Motorhomes come in all different shapes and sizes not to mention layouts. At Anchor Point we are very aware that choosing the right motorhome can be a daunting decision, in particular for the first time buyer. Even the most experienced motorhome owner can find it a challenge to narrow down which next model is right for them, as needs and requirement can change overtime.
We at Anchor Point Motorhomes can have put together a succession of 3 blogs to help first time motorhome owners on their way, where we introduce the different types or motorhomes on the market, different layouts available and finally what factors you should consider when deciding on what to buy.
First let’s get down to basics. There are 5 main classification of motorhome all of which vary in terms of size, comfort and luxury.
Increasing in popularity, these tiny motorhomes are often converted van versions of popular cars or people carriers. They are extremely compact and easy to drive with many of the characteristics of a coach built but in mini form. Despite their size they pack quite a punch with a cooker, sink portable toilet and plenty of storage. Manufacturers such as Wheelhome integrate pop up roofs, but there are also high top versions which are higher and can’t be used for multi-storey parking. Perfect for a single person touring because of their size, and there are also layouts available that can accommodate two. Micro motorhomes are a perfect companion for short trips with easy parking and excellent economy!
2. Campervan/Factory Conversion
With both ‘High-Tops’ or ‘Elevating Roof’ models options available, petite size and novelty are the key defining characteristics of the van conversion. As the name suggests, they are normally a converted van, the most obvious is Volkswagen but other factory built conversions include Westfalia, Burstner, Weinsberg, Hymer, Rapido, Sprinter and many more. These novel vans have a huge fan base and are ideal for weekend breaks. Ideal for couples and the outdoor enthusiast whether your passion is surfing, mountain climbing, triathlon’s fishing, concert going or simply touring. The best van conversions can be very luxurious with a very high specification; however there is a high level of customisation involved in their constructions which is normally reflected in the final purchase price. Do be careful of buying home conversions, as the quality of fittings, plumbing and electrics can be questionable unless done by a certified professional or purchased from a reputable supplier. A conversion must meet certain criteria before it can be registered for motorhome tax purposes.
3. Compact Class
The compact class of motorhome is relatively new to the market. In a nutshell it’s a spin on the van conversion, compact and agile but with many advantages that conversions simply cannot offer. It can accommodate 2 to 4 people very comfortably but comes with all the amenities you would come to expect of a full sized family camper including shower, toilet, kitchen, storage and can comfortably sleep 4 people all under 6.5 metres typically. Fuel performance, reliability and comfort are just some of the obvious advantages, and the dream of navigating through narrow streets Europe and Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is now closer than you think and a very real possibility! The Brevvio t645 is a very good example of what the compact van has to offer and as these have become increasingly popular Burstner's Eliseo is another fine example of a top quality campervan which represents good value for money, the Cara Tour from Weinsberg is also a very good option with excellent build quality at a lower price point. Then at the very top end of campervan market is the prestigious Westfalia. There are so many van conversion manufacturers out there at the moment so our best advice is to shop around and see what quality you are getting for the amount of money you are willing to invest.
4. Low Profile
The low Profile is a very popular alternative to overcab motorhomes because of their sleek aerodynamic exterior; they are more economical due to lower fuel consumption and are a pleasure to drive. Traditionally low profiles accommodated two people with some models having the option of a third berth. Low profiles have since evolved and many models have integrated ceiling beds that dropdown which means they are a more attractive option for families and can cater for 4 to 5 people. Excellent examples include the Weinsberg and Burstner range of low profiles with layouts to suite all genres, the Compact Pepper has twin a low French bed and high twin beds over garage while the Cara suite offers sleeping quarters for up to 5 or 6 people. Finally the Burstner's come in a wide range of different layouts with superior quality finish and styling.
Also referred to as coachbuilt, the overcab motorhome is primarily geared toward families where a fixed bed is situated over the cab which protrudes over the front of the vehicle. They are the most competitively priced category of motorhome and come in many different shapes and sizes. They are the ideal family motorhome and are a very practical choice, especially when starting out. Models under 3.5 tonne can be driven on a standard car licence and can take you anywhere on the continent and used at home year round.
An A-class motorhome is what many avid motorhome fanatics aspire to. They are generally top of the range luxury high end vehicles. The front end distinguishes the A-class with a full width coach built cab with panoramic visibility and a thoroughly enjoyable driving experience. A drop down bed over the cab is standard in most A-classes and they are normally very stylish. You would be forgiven for thinking you were in a luxury yacht or 5 star hotel room. A preloved second-hand model is a great way to see what you can expect in terms of living the dream with luxuries for example such as satellite pop up TV system, double floor construction, blown warm air and integrated air-conditioning included at a mark down price.
We hope you found part 1 of this overview useful and insightful, to learn more, see blog 2 of 3 where we introduce you to the different type of layouts available.