Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Al-Ko Price from: £105,781 Berths: 4 Travel seats: 4 Length: 7.54m Width: 2.30m Height: 3.11m Gross weight: 4,500kg (5,000kg option) Payload: 1,030kg
Search through A-class motorhome makers’ websites and you begin to think that your only choice of layout is island bed or twin singles. You might spot a rear lounge if you search hard, though, and there are still a few transverse beds.
Having your fixed bed across the width of the motorhome results in a long bed, but it also means the bedroom takes up less space, so most of these layouts tend to be found in more compact A-classes.
If you want the extra space of a larger motorhome, then probably the only direct competitor for this Frankia is a Niesmann Arto.
The ‘BD’ layout is only available in Frankia’s F-Line range and with just the one length, but this is still a true luxury motorhome, based on a 4.5-tonne chassis with a 35cm-deep heated double floor and all the construction advantages of the marque.
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This example would set you back £122,616, including the Speed Chassis Pack, alloy wheels, simulated leather upholstery, UK Pack and SMC’s Media Pack.
A major appeal of this model is its huge garage with three loading doors and internal access, too. The locker measures 1.24m high and 1.37m wide and is fitted with sturdy flooring. All the vehicle electrics are easily accessible here and there’s even a spare cassette for the toilet – a useful bit of kit if you camp off-grid.
Also showing the practical design of every Frankia is the hatch that opens to reveal a 15m fresh water hose, large bore waste water drain with built-in emptying hose, city water connection and exterior shower. The habitation door closes with a solid thunk that is extremely rare, too, while just inside is a trapdoor into the double floor – perfect for walking boots and wellies.
A key benefit of the BD model over similar-length floorplans in the range is the size of the lounge. Here it feels even more spacious as the fixed table has been deleted in favour of a removable one.
Equally impressive is the kitchen, which shames most German motorhomes. There’s a domestic-style cooker with mains hotplate, three gas rings and separate grill and oven, while the cover for the sink slots into a slide-out frame to increase worktop space. A waste bin is recessed into the countertop.
Opposite, there’s the latest Dometic fridge with 153-litre capacity and doors that open from either side, plus a vast amount of cupboard space, including three pull-out pantry units for tinned food, bottles, etc. The huge wardrobe with two hanging rails, removable shelves and full-length mirror is here, too.
The toilet area seems quite small at first but it’s not just the door that opens out to create an en suite but the whole wall, thus creating a superb bathroom. A ceramic toilet, glass shower doors and 1.95m headroom are pluses, while this end of the motorhome is completed by that extra-long (2.06m by 1.37m) double bed, reached by sturdy folding steps.
If the bed access issues of this layout don’t phase you, then the extra storage and the huge lounge are big advantages of this superbly appointed motorhome.