Long term test of AutoTrail Tribute 670 - a family affair.
Friday, 04, Aug 2017 05:07
by Dan Cartwright
The Tribute range from AutoTrail is a refined and grown up range of motorhomes, that said it is also AutoTrail's entry level motorhome. As with all entry level motorhomes these are designed to appeal to new-comers to the motorhome market as well as families. Given the Tribute's level of specification and price point (starting at just over £40,000) AutoTrail have provided just what a new-to-motorhoming family wants and needs with few over the top extravagances.
In this week's blog we look at how the Tribute performs for a family that is considering entering the motorhome market. We took the "Diaz" family, Mum Reina, Dad Tomas, Son Leo (11) and Daughter Sol (8) to Camp Bestival in Dorset for 4 days of family festival fun.
A quick note on CampBestival who were kind enough to provide a venue for this test. Camp Bestival is an off shoot of the Bestival festival aimed at families. A festival of music, events, entertainment and activities for kids over a long weekend in July.
If you need some inspiration for motorhome fun, watch 8 year old Sol's video here.
Beds, Berths, Bunks... Belts and Braces.
Anyone who knows the AutoTrail Tribute range well will know that the Tribute 670 is a two berth motorhome. The large rear lounge lets down into a big double bed and on this model there is no other official sleeping area. However the 670 does have 2 belted rear seats making transporting 4 very easy and safe. The Tribute range however offers 4 compact family layouts (the 715,720, 726 and 736) all high-line versions but all with similar specification, amenities and trim level as the 670. So the Diaz's set out to try motorhoming for the very first time in the Tribute, with some surprising results, particularly for the 670 at the end of the interview. They also made a video of their trip you can see.
Interview with Tomas, father of the Diaz family
Firstly - why are you considering owning a motorhome and what sort of thing have you considered?
We live in Brixton central London and have for lived in this area for over 10 years. We love Brixton but as the kids are a bit older we want to spend more time away as a family, visiting more of the UK and Europe. Also Leo is a keen footballer, Sol a keen dancer and we spend most weekends traveling out of London to football matches or recitals. We love the idea of being able to go in the motorhome and making these trips into holidays rather than chores. Given we are in London we can't park a caravan and we don't often use the car apart from weekend so we would swap the car for a motorhome. For these reasons we have been thinking about the smaller motorhomes and campervans, something we can park easily, something that's happy in traffic! and something that we can just throw the kids and some stuff in and go.
What was your first impression of the Tribute 670?
It was a bit bigger than I expected, we had looked last year at much smaller camper vans, when you showed us round with the toilet, shower, indoor kitchen, oven and even wardrobe it made a lot of sense. When I got it home and we started loading it up I really appreciated the additional space. I always thought that we would travel light and only needed a change of clothes but even going for just 4 days we needed all the space we had. Finally carpets, kids and carpets don't mix but when you showed me we could just remove them I was relieved.
How was the drive? Would you recommend this to people who haven't driven a motorhome before?
Excellent - I was worried as my first drive was across Central London to pick up the family but after 10 mins I forgot I wasn't in my car. the trip from home to Dorset was easy and the kids had plemty of room. If you have driven an estate car then you will have no problem with this.
We deliberately didn't hold your hand or tell you what to do when you arrived so how was setting up your first motorhome.
Set up? we had read online about set up, levelling out, turning on gas and doing electric hook up... etc but our pitch was flat, we drove straight on and parked. There was no electric and the gas was internal so once the shopping was put away that was it.. did I miss anything?
Did you have everything you needed?
This was the real benefit of the Tribute, the heating worked wonderfully, the fridge was cold and the hot water was hot and plentiful. we cooked full meals every night and ate together sat around the table. I can really see now how having all of the washroom and kitchen facilities is amazing.
And what was it like overall?
We had a fantastic time, Bestival was amazing but the difference of having the motorhome over a tent was huge. It made everything a joy. It rained a lot over the 4 days and the Tribute allowed us stay out in the rain because we knew we would be "home" and comfortable in the motorhome later.
So has it changed / or made up your mind about a motorhome, and what type?
Yes - if we don't get one now the kids will never forgive us. But I guess what you mean more is would we go for the Tribute? Yes, totally I can completely see how being that bit bigger than a campervan gives you so much more, we didn't even miss not having electric, we could take the tribute anywhere and have a great time. All I have to do now is find a way of paying for it.
So if you are a family who want a compact motorhome or new to motorhome market the Tribute is performing well. With regards to the Tribute 670 - speaking to Tomas after, he was really taken with the 670 he loved how it opened up side and rear and he did say that not being a 4 berth was actually a bit of a bonus because once the kids went to bed he and Reina could sit outside and have a glass of wine. So if you are a family of 4 the 670 might not be for you but if you are Grandparents who want to take the grandchildren away from time to time it is more than capable.