Top 50 motorhomes and campervans of 2020
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Now one of the leading manufacturers of VW Transporter-based campervans in the UK, family-owned Hillside builds over 200 campervans a year, completing its line-up with a new version if its top-of-the-T6-range, four-berth Birchover Executive (pictured above). The new model has the popular side-kitchen layout with larger doors and cupboards, and hidden Smev combination hob, with the focus on a high-spec, seamless kitchen.
Based on a short-wheelbase T6 with 4Motion all-wheel drive and differential lock, the Expedition from Rolling Homes is a camper with all the right gear for getting right away from Tarmac roads. As well as VW’s eye-searing Bright Orange paint, Rolling Homes has taken this four-berth T6 far beyond standard spec with a crash-tested A-bar up front, Bilstein suspension giving a 50mm lift and BF Goodrich All-Terrain tyres on prototype Weller wheels.
The Fairford (pictured above) has been part of Auto-Sleepers’ van conversion line-up since 2016, offering twin lounges and four berths in an extra-long Peugeot Boxer window van. Now there’s an alternative Plus derivative, inspired by the Cotswold company’s export drive in Germany where the Adria Twin fixed bed layout is king. So, the Fairford Plus trades the standard rear lounge for a fixed transverse double. This isn’t really a fixed bed though, as the metal frame and thin mattress can all be folded to the motorhome's sides, creating a huge garage area.
We’ve seen high-roof campers with pop-tops from various (predominantly German) manufacturers, but now a British brand has jumped on the bandwagon. Unlike its continental competitors, though, which all have a rear bedroom layout, Auto-Trail’s new Adventure offers a classically British rear lounge. The Fiat Ducato has standing room without raising the roof, unlike smaller campers. The pop-top here only serves to provide an extra bedroom.
Originally introduced to the UK via the NEC show in 2018 in prototype form, this is the first Avenir model with the sliding door on the nearside. More importantly, it has been designed especially for the British market with a rear lounge. With no other seats apart from those in the cab, this is a pure two-berth model, but, as it’s based on the extra-long (6.36m) Ducato panel van, you’ll discover a spacious vehicle with room for two people to tour in comfort.
This, as we’ve come to expect from this Rapido Group van conversion specialist brand, is a one-of-a-kind motorhome. Coachbuilts with five berths and five belted travel seats are the exception, rather than the rule, so finding a van conversion so equipped is really unusual. That the Camper Five has a separate seating area for the kids, too, is even more remarkable.
Here’s a van conversion – based on the popular, extra-long Fiat Ducato – that is a genuine alternative to a coachbuilt (with features such as a separate shower, as well as extensive insulation and an inboard fresh water tank). Not only that, but the Dreamer Living Van (pictured above) is a true four-berth. And it has a Brit-pleasing rear lounge.
Think you’ve seen every permutation of six-metre Fiat/Peugeot van conversion? Well, think again, because Elddis has come up with something intriguingly different. It comes on the back of the company’s re-entry into the campervan sector a year ago with a pair of conventional – but very well priced – Fiat Ducato high-tops, called CV20 and CV40. Like its forebears, the new CV60 starts at under £40k. The big news, though, is just inside the rear barn doors where you’ll find a wide day bed on the offside and a narrower dresser unit opposite.
There are relatively few van conversions based on a medium-wheelbase panel van, which makes for a more manoeuvrable, easy-to-park package with an overall length not too dissimilar to long-wheelbase versions of the VW T6 and Ford Transit Custom. The new Summit Prime 540 (part of Globecar’s expanding H-Line range) takes the upmarket route with a whole host of USPs. Key amongst its many features is the overcab sunroof, called SkyRoof, the first opening skylight of this type to be fitted to a van conversion.
First seen by the public at the Caravan Salon in 2017, the Hymer DuoCar will now be at dealers later this year. It has an unusual, pure two-berth, layout and compact, go-anywhere dimensions. But from the very beginning, the focus was on motorhome enthusiasts who voiced their opinions in an online survey, leading to the DuoCar’s design process.
Previously, the more youthful, entry-level Free campervans from Hymer have all been Fiat-based. Now, for the first time, there’s a model on the latest Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with front-wheel drive – the Free S 600 (pictured above). Along with the DuoCar, this is Hymer’s first van conversion on this relatively new base vehicle.
Until now, the N-Class has been based solely on the Fiat Ducato, but for 2020 you can have its features in combination with the superior drive and additional length of a Volkswagen Crafter. Inside, the new model has IH’s ever-popular rear U-shaped lounge with optional half-leather upholstery. There’s a wide choice of interior décor available, while added features include a four-metre awning with LED strip light, gloss locker doors and an 18.5in TV with Freeview and satellite decoder.
Malibu, originally the van conversion brand from Carthago is now the entry-level marque from the maker from Aulendorf, offering a full line-up including A-classes. Its campervan range is comprehensive, though – as long as you want a fixed bed layout and a Fiat Ducato base vehicle. Its newest interpretation of this classic continental theme is this, the Charming Coupé 600 DB. The name might imply sporty, lowered bodywork but, actually, the USP on the outside is the porthole bedroom windows at the back. More yacht than coupé, then.
Based on the extra-long (6.36m) Fiat Ducato panel van, the V62 is, perhaps, the best yet at blurring the divide between van conversions and low-profile coachbuilts. Its layout – with French bed and L-shaped galley – could have come straight out of a bigger motorhome, while features such as the large overcab sunroof are not only new to this class of vehicle but also give a much greater feeling of space inside.
The Sunlight Cliff is now quite well established amongst the myriad of continental van conversions, but the brand is celebrating its fifteenth year in business and to commemorate the occasion has launched a high-spec XV Edition version of its campervans.
All of Swift’s Select models get a new panoramic sunroof with integrated blind for the 2020 season, and the range grows by one for the year ahead, too. So, the 122 (rear lounge), 144 (front and rear lounges), 164 (French bed) and 184 (front and rear lounges) are joined by the new Select 174. Widely referred to as the ‘Adria Twin’ layout, this has a half-dinette lounge, central kitchen (alongside the sliding door) with washroom opposite and a transverse double bed at the rear.
The Sky is the latest model from Leeds-based luxury van conversion company, Vantage. Not only does it incorporate a four-travel-seat layout (as also seen in the new Rio) but it features a really rare feature in this class of motorhome – a drop-down double bed. The Sky Bed comes down over the rear lounge and offers lengthways sleeping. It measures 1.52m to 1.70m long, with a width of 1.22m.
The T6 California Ocean is almost certainly the best-selling campervan or motorhome in the UK. Now, it has a big brother, the Grand California (pictured above), based on the VW Crafter. It has a full washroom, fixed bed and permanent standing room, thanks to a fixed high roof. There are two versions, the 600, with transverse sleeping for adults in the rear plus a taller roofline to accommodate an optional children’s bed above the cab, and the longer 680 with lengthways beds (but only two berths).
Although not so well-known in the UK, the Westfalia James Cook is a legend in its German homeland. For decades it has been regarded as, perhaps, the benchmark for luxury van conversions. And it has always been based on a Mercedes-Benz panel van. For the first time, the new model comes with three different body variants: the first derivative has the original Mercedes steel high roof with four travel seats and two berths; the second alternative has a pop-up roof, which adds another double bed up top; and the top model is the classic James Cook with Westfalia’s own GRP high roof which incorporates a roof bed.
Back in February, WildAx launched its biggest and most expensive motorhome yet. The £70,000 seven-metre Elara is one of a number of new models to take advantage of the latest Mercedes Sprinter, here in rear-wheel drive form. The first Elara (tested exclusively in MMM magazine – click here to read the review) was the double bed version (with an almost island bed feel to its longitudinal bedroom); now, a single bed derivative follows.
One of the most popular layouts right now, this type of low-profile features a hugely spacious front lounge, while at the rear is an equally impressive bathroom-cum-changing-room with vast wardrobe and separate shower. But, possibly the cleverest bit of all, is the inclusion of a garage in a floorplan that doesn’t have a fixed bed (or beds) sitting above it.
Here’s an all-new entry-level range of low-profile motorhomes, based on the facelifted Euro 6d Ford Transit. With two compact (sub-6m) models, a single-bed-over-garage layout and a very British two-lounge floorplan (including wrap-around U-shaped sofas aft), the latest Tribute line-up seems to have the main bases covered. But in terms of design it bests key competitors, while pricing looks ultra-keen and the Ford base gives these newcomers a big advantage.
The latest chassis employed by new 2020-season motorhomes may come with enhanced spec, as well as the newest layouts and designs, but there’s a price to pay – literally – in terms of not only vehicle cost (list price) but also the new CO2-linked taxation. What, then, if you could get a brand-new 2020-model-year motorhome built on a run-out Euro 6b base vehicle? That’s exactly what Bailey is offering with its Alliance Silver Edition – or ‘SE’ for short.
A new Autograph range is BIG news. This is Bailey’s best-selling range and its signature motorhome, and it’s entering its third generation with more spec, but still surprisingly keen pricing – under £60k for this near-eight-metre, fixed bed model. The 79-2F is one of two new layouts. It features a side settee lounge and a French bed towards the rear on the nearside, while a full-width washroom is perhaps the star feature. If you need four berths and four travel seats, the 79-4F has the same kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, but with a half-dinette lounge up front.
Marrying two winning elements – the Ford Transit (with redesigned fascia, less aggressive grille and 170bhp Euro 6d motor) and a Brit-friendly floorplan (with rear lounge) – seems so obvious that you might wonder why Benimar hasn’t done this before. The good news is, though, that such a mix is now available in the Tessoro 482, the Spanish company’s only all-new model for 2020.
The Lyseo M Harmony Line (pictured above) is the most significant addition to the 2020 Bürstner portfolio as the ‘M’ stands for Mercedes. It’s a simple range of two models, with a choice of T 660 (French bed) or T 690 G with fixed twin beds over a garage. It’s been quite a while since Bürstner offered a motorhome wearing the hallowed three-pointed star and probably nearly as long since a French bed layout took such a prominent position in the line-up.
The Lyseo TD Harmony Line is the best-selling range for Bürstner in the UK and the 680 G model is one of the most popular single models here, so an update is rather important. Introduced three years ago, the Harmony Line was then seen as a unique offering in the marketplace, combining a low-profile body and technical double floor with mid-market pricing. For the 2020 season, Bürstner has taken the opportunity to facelift the whole range.
The Chausson 640 was one of the undoubted stars of the 2019 season. So much so that the French company has decided to build on its success with three new, closely related layouts. Reducing overall length from 6.99m to 6.39m seems to create remarkably few downsides in the new 650 layout, while those seeking a truly compact coachbuilt can seek out the new 520. But it’s the family-friendly 720 that’s really won us over. Here is another unique Chausson motorhome – and one that’s just bursting with appeal.
Chausson 778 motorhome
You can always count on Chausson to create a motorhome like no other. Here, then, is a low-profile motorhome (on Ford or Fiat) that looks much like any other (especially any other Chausson), but go inside, turn left (towards the rear) and you are in for a shock. The 778’s never-seen-before feature is a pair of washbasins side by side in a huge rear washing/changing area. That might seem like a monumental waste of space were it not for the fact that, at night, the same area becomes a bedroom.
Dethleffs Pulse Classic T 7051 EB motorhome
Dethleffs’ modern and innovative Pulse range debuted a year ago and went on to win What Motorhome’s Best Coachbuilt with Fixed Bed (over £50,000) category in 2019. However, the German manufacturer has now recognised that the original Pulse might be too bold a design for some customers and so it has introduced the Pulse Classic. The Classic comes in a low-profile body style and with a choice of four floorplans, all measuring 7.41m long.
Dethleffs Trend Edition T 7057 EB motorhome
The Trend has established itself as one of the best-sellers in the Dethleffs stable, as well as being the entry point for first-time motorhomers. Now, the company has added the Trend Edition, aimed to appeal to an even wider part of the market. It’s described by the Erwin Hymer Group company as ‘combining three of the most popular low-profile layouts with extensive standard equipment and an unbeatable price-performance ratio.’
Hobby Optima OnTour V65 GQ motorhome
Hobby’s OnTour Edition debuted at the start of the year with a pair of layouts in slim low-profile bodies, almost 20cm narrower than the coachbuilt norm. Now there’s a third model in the line-up, the V65 GQ. However, whereas the existing OnTour Editions adopt proven layouts for this class (fixed single beds or a transverse double), here is a first in the slimline sector – an island bed.
Hymer T-Class S 695 motorhome
Hymer and Mercedes-Benz – as well as being two highly respected German brands – are increasingly being seen as two names that go together. Now, there’s another Merc-based line-up – the T-Class S – although there are just two models to begin with. The 695 layout comes with a height-adjustable island bed measuring 1.95m by 1.50m, while an electric drop-down double bed over the lounge is available as an option. A rear single bed layout (the 685) will be the alternative design for the new T-Class S.
McLouis Fusion 367 motorhome
The McLouis Fusion range made its debut earlier in 2019 as this Italian brand returned to the UK market after a fairly lengthy absence. The all-Fiat range continues unchanged for 2020, bar the layouts being mirrored with the door now on the UK side. So, there are transverse fixed double bed, island bed and twin bed layouts on offer, with lengths ranging from a compact 5.99m to a typical 7.41m. The 367 model is the more manoeuvrable of the two island bed floorplans, at a just under seven metres long.
Mobilvetta Kea P65 motorhome
Mobilvetta, an Italian motorhome brand renowned for boasting a touch of style, returned to the UK market in 2016 with a range of A-classes. Its low-profile Kea P models followed two years later. Based on the latest Fiat Ducato, these high-spec motorhomes come with a choice of three layouts: P65 with twin beds, P67 with a transverse rear double and P68 with an island bed. However, the big news for the 2020 season is that the floorplans have now been mirrored to put the habitation door on the British nearside.
First came low-profile motorhomes with a large front lounge and the main bed descending from the ceiling. Then, as buyers liked the concept but wanted more storage, came similar designs with a garage at the rear and vast wardrobe space above. Chausson and Bürstner both reported strong demand for this type of vehicle, and now, inevitably, there are new competitors, including this P696D layout from French firm, Pilote.
There are six layouts in Rimor’s all-new Ford-based Evo range, with a combination of overcabs and low-profile body styles, but it’s the two-berth 77 Plus that is likely to prove the most appealing to UK buyers. It’s the only rear lounge model in the line-up. This a motorhome designed for relaxing in that cosy U-shaped seating area.
Roller Team T-Line 743 motorhome
On paper the T-Line 743 sounds like any other European motorhome. Low-profile body with overcab sunroof, rear island bed layout, L-shaped kitchen, Fiat Ducato cab, overall length of just under 7.5m – it’s a recipe that’s repeated in every continental range (and most British ones, too). Except that as soon as you step in through the habitation door (on the UK nearside) you realise that this new Roller Team isn’t actually like any of its many, many rivals.
Swift Edge 486 motorhome
Carthago E-line 64 XL QB motorhome
Eura Mobil Integra Line 650 HS motorhome
Eura Mobil is moving into the relatively niche sector of compact (sub-6.5-metre) A-classes. But, despite its size, the new Integra Line 650 HS (pictured above) is designed to feel spacious. At the rear, two longitudinal side settees (measuring 2.20m and 1.43m) are joined by a 2.17m-wide lateral bench, creating a comfortable U-shaped lounge with fixed pedestal-leg table and windows on three sides. A unique feature for the industry is the seatbelt frame anchoring in aluminium profiles on the inside walls, so the Integra Line can offer four travel seats (a rarity with this floorplan).
Frankia Platin I 7900 Plus motorhome
Frankia’s spacious eight-metre rear lounge layout was previously available in the Fiat-based F-Line and Titan ranges, but for 2020 you can have this floorplan with a three-pointed star on the nose. In fact, it’s the ultimate Benz, with a 5.5-tonne gross weight, rear-wheel drive and the 3-litre 190bhp engine as standard. There are improvements from the rest of the Frankia portfolio, too, including a new style of drop-down bed in the cab and a new Easy Bike system to allow larger e-bikes and mountain bikes to be stored in the rear (under-lounge) garage.
Itineo RC740 motorhome
This new A-class is all about the bedroom. Unusually for a continental model, there’s a transverse island bed towards the rear, but Itineo has solved past criticisms of this style of floorplan by also incorporating a garage. Across the tail end of the motorhome, beyond the bed, the RC740 has a simply domestic-sized built-in wardrobe with shelves and drawers, as well as mirrored doors and hanging rails. Cleverly, this area also hides a garage (sited under your clothes) with internal headroom of 1.20m. Even better, there’s a full-height access door on the offside and floor-to-ceiling storage here.
Knaus Live I 700 MEG motorhome
Following on from the Live TI low-profiles, Live Wave low-profiles with drop-down beds, and Live Traveller overcabs, comes the Live I A-class. Knaus is aiming the new Live I at those planning to swap from a low-profile to a more prestigious A-class motorhome and refers to ‘price-sensitive costing’ – certainly there seems to be a growing demand on the Continent for more affordable A-class models. There are two layouts in the new range, the 650 MEG (6.99m long) and the 700 MEG (7.53m overall), each with single beds over a garage in the stern.
Le Voyageur Classic LV7.8LU motorhome
Returning to Le Voyageur’s Classic range for 2020 is a rear lounge layout in the shape of the LV7.8LU. For those unfamiliar with the brand, this Pilote Group company deals solely in flagship A-class motorhomes, mostly in the £100k to £150k price range, but with a Gallic style that differentiates them from the largely German opposition. The LV7.8LU is based on a Fiat Ducato with an Al-Ko chassis and an overall length of under eight metres.
Morelo Loft motorhome
Morelo, which manufactures only Liner-class motorhomes, embarked on a new design direction three years ago with the launch of its flagship Empire Liner. A new look for the Palace range followed last year; now it’s the turn of the Home and Loft models. For the 2020-season Loft (pictured above) not only is there a completely new external look, but the modern, luxurious interior has been redesigned, too. It comes with a choice of eight different layouts, with lengths from 7.74m to 9.04m. The range is made up as follows: 74 H (7.74m, transverse bed), 77 HB (8.04m, transverse double), 79 F (8.31m, transverse island bed), 82 FB (8.61m, transverse island), 79 L (8.24m, twin beds), 82 LB (8.54m, twin beds), 84 M (8.74m, lengthways island bed), and 87 MB (9.04m, lengthways island).
Niesmann Arto 82 E motorhome
Until now, the most popular layout in Niesmann + Bischoff’s range has been the Arto 77 E. Adding half a metre to this bestseller has created the 82 E, at 8.34m long. The extra length of the new tag-axle Arto 82 E provides features such as an additional wardrobe. It also has a solid sliding door to separate the bedroom from the bathroom, which also features a wardrobe. And the layout is one of several floorplans which is also available with the new face-to-face (side settee) lounge.
Rapido M96 motorhome
This is a long-awaited motorhome for Rapido fans. Up until 2014 the French firm had offered the Mercedes chassis as an alternative to Fiat, with the three-pointed star models increasingly becoming more upmarket than their Ducato-based sisters. Now, the Mercedes is back in the form of the new M Series. Just two models are available from the outset (both 7.54m long) – the M66 with single beds or the M96 with an island bed.
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