Small Motorhomes and Campervans- READ THIS before you purchase one!

Small Motorhomes and Campervans- READ THIS before you purchase one!

Small Motorhomes and Campervans- READ THIS before you purchase one!

Trying to purchase a small motorhome or campervan? Wish to know the very best small motorhome with a rest room or bathe, or what’s the simplest small motorhome to drive? Listed below are the professionals and cons of small campers, greatest small motorhomes to think about AND vital errors to keep away from!

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Small Motorhomes and Campervans- the issue

Shopping for a campervan or motorhome might be daunting. In spite of everything, sort ‘Motorhome on the market’ into Google proper now and there are 135,000 outcomes!

How on earth are you supposed to decide on which dimension or sort of small motorhome or campervan is greatest for you? And heck- what even IS a small motorhome? Simply how small is ‘small’?

Conversely, how large a motorhome is TOO large? Do you have to purchase an RV? What dimension motorhome works greatest in Europe? Do you have to select a van over or below 3.5 tonnes?

Right here’s a information to the primary sorts of motorhomes and campervans out there, together with some helpful suggestions that can assist you select the very best one for you.

Buying Motorhome checklist

Small Motorhomes- what’s a small motorhome?

There isn’t a definitive reply on what are small or mini motorhomes. Many People, used to a lot greater automobiles and Class A RVs, have a look at our 6.8m class c motorhome and suppose that’s small! 

Within the UK and Europe, any camper below 6m is taken into account small because it suits into an ordinary parking house (by length- not all the time by width!)

A few of the greatest small motorhomes even have low profiles- which means they don’t have above-the-cab beds. Or no ‘hump’- if that makes it simpler to know. 


Execs and Cons of small motorhomes

There are a number of upsides to having a smaller car, whether or not it’s a motorhome or a camper van:

  • Cheaper to buy- extra inexpensive motorhome
  • Ferry and tunny prices are cheaper
  • Simpler to park
  • Simpler to drive
  • Cheaper to run and probably higher gas effectivity
  • Usually cheaper to insure
  • Simpler to retailer when not in use

The downsides to small campers are:

  • Much less inside house and lounge
  • Much less cupboard space
  • Normally solely 2 seatbelts and berths
  • Much less house on the roof for photo voltaic panels
  • Can have much less max weight/ payload restrict
  • You’ll most likely kill your companion and find yourself in jail. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

What sorts of small Motorhomes are there?

Unsurprisingly, there are LOADS of various kinds of small motorhomes available on the market.

Small and tiny motorhomes are one of the vital fashionable classes that individuals shopping for a camper search for; individuals use them instead of a automobile or want them sufficiently small to suit on a driveway.

A small motorhome that is under 6m and parked in front of the mountains,
Small or micro motorhomes- which is greatest to purchase?

The principle classes of small (and medium) motorhomes are:

Micro motorhomes

Micro motorhomes are lovable. These tiny automobiles are basically a small van or individuals provider with a pop-top roof. They are often designed for 2 individuals… however I feel you’d must REALLY just like the particular person (and each be fairly small!) to make it work for any size of time.

Lots of the fashions are designed with just one particular person in thoughts.

The Romahome is a well-liked instance of a micro-motorhome. I doubt I’d be capable of final in there very lengthy, however in the event you’re shorter than me, and desire a small motorhome which may double as a automobile, this could be an excellent answer for you. 


Are there small motorhomes with a rest room?

One of many first issues my husband requested after we had been renting a motorhome below 6m was “Does it have a toilet?”

We just lately employed a Bailey Alliance 59-2 motorhome (5.9m lengthy) and had been gobsmacked to expertise how spacious it felt. We had 4 adults and a canine inside most evenings and it didn’t really feel cramped in any respect. It solely has sleeping room and seatbelts for 2, however there was loads of house for a pair (with or with out pets!)

So I wish to reassure anybody else involved that yes- many motorhomes below 6m have bathroom facilities- many also have a toilet with a separate bathe!

After all, some solely have a moist room or ‘moist tub’, and a few solely have a porta-potti- so do your analysis fastidiously!

Small motorhome with a toilet parked out in nature.
Small Motorhome (with a rest room!!)

Finest Small motorhome below 6m?

There are LOADS of different compact motorhomes below 6m. It’s unimaginable to record all of them, however some greatest compact motorhomes and fashionable producers are listed within the part under.

I’ve additionally accomplished a number of motorhome and campervan critiques, focussing on vans below 6m in size. Right here’s one of the vital current:

We hope you discovered the video helpful. If you happen to did, we’d adore it if you followed us on Youtube. New movies with suggestions for motorhoming and campervanning within the UK and Europe are launched weekly.


Who makes the very best small motorhomes to purchase in UK?

Truthfully, just about each large motorhome producer has at the very least one mannequin in its vary which is sub 6m and is that can be purchased within the UK.

Some to take a look at (in no specific order) are:

  • Hymer
  • Bailey
  • Swift
  • Chausson
  • Adria
  • Autotrail
The best small motorhomes are tiny enough to park anywhere, but big enough to live in!
Small motorhomes- tiny sufficient to park anyplace, however sufficiently big to dwell in!

How a lot are small motorhomes (UK)?

Oh, this can be a robust question- as a result of it’s all down as to if you’re shopping for a brand new motorhome or used, how excessive the mileage is, situation, ex-hire and so forth.

We purchased our Swift 496 motorhome as an ex-hire and bought a incredible deal on it- however we did have to repair a number of errors which had been brought about. All of it depends upon how a lot work you might be keen/ in a position to do.

Worth particulars on a number of model new small motorhomes are within the video above.

A small, green, VW campervan.
Is a small campervan best for you? Which sort is greatest?

Finest Small camper vans

Small or mini campervans are one other fashionable selection. Many individuals use them instead of a automobile, which saves cash in all types of the way. Once more, the talk rages- what constitutes a ‘small campervan’ or only a campervan? For me, I feel the defining level for campers is a toilet.

Many van conversions now have a ‘correct’ toilet; I counsel that any which don’t are ‘small campers’. The preferred fashions of small campervans are the VWs… though their newest mannequin has a toilet, so I assume that’s now an enormous campervan… And don’t get confused by pop-up campers, which aren’t campervans in any respect!

Man, that is getting complicated! Let’s regroup with a pic of a cute canine (I might love to coach our canine Mac to do that!)
 

Transferring on…


Panel Van Conversions – Finest Small Campervans

Lots of the greater campervans are also referred to as panel van conversions– and boy are they getting high-spec! We checked out a number of of those vans on the newest NEC present and it opened our eyes to a totally new record of potentialities. We actually cherished a few of them.

For me, these are the very best sorts of van for ‘vanlife’ in the event you don’t desire a motorhome or conventional camper. They are often customised, have room for sufficient storage (important in the event you’re going to dwell onboard for an honest size of time) and have sufficient room for one or two individuals (and probably a canine) to have some epic adventures!

I want I’d identified vanlife was a factor in my 20s… I’d have gone everywhere in the world in one in all these!

A panel van conversion in front of the mountains.
Finest camper for vanlife- a panel van conversion?

Finest Campervan fashions (with bathe and bathroom)

A toilet is a deal-breaker for me, which is why I’ll by no means be cool sufficient to have a small campervan like an previous VW. Headroom is one other downside; at almost 6ft I need to have the ability to rise up in my house!

Many panel van campers have bathrooms and headroom. Some even had a set bed- which is mind-blowing for me! How do they match a lot right into a tiny house??


Who makes massive or small campervans (out there in UK?)

Vanlife is rising in popularity- which means there are increasingly more designs coming onto the market. It’s arduous to record the very best designers, as a result of SO MANY individuals take a panel van shell and create a customized inside.

A few of the designs are AMAZING, however they’re customized jobs or small companies who solely do a few renovations a 12 months.

Significantly, it’s most likely unimaginable to record all of them. 

To get you began, listed here are the larger producers for the very best small campervans within the UK. It’s certainly not exhaustive, however hopefully, it offers you a spot to start out trying

  • Swift Motorhomes (yep, for campervans)
  • Autotrail
  • VW
  • Adria
  • WildAx
  • Autocampers
  • Danbury
motorhome buying toolkit
motorhome shopping for toolkit

Assessment of among the greatest small campers for vanlife

Earlier than we purchased our new small motorhome, we had been critically contemplating downsizing to a panel van for long-term vanlife, for quite a few causes.

We might LOVE to design and construct our personal, however time constraints could be an element (together with capability!!) So we’d most likely purchase one pre-fitted.

Watch our evaluation of some fashionable massive and small campervans within the video under:

We hope you discovered the video helpful. If you happen to did, we’d adore it if you followed us on Youtube. New movies with suggestions for motorhoming and campervanning within the UK and Europe are launched weekly.


UK Tax on brand-new motorhomes and campervans

One factor to think about is the brand new Authorities tax on brand-new leisure automobiles, which incorporates motorhomes and campervans. If you happen to’re shopping for a brand new motorhome or camper, pay attention to any further tax you could pay, even on small vans.


Small Motorhome camping- is it doable to go wild tenting in a small camper?

Completely! We had a blast within the sub-6m motorhome we borrowed for the weekend. We took it wild tenting in Wales with completely no preparation and little or no further tools.

We additionally spent a few nights on a campsite and didn’t really feel claustrophobic within the slightest, even after 5 days. 


Low profile coach-built motorhomes

After all, you will get a low-profile motorhome below 6m, however you can too get them a lot longer- our final camper was 7.9m and 4.2 tonnes! Learn in regards to the execs and cons of a motorhome over 3.5 tonnes

We want a low-profile motorhome when touring Europe in a motorhome as something over 3.1m excessive is classed as a truck, with the corresponding (a lot greater) toll charges!

There are a whole bunch of layouts (I’ve not formally counted, however in the event you ever go to the NEC Caravan and Motorhome present, you’ll see how many differing types there are- and people are simply the brand new fashions!)

Low profile motorhome- best camper for Europe
Low profile motorhome- greatest sort of camper for Europe?

Motorhomes with over-cab beds

These are the extra ‘conventional’ motorhomes, with an additional mattress over the cab. I’ve not seen many of those below 6m- in actual fact, I’m struggling to consider a single producer who makes among the greatest compact motorhomes with over-cab beds! If you understand of 1, let me know!

Our first motorhome was an over-cab mattress and we thought it might be the proper structure for us and our daughter. Sadly, it didn’t work out- she hated being over the cab.

Nonetheless, many individuals love it- which is the rationale there are such a lot of various kinds of motorhome available on the market – making it simple to seek out the very best small motorhome for you!

Over-cab motorhome in Europe
Kinds of motorhome and camper differ vastly!

A-class motorhomes

A category motorhomes imply the cab is loads bigger- we all the time suppose it appears like a spaceship or a 747 cockpit! The entrance window goes straight up and down, as an alternative of being slanted again like a conventional motorhome.

We’ve by no means owned an A-class, however pals of ours swear by them. It’s fully down to non-public choice when deciding on the very best compact motorhome for you.


Actually lengthy motorhomes want an additional axle for stability and to assist with motorhome weight distribution. These are those with two wheels shut collectively on the again! You solely get tag axle motorhomes over 6m lengthy.


Kinds of RV – American fashion motorhomes 

We’re starting to see increasingly more RVs in Europe. It’s enjoyable to see them, however I’m undecided how sensible they’re, particularly within the UK the place the roads are so slim!

Nonetheless, we had been camped up subsequent to at least one on the Kiel canal in Germany– they had been having a grand previous time. They even had a bit automobile which went within the boot!! 

There are a number of sorts of RV- Class A, B, and C.

Class A RVs are the HUGE ones you consider, typically with slide-out residing areas and different cool gizmos.

Class B motorhomes and RVs are, surprisingly, camper vans and van conversions. These are the smallest sort of RV and make among the greatest compact motorhomes. There’s additionally Class B+, that are simply greater campervans!

Class C motorhomes and RVs are much like UK motorhomes in dimension and structure. They typically don’t have slide outs and might be among the finest small motorhomes to purchase.

Fifth wheel trailer for vanife
Is that this the very best van for vanlife?? Unsure it really works in Europe!!

Fifth wheels

We don’t see many of those in Europe, though we did see one in France, being pulled by an precise truck, towing a caravan! It was amazing- I want I’d been in a position to take a photograph of among the finest small campervans on the market.

In America (and Canada!) they tow these with monumental vans; we’ve all the time thought that will be fairly cool! 
 


Unimog and journey automobiles

My husband is determined for one in all these- a Unimog or only a 4×4 van. Perhaps we’ll get one for after we discover South America! He’d fortunately convert one in all these- however they’re loopy costly!! 

Unimog- the perfect type of van for vanlife
The proper vanlife camper? If you happen to can afford it!

Construct your individual Motorcaravan

If all else fails, you possibly can all the time strive your hand at constructing your individual campervan or motorhome. We’ve rebuilt a number of boats, so I’ve all the time stated I wouldn’t do this- however actually, the concept is kind of interesting!

It might be so good to see all of it come collectively and be capable of lay it out simply the way in which we wish it. Nonetheless, you could take into account getting it correctly inspected- that is vital for insurance coverage and registering with the DVLA.

I don’t know all the main points, having by no means accomplished it, however this excellent book is a superb software to information you thru it. 


Frequnently Requested Questions on small motorhomes

What’s the smallest dimension motorhome?

The Romahome is likely one of the smallest motorhomes you could find within the UK and Europe. If you happen to’re primarily based within the US, Class B motorhomes (that are the identical as camper vans) are the smallest.

What dimension motorhome is best to drive?

Don’t be intimidated by driving a motorhome– I’ve pushed my 6.8m motorhome far and wide! However widespread sense dictates that the smaller a van is, the simpler it is going to be to drive- and park!

What’s the greatest second hand motorhome?

Ha- that is all the time an excellent matter of debate with a bunch of motorhome bloggers. I defer to Sensible Motorhome journal, who just lately ran this survey.

Of their opinion: “Hymer received the very best pre-owned motorhome producer, attaining a rating of 90.1%. Bailey was subsequent with a powerful rating of 88%. Curler Crew got here third (87%), whereas Auto-Sleepers and Auto-Path achieved 86.9% and 86.3% respectively.

What’s the smallest campervan with bathroom?

One of many smallest is the Romahome, however you’ll must go greater to seek out one with a correct toilet/ washroom space.


Ultimate Ideas

After all, now you could take this data and begin deciding what’s the very best motorhome or greatest small campervan for you

If you happen to’re contemplating shopping for your first motorhome or camper, this useful record will information you thru it so that you don’t neglect something.

Tell us what you find yourself with- we love listening to about your adventures as you select the very best small motorhome for you.

Subsequent steps

If you happen to’d like some extra assist determining what car to get (and find out how to purchase the RIGHT one for you), seize a replica of our Complete Beginners guide to Motorhome Buying here– a course of movies, downloadable eBook and worksheets that can assist you make the BEST choice for YOU!

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motorhome shopping for toolkit

Extra issues that can assist you transfer forwards:

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