Trigano Tribute 550 (2007)
Below is an independant and unbiased review of a Trigano Tribute 550 (2007)
Retired and returning to motorcaravans after a very long time. I wanted a van that I could drive daily if necessary, park easily, and yes, look good.
So I did loads of research, went to a couple of shows, and determined that for sheer value for money and downright sexy looks the new Trigano Tributes, 550 and 650, were streets ahead.
I should explain that at this time all the chassis makers were changing to new versions and this is the sole reason I did not go second hand.
I wanted the 650 but my wife preferred the 550, saying she didn't need an oven or a large fridge, and in truth the 650 was spoiled in my view by the full height wardrobe right at the offside rear, so the 550 it was.
The new Fiat chassis was in great demand so the delivery was delayed, and there have been many comments about build quality of these vans, but in truth, apart from a leak caused by the dealers when fitting an awning (and this conveniently only went down the seat belt channel) we have had no major problems.
First, the 2.3 120hp Fiat is a dream to drive-put the armrests down, stick the cruise control to your chosen speed, and it is like driving an armchair, a quiet armchair yet.
Driving at a steady 60, or just a little over, I have got an average of 32mpg over the 7200 miles already done (in 6 months), with no need for any oil top ups, or any hitches.
The clutch was initially very abrupt, causing some judder when reversing, but this seems to have eased off.
Coming now to the interior, the height of the rear seating is definitely an issue, and causes the great 'dangling leg' syndrome. We have solved this by buying two small folding stools, about 6" high, so no real problems there.
The fridge is a bit on the small side (60l) and the freezer part is so small I can't even get a block of ice cream in. Grrr.
The bed is a bit fiddly though extremely comfortable when made up, but my main gripe is the washroom door-you have to walk past it to open it because in my view it is hinged on the wrong side, and will not open 180 degrees.
We have had the door reversed, which is much better, but means that the folding room divider can't be used. As this is strictly a two berth I can't see this as being a problem-and after 35 years there are few secrets left!!
To sum up, I really do think that this a great van for the money. The cab spec is simply outstanding when compared to rivals in the near price bracket.
Everything works well, the water heater, fridge etc-the lighting is very bright, though something under the lockers would be useful for reading in bed, and the Webasto diesel space heating is very effective, if a bit noisy.
Personally my only issues are lounging comfort with the rear seating, meaning that the extremely comfortable cab seats are mostly used, and I find the washroom a bit 'tight'.
So will we keep it? Well, after about a month living continuously in the van, through France etc, we have decided that we would be better off with a fixed bed.
However I will be most reluctant to give up the sheer convenience of a van this size plus all it's little comforts which are added extras on most vans, but most of all the 'wow' factor.
We get so many comments from people on sites, and I often return to the van to find people with their noses against the windows, peering in.
Now if only Trigano did a fixed bed Tribute!
Trigano Tribute 550 (2007)
October 15th 2007
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