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

Trying to purchase a small motorhome or campervan? Need to know one of the best small motorhome with a rest room or bathe, or what’s the simplest small motorhome to drive? Listed here are the professionals and cons of small campers, greatest small motorhomes to contemplate AND essential errors to keep away from!

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Small Motorhomes and Campervans- the issue

Shopping for a campervan or motorhome could be daunting. In any case, kind ‘Motorhome on the market’ into Google proper now and there are 135,000 outcomes!

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

Conversely, how huge a motorhome is TOO huge? Must you purchase an RV? What measurement motorhome works greatest in Europe? Must you select a van over or underneath 3.5 tonnes?

Right here’s a information to the principle varieties of motorhomes and campervans out there, together with some useful ideas that will help you select one of the best one for you.

Buying Motorhome checklist

Small Motorhomes- what’s a small motorhome?

There is no such thing as a definitive reply on what are small or mini motorhomes. Many Individuals, used to a lot larger automobiles and Class A RVs, have a look at our 6.8m class c motorhome and assume that’s small! 

Within the UK and Europe, any camper underneath 6m is taken into account small because it matches into an ordinary parking house (by length- not at all times 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 grasp. 

Professionals and Cons of small motorhomes

There are a number of upsides to having a smaller automobile, 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 associate and find yourself in jail. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

What varieties of small Motorhomes are there?

Unsurprisingly, there are LOADS of several types of small motorhomes in the marketplace.

Small and tiny motorhomes are one of the vital common 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 primary classes of small (and medium) motorhomes are:

Micro motorhomes

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

Most of the fashions are designed with just one individual 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 amazing resolution 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 underneath 6m was “Does it have a toilet?”

We not too long ago 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 underneath 6m have bathroom facilities- many also have a toilet with a separate bathe!

In fact, some solely have a moist room or ‘moist bathtub’, and a few solely have a porta-potti- so do your analysis rigorously!

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

Greatest Small motorhome underneath 6m?

There are LOADS of different compact motorhomes underneath 6m. It’s unattainable to checklist all of them, however some greatest compact motorhomes and common producers are listed within the part under.

I’ve additionally executed a number of motorhome and campervan evaluations, focussing on vans underneath 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 find it irresistible if you followed us on Youtube. New movies with ideas for motorhoming and campervanning within the UK and Europe are launched weekly.

Who makes one of the best small motorhomes to purchase in UK?

Actually, just about each huge motorhome producer has at the least one mannequin in its vary which is sub 6m and is available for purchase within the UK.

Some to take a look at (in no explicit 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 wherever, however large enough to reside in!

How a lot are small motorhomes (UK)?

Oh, this can be a powerful 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 on.

We purchased our Swift 496 motorhome as an ex-hire and acquired a improbable deal on it- however we did have to repair a number of errors which had been induced. All of it is dependent upon how a lot work you might be keen/ capable of do.

Value 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 kind is greatest?

Greatest Small camper vans

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

Many van conversions now have a ‘correct’ toilet; I recommend that any which don’t are ‘small campers’. The most well-liked fashions of small campervans are the VWs… though their newest mannequin has a toilet, so I suppose that’s now a giant 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!)

Shifting on…

Panel Van Conversions – Greatest Small Campervans

Most of the larger campervans are often known 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 very new checklist of prospects. We actually cherished a few of them.

For me, these are one of the best varieties 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 reside 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 among these!

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

Greatest 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 outdated VW. Headroom is one other downside; at almost 6ft I would like to have the ability to arise in my dwelling!

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 an increasing number of designs coming onto the market. It’s arduous to checklist one of the 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 corporations who solely do a few renovations a 12 months.

Critically, it’s most likely unattainable to checklist all of them. 

To get you began, listed here are the larger producers for one of the best small campervans within the UK. It’s in no way exhaustive, however hopefully, it provides you a spot to start out wanting

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

Overview of a few of 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 a lot of causes.

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

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

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

UK Tax on brand-new motorhomes and campervans

One factor to contemplate 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, concentrate on any additional tax you should pay, even on small vans.

Small Motorhome camping- is it attainable 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 additional gear.

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

In fact, you will get a low-profile motorhome underneath 6m, however you too can get them a lot longer- our final camper was 7.9m and 4.2 tonnes! Learn concerning the execs and cons of a motorhome over 3.5 tonnes

We desire 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 larger) 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 kinds there are- and people are simply the brand new fashions!)

Low profile motorhome- best camper for Europe
Low profile motorhome- greatest kind 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 underneath 6m- actually, I’m struggling to consider a single producer who makes a few of the greatest compact motorhomes with over-cab beds! If you already know of 1, let me know!

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

Nevertheless, many individuals love it- which is the explanation there are such a lot of several types of motorhome in the marketplace – making it straightforward to seek out one of the best small motorhome for you!

Over-cab motorhome in Europe
Varieties of motorhome and camper fluctuate drastically!

A-class motorhomes

A category motorhomes imply the cab is lots bigger- we at all times assume it seems like a spaceship or a 747 cockpit! The entrance window goes straight up and down, as an alternative of being slanted again like a standard motorhome.

We’ve by no means owned an A-class, however pals of ours swear by them. It’s completely down to non-public desire when deciding on one of the 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.

Varieties of RV – American model motorhomes 

We’re starting to see an increasing number of 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 outdated time. They even had somewhat automobile which went within the boot!! 

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

Class A RVs are the HUGE ones you consider, usually 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 kind of RV and make a few of the greatest compact motorhomes. There’s additionally Class B+, that are simply larger campervans!

Class C motorhomes and RVs are much like UK motorhomes in measurement and format. They usually don’t have slide outs and could be among the best small motorhomes to purchase.

Fifth wheel trailer for vanife
Is that this one of the best van for vanlife?? Undecided 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 capable of take a photograph of among the best small campervans on the market.

In America (and Canada!) they tow these with monumental vehicles; we’ve at all times thought that might be fairly cool! 

Unimog and journey automobiles

My husband is determined for one among these- a Unimog or only a 4×4 van. Possibly we’ll get one for after we discover South America! He’d fortunately convert one among 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 at all times attempt your hand at constructing your individual campervan or motorhome. We’ve rebuilt a number of boats, so I’ve at all times mentioned I wouldn’t do this- however truthfully, the concept is sort of interesting!

It could be so good to see all of it come collectively and be capable of lay it out simply the best way we would like it. Nonetheless, you should contemplate getting it correctly inspected- that is essential for insurance coverage and registering with the DVLA.

I don’t know all the small print, having by no means executed it, however this excellent book is a superb device to information you thru it. 

Frequnently Requested Questions on small motorhomes

What’s the smallest measurement motorhome?

The Romahome is likely one of the smallest motorhomes you’ll 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 measurement motorhome is best to drive?

Don’t be intimidated by driving a motorhome– I’ve pushed my 6.8m motorhome everywhere! However frequent sense dictates that the smaller a van is, the better will probably be to drive- and park!

What’s the greatest second hand motorhome?

Ha- that is at all times an excellent matter of debate with a bunch of motorhome bloggers. I defer to Sensible Motorhome journal, who not too long ago ran this survey.

Of their opinion: “Hymer gained one of the best pre-owned motorhome producer, attaining a rating of 90.1%. Bailey was subsequent with a formidable rating of 88%. Curler Group 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 have to go larger to seek out one with a correct toilet/ washroom space.

Closing Ideas

In fact, now you should take this data and begin deciding what’s one of the best motorhome or greatest small campervan for you

If you happen to’re contemplating shopping for your first motorhome or camper, this beneficial checklist 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 one of the best small motorhome for you.

Subsequent steps

If you happen to’d like some extra assist determining what automobile 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 will help you make the BEST determination for YOU!

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