppa next to the bed – done. We cannot recommend Southern Spirit too highly.
For the full article and more photos download Issue 73 of iMotorhome eMagazine by clicking HERE