IH Motor Campers are well-known – and have won awards – for their luxuriously appointed high-top motorcaravans. But the J1000 breaks new ground for the firm. It’s the first coachbuilt model that they have developed entirely in-house. And it’s the first time they have built on the fabulous VW T5.
With a silver and metallic blue semi-low-profile body sitting squat on an Al-Ko chassis, plus a very stylish set of Borbet alloy wheels, the J1000 is a very handsome vehicle. Even the fresh water filler, fridge vents and mains hook-up have been colour-coded. And the recessed awning is mounted discreetly above a caravan door with deep opening window. Meanwhile, at the back there’s a large boot area (an IH trademark feature) for all your outdoor gear.
Inside, the J1000 has the ever-popular rear lounge layout, complete with wrap-around half-leather seating at the back. But any thoughts that this is just another traditional motorhome soon disappear. Concave seat base cushions mirror the deep curves of the high-level lockers, while the backrests have arced tops. Corner shelves are a practical touch, while recessed ceiling lights (sourced from the boat industry) and dimming mood lighting show IH’s typical attention to detail. Then there’s the flatscreen TV which drops down from its hidey-hole in a cupboard over the kitchen.
Ah, the kitchen. Here the trad woodwork is replaced by silver-grey cabinetwork and stainless steel splashbacks. Fittings include a 97-litre AES fridge, full domestic-type cooker and a large slide-out worktop extension. Forward of the kitchen, the wardrobe has two hanging rails, one at low-level, one up high, to maximise use of the space.
Not so impressive, in what is otherwise a truly stunning vehicle, is the bathroom. The bought-in flip-down basin feels totally out-of-place in a £60,000 motorhome and a few inches pinched from the centre gangway would make the washroom feel more generously proportioned. IH are already on the case and are looking to source a corner basin, amongst other detail enhancements.
Elsewhere, the new IH coachbuilt is hard to fault. It has been built to an almost money-no-object design brief that, for example, includes leather trimmed kick pads to the lounge seats. Just as importantly, the VW base should drive superbly – especially with the optional 174bhp engine and excellent Tiptronic automatic gearbox. Other options include sat nav, a choice of exterior colours, full leather upholstery and a Thatcham-approved alarm. PV
Quality doesn’t come cheap, but the IH is packed with style and should be superb to drive.
Make: IH Motor Campers
Base vehicle: VW Transporter (T5) Al-Ko
Price from: £59,995 on-the-road
Length: 6.55m (21ft 9in)
Width: 2.23m (7ft 5in)
Height: 2.90m (9ft 7in)
Gross vehicle weight: 3,500kg