Best campervans over £50,000

Bilbo’s Nexa

STAR RATING 4.5 OUT OF 5

  • Price £51,900
  • Layout Van conversion, rear kitchen
  • Sleeps 2
  • Travel Seats 4
  • MTPLM 3000kg
  • Length 4.91m

Bilbo’s is one of just a handful of UK-based converters that can claim Volkswagen recognition.The Nexa is Bilbo’s ‘second string’ conversion – an alternative four-seater floorplan compared to the usual side furniture/rear seat-bed that typifies the huge majority of VW-based conversions. The Nexa+ takes this a stage further, with a fully plumbed-in Thetford cassette toilet. And it’s all based on the very latest T6.1 Transporter.

The rear seats (use the clutter-free bases for your bedding) fold flat and combine with the swivelled cab seats for twin 1.87 x 0.60m single beds that still allow access to toilet and kitchen. You can also make up a double bed.

The main kitchen unit is along the nearside, offering a sink, three-ring hob and mini-grill (or microwave). All storage – two drawers, two lockers – is under the worktop. Over the way, there’s a 50-litre compressor fridge with larger lockers above and below.

The swivel-bowl toilet is relatively unobtrusively housed in the rear offside corner.

Bilbo’s side-hinging elevating roof is simplicity itself and indicative of the way the company goes about all of its work – quality, practical and durable.

PROs
Great layout
Light steering

Read more in our Bilbo’s Nexa review

Dreamer Living 2020

STAR RATING 4.5 OUT OF 5

  • Price £53,000
  • Layout Rear lounge
  • Sleeps 4
  • Travel Seats 4
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • Length 6.35m

This camper has some ingenious design touches and wins our 2020 Motorhome of the Year award for Best rear-lounge model. Dreamer is a sub brand of popular French manufacturer Rapido and offers a range of attractive campervans for a reasonable price.

One of the latest to emerge from the company’s Mayenne HQ is the Dreamer Living Van, which was designed by Rapido along with input from UK dealerships. The result is a campervan that’s ideal for the UK market, offering a rear lounge, plenty of interior space, and right-hand drive.

From the outside the Dreamer looks tall, thanks to that raised roof line and the choice of Fiat’s Ducato Heavy chassis; it’s easy to step up into the ‘van though, due to the electric step, and it pays dividends with the amount of headroom on offer inside.

In true campervan style, parallel to the side sliding door is a kitchen unit; and this example is well appointed. There’s a large stainless-steel sink, a double-burner hob, a spice rack, a cutlery rack and a 90-litre compressor fridge with freezer compartment.

There’s a good-sized double bed (1.86 x 1.65m) that can be made up using the cushions of the rear lounge. But we reckon that most buyers will use this as a luxurious two-berth: and that’s where this camper’s strongest hand lies. Above the front dinette sits a double bed (1.9 x 1.3m) that can be dropped down easily.

PROs
Good size double bed
Roomy interior

Read more in our Dreamer Living review

Murvi Pimento XL 2-berth van conversion 2020

STAR RATING 4 OUT OF 5

  • Price £57,952
  • Layout Van conversion, rear kitchen
  • Sleeps 2
  • Travel Seats 2
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • Length 5.89m

This 2-berth conversion from Murvi features two singles or a double and two-berth and is based on Ford’s Transit. It has all the usual Murvi traits of quality build, plenty of style, and the back-up of impeccable customer care. You can have a choice of sleeping arrangements – two single beds or a double. In either case, there’s enough space to access the washroom and kitchen at the back.

Ford’s Transit is a refined performer these days. Its relatively soft springing means a more forgiving ride, and there’s a choice of performance. It would be worth considering the 130PS/128bhp or 170PS/168bhp upgrades over the standard 104bhp offering.

Murvi is particularly flexible with its kitchens, offering a number of hob, oven and fridge configurations. Here, there’s a three-ring triangular hob and 85-litre compressor fridge, with an overhead locker designed to accept a microwave oven. The basic kitchen set-up remains the same. L-shaped, it extends across the back and drops a few inches for more comfortable worktop height along the nearside, where you get a sink with drainer and extensive locker storage. T

The washroom takes up the offside rear corner. There’s folding door access and you’ll find a Dometic swivel-bowl toilet and fixed basin. Showering is by extending the tap, with a curtain for splash protection.

There’s a choice of single beds or a double. Both are pretty easy to make, involving the easy release of a heavy-duty bolt that allows the base to glide on floor rails.

PROs
Generous lounge
Flexible seating

Read more in our Murvi Pimento XL 2-berth van conversion review

VW Grand California 2020

STAR RATING 4 OUT OF 5

  • Price £71,395
  • Layout Van conversion, rear lounge
  • Sleeps 2
  • Travel Seats 4
  • MTPLM 3880kg
  • Length 6.84m

Innovative, stylish and solidly built, the latest offering from VW has a great deal going for it. The ‘van is available in two versions: the 600, with a transverse bed and a bulbous, hard GRP roof housing an optional bed, and the longer 680 (seen here), with fixed single beds in the rear.

The 680 is sleeker and more attractive that the 600, but that Crafter nose still sticks out a bit. Exterior decals are on the dinstinctly utilitarian side, too, although you do get alloy wheels and there is an option of having one of four different two-tone colour schemes.

The ‘van makes for a very smooth ride, particularly with the eight-speed gearbox in our test model. The 680 has an MTPLM of 3880kg, so it can’t be driven by anyone without a C1 licence, but it doesn’t feel quite as boxy as the Ducato, which usually can be.

The kitchen doesn’t include an oven, even as an option. You do have an extension, which pulls out in front of the door, but it’s so small, it hardly seems worth it; especially as, on the 680 at least, there is plenty of fixed workspace on the other side of the in-line two-burner hob and sink.

The single beds at the back of the ‘van sit on sprung plastic. Although there is a 10cm difference in their length, they do more or less come together to make a very comfortable double.

One way the Grand California really does differ from the original is the inclusion of a washroom opposite this kitchen. The tap doubles as a shower, and there is a toilet roll holder inside the cupboard underneath.

PROs
Washroom
Lots of storage space

CONs
High price tag

Read more in our VW Grand California review

Vantage Rio 2020

STAR RATING 4 OUT OF 5

  • Price £65,075
  • Layout Van conversion, rear lounge
  • Sleeps 3
  • Travel Seats 4
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • Length 6.36m

The three-berth, four-belt Rio is based on the extra-long-wheelbase Ducato, with a white exterior and discreet Vantage branding. Our test model came with alloys (£675) and a colour-coded bumper (£590), sat nav and a reversing camera (£1045). As standard, it has an underslung gas tank.

There are two lounges in the main living area, and the half-dinette at the front includes a clip-on table. There is a slight step down from here, but the bench seat is perfectly comfy. The rear lounge includes U-shaped seating, but the Rio is the first Vantage where the central part of the U slides away to provide a gangway out the back and parallel seating.

Workspace is at a premium in the kitchen, even with the extension out. There is a tower with three mains sockets and two USBs, but you would probably have to position a kettle on the sink cover – make sure it isn’t a heavy one. There’s a three-burner gas hob and you only get a combined oven and grill. But a large pan drawer slides out from under this oven, and three small drawers and a cutlery tray slide out from inside the cupboard to the left. So there’s plenty of space for kitchenware.

The rear settees are long enough to be used as singles, but the double is easily made up with just one platform that slides out. There are handy storage pockets on the walls and over the door. The pièce de resistance is that third bed, made up by lowering the clip-on table and clipping the second table to it and a rung on the sliding door. You get a proper folding mattress, too.

The washroom opposite has a corner handbasin with a tap that doubles up as the shower. There’s only one drain, but the tray is deep.

PROs
Storage space beneath the front and rear seats
Third bed

CONs
Hefty price tag for a family van

Read more in our Vantage Rio review

Auto-Sleeper Fairford Plus 2019

STAR RATING 4 OUT OF 5

  • Price £58,000
  • Layout Van conversion, rear lounge
  • Sleeps 4
  • Travel Seats 4
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • Length 6.36m

In the latest Plus guise, the Auto-Sleeper Fairford offers loads of space at the back for luggage, and a frame to make a medium-level double bed that could be left up permanently. This folding frame can be adapted to form inward-facing sofas, so you have an end lounge.

As with all of the firm’s van conversions, the windowed version of the Boxer provides the base, with alloys and a black awning adding to the appearance.

On the road Peugeot’s latest Boxer comes with new Euro 6.2, 2.2-litre engines. In the Fairford Plus, you get the range-topping 165bhp.

Up front, it’s standard Fairford seating. There are four travel berths, thanks to the slightly curious double dinette that relies on the driver’s seat for back support. The fixed pedestal-leg table has lots of height and fore-and-aft adjustment, although the top didn’t feel overly sturdy.

Along the nearside, there’s a great kitchen, where the Spinflo Triplex cooker has permanent worktop ether side, and a sink in matching black. There’s also a Thetford three-way fridge under the counter, plus a Dometic microwave under the sink.

For making the rear bed, a couple of metal support bars slot in, allowing the seat frames to fold out flat. It’s all at a height where there’s still a significant amount of storage space below. A tambour door for the washroom is always a great space-saver. You can use the whole room for showering, too, as the handbasin slides across to give you optimum space.

PROs
Great kitchen
Large storage space at rear

CONs
Double dinette uses driver’s seat for back support

Read more in our Auto-Sleeper Fairford Plus review

WildAx Elara 2019

STAR RATING 4.5 OUT OF 5

  • Price £68,995
  • Layout Rear island bed
  • Sleeps 2
  • Travel Seats 2
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • Length 6.97m

The latest two-berth van conversion from WildAx, on the new Mercedes Sprinter, has a sumptuous island bed in the rear. The Elara is based on an L3 version, which is 6.97m long. It also has the H2 roof height of 2.75m: you are unlikely to get this under many car park barriers. It runs on a 163bhp 316 engine – our test model also had automatic transmission, which is a £1900 option.

Both cab seats swivel, but care is needed with the driver’s seat – behind it is the resting place for a small table top, which stands on a pedestal leg that swings out from under the passenger seat. The larger table, stored in its own kitchen cupboard is big enough for two – this is not a ‘van for entertaining in. The sofa also probably only seats two but, with a solid curved backrest, it does so very comfortably.

The kitchen worktop can be enlarged by a flap above the bottle rack, and the hob cover. This is next to two mains sockets, just right for a kettle and toaster. The hob has two gas burners and an induction zone. The sink has a lift-up cover and an elegant swan-neck tap. Underneath, you get three large drawers, with a pan locker below the Thetford Duplex oven and grill.This generous amount of space is probably thanks to the Elara’s underslung 40-litre LPG tank. What’s most impressive is the 142-litre fridge to the left of the main unit. Huge for a two-berth, it’s a slimline model.

The bed is supremely comfortable, being pocket sprung, and at 1.92m, long enough for just about anyone. It is only 1.30m wide – but this is a van conversion! The offside washroom has a tambour door, so you do have a step to cross to get in. There is no shower cubicle, but you get a shower head, and two drains in the tray.

PROs
Supremely comfortable bed
Easily accessible storage beneath the rear island bed

CONs
Microwave positioned too high for some

Read more in our WildAx Elara review

Danbury Surf Special Edition 2019

STAR RATING 4 OUT OF 5

  • Price £55,995
  • Layout Camper without washroom
  • Sleeps 4
  • Travel Seats 4
  • MTPLM 3000kg
  • Length 4.89m

This new, updated version of a popular campervan makes the most of the latest wireless technology and looks stylish inside and out. Our test model came in Acapulco Blue, which contrasted well with the off-white fabric sides of the pop-up roof – fabric that felt considerably tougher than some pop-up roofs we have seen. The roof struts open out in an ‘X’ at the back, for slightly more room upstairs.

Even with the standard 102PS engine and only five manual gears, our test model floated happily along on motorways and country roads. The cab is a standard VW set-up, with a cupholder to the right of the steering wheel. Being a T6, the vehicle has a host of safety features fitted as standard, including antilock braking, automatic post-collision braking and hill-hold assist.

The RIB bench in the rear has two fully belted travel seats. But the bench doesn’t slide forward or back, and the distance between the bench and the cab seats is more than an arm’s length, which could be a problem if you are travelling with a fractious child.

Both cab seats swivel, but as this is a VW, the handbrake is in the middle and you have to release it to swivel the driver’s seat.

Any campervan kitchen is going to be a compromise because of lack of space, and in this one, you only get two gas-burners – there’s no oven or microwave. There is a small sink with cold water but, because Danbury has fitted stylish metal runners to the right of it that make up a sort of permanent drainer, the only workspace you get is on a lower level to the right, under the controls.

Bed provision is one area where the new Surf really does excel. The RIB bench turns easily into a double bed, using a lever on the side, which you can just about keep hold of to let the base cushions come forward, and a bar that you raise to bring down the backrest. It’s a long double, too, at 1.85m. The roof bed folds down in two parts and can take a maximum weight of 200kg, so two adults could easily sleep here if you are a party of grown-ups.

Most campervans, including the Surf, have no washroom. You can use the sink in the kitchen to wash, although it is cold water only. On the plus side, this ‘van does have an external shower at the rear offside corner – again it’s cold water only.

PROs
Bright lights everywhere
Extra fridge security means there should be no unexpected opening and spillages

CONs
Kitchen workspace is not the most generous

Read more in our Danbury Surf Special Edition review

Rolling Homes Edition 10 2019

STAR RATING 4 OUT OF 5

  • Price £110,000
  • Layout Camper without washroom
  • Sleeps 4
  • Travel Seats 4
  • MTPLM 3000kg
  • Length 4.89m

Want the ultimate VW-based camper? This bells-and-whistles special from Rolling Homes could be it. It has its origins in the Columbus, starting from £44,495, but the Edition 10 is special. Very special.

Just look at those wheels, for a start. Imported from California (the state, not the VW), these 22in low-profiles (21in is usually the maximum for a T6) have been machined to perfection to complement the bodywork. Fully adjustable suspension from Bilstein takes care of ensuring the Edition 10 is the same height as a standard elevating roof camper. The paintwork is two-tone and the front and rear bumpers were custom-made to RH’s specification.

The base vehicle is the Kombi version of the Transporter, with prefitted rear windows, a rear travel seat (removed during the conversion work) and the ‘comfort’ dashboard. There’s also some £10,000 of VW base vehicle extras, not counting the Alpine stereo (extra bass speaker in the cab passenger seat, amplifier under the driver).

The wood is walnut, with veneer insets (look again at how it’s all been painstakingly lined up) and stainless steel inserts. It’s a genuine Corian worktop, too, with inset sink and loose cover (it stows in one of the drawers for travel).

There’s a separate oval two-ring hob; but again, the original wasn’t quite perfect enough and the stainless steel has been rebuffed (for five hours) by RH. The curve of the hob exactly matches that of the rear locker.

PROs
Packed with features

CONs
Pricey

Read more in our Rolling Homes Edition review

Westfalia Kepler Sixty 2019

STAR RATING 4 OUT OF 5

  • Price £59,667
  • Layout Camper without washroom
  • Sleeps 4
  • Travel Seats 4
  • MTPLM 2800kg
  • Length 5.3m

The Westfalia Kepler Sixty looks a million dollars and starts just short of £60,000, including a ‘basic’ £58,052 OTR, plus the pretty much indispensable Kepler Pack at £1615. Our test ‘van, with a few other ‘essential’ extras, costs some £69,179.

Comparisons with VW’s own California Ocean are inevitable (an Ocean with the two-tone treatment seems to cost less, with a better overall specification, but judge for yourselves). The California is also based on a version of the Caravelle people carrier, rather than the variants VW offers to independent converters.

Most notably, the Kepler’s rear seat is a triumph of engineering over aesthetics. Like the California’s, it’s on rails, so you can switch between optimising boot space and floorspace. There’s also the option to add more seating, which entails an upgrade to the maximum vehicle rating. Where the Kepler Sixty does score over its nearest rival is its more modern main furniture unit – the radiused leading edges and aluminium inserts look classier.

The kitchen adopts the usual combined hob/sink format, although the gas burners are diametrically opposed – in theory, that means you can use larger pans. Adjacent is a 40-litre top-loading compressor fridge, while also at the kitchen end of this unit there are neat drawers (one with a cutlery tray). The larger of the two double beds is in the pop-up roof space. It’s arguably the more comfortable, thanks to the one-piece mattress and Froli-Type plastic springing.

PROs
Clever shower with a suction pad holder
Diesel-fuelled heating

CONs
The lower bed is on the narrow side

Read more in our Westfalia Kepler Sixty review

Auto-Trail Adventure 65 2020

STAR RATING 4 OUT OF 5

  • Price £58,895
  • Layout Camper with washroom
  • Sleeps 4
  • Travel Seats 4
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • Length 6.36m

A van conversion with a raising-roof on a Fiat Ducato? You don’t see that very often. Until this season, it has really only been Hymer that has offered such a vehicle. But now, Auto-Trail has launched two such models as part of its new Adventure range. And it more than pays off, with the longer of the two, the Adventure 65, winning the 2020 Motorhome of the Year award for best rising roof camper.

The cab is standard Fiat, with drinks holders in the middle and a reversing camera. The seats swivel to create a front lounge with the travel seats. There’s a fold-down table, but it’s a bit of a stretch for anyone in the cab passenger seat.

The kitchen is a little cramped. You get a two-burner hob and in-line sink, but the only workspace is the extension, so you might have to juggle this with creating an eating space. You do get a combined oven and grill here, too.

The washroom is a reasonable size and looks modern. It includes a basin that folds into a mirrored panel, hiding a set of shelves. You get a separate shower attachment, although there is only one drainage hole in the deep shower tray.

The downstairs bed in the rear is easy to put together with sliding platforms. The pièce de résistance is that roof bed. Anyone would want to sleep up here. It has sprung mattresses, three windows – two plastic and one mesh – and bendy reading lights with USB sockets. Best of all, the bed can be sealed off, as a piece of fabric can be clipped across the opening from below. So if you want to send the kids to bed early, they can go up there and not be disturbed.

PROs
Excellent rising roof
Modern washroom

CONs
Kitchen is a little tight

Read more in our Auto-Trail Adventure 65 review


Get a quote for a motorhome now

How it works

We work with the UK’s best motorhome manufacturers to match your requirements with their products. Just tell us what you need from a motorhome and we’ll forward your details on to the most suitable ones. They’ll then contact you to see if you want to take things forward.

 

If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, why not get the latest news, reviews and features delivered direct to your door or inbox every month. Take advantage of our brilliant Practical Motorhome magazine SUBSCRIBERS’ OFFER and SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER for regular weekly updates on all things motorhome related.