Best motorhomes: the top 5 picks for all budgets
In the market for a new motorhome? Here are our top-five recommendations...
Motorhome sales have rocketed over recent years as travel restrictions and the cost of living squeeze have curtailed the holiday dreams of millions of Brits.
Facing sky-high rates, savvy holidaymakers cashed in the savings on peak-season flights and all-inclusive package holidays for a down-payment on a motorhome and a road trip in their very own home on wheels. Thousands of people discovered the flexibility of a motorhome holiday for the first time, and many enjoyed it so much that they became instant converts.
A new motorhome doesn’t come cheap, but there are plenty of used options around, although like everything else with four wheels, prices have risen in the past 12 months. The cost of entry is around £35,000 for a brand-new but pretty Spartan campervan, and this rises to £45,000 for a no-frills coach-built model. For around the same price as a prestige SUV, you can get yourself a boutique hotel on wheels for your five-star weekend escapes.
The good news is that second-hand motorhome values are traditionally much stronger than they are for cars or vans, so if the nomadic lifestyle isn’t your thing, you should get a decent amount of the new price back when you come to sell.
There’s one final piece of advice – our larger choices here are likely to require additional licence tests, because they will exceed the 3.5-tonne maximum you’re allowed to drive on a post-1997 car licence. Always check that you’re qualified to get behind the wheel, and take additional exams if necessary.
Here we pick five of the best new campervans and motorhomes currently available, from a compact van conversion to a top-spec long-distance tourer...
Adria Twin Sports 640 SG
- From: around £66,000
- Berths: 4
Adria virtually invented the active lifestyle van conversion more than a decade ago, and its Twin range offers an unbeatable combination of flexibility and practicality in a cleverly packaged compact campervan that could double 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 back of the van and another two in the rising ‘pop-top’ roof extension.
It’s always going to be cosy with four on board, but these vans are aimed at young, active families wanting to spend most of their time exploring the great outdoors. A clever compact washroom and basic kitchen are part of the package, offering much more civilised accommodation than the traditional ‘camper’ for around the same price.
Pros: Smart packaging creates room for four people and their outdoor adventure kit. Intelligent use of space for kit storage. Clever washroom. Daily driver potential.
Cons: Space to sprawl after a day’s mountain biking or kayaking is limited. Mattresses are a little on the thin side. More expensive than many compact coach-built motorhomes.
Auto-Trail V-Line 635 Sport
- From: around £65,000
- Berths: 2
The 635 is a space-efficient couples’ tourer that includes the creature comforts you’d expect for both weekends away and longer trips on the continent. The U-shaped rear lounge is roomy enough for cosy nights in front of the TV (which is included as standard) and converts to a huge double bed, or two singles.
Standard kit includes a reversing camera, a panoramic cab rooflight, sat-nav and a comfortable washroom and kitchen. On summer nights, there’s a roller awning to sit beneath and a gas point for a barbecue, while the grade- three insulation, blown-air heating and a fixed roof mean the Auto-Trail will keep you snug and cosy in the depths of winter.
Pros: Comfortable and space-efficient accommodation with pretty much everything you need included as standard. Daily driver potential.
Cons: Strictly couples only – zero flexibility for families or taking the grandchildren away for a weekend treat. Hefty price tag compared with a compact coach-built motorhome.
Carthago Chic C-Line I6.2 XL QB Merc
- From: around £122,000
- Berths: 4
Carthago's design philosophy echoes the ambience of a luxury yacht, with beautifully finished cabinets and pleasing detailing that evokes a bygone age of genteel grand touring. Based on a Mercedes Sprinter large van, this twin-axle 8.8-metre behemoth is a wonderful space to spend some quality time.
Whether it’s pitched up paddock-side at the Grand Prix, owning the VIP glampsite at Glastonbury or wafting along the Croisette at Cannes, the Carthago is in its element. The Chic has class by the bucketload. Boasting a fixed island bed, en-suite washroom, comfortable front lounge and a drop-down double bed for when friends stop by, the Carthago is the final word in elegance.
Pros: More luxurious than a typical hotel room. Outstanding build quality and finish. Cachet of Mercedes underpinnings.
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 an adequate payload.
Chausson 660 Exclusive Line
- From: around £60,000
- Berths: 4
Meet the van reinvented as a funky, modern apartment. This award-winning coach-built motorhome from Chausson rips up the design rule book, featuring a designer interior with innovation in every corner. There’s huge storage at the back with an integrated wardrobe, plus lots of additional stowage and a swing-wall washroom to keep the wet and dry bits separate.
The roomy eight-seater lounge turns into a comfortable double bed, with a second double descending from the roof. There’s lots of prep space in the kitchen and an external gas point for a barbecue – and even an outside shower for alfresco ablutions.
Pros: Potentially game-changing design for those looking for an Airbnb on wheels. Brilliantly designed kit and storage space. Realistic payload for four and excellent value for money.
Cons: Some of the open-plan storage will be impractical on the road. Modern styling won’t suit everyone.
Bailey Autograph 81-6
- From: around £76,000
- Berths: 6
Bailey is a family-owned British maker with a deserved reputation for building practical motorhomes, and the Autograph is a firm favourite with family buyers. Built on an eight-metre Peugeot platform with an uprated 4,250kg payload, the six-berth 81-6 also features six travelling seats, offering the potential for extended families or larger groups to holiday together.
The twin-lounge layout creates the extra flexibility for separate kids and grown-ups’ areas. The 165bhp 2.2-litre diesel is more than a match for the extra payload, and sat-nav and a reversing camera are standard.
Pros: Spacious multi-berth flexibility and the potential for shared multi-generational ownership to spread the costs. Heaps of living and lounging space. Punchy engine.
Cons: Too long to keep on your drive and a chore to negotiate tight car parks. Front double bed is narrow.
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