Campervan of the Year 2023 Award winners revealed
The winner of the top award – the Campervan of the Year 2023 – is the Globe-Traveller Voyager Z
This was, perhaps, the hardest category for the experts from Campervan magazine, What Motorhome magazine and MMM magazine to judge. They assessed dozens of new campervans from Giotti Van models with super-keen sub-£60k price tags to the fabulous new RP Rebellion at close to £200k.
In between there were plush, redesigned Hymers, as well as the two highly commended models. So, it was hardly expected that a brand just launching in the UK would take the top spot.
Globe-Traveller produces high-end campers on the Fiat Ducato and Peugeot Boxer, but that’s where the similarity with so many other fixed bed campervans ends. Perhaps, because this is an independent brand from Poland, it hasn’t just created another lookalike model, distinguished only the colour of the cabinets.
The differences start outside. This might be the longest, tallest Ducato (L4 H3), but it has a look of its own. A replacement overcab section with a more rounded shape allows more room for the roof bed inside. Then, at the rear, the van’s barn doors are binned in favour of a top-hinged tail-gate for access to the garage. Crucially, its clever design adds around 12cm extra length inside with-out making the Fiat even a millimetre longer over-all.
Framed habitation windows are another plus, but the big news is inside, starting with a flat floor throughout. Like a premium coachbuilt, there’s a double floor to house the fresh and waste water tanks and contributes to full winterisation.
The front lounge incorporates a pair of automotive-style rear travel seats with Isofix. These are super-comfy, but they recline and the centre seat slides out to create more elbow room. Adjacent to the wall, there’s an arm-rest, twin cupholders and USB ports. A table is provided, of course, but it can also be stowed away in an underfloor compartment, making for a more open feel.
Above, the roof bed hinges down from the wall and then slides out to occupy the full width of the ’van, but still leaving plenty of headroom for sitting below. The upper bed measures 1.87m by 1.48m.
The main beds are at the rear where twin singles measure 1.96m and 1.79m long (a French bed layout is also available). There’s the typical central cushion (1.30m long) between the beds, under which you’ll be surprised to find a hidden wardrobe.
The kitchen includes a 90-litre compressor fridge, a two-burner hob and plenty of drawer-based storage, as well as neat locker that can be accessed from outside as well as in. The table can be repositioned al fresco, too.
Then, there’s the washroom – complete with a proper separate shower. There’s the usual Thetford cassette toilet, a fixed washbasin and a roof vent with fan, too.
The more you look at the Voyager Z, the more clever details you discover, while the finish seems exemplary – look at how the woodgrain flows from one top cupboard to the next. Although many may not have heard of Globe-Traveller, we think you’ll be hearing a lot more about this Polish company over the next few years.
The Globe-Traveller Voyager Z also won the Fixed Bed Campervan of the Year 2023 award.
The judges said of the Globe-Traveller Voyager Z
“I first saw Globe-Traveller in Germany five or six years ago and was super-impressed then. It has so many unique features” Peter Vaughan, Head of the judging panel and Road Test Editor of MMM magazine, commented.
“It’s brilliant that Globe-Traveller is making inroads into the UK market as its campers have features that will appeal to all” Rachel Stothert, Awards Judge and Deputy Editor MMM.
“I knew its campervans were something really special, so it comes as little surprise that the Voyager Z has been named the best of the best” Daniel Attwood, Managing Editor MMM and Head of Content.
“The Voyager Z has a high-quality interior, plus it’s a versatile camper for couples or families alike” Geneve Brand, Awards Judge, Campervan Editor.
Globe-Traveller Voyager Z fact file
Price from: £95,995
Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato
Travel seats: 4
Gross weight: 3,500kg (3,820kg option)
Coolest Campervan of the Year 2023 – the Cargo Clips Castello
The judges were aware that the definition of ‘cool’ is subjective, which made this one of the hardest categories to judge. They were looking for something with a wow factor and an amazing quality that made the winner stand out from the crowd.
Hence why they chose the Castello by Cargo Clips. This is an Austrian firm that’s been making campervans for about five years, but is only just starting to make inroads into the UK market – it does already have UK customers on its books with ’vans delivered and orders in the pipe-line. However, a UK base of operations has been set up to expand this.
The exterior is fairly simple – most models are based on the MAN TGE or Mercedes Sprinter – but it’s inside where the fun starts. Instead of your traditional boarded walls, you see beautifully made wooden panels with evenly spaced holes; these are CNC routed for precision. Behind this goes the Armaflex insulation or an eco-friendly sheep’s wool.
Then, the furniture of your choice is clipped into place with extremely strong bolt clips of different shapes and sizes – these simply twist to lock by hand, or you can use a TX30 tool. It’s all very clever – and TÜV approved. You get to choose from various modules, including sleeping (low-level fixed, folding and higher-level options above storage), kitchen, storage, fridges, showers, toilets and more. There are even sliding racks for bikes, or ski holders and kennel options. We love the fold-down cutlery holder in the kitchen and the array of brightly coloured felt-style fabric choices. Even the loo modules include unconventional options, including the Clesana C1 toilet, which offers chemical-free use and problem-free emptying off-grid.
One of the more notable options is a new pop-top roof, the Loft. Solid aluminium composite walls offer security and insulation and, as it’s not hinged but has hydraulic legs on the four corners, you can sleep at either end on a bed that measures 2m by 1.50m. The unit sits on top of the vehicle and all you need is a roof hatch to access it, via a ladder so you can switch it to a different vehicle, at a later date.
All the wood is sourced from Swiss forestry, while every component is made in-house if possible. Seat/bed foam and fabrics are sourced locally in Austria, while no MDF is used and synthetic materials are avoided wherever possible.
Some may say that the interior looks too utilitarian, but no-one can argue that, if this turned up on a campsite and opened its doors for the world to see, everyone would try and get a sneaky peek at the interior while walking past.
What’s truly great is that this is a campervan that can change with your needs, whether that’s a growing family, a work-related requirement or a desire to head off on longer tours. Plus, the components are expected to outlive the base vehicle, so you could just get them swapped to a new vehicle when the time comes.
Fact file Cargo Clips Castello
Price from: Around £100,000
Base vehicle: MAN TGE or Mercedes Sprinter
Travel seats: 2-4
Gross weight: varies
The full list of the Campervan Awards 2023 winners
- Campervan of the Year 2023 overall winner – Globe-Traveller Voyager Z
- Coolest Campervan 2023 – Cargo Clips Castello
- Best Fixed Bed Campervan 2023 – Globe-Traveller Voyager Z
- Best Pop-Top Campervan 2023 – Swift Monza
- Best Large Campervan 2023 – Murvi Pimento XL SB
- Best Campervan Innovation 2023 – Wheelhome Vikenze III-e
- Best Volkswagen Campervan 2023 – CMC HemBil Urban
- Public Vote – Campervan Converter of the Year 2023 – Camper King