The thing about motorhome owners is that they are a friendly bunch, and happy to show you their pride and joy at the drop of a hat. They’re very gregarious, too, and will happily help others in need. This spirit is exemplified in a Website and associated forum dedicated to Talbot Express-based motorhomes which goes under the name of TalbotOC.com, where “OC” stands for “Owners’ Club”.
Being in pursuit of one of these beasts I signed up a few weeks ago and through the forum exchanged words with one of the other members who lives a few miles down the track from me, and who goes by the username “jpspoons”. The upshot was that JP kindly invited me down to “ramble in his Rambler”. It’s a motorhome from a different manufacturer than that of the Avalon and Camelot called Auto-Sleepers, and Auto-Sleepers is very much currently in business whereas Autohomes, sadly, is no longer so. Based on the Talbot Express it bears an uncanny resemblance to the Avalon and Camelot. After all, when you start with the same base vehicle and cram all the comforts of home into it (including the kitchen sink), there’s very little room for variation – literally. The interior layout may differ slightly (as it does between the Avalon and Camelot and, indeed, different models of each) but the fixtures and fittings are the same. So here’s a typical Rambler (not JPs, I hasten to add):
We spent a happy hour giving it the once-over and became so engrossed that we actually got locked into the storage compound as the sun was setting. Fortunately the kind lady had not left the premises altogether, had seen us on the CCTV and had come to investigate. We did not have to resort to an undignified clamber over the gate.
The upshot was that an Auto-Sleepers ‘van (and the Rambler is but one model from that stable) is a serious contender and may well feature in future recces.