Motorhome sales have exploded in recent years as global travel restrictions have curtailed the holiday dreams of millions of Britons.
Faced with skyrocketing rates, savvy vacationers cashed in on the savings on high-season flights and all-inclusive package holidays for a deposit on an RV and a road trip in their own home on wheels. Thousands of people first discovered the flexibility of a motorhome vacation and many enjoyed it so much that they were instantly converted.
A new motorhome isn’t cheap, but there are plenty of used options around, although, like anything with four wheels, prices have gone up in the last 12 months. The entry cost is around £35,000 for a brand new but quite spartan campervan, and goes up to £45,000 for a no-frills coach-built model. For about the same price as a prestigious SUV, you can get a boutique hotel on wheels for your five-star weekend getaways.
The good news is that the value of used RVs is traditionally much stronger than for cars or vans, so if the nomadic lifestyle isn’t your thing, you should get a fair share of the new price when you start selling.
There’s one final piece of advice: Our larger picks here will likely require additional driver’s license tests, as they will exceed the 3.5-ton limit that you can drive on a post-1997 car license. Always check that you are qualified to get behind the wheel and take additional exams if necessary.
Here we pick five of the best new motorhomes and motorhomes available today, from a compact van conversion to a top-spec long-haul tourer…
Adria Twin Sports 640 SG
By: £65,495 Sleeping places: 4
Adria virtually invented the active lifestyle conversion more than a decade ago, and the Twin range offers an unbeatable combination of flexibility and practicality in a cleverly packaged compact motorhome that doubles as a daily driver. Built on the 6.4-metre Fiat Ducato platform, the Twin includes four belted travel seats and four berths – two at the rear of the van and a further two in the ascending ‘pop-top’ roof extension.
It will always be fun with four on board, but these vans are for young, active families who want to spend most of their time exploring the great outdoors. A smart compact laundry room and basic kitchen are part of the package and offer much more civilized accommodation than the traditional ‘motorhome’ for about the same price.
Advantages: Smart packaging creates space for four people and their outdoor adventure package. Intelligent use of space for kit storage. Smart laundry room. Daily driver potential.
cons: The space to stretch out after a day of mountain biking or kayaking is limited. Mattresses are a bit on the thin side. More expensive than many compact coach-built motorhomes.
Auto-Trail V-Line 635 Sport
By £65,110 Sleeping places: 2
The 635 is a space-saving couples tourer that offers the comfort you would expect for both weekend getaways and longer journeys across the continent. The U-shaped rear lounge is spacious enough for cozy evenings in front of the TV (included as standard) and converts into a huge double bed
bed, or two single beds.
The standard kit includes a reversing camera, a panoramic roof window in the cab, satellite navigation and a comfortable washroom and kitchen. On summer evenings there’s a roller blind to sit under and gas hook-up for a barbecue, while third class insulation, blown air heating and a fixed roof mean the Auto-Trail will keep you snug and cozy in the depths of winter.
Advantages: Comfortable and space-saving accommodation with virtually everything you need included as standard. Daily driver potential.
cons: Couples only – no flexibility for families or taking the grandkids for a weekend treat. Substantial price tag compared to a compact motorhome built motorhome.
Carthago Chic C-Line I6.2 XL QB Merc
By: £121,280 Sleeping places: 4
The Carthage design philosophy reflects the atmosphere of a luxury yacht, with beautifully finished cabinetry and pleasing details reminiscent of a bygone era of genteel grand touring. Based on a Mercedes Sprinter large van, this twin-axle 8.8m colossus is a wonderful space to spend some quality time.
Whether you’re standing in the paddock at the Grand Prix, owning the VIP glamp site at Glastonbury or floating along the Croisette in Cannes, the Carthage is in its element. The Chic has class because of the bucket load. With a fixed island bed, a private washroom, a comfortable front lounge and a fold-down double bed for when friends come over, the Carthago is the last word in elegance.
Advantages: More luxurious than a typical hotel room. Excellent build quality and finish. Cachet of Mercedes substantiation.
cons: Standard kit is limited; adding a few modest options makes the price even more stratospheric and may require a chassis weight upgrade to maintain adequate payload.
Chausson 660 Exclusive Line
By: £60,490 Sleeping places: 4
Meet the van reinvented as a funky, modern apartment. This award-winning coach-built motorhome from Chausson tears the book of design rules, with a designer interior with innovation in every corner. There is a huge rear storage area with an integrated wardrobe, plus plenty of extra storage and a laundry room with swing wall to keep the wet and dry parts separate.
The spacious eight-seater lounge transforms into a comfortable double bed, with a second double bed descending from the roof. There is plenty of prep space in the kitchen and an external gas point for a barbecue – and even
an outdoor shower for alfresco washes.
Advantages: Potentially groundbreaking design for those looking for an Airbnb on wheels. Brilliantly designed
kit and storage space. Realistic payload for four people and excellent value for money.
cons: Some of the open storage will be impractical along the way. Modern styling does not suit everyone.
Bailey Signature 81-6
By: £75,999 Sleeping places: 6
Bailey is a British family run business with a deserved reputation for building practical motorhomes, and the Autograph is a firm favorite with family buyers. Built on an eight-metre Peugeot platform with an increased payload of 4,250kg, the six-berth 81-6 also features six traveling seats, allowing large families or larger groups to holiday together.
The two lounge layout provides additional flexibility for separate children’s and adults’ areas. The 165 hp 2.2-litre diesel can more than cope with the extra payload, and satellite navigation and a reversing camera are standard.
Advantages: Ample flexibility with multiple berths and the potential for multi-generational shared ownership to spread costs. Heaps of living and lounge space. Spicy engine.
cons: Too long to keep on your drive and a chore to negotiate tight parking spaces. Front double bed is narrow.