So many wonderful motorhomes to choose from
Once you have decided to buy a large luxury motorhome you'd think it was quite easy to actually find one. Take it from me, it isn't easy at all.
You need to always keep an eye on what you will be doing in your vehicle. As we may be full time one day, we had to make sure we had everything we would need from the start. I considered the American option - importing a large RV or finding one in the UK but they seemed to be really quite impractical. Not only their massive engines and therefore their weight / cost of running but compared to the European models, they really do seem to look rather dated in their design; especially the interiors.
So having looked at a few, by now we knew we were leaning towards the German motorhome manufacturers and started looking at some of them more closely. Of the two that make the larger vehicles, there is only one dealer for each brand in the UK (see links below).
This is the hard bit. The variation in specification, standard equipment and available options is simply staggering. Finding a new one waiting at a dealer just for you is unlikely to happen so some compromise is required. So have one made you might say. Well, the premium brands are now so sought after, there is a long waiting list to have one made to your own specification (it is reported that the UK motorhome market rose by 26% in 2016-17).
Of course, there are many great motorhome brands that have dealers in the UK and they are likely best able to help anyone looking for a fantastic motorhome. But if they can't help or don't have the one you're looking for and you think you may get a better deal abroad (usually in Germany), then the task of buying one becomes more complex still.
But what if you're looking for something really quite special (and I was). A luxury motorhome that you can live in full time if you want to (or even need to for that matter). Then the search gets even harder and the available options are even fewer. In our case, we had decided that we would need a large motorhome; larger than most as we wanted to be completely self-contained and comfortable. But it had to be below the HGV limit of 7,500Kg as above that it becomes very expensive to operate (I do have an HGV licence). We also knew that our grown-up family together with their partners and many of our friends would want to visit us whilst away on our travels. Therefore, two double beds were essential for us.
We made a spreadsheet with all the things we thought were essential (so a "must have") in one column with the "desirables" in another column; this made reviewing the most suitable contenders a lot easier.
Having searched online for what seemed like weeks, I narrowed the list down to about four manufacturers that made a great motorhome that seemed to have what I thought we would need. We looked at all of their standard equipment and available (and affordable) options.
They are shown below (in alphabetical order), the descriptions shown are from their own respective websites.
Concorde - MOBILE TRAVEL IN ITS MOST MODERN FORM.
Experience the highest level of mobile travel fascination. Luxurious equipment and state-of-the-art vehicle technology, excellent quality and artisanal perfection. The Charisma sets new standards in its class. This is complemented by its concise style vocabulary with the progressive Concorde design. Of course it embodies all values which Concorde has always stood for: like all of our land yachts, the Charisma is an absolute premium product full of innovation, precision and passion.
Only UK Dealer: www.southdownsmotorcaravans.co.uk/
Knaus - Our compact liner
We have caused quite a stir with the SUN I. Enough to now also set new standards under 8 meters. For example, when it comes to the bodywork. Aluminium sheet on the outside and aluminium sheet on the inside with fabric lining and a separate XPS foam layer in between. This is usually reserved for top‐of‐the‐line motorhomes. And now it is also available in the new SUN I single‐axle motorhome. A motorhome made by passionate enthusiasts for real fans.
Morelo - MORELO PALACE . PALACE - FIRST-CLASS TRAVEL
Travelling to the most beautiful destination while always bringing your own four walls along. Experience freedom of movement without losing out on your creature comforts. Discover new experiences and make new friends. Reaching your destination while at home—that is true luxury. You can experience it in the MORELO PALACE. Wherever in the world you are.
Only UK Dealer: https://www.premiummotorhomes.com
The first luxury motorhome with airbags.After years of development, comprehensive testing and numerous crash tests, Niesmann and Bischoff have succeeded in creating the safest Flair ever. Their tailor-made safety concept, which includes a driver and passenger airbag, ESP and seatbelt pretensioners as standard — in addition to a newly developed chassis — signals an absolute breakthrough for the liner class. As well as the industry leading safety features the 2018 Flair includes supreme luxury in a sleek and stylish design! Extra features on this highly specified motorhome include, full leather, 205hp 3.0L engine and rear air suspension.
Start your search engines!
If you're brave enough to buy direct from a European dealer as we did, there are as many pitfalls as there are benefits so this buying route is not for the faint at heart. However, there are some great discounts to be had if you choose this route and so many wonderful people that are more than happy to help you understand all about the vehicles; including, in our case the UK Morelo dealer (Mike Herzberg).
One of the best websites to start your import motorhome search is Mobile.de (of course there others too but I like this one best) - it's a German motorhome dealer stock search site (a bit like Auto Trader for German motorhomes). Here you can specify all of your requirements and get to see what's on offer from the main players in the German dealerships. Of course, Brexit has caused a huge price rise for UK buyers of German motorhomes as the Euro has increased in value so much in the past year.
As we had never owned a motorhome before, we decided we needed to know more about them, much more. We visited the Birmingham Motorhome Show in spring 2017 and chatted to many people about all sorts motorhome related things. We met Mike Herzberg from Premium Motorhomes (Morelo dealer) who told us of the Morelo factory open weekend in May and we were also told by Trudy at the Southdowns Motorhome Centre in Portsmouth (Concorde dealer) when we visited their showroom, that Concorde has the same event on the same weekend.
So, a trip to the place where some of best German motorhomes are made was agreed; we were off to Sulzemoos in Bavaria (a short flight from Munich) in May 2017 and it seemed like a very good idea.
Look out for more in our next post......