Berths: 2 Travel seats: 2 Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 570kg
Niesmann + Bischoff calls this a new breed of motorhome, saying that it is neither a low-profile, nor a liner (the term used for high-end A-classes in the £100k-plus sector), but a combination of the best of both types. As it retains the original Fiat Ducato cab, it’s certainly arguable that this is a low-profile, albeit a particularly stylish one.
Just look at the extra mouldings on the doors that help merge Fiat and Niesmann bodywork, as well as the swoopy roofline with curved sides and superbly integrated overcab sunroof. Rather than a motorhome body on a Fiat cab, the Smove (the name comes from the words ‘smart’ and ‘move’) appears as if it was designed as one.
The Smove sits on an Al-Ko chassis and, while heavier chassis options are available, it has been designed as a 3.5-tonne vehicle.
The exterior is not just about being pretty, though, with innovative ideas such as the optional electrically operated garage door which opens parallel to the side of the motorhome and the reversing camera lens hidden behind the N+B logo until you engage reverse gear.
Inside, the forward lounge is designed for two (the B layout versions have a third travel seat), while the optional SKA captain’s chairs rotate through a full 180 degrees to face the TV adjacent to the entrance door. A large round table serves for dining, but don’t worry about being able to find a décor that appeals – Niesmann says it offers over 500 possibilities.
The kitchen is discreetly hidden away in a sideboard unit, but lift the two worktop flaps and a two-burner hob (gas-on-glass style) and sink are revealed. The large drawers are centrally locked for travel and the wood finish is, in fact, a scratch-resistant 3D film.
There’s more ingenuity in the washroom, where both the cassette toilet and the washbasin/vanity unit slide out of the way to create a surprisingly large shower. Standard fresh water capacity (kept fully insulated in the double floor) is 140 litres but this can be extended to 200 litres, while the shower can deliver an impressive 11.3 litres per minute.
The layout is completed by a transverse double bed over a garage (internal height of 1.14m – plenty for bikes), while single beds are an alternative in longer versions of the Smove.
We could go on about this very special motorhome – about its 30% stiffer torsional rigidity compared with conventionally constructed rivals, about its central service compartment and optional 50-litre gas tank, the optional underfloor air-conditioning, the electric sunroof (yes, another option)… You’ll probably end up spending considerably more than that £67k starting price, but at the end you’ll have a very special vehicle.
If you enjoyed this review, you can read the full version and more in the April 2017 issue of What Motorhome magazine.