Long player

Nick Harding trials the Ford Nugget Plus. Based on the long wheelbase version of the Transit Custom, this camper even has room for a toilet.

I reviewed the standard Ford Nugget back in the July 2021 issue. It performed well but, like many a campervan, lacked a washroom. Well here is the Nugget Plus to put things right. Based on the long-wheelbase version of Ford’s Transit Custom van – which at 5.34m, is some 37cm longer than standard – it offers that little bit of extra essential living and storage space. It also means there’s room for a fully plumbed-in Thetford toilet. 

When tested (back in February 2022) the Nugget Plus started at £73,134. A few options to this test vehicle – the £780 metallic paint, £720 side running boards and £912 for ICE Pack 25 (in-car entertainment), which gives you sat-nav, adaptive cruise control and an 8in touchscreen over and above the standard offering, saw it coming in at £75,546.

But prices and specifications are constantly shifting these days. The Trend and the more upmarket Active variants of the long-wheelbase Nugget are now available. A standard, long-wheelbase Nugget Trend kicks off at £79,617, while the Active version is from £85,917. 

Build quality — 88%

Nuggets are made for Ford by Westfalia and sold via selected Ford dealerships. The build quality puts it in the premier league of campervan conversions, with a really sturdy feel and stylish furnishings. 

You can choose from an extensive range of exterior colours, but 16in alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring system, Ford’s famous Quickclear heated windscreen, perimeter alarm, and automatic lights and wipers come as standard. 

Inside, the floorplan breaks from the norm; no typical side furniture unit here. The Nugget has sliding doors on both sides and a rather excellent rear seat on rails – complete with three-point seatbelts (for three people) as well as ISOFIX child seat attachments (for two), single full-width head restraint, and even a fold-up armrest.

Then, across the back, with superior standing room thanks to the front-hinged elevating roof, is the kitchen, with that toilet beyond, just inside the tailgate on the offside. 

Driving — 88%

I completed over 300 miles in a week with the Nugget Plus (you can read all about our Cumbrian Coastal Route 200 adventures in the May 2022 edition of this magazine) and I can offer only praise for the way this vehicle drives. Major controls are as car-like as you’ll get in any campervan. 

As for the extra length, you’re only really going to notice it when it comes to parking in shorter bays, etc. Of more concern is the Nugget’s overall height – the base vehicle’s suspension configuration produces longer, more forgiving springing, meaning you’ll be checking overhead allowances.

If you’re ordering your Nugget Plus from today, there’s also some engine news. The newest models are available with 128bhp (130PS) or 148bhp (150PS) units, with automatic transmission available for the latter. There will also be a 168bhp (170PS), auto-only offering, but that’s just for the short-wheelbase L1 Nugget. Hybrid and all-electric Transit Custom base vehicles are also on their way. 

Daytime — 78%

While rotating the cab seats is simple enough, retrieving the table and its single (yet pretty sturdy) pedestal leg from the rear seat base is tricky. You end up with a lounge that can just about seat four people who don’t mind being cosy.

You can increase your living space with the standard wind-out awning, as well as two folding chairs and another table. The Nugget Plus also addresses a bugbear I have with the standard Nugget – the way the two outdoor folding chairs take up so much space in the area between the rear seat and the kitchen, where it’s also tricky retrieving them. Here, the longer base vehicle means they’re relocated to just inside the tailgate on the nearside. 

Night-time — 74%

Both beds are over 6ft long, but the roof double would be the first choice for a couple. The neatest of short ladders makes access all the easier, so you can leave the downstairs intact.

Converting the rear travel seat into the second double involves a fair bit of negotiation, and you do end up sleeping with your lower legs extending under the kitchen. It’s nevertheless a decent size and comfortable in a firm way. 

The curtains are lined/double thickness, but are a bit of a fiddle – I much prefer blinds in campers, especially as they tend to fit tighter against the windows. Internal panels also fit to the cab windows; they stow in the rear seat base when not needed, along with the mains lead. 

Lighting is pretty good, including a neatly housed strip over the nearside doorway (surprisingly, not the offside) as well as at floor level and – at the back – ambient mood lighting, with a useful dimmer touch control for the main lights. Reading lamps on stems complete the illuminations.  

Kitchen — 71%

There’s lots of standing room in the kitchen area when the roof is up. It’s quite some kitchen, too, by campervan standards. You get the usual two-ring hob and sink in matching stainless steel, as well as a 40-litre compressor fridge (a top-loader), but it’s the configuration that makes the difference, along with the provision of a 12V/230V hot water system as standard. Both worktop and storage space are at a premium, here. 

Washroom — 74%

This is where the real difference between the Nugget Plus and so many other campervans lies. It may not be a full washroom but you do get a Thetford bench toilet in the offside rear corner, located for easy access to its cassette holding tank.  A privacy screen is also provided.

The Nugget Plus also gains a small basin – or rather, a drop-down drain-away. Too much? Well, the kitchen sink isn’t too far away. There’s also a shower fitting, with hot and cold water supply (the shorter Nugget offers cold only). Not bad at all for a campervan. 

Details — 79%

The Ford-branded umbrella and its designated stowage point just inside the offside sliding door is one of the many on-board details. There are fresh and waste water tanks, both 42 litres. Cab seats are heated. I counted three 230V sockets, two 12V connections and two USB ports. All that’s missing is a solar panel.

Possible improvements? Storage pockets on the backs of the cab seats would be great. Ditto a couple of coat hooks. A hanging rail in the wardrobe unit (even though it’s very skinny) or some shelving would help, too.

Verdict — 79%

There’s no doubt about it: the long-wheelbase Transit Custom turns the Nugget into a highly viable proposition, offering all the usual campervan facilities plus a proper, plumbed-in toilet. It’s exceptionally well built, and moves the Nugget up more than just a notch. Next stop? How about a permanent high-top version, Ford?

About the author

New and used

Browse for bargains from thousands of new and used vehicles for sale, or sell your caravan, motorhome, towcar or accessories.

Buy and sell now