24/03/2021
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The A-Z Guide to Island Bed Motorhomes

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If you want a permanent double bed in your motorhome without the compromised access issues of a French bed or transverse bed, this is the answer.

You’ll find island bed layouts typically suit an overall length of seven-and-a-half metres or more, but more compact versions (down to around 6.5m) and even a few slimline models now (with width reduced to 2.2m or less) also exist if you don’t want to drive anything that big.

Up front, half-dinette lounges are now often being usurped by increasingly popular side settee designs (often with clever conversion to travel seats when required). The bed itself usually runs lengthways at the rear, with his and hers wardrobes framing the mattress against the back wall.

However, there are also island beds that run across the vehicle, while some motorhomes offer a lot more under-bed storage than others. A few manage full-sized garage space under the bed, while some employ either manual or electric systems to raise and lower the mattress – thus increasing space for bikes when needed, but lowering the bed for easy access at night (with cycles removed).

As ever, look at a good selection before you buy and, crucially, check out bed length – and comfort – for yourselves. Often mattresses are curved at the foot, which may not suit if you’re tall, while watch that there’s enough room to get dressed and undressed in the bedroom (and remember that this will be reduced once a duvet is on – and overhanging – the bed).

 

You can read more about island bed motorhomes, motorhome layouts and motorhome reviews in What Motorhome magazine. Go here to learn more about the benefits of subscribing to the magazine, and use the search bar below to find content from our digital content archive. You can unlock articles from as far back as 2012:
 

  

 

Adria Island Bed motorhomes


The Slovenian make has completely reworked its Coral and Matrix motorhomes (virtually the same, bar the addition of a drop-down bed over the lounge in the latter) for 2021 and the new versions look superb, especially in top-of-the-range Supreme trim.

New styling inside and out, a larger overcab sunroof and a double floor are just part of the redesign, which gives these models a real head start if you like your motorhome to look really modern.

Traditionally, SC has been the Adria suffix meaning an island bed layout but now there are also DC models with a side settee front lounge – both are available in Coral and Matrix ranges at 7.49m long, with prices starting at £64,700 for a Coral Plus.

If that’s a bit rich for your budget, the previous-generation Matrix continues in more affordable Axess spec, with the 670 SC costing from £59,400.

You’ll also find island bed floorplans in the A-class Sonic range, right up to the 8.80m-long, tag-axle Supreme 810 SC at a cool £100,000.

A bit more down to earth and rather intriguing, though, is the new Compact Supreme SC (£57,400), which combines a slim 2.12m body with a remarkably spacious bedroom. It’s one to seek out if you’re looking for a smaller 3.5-tonne motorhome.

Read our latest Adria motorhome reviews here

 

Auto-Trail Island Bed motorhomes

There are new island bed models at both ends of the spectrum from Auto-Trail in 2021. If you’re new to motorhoming and looking for a well-priced option, the F-Line F74 might fit the bill. At the other extreme, island beds feature in two of the three models of Grande Frontier (Auto-Trail’s return to the A-class market), with the larger GF-88 being 8.80m long.

The F-Line is a two-berth as standard, with a side settee lounge but, if you want more travel seats, there’s an L-settee arrangement and, if you want more berths, a drop-down bed is available – both features at extra cost. Priced from £48,285, the F74 comes on the Ford chassis (uniquely in the Auto-Trail line-up), while a choice of cab colours can add interest to the exterior.

In the Fiat-based Imala range, there’s both a lengthways island bed layout (730), and a transverse island (732), each measuring 7.25m long and having a settee-based lounge without travel seats as standard. You’ll choose on preference, rather than cost, as each of these rather traditional coachbuilts starts at £57,136.

Next up, there’s a new Tracker range for 2021 with sleeker, low-profile bodywork. Again, you can have a lengthways bed in the LB or a more unusual bed running across from the nearside wall in the RB. These 7.39m vehicles (from £63,995) have side settees as standard, with half-dinette lounges and drop-down beds offered as optional extras.

Finally, the much-reduced Frontier range includes the 8.07m Delaware (£78,544), and 8.80m Comanche (£88,544), each with a longitudinal island bed.

Read reviews of Auto-Trail motorhomes here

 

Bailey Island Bed motorhomes

The Bristol company’s Autograph has long been a best seller, so it’s no surprise to see an island bed layout in the range in the form of the 79-4I – I for island bed, of course, with 79 indicating the fairly substantial length (actually 7.93m), and the ‘4’ for four travel seats (and berths).

The layout is utterly conventional, with a half-dinette and side sofa lounge, a lengthways rear bed, then the central facilities placing the kitchen on the nearside and washroom (with separate shower) on the offside. This high-spec motorhome is based on a Peugeot Boxer with lowline Al-Ko chassis, while heating is by Alde’s wet radiator system. Prices start at £61,899.

Stealing the Autograph’s thunder, though, is the all-new Adamo. We featured the 75-4I version in an exclusive test here.

Based on the Ford Transit (automatic only), the 7.49m Adamo (from £58,999) is aimed at continental imports and has a side sofa lounge converting into travel seats (fully crash-tested ones, as you’d expect from Bailey) with the washroom facilities split so the nearside shower faces the offside toilet.

This 3,500kg motorhome comes with the usual Bailey everything-included approach to spec, but its key feature is a full-sized garage running beneath the island bed (without recourse to a rise/fall mattress height). For families, the lack of a drop-down bed option may disappoint but, otherwise, there’s a lot to like here.

 

Benimar Island Bed motorhomes

This Spanish brand has shot to prominence in the UK since its reintroduction, thanks to the support of importer, Marquis Leisure, which is also the UK’s largest dealer network, with 13 outlets around the UK.

Its range includes both Ford-based models (Tessoro), and Fiat chassis, too, for the Mileo. The 7.38m Tessoro 494 (£60,995) gets the 170PS engine as standard, while spec includes sat-nav, reversing camera, solar panel, cab air-con and an electric drop-down bed.

For £1,000 more, the Fiat-based Mileo 294 offers a broadly similar layout with separate toilet and shower areas and an L-shaped lounge. However, unusual in the Mileo is the TV station and full-height cupboard at the foot of the bed.

Both Mileo and Tessoro are built to a full UK spec, with NCC Approval and their habitation door on the British side.

Browse Benimar motorhome reviews here

 

Bürstner Island Bed motorhomes


If you’re looking for a super-sized A-class, then Bürstner has to be on your shortlist, because the company has long been a player in the tag-axle sector and it has a brand-new Elegance for 2021.

For the first time, these are Mercedes-based and the five-tonne ’vans get a whole new look, as well as Thetford’s new Indus macerating toilet, which integrates fresh, grey and black tanks and offers one-stop emptying.

This water-saving system promises independence from campsites for two people for up to a week, it is claimed. Prices start at £118,995.

The Delfin name makes a comeback in 2021, too, on a new range of 3,500kg Fiat-based low-profiles that sit below the Lyseo TD Harmony Line. Island bed fans will head to the T 736 with its fashionable side settee lounge, completely separate toilet and shower facilities, and £59,995 price tag.

Further upmarket, the Lyseo has been popular since its 2016 debut, not least because of the winterisation benefits of its Thermo-Floor. It also gets alloy wheels, a silver cab, overcab sunroof and a wide door.

There’s a new 732 model (7.20m long, side sofas, £66,995) in addition to the established and slightly longer 736, but those seeking something unique should take a gander at the Lyseo 745 with its electric island bed that powers down from the ceiling – in the daytime, its place is taken by a sofa.

Read our selection of Bürstner motorhome reviews here

 

Have you read our A-Z guide to A-class motorhomes? You can find it here.

 

Carado Island Bed motorhomes

This entry-level marque offers three island bed layouts in low-profile form and one A-class. The T339 is the compact version at under 7m in length, while the T449 has a similar floorplan with separate toilet and shower facilities and an L-settee lounge but in a roomier 7.40m body.

The T459 adopts the fashionable side settee lounge and, in this layout, the shower and loo swap sides compared with the T449. Finally, the I449 is an A-class version of the T449 with a drop-down bed in the cab and a starting price of under £60k – keen for this type of motorhome.

The exciting news for 2021, though, is the arrival of Clever and Clever+ Editions, which add extra kit, bringing them more in line with UK customer needs. The Clever+ spec is offered on both the T459 (read our review here) and I449 models at £55,379 and £62,599 respectively.

These motorhomes get the 140bhp Fiat engine, alloy wheels, a silver cab (T459), awning, habitation door with window, framed habitation glazing, cab sunroof (T459), insulated waste water tank, a second garage door, Nebula upholstery, carpets, oven and the Chassis, Chassis Comfort and Basic packs.

 

Carthago Island Bed motorhomes


Premium German brand, Carthago, offers island beds in a variety of ranges, from the C-tourer T 144 QB low-profile at 6.99m long up to an 8.86m Iveco-based A-class in the form of the Chic S-plus I 64 XL QB or an 8.99m Mercedes Al-Ko chassis Chic E-line with the same layout.

If you hadn’t already guessed, it’s a ‘QB’ suffix that you need to seek out in the Carthago brochure for an island bed – it stands for queen’s bed.

Of course, the big news with this maker this year is the wider availability of the (front-wheel drive) Mercedes Sprinter chassis, with Carthago’s C-tourer now joining the C-line and E-line in offering a choice of the three-pointed star or a Fiat base vehicle.

The 2021 model year also sees an updated version of the slimline A-class C-compactline (2.12m wide, on Fiat Ducato). A single model in this line-up – the I 144 QB – comes with an island bed.

Read our review of the Carthago Chic E-line I 51 QB DA motorhome – an island bed model – here

 

Chausson Island Bed motorhomes

Chausson is one of the best-selling imported brands in the UK but it has simplified its range for 2021.

Despite a smaller portfolio, though, it still offers two island bed motorhomes – the sub-7m 648 and the longer 788, both with what the Gallic maker calls a Smart Lounge – that’s side sofas that convert into travel seats.

They’re both new, improved floorplans for 2021, they each have an optional drop-down bed over the front lounge and they claim an impressive island bed width of 1.60m. Each has entirely separate shower and toilet areas, while the 788 has double separation for its en suite (from the lounge and the bedroom).

Both the 648 and 788 are available in three specifications. The First Line is Ford-based and comes with manual cab air-conditioning, driver and passenger airbags, diesel heating, a flyscreen for the door and an overcab sunroof.

The Titanium VIP switches to Fiat power with a nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard, 16in alloy wheels and Taupe Grey side walls, while the top-spec Titanium Premium sits on a Ford Transit chassis, again with an auto’ gearbox as standard, but with even more kit in the living area.

Prices start at just under £50k for a 648 First Line, rising to £56,740 for a 788 Titanium Premium.

For more Chausson motorhomes reviews, click here.

 

Dethleffs Island Bed motorhomes

Few brands offer as much choice as the company from the Allgäu region of southern Germany.

Starting with the new entry-level Just 90 (marking the firm’s nine decades in business), which includes three island bed layouts, the Dethleffs range also includes the narrow-bodied Globebus (with low-profile T 7 and A-class I 7), the Trend (with 6.95m and 7.39m long island bed layouts, with conventional or side settee seating), the ultra-stylish Pulse (a past What Motorhome award winner) with six island bed variations, the all-new Esprit A-class (on 4,250kg Fiat) and, at the very top, the Globetrotter XLI Edition 90 at 8.65m long on a tag-axle chassis.

Something for every island bed aficionado, surely?

If that’s not enough, Dethleffs has an enviable reputation for quality, as well as producing motorhomes with a contemporary feel.

Its latest Esprit is just one example, with this all-new 7.81m A-class boasting a 2.00m by 1.60m bed, as well as a choice of lounge formats and a kitchen said to have been designed with input from professional chefs. Add the Gran Turismo option and the spec also includes alloy wheels, air suspension captain’s chairs, automatic cab air-con and an enhanced control panel.

Read reviews of the Dethleffs Globebus T1 here, the Dethleffs Globebus I 6 here, and the Esprit I 7150-2 EB here

 

Elddis Island Bed motorhomes

This popular British brand is best known for its entry-level motorhomes under the Autoquest banner, as well as dealer special editions for numerous retailers around the country.

The Autoquest range features a new island bed layout for 2021, the 150, with a side settee lounge that hides foldaway Aguti travel seats underneath to meet the brands ‘berths = belts’ tagline.

It doesn’t have a drop-down bed but the lounge can be converted into a transverse double bed. Based on a 140bhp Peugeot Boxer, the Autoquest 150 is keenly priced at £48,369.

Elddis also competes a little further upmarket with its Encore range and here it’s the 250 model that is the island bed offering.

At £56,169, the Encore comes on a 140bhp Fiat Ducato with the option to upgrade to an automatic version, while spec of this 7.41m motorhome includes programmable Alde ‘wet’ central heating – a welcome surprise at this price level.

Also look out for Elddis’ sister brand, which offers the same layouts with different décor (via its own dealer network) as the Avantgarde 150 and Concerto 250.

 

Etrusco Island Bed motorhomes

Fancy an entry-level motorhome with a touch of Italian style? Etrusco – from the Erwin Hymer Group – might just fit the bill.

It’s still quite a new brand and a newcomer in the UK (having originally been aimed at southern European markets), but there’s a choice of three island bed low-profiles in 6.97m and 7.40m lengths, as well as a pair of A-classes.

The floorplans share much in common with sister brands, Carado and Sunlight, but these vehicles are built in Italy with quite different décor to their German cousins.

 

Fleurette/Florium Island Bed motorhomes

One of the smaller manufacturers in this guide, it comes from the French-owned Rapido Group but builds its motorhomes at a separate factory near La Rochelle. The vehicles have their own Gallic style and a choice of traditional Fleurette or more modern Florium décor.

You’ll find island beds in the low-profile Fleurette Magister range and its sister Florium Mayflower line-up, as well as the Fleurette Discover and Florium Wincester A-classes. Many of the models have side settee lounges.

In the UK, Fleurette is represented by Harbour Creek on the south coast and Wandahome in Yorkshire.

 

Frankia Island Bed motorhomes

This luxury German marque is sold exclusively in the UK by SMC Motorhomes of Newark. It specialises in large A-class vehicles, although low-profile models are offered, too, but a big selling point is the availability of the rear-wheel drive Mercedes Sprinter.

A key part of the Frankia range is its Platin A-class on 5.5-tonne Merc chassis with 8.04m and 8.58m overall lengths. The QD island bed layout is available in both sizes but, whichever suits, the spec is what will get your attention.

The Platin range is all about a high spec and self-sufficiency, so two 110Ah lithium batteries, four 110W solar panels, a 1,700W sine wave inverter and 90A power charging booster are all included and the vehicle is pre-prepared for an Efoy fuel cell.

Not only that, but the Platin comes, as standard, with Mercedes’ six-cylinder 190bhp engine (only offered on the RWD Sprinter), seven-speed automatic transmission, built-in power cable and water hose, a 24 or 32in TV with Teleco satellite system, Alpine Dolby surround sound, a second Thetford cassette for the toilet and a 270-litre fresh water tank.

Prices might start at around £160k but few rivals come close when it comes to spec.

Read our review of the Frankia F-Line I 740 BD motorhome

 

Hobby Island Bed motorhomes

The Hobby range might not be as extensive as some of its German compatriots but it’s still a surprise to find just one island bed model in a line-up of 15 coachbuilts.

However, the Optima OnTour Edition V65 GQ is certainly worth a closer look. Not only is it compact, at 6.99m long and a more noteworthy 2.16m wide, but it comes with twin garage doors, a 133-litre AES fridge, Thule awning, gas locker with pull-out shelf for easy cylinder changing, an extra-wide habitation door with flyscreen and electric step, a 22in TV with satellite dish, DAB radio with sat-nav and reversing camera, Remis cab blinds, alloy wheels, 6kW Truma Combi heating and cab air-conditioning – all as standard.

Base vehicle is the Citroën Jumper – lesser known sister to the Peugeot Boxer.

Browse the latest Hobby motorhome reviews here

 

Hymer Island Bed motorhomes

Perhaps the most famous name in motorhomes in Europe, Hymer has been gradually switching its attentions from the ubiquitous Fiat chassis to the latest Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Combining two prestigious German brands has never seemed more appropriate.

For island bed fans, things kick off with the low-profile T-Class S 695 at 7.39m on Mercedes’ own front-wheel drive chassis and with a 3,500kg or 4,200kg gross weight.

Next up, the B-Class ModernComfort (B-MC for short) has the 690 layout in either low-profile or A-class style, again with a 7.39m overall length but here featuring a more typically Germanic lounge, rather than the T-Class’ side sofas. The B-MC benefits from Hymer’s lightweight SLC chassis.

Finally, the B-Class MasterLine is the ultimate Hymer with single rear axle 790 or tag-axle 890 models featuring gross weights from 4,430kg up to 5,500kg.

You’ll need to be spending well over £100k for one of these beauties, but a T-Class brings Mercedes Hymer ownership to a wider audience with a starting price (before options) of just under £60k.

Want to know more about Hymer's B-ML I 890 motorhome? Check out our review of the 2021 model

 

Itineo Island Bed motorhomes

Here’s an unusual brand – one that focuses mainly on A-classes but does so at entry-level prices. Itineos start at under £60k.

As a French manufacturer (part of the Rapido Group), you’d expect to find island beds coming to the fore in the catalogue (where the German makers are keener on twin beds), and you won’t be disappointed.

There are four ‘central bed’ layouts as the company refers to them – the 7.43m-long MB740 and higher spec MC740 Spirit Edition, the fractionally shorter PM740 with side settee lounge and the new MC700 at 6.99m, which is perhaps the most interesting.

Its island bed runs lengthways but is offset towards the offside, thus creating space for a shower cubicle alongside the head of the bed, while a toilet compartment and wardrobe sit opposite each other at the front of the bedroom. Again, it’s a side sofa lounge in this new floorplan.

Even more unusual, though, is the RC740 with its transverse island bed (facing an optional cinema-style projector screen!) and, beyond that, a huge wardrobe placed above a garage with 1.20m internal height.

Already a star of the 2020 Itineo range, the latest RC740 gets a bigger fridge, longer settee on one side, an 8cm bed extension and increased garage capacity.

 

Knaus Island Bed motorhomes

Here’s another German maker with a range offering more choice for those who sleep apart than those wanting a double bed.

Nevertheless, its flagship Sun I (£128,620) on a 5-tonne tag-axle Fiat Al-Ko chassis has a super-spacious island bed layout in the 8.82m-long 900 LX version.

This boasts a 2.00m by 1.53m island bed, while the front styling has been redesigned with six LED headlights giving it a unique face.

Alde heating is a given at this price level, but UK spec also features 17in alloy wheels in an exclusive polished finish, sat-nav with camping software, a 32in TV and the perhaps unique touch of a head-up display for the driver.

A more modest island bed model in the range is the Sky TI 700 MX (£67,149), claimed to be part of Germany’s best-selling low-profile range.

This 7.52m model gets a metallic grey Fiat cab with alloy wheels, cruise control, cab air-con, sat-nav, Premium habitation door, carpets, gas/electric heating, an oven, AES fridge/freezer, a water filter and more in a serious upgrade of the standard spec for the British market.

Go here for reviews of Knaus motorhomes

 

Laika Island Bed motorhomes

This prestigious Italian maker from the Erwin Hymer stable offers a choice of three island bed floorplans in its brand-new Ecovip range.

There’s the 3412 DS at 7.20m long with a side sofa lounge and the 4012 DS, which is similar but roomier thanks to an extra 20cm of length, while the 4012 has a traditional L-shaped lounge.

This trio all come in low-profile or A-class form and each has a double floor, while a wide range of fabrics and a choice of two furniture styles (dark Rovere Moka cabinetwork gives the full designer Italian feel) allows a quite bespoke feel to the interior.

Not just that, but UK-bound Ecovips come in Da Vinci Edition spec on a 4,250kg Heavy chassis and are absolutely loaded with all the toys.

If you’re looking for something bigger, then the Kreos range is Laika’s flagship and it includes island beds in a low-profile body (7.69m-long Kreos 5010) as well as the A-class 7012, 8002 and 8012 stretching up to 8.29m.

These motorhomes are worth seeking out, especially with the UK dealer network expanded from two to four outlets this year. 

Laika motorhomes are reviewed here

 

Le Voyageur Island Bed motorhomes

From the Pilote Group comes this maker of luxury A-classes, competing with the very best Teutonic brands. The range starts off with the Classic LV on a Fiat Al-Ko chassis, with island bed models in 7.25m, 7.55m, 7.85m and 8.55m overall lengths, all with side settee seating and completely separate toilet and shower areas, but only the smallest of which is available at 3,500kg.

Each model has an overlapping domed roof, a double floor, a garage with three height options and external technical compartments for water/heating and electrical services. Look out for special 40th anniversary versions this year, too.

While you’ll need upwards of around £100k for a Classic, the Signature range – in either 8.05m or 8.59m lengths – will stretch your budget considerably further into the super league.

Here, though, you’re into vehicles on an Iveco chassis that are designed for long-term touring. A garage that can carry up to 600kg and an overall payload of at least a tonne are part of a package that includes 200 or 300-litre fresh water tanks, while old-school rearview mirrors are replaced by a high-tech camera system for improved vision and better aerodynamics.

Beyond Signature, there’s even the 12-tonne Liner range with car garage…

 

McLouis Island Bed motorhomes

The Fusion range saw this Italian brand return to the UK in 2018, imported by fellow member of the Trigano Group, Auto-Sleepers. It offers a small range of low-profile, Fiat-based motorhomes built to a surprisingly high standard. All are available at 3,500kg but can be upgraded to 3,650kg, or even 4,400kg.

There are two island bed models, the 6.99m Fusion 367 (£55,095) and the longer Fusion 379 (£57,095) with a broadly similar floorplan featuring opposing shower and toilet areas, an L-shaped galley and an L-settee lounge with small side seat. Crucially, all Fusions now have the habitation door on the UK side.

They all come as standard with a Lux Pack (including a reversing camera, cab blinds, solar panel and carpets), as well as alloy wheels, cab air-conditioning, a glass-fibre underbody, a 1.60m-wide bed, memory foam seating, Combi 6kW gas/electric heating and an oven/grill. The Fiat 140bhp engine is standard, with the option to have the nine-speed automatic at extra cost.

Find reviews for McLouis motorhomes here

 

Malibu Island Bed motorhomes

Malibu’s Generation M is its new line-up of low-profile and A-class models for 2021 featuring enhanced construction (said to be unique in their class) and new Bellagio décor. Island bed layouts feature in the just-sub-seven-metre 440 QB and the half-a-metre longer 500 QB, each available in either body style.

As a (slightly more affordable) sister brand to Carthago, of course, Malibu has huge expertise in A-classes but most of the same features can be found in the low-profiles, too.

So, you get a wood-free body with 10-year water ingress guarantee, RTM foam insulation, a curved connection from walls to roof and Seitz framed windows.

There’s a heated double floor, too, with usable storage height of up to 48cm, while the scooter garage can carry up to 250kg. Inside, there’s a swivel table operated by a foot pedal, an L-shaped sofa, Easy Glide kitchen drawers with soft closing, beds with a two-part heated and ventilated slatted frame, and inboard fresh and waste water tanks. A-class models also get Aguti captain’s chairs and a sloping dashboard for much better driver vision than in some of the competition.

Our review of the island bed Malibu I 500 QB motorhome can be found here
 

Mobilvetta Island Bed motorhomes

Like Benimar, this is a Trigano Group brand imported by Marquis Leisure. However, this is a more upmarket offering with low-profile Kea P and A-class K-Yacht models.

The Kea P 68 is priced from £69,995 and measures 7.38m long, while its four berths include an electric drop-down double over the lounge as well as the rear island bed. It comes as standard with a Driver’s Pack and 160bhp engine.

Built on a 3,500kg Fiat Ducato, most buyers are likely to need the 3,650kg upgrade for a more realistic payload.

Those looking for an A-class may well be attracted by the striking and distinctive lines of the K-Yacht 79, which measures 7.44m long and comes with a choice of 3,500kg, 3,650kg or 4,400kg gross weights.

Unlike its rivals, this A-class has a fully UK-handed layout in right-hand drive form, while its ‘marine-style’ interior gives it a different feel to its mostly German competition. The layout is slightly different, too, with a fixed vanity unit mounted on a wall right in the centre of the motorhome at the foot of the bed.

Prices start at £79,995.

Take a closer look at Mobilvetta motorhome reviews here
 

Moto-Trek Island Bed motorhomes

Uniquely in this feature, the Euro-Treka QB from Moto-Trek offers a double slide-out to create American RV-style extra living space when you park up.

Based on a Peugeot Boxer cab with Al-Ko tag-axle chassis, this 5-tonne motorhome measures a substantial 8.70m long, so with the slide-outs extended living space ought to be more than generous!

Up front, the kitchen moves outwards on the offside to create a lot more floor space in the lounge/diner with its L-settee, then at the rear the nearside slide-out creates extra room in the bedroom with its transverse island bed. Prices start at £94,999 for this one-of-a-kind British motorhome.

 

Niesmann + Bischoff Island Bed motorhomes

If you’re looking to spend between £100k and £200k on an A-class motorhome, there’s probably no better place to start than with Niesmann + Bischoff, the premier brand within the Erwin Hymer Group portfolio.

Its range has long featured the Arto (on Fiat) and Flair (on Iveco), both with the company’s unique automotive styling but, for 2021, there’s also the exciting new iSmove, which aims to bring N+B design – and a whole world of innovation – into the 3,500kg class.

The iSmove is one of, if not the, standout new motorhome of the 2021 season. We haven’t got room here to discuss all its new features but the way the side bench rotates to become a travel seat makes other sofa-to-seatbelt conversions look amateur or primitive.

Then there’s the huge, restaurant-style drawer fridge, the glass cooker lid that slide out to become a worktop, the tablet/smartphone stations with inductive charging for driver and front seat passenger. We could go on… and on…

Then, there’s the iSmove’s self-sufficiency, with a 50-litre gas tank, 200 litres of fresh water, lithium leisure battery, 125W solar panel, etc, although some of that is optional – as ever with Niesmann you’ll need to go through the lengthy options list with a fine-tooth comb.

The iSmove 7.3F is 7.30m long and you’ll probably be looking at around £110k for a fully spec’d example.

 

Pilote Island Bed motorhomes

The main news from Pilote this season is the arrival of Evidence models with a high spec that’s been tailored to suit UK customers.

So, these models get the 140bhp Ducato motor, nine-speed automatic gearbox, Chassis Pack, Comfort Pack, Media 8in Pack, Energy Pack, a roll-out awning, Skydome overcab sunroof (on low-profiles) and faux leather upholstery.

There are three Evidence vehicles with island beds – the P650C (£55,940), which at 6.49m long is one of the most compact motorhomes in this whole guide, plus the P740FC (£59,940) and G740FC (£70,540), which offer side sofa lounges in 7.4m bodies, either as a low-profile (P) or A-class (G).

Whichever one you choose, we especially like the way Pilote suspends the bedside his and hers wardrobes to create much larger surfaces alongside for your books, tablets, phones, specs, drinks, etc. Island beds are said to measure 1.50m wide in all models.

And if the one-spec-fits-all approach of the Evidence range doesn’t suit, then don’t fret as a full range of Pilote layouts is still available in the UK with kit and décor tailored to your order.

There are six Galaxy A-classes with island beds (on Fiat or Fiat Al-Ko chassis, lengths up to 7.89m), while seven floorplans in the Pacific low-profile portfolio offer this type of bedroom (including models with either side settees or more continental-style lounges).

Read all our Pilote motorhome reviews here

 

Rapido Island Bed motorhomes

Of the 27 low-profile and A-class motorhomes in the 2021 Rapido range, 14 have island beds! Maybe the advice at the top of this feature should have been to start your search at your nearest Rapido dealer…

Certainly, the company has plenty of choice. The shortest island bed options here are the low-profile 656F (£57,800) and its A-class equivalent, 856F (£68,100).

These both have an unusual bedroom format with an offset bed (towards the offside) with a toilet/shower cubicle alongside the mattress in the rear nearside corner. The basin is sited separately in the main bedroom section. Up front, it’s a compact side settee lounge.

If you want an Al-Ko chassis and double floor, you can choose from the 8086dF at 7.20m long and the 7.49m 8096dF, both upgraded to Ultimate Line spec for 2021 with prices starting at £75,700.

Then, there’s the prestigious Distinction range with its curved sides-to-roof join and Alde Arctic Comfort Plus heating on most models.

Four island bed layouts range from 7.25m of the i86 right up to the tag-axle i1090 at 8.79m – and costing £115k.

But if you want the best of Rapido without the bulk, don’t overlook the M Series (that’s M for Mercedes) based on the front-wheel drive Sprinter Al-Ko chassis. Redesigned inside for 2021, the M96 is 7.54m long, and costs from £88,700.

Last, and newest of the lot, is the first slimline-bodied Rapido in many years, the 2.17m-wide C Series. Of course, this new range includes an island bed model, the £59,900 C86, which is pretty compact in length too, at 6.99m.

It has completely separate shower and toilet areas like its bigger brothers, as well as a side settee lounge, huge overcab Skyview sunroof and a fold-in-half table. In typical Rapido style there’s a choice of two furniture designs and the rear bed rises and lowers electrically, varying its height by 20cm to increase the garage space below.

And, along with the rest of the range, it gets a greatly enhanced spec for the UK market.

Read the What Motorhome magazine review of the island bed Rapido 8086dF Ultimate Line here

 

Rimor Island Bed motorhomes

Looking for an affordable way into a brand-new island bed motorhome? Rimor might be the brand for you, as this Italian company has the Ford-based Evo 69 Plus at just under £50k, as well as three Fiat-based Seal low-profiles on Fiat and a further Evo model all priced at no more than £51,995.

The Evo models come in four or five-berth forms, with two different lounge layouts. Both have a drop-down bed up front, the option to add an overcab sunroof and a generous 141-litre fridge as standard, while Isofix is available, too.

If you prefer a Fiat Ducato cab, then the Seal range offers even more choice, with three island bed floorplans.

Browse Rimor motorhome reviews here

 

Sun Living Island Bed motorhomes

Built in the Adria Mobil factory in Slovenia, this is the company’s budget brand. Despite lower prices, these vehicles are made using largely the same production techniques and the vehicles have been updated to look more homely for 2021.

New handles, spotlights and soft furnishings, as well as more ambient lighting, refresh the interior décor, while the new Smart Comfort dinette improves seating comfort with an extra backrest cushion that removes to retain a flat bed at night.

There’s a sole island bed model in the S Series low-profile range, the S 70 SC, which is priced from £50,700. To that you’ll want to add the Pack 1 (£1,820) for cab air-conditioning, etc, and the Comfort Pack (£1,359) that includes the overcab sunroof and electric heating.

A drop-down bed is also available as an option and a fifth travel seat is possible if you upgrade to a 3,650kg chassis. Standard features include two exterior loading doors for the garage, which is described as ‘e-bike ready’, a step-free floor and 142-litre fridge.

You'll find reviews of Sun Living motorhomes here

 

Roller Team Island Bed motorhomes

Now for something completely different! The Roller Team T-Line 743, which was a new model for the 2020 season, not only has its island bed mounted transversely, but the bed is high over a full-sized garage.

Then there’s the lounge with an extra-long L-settee running much further than usual across the width of the motorhome. And that makes the kitchen, which backs onto the seating, a stretched L-shape too, while the galley features not one but two fridges – the usual front-loading three-way unit and a top-loader set into the corner of the counter.

It’s a bit of a ‘love it or hate it’ motorhome, but one we think you should see for yourselves, especially as it’s a four-berth with a drop-down bed over the lounge and it has its habitation door on the UK side (like all Roller Teams).

If the 743 layout is a bit too out of the ordinary for you, then the T-Line range (on Fiat Ducato) also includes the 740 model with a more conventional island bed floorplan at the same £57,100 price. Or you could go up to an A-class with the similarly sized Pegaso 740 at £66,600.

But maybe you expect an Italian motorhome to be cheaper than that, in which case the Ford Transit-based Zefiro 696 has your name on it – and a super-keen price tag of only £48,850.

Read the Roller Team T-Line 743 motorhome review by MMM magazine here

 

Sunlight Island Bed motorhomes

Not to be confused with Sun Living, Sunlight is part of the Erwin Hymer Group, with its vehicles being produced at the Capron factory alongside Carados.

This entry-level brand is introducing its Adventure Edition for 2021, which is available with the T 69 L island bed floorplan (7.40m on Fiat low-frame chassis).

This special model comes with a metallic black cab, alloy wheels, silver side walls to the habitation area, framed windows, cab air-conditioning, a leather steering wheel, an overcab sunroof and more detail additions, while the price remains keen at £53,299.

An Adventure Edition version of the equivalent A-class model, the I 69 L, is also available, priced from £60,639. Meanwhile, those looking for a more compact vehicle could look at the T 69 S (£48,959), which is just under 7m long, or the V 69, which is even more compact at 6.86m long and only 2.14m wide.

This model starts at under £40k but you’ll want to add some of the options packs to bring up the spec level.

 

Swift Island Bed motorhomes

Britain’s largest leisure vehicle manufacturer offers island bed layouts in everything from its entry-level Edge range at just over £50k to its flagship, tag-axle Kon-Tiki at almost double that cost.

The Edge range only debuted a year ago but it has already had a facelift, with 2021 versions getting new graphics and increased spec, including a microwave, TV aerial, flyscreen on the door and reversing sensors.

The Edge 494 is the layout we’re interested in here and the interesting aspect is the fact that the island bed runs across the motorhome from the nearside wall. Unusually for a ‘full-sized’ (7.32m) model in this class, the washroom is an all-in-one unit, rather than having a separate shower.

It is also virtually unique in being an overcab coachbuilt with this type of layout, but that luton double bed does make it a family-friendly model.

Next up is the Escape 694 (£56,270), which is 7.41m long with a lengthways island bed and Low-Line body with drop-down front bed. Again, it is Fiat-based, available on a 3,500kg chassis and has an all-in-one washroom.

For a touch of luxury, the Kon-Tiki Sport 599 comes in Lounge (side sofas, no travel seats) or standard (half-dinette) versions, both priced at £68,605.

These 4,250kg motorhomes on Fiat Al-Ko chassis measure a generous 8.11m long and come with a metallic black cab, alloy wheels, a recessed full-length awning, twin-lens reversing camera, Skyview sunroof, Duvalay mattress and a Thatcham Category S7 tracking system.

At the very top of the tree is the ‘full fat’ Kon-Tiki, in single rear axle 625 form (8.19m, £89,860) or the tag-axle, 4.8-tonne 650 (9.01m, £99,505).

With 2.09m interior height, these flagship models come with the Swift Vision system of side and rear colour cameras for all-round visibility, easing manoeuvring and general driving of these big beasts, while heating is by Alde dual-fuel radiators and a standout feature is the Stargazer roof window over the rear bedroom.

Read reviews of Swift motorhomes here
 

Weinsberg Island Bed motorhomes

The sporty, entry-level brand from the Knaus Tabbert Group has just one island bed offering, the CaraSuite 700 MX, a low-profile Fiat-based motorhome with drop-down bed.

Updated for 2021, this Weinsberg motorhome comes with a new overcab moulding for improved insulation and the option to upgrade to Alde radiator-based heating. It’s a 7.41m model with a generous payload on a 3,500kg chassis, 2.15m interior headroom and up to five berths.

Prices start at just under £60k.

Read Weinsberg motorhome reviews here

 

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