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

Seeking to purchase a small motorhome or campervan? Wish to know one of the 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, finest small motorhomes to contemplate 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 finest for you? And heck- what even IS a small motorhome? Simply how small is ‘small’?

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

Right here’s a information to the principle forms of motorhomes and campervans obtainable, together with some helpful suggestions that will help you select one of the best one for you.

Buying Motorhome checklist

Small Motorhomes- what’s a small motorhome?

There isn’t any definitive reply on what are small or mini motorhomes. Many People, used to a lot larger automobiles and Class A RVs, take 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 suits into a regular parking house (by length- not all the time by width!)

A few of the finest 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. 

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 in all probability kill your companion and find yourself in jail. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

What forms 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 fashionable classes that folks shopping for a camper search for; individuals use them instead of a automotive 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 finest 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 provider with a pop-top roof. They are often designed for 2 individuals… however I feel you’d need to 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 to final in there very lengthy, however for those who’re shorter than me, and need a small motorhome which may double as a automotive, this is likely to be an important resolution for you. 

Are there small motorhomes with a rest room?

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

We just lately employed a Bailey Alliance 59-2 motorhome (5.9m lengthy) and have 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 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!!)

Greatest Small motorhome underneath 6m?

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

I’ve additionally finished a number of motorhome and campervan opinions, focussing on vans underneath 6m in size. Right here’s one of the latest:

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

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

Truthfully, just about each massive motorhome producer has at the very least one mannequin in its vary which is sub 6m and is in the stores 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 anyplace, however large enough to stay in!

How a lot are small motorhomes (UK)?

Oh, it is 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 acquired a improbable deal on it- however we did have to repair a number of errors which had been precipitated. All of it is determined by how a lot work you’re prepared/ capable of 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 kind is finest?

Greatest Small camper vans

Small or mini campervans are one other fashionable alternative. Many individuals use them instead of a automotive, which saves cash in all types of the way. Once more, the controversy 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 recommend 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 – Greatest Small Campervans

Lots of the larger 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 checklist of prospects. We actually beloved a few of them.

For me, these are one of the best forms of van for ‘vanlife’ for those who don’t need a motorhome or conventional camper. They are often customised, have room for sufficient storage (important for those who’re going to stay onboard for a good 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 recognized vanlife was a factor in my 20s… I’d have gone all around 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 rest room 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 practically 6ft I need to have the ability to get up in my residence!

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

Who makes massive or small campervans (obtainable in UK?)

Vanlife is rising in popularity- which means there are an increasing number of designs coming onto the market. It’s exhausting 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 companies who solely do a few renovations a yr.

Critically, it’s in all probability inconceivable to checklist all of them. 

To get you began, listed below are the larger producers for one of the best small campervans within the UK. It’s on no account exhaustive, however hopefully, it provides 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

Overview of a number of the finest small campers for vanlife

Earlier than we purchased our new small motorhome, we have been severely contemplating downsizing to a panel van for long-term vanlife, for plenty of causes.

We’d LOVE to design and construct our personal, however time constraints is likely to be an element (together with skill!!) So we’d in all probability purchase one pre-fitted.

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

We hope you discovered the video helpful. For those who did, we’d adore it if you adopted 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 contemplate is the brand new Authorities tax on brand-new leisure automobiles, which incorporates motorhomes and campervans. For those who’re shopping for a brand new motorhome or camper, concentrate on any further tax it’s essential pay, even on small vans.

Small Motorhome camping- is it potential 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

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

We choose 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 lots of of layouts (I’ve not formally counted, however for those who 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- finest 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 underneath 6m- actually, I’m struggling to consider a single producer who makes a number of the finest compact motorhomes with over-cab beds! If you realize of 1, let me know!

Our first motorhome was an over-cab mattress and we thought it will 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 rationale 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 range drastically!

A-class motorhomes

A category motorhomes imply the cab is loads bigger- we all the time 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 fully down to private 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 fashion 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 have been camped up subsequent to at least one on the Kiel canal in Germany– they have been having a grand previous time. They even had just a little automotive which went within the boot!! 

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

Class A RVs are the HUGE ones you consider, usually with slide-out dwelling 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 a number of the finest compact motorhomes. There’s additionally Class B+, that are simply larger campervans!

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

Fifth wheel trailer for vanife
Is that this one of the 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 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 all the time thought that may 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? For those who can afford it!

Construct your personal Motorcaravan

If all else fails, you’ll be able to all the time strive your hand at constructing your personal campervan or motorhome. We’ve rebuilt a number of boats, so I’ve all the time mentioned I wouldn’t do this- however truthfully, the thought is sort of interesting!

It might be so good to see all of it come collectively and be capable to lay it out simply the best way we would like it. Nonetheless, it’s essential contemplate 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 finished it, however this wonderful e book is a superb device 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’ll find within the UK and Europe. For those who’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 all over! However widespread sense dictates that the smaller a van is, the better it is going to be to drive- and park!

What’s the finest second hand motorhome?

Ha- that is all the time a very good 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 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 must go larger to seek out one with a correct toilet/ washroom space.

Ultimate Ideas

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

For those who’re contemplating shopping for your first motorhome or camper, this useful 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

For those who’d like some extra assist determining what car to get (and how you can purchase the RIGHT one for you), seize a duplicate of our Full Newcomers information to Motorhome Shopping for right here– a course of movies, downloadable eBook and worksheets that will help you make the BEST resolution for YOU!

motorhome buying toolkit
motorhome shopping for toolkit

Extra issues that will help you transfer forwards:

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