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Best low-profile motorhome 2023

We reveal our choice for the best low-profile motorhomes on the market

The best low-profile motorhomes are popular because they provide more space than a van conversion and are cheaper than an A-class ‘van. 

If you’re wondering how to find the one for you, the Practical Motorhome Awards 2023 are here to help. We’ve used our decades of industry experience to pick out the best low-profile motorhome, as well as sharing the contenders that made the shortlist, featuring ‘vans from some of the best motorhome manufacturers, including Weinsberg, Swift and Bürstner.

In this guide, you’ll also be able to find the ‘vans that were shortlisted at last year’s Awards, including motorhomes from Adria, Bailey and Hymer.

This year, we selected the Swift Voyager 584 as the best low-profile motorhome on the market – the excellent garage and comfortable lounge were just two of our favourite features.

What is a low-profile motorhome?

Low-profile motorhomes still retain the base vehicle cab, but have the benefit of extra room provided by a GRP shell. The low-profile name comes from not having any overcab to cause wind resistance

The winner of the best low-profile motorhome is…

Swift Voyager 584

The Swift Voyager 584
  • Price: £67,495
  • MTPLM: 3500kg
  • Payload: 424kg
  • MIRO: 3076kg
  • Length: 7.85m
  • Width: 2.37m

Reasons to buy:

  • Great familiar Swift design, comfy lounge, huge garage

Reasons to avoid:

  • Not internal access to garage

Swift has been a Fiat-based motorhome manufacturer (except at the very top end) for so long now that you might wonder how well it might evolve to produce a motorhome on a different base vehicle partly because of Fiat’s ongoing supply issues. If this, the first in a planned new range based on the existing Escape range is anything to go by, it’s an impressive start, especially as it is the first time the Hull manufacturer has built anything on a Ford Transit.

The lounge of the Swift Voyager 584

You get the same Swift design that many of us have got very used to, although even then there is a noticeable shift away from the browns and beiges of the last few seasons to a cooler and more up to date silver, grey and blue look. There is a huge garage under the single beds at the rear, where you could store much more than just bicycles. And there is even room for nice touches too, such as the little drawers that come out together by the side of the steps up to the bed in addition to the cubbyholes in the steps themselves.

We like the way the decals on the side panels thin out and turn into birds as well, even if the birds are clearly seagulls, not swifts. It just goes to show how versatile designers can put their hand to any base vehicle.

Full review: Swift Voyager 584

Also on the shortlist for the best low-profile motorhome are:

Bürstner Lyseo Gallery TD 689 G

The Bürstner Lyseo Gallery TD 689 G
  • Price: TBC
  • Payload: TBC
  • Length: 6.90m
  • Width: 2.30m

Reason to buy

  • This motorhome almost feels like a two-storey home

Reason to avoid

  • This is new technology, so a bit of a voyage into the unknown

OK, so this vehicle, with a highly unusual inflatable pop-up roof, was actually officially launched last year. But we are including it in this year;s line-up because this season is the first time we’ve got to see what it looks like in real life – and, even more importantly, this season is also when it could finally be making an appearance on UK forecourts.

The interior of the Bürstner Lyseo Gallery TD 689 G

The “bedroom space” you get inside that pop-up roof really is rather marvellou – much more substantial than average with two large roll-down windows, a rooflight and even a bit of shelving. It is accessed via a proper staircase too, and really give you the impression that this is a motorhome with two storeys.

Even down below there is still room for innovation, with kitchen workspace that slides out to reveal more shelving, and a sink cover that swivels to provide a workspace extension.

Chausson S514 Sport Line

The Chausson S514 Sport Line
  • Price: £56,990
  • MTPLM: 3500kg
  • MIRO: 2600kg
  • Payload: 900kg
  • Length: 5.99m
  • Width: 2.10m

Reason to buy:

  • Great exterior, clever storage options

Reason to avoid:

  • Limited kitchen

If you think motorhomes can only ever be big white boxes on wheels then this season’s version of Chausson’s compact van with the “butterfly bed” at the back is here to show how you might be wrong. For this season it’s a completely different colour – grey – and not just the side walls but all over the vehicle. That grey is a special grey too that you won’t find on any other motorhome. It has been developed by Chausson in-house from a colour supplied by Ford – the maker of the S514’s base vehicle – that is otherwise only used on the Ford Puma.

It certainly gives the motorhomes a striking look. With the associated black edging to the windows and locker doors, black with a slash of green decals down the side, and black alloy wheels too, it  looks very sporty – almost like a support vehicle you might see, say, on the Tour de France than on something that is going to turn up on the pitch next to yours.

But perhaps that’s not surprising. That “butterfly bed” is a transverse double that folds in half, providing enough room for you to store a bicycle upright in the garage below.

Full review: Chausson S514 Sport Line

Joa Camp 75Q

The Joa Camp 75Q
  • Price: £59,500
  • MTPLM: 3500kg
  • Payload: 675kg
  • MIRO: 2825kg
  • Length: 7.4m
  • Width: 2.30m

Reason to buy:

  • Great value, bright interior

Reason to avoid:

  • It’s on a higher chassis, so you have more steps up into it

When Pilote first announced it was bringing out a new range that was going to be bug not just because it was based on a cheaper base vehicle – the Citroen Relay – but also because it would be relying more on modular construction, we did have a sense of foreboding.

After all, modular construction is by no means new to the industry, and its faults often become most apparent when Continental left-hand drive vehicles, of the kind Pilote would no doubt initially be designing, are swapped over onto right hand drive. We are talking shower trays that have bite taken out of them for a wheel arch when there is no wheel arch there, or roof vents that are ventilating a completely sealed cupboard – both these quirks have been known.

In the event, we didn’t need to worry at all. In this island bed model there are precious few of the snags mentioned. In fact there are precious few indications of it being a budget van at all. Instead you get a bright interior livened up by the odd splash of turquoise. And you even get some very clever storage solutions thrown in too, in the ‘van that was our winner of the best 2 berth motorhome category.

Full review: Joa Camp 75Q

Weinsberg X-Cursion Van 500 LT

The Weinsberg X-Cursion Van 500 LT 
  • Price: £71,660
  • MTPLM: 2800kg
  • Payload: 140kg
  • Length: 5.88m
  • Width: 2.16m

Reason to buy:

  • A huge amount of features for a relatively short van, external access to wardrobe.

Reason to avoid:

  • The internal steps might annoy some, payload could be an issue

While it is by far the most popular base vehicle for campervans, you don’t often see coachbuilt motorhomes built on a VW Transporter. If they went for VW at all (and they are starting to do so more, now, thanks to ongoing supply issues at Fiat) it would be the larger Crafter they might choose. So full credit to Weinsberg for bringing out this model which manages to pack so much into a vehicle that is just 5.88m long.

You have a comfy lounge with parallel settees, an optional bed that comes down over the cab, a washroom with a swinging partition, and a rear wardrobe with external access. It does have some snags – there is more than one step as you traverse this ban from front to back – but it shows just what is possible even in a smaller shell.

These are the low-profile motorhomes we shortlisted last year:

The winner of the best low-profile motorhome at the Practical Motorhome Awards 2022 was the Swift Select Compact C500 – we liked the comfortable rear beds and lounge. Here, you can find what we made of it, as well as the ‘vans that we shortlisted.

Swift Select Compact C500

The kitchen area of the Swift Select Compact C500, winner of the best low-profile motorhome at the Practical Motorhome Awards 2022
  • Price: £57,395
  • Berth: 2
  • MiRO: 2797kg
  • MTPLM: 3300kg
  • Shipping length: 6.65m

Reasons to buy:

  • Comfortable rear lounge
  • Comfortable beds

Reasons to avoid:

  • Small washroom

The Swift Select range is all new for 2022 – a compact coachbuilt version of the Select van conversions that Swift has been offering for some years now. The C500, however, is a new motorhome layout that hasn’t previously been offered, but should prove very popular with British motorcaravanners, which saw it take win the best low-profile motorhome category at the Practical Motorhome Awards 2022.

The two-berth includes a front dinette with two travelling seats, so you can easily use it for day-to-day travelling, and a cosy rear lounge with wraparound seating that converts either into two singles or a large double bed. As with all the new Select Compact range, the outside isn’t just a white box as the cab comes in Lanzarote grey.

The rear lounge felt a little squeezed we thought – a necessary sacrifice in a compact ‘van – but despite this, it creates a cosy atmosphere. It’s well-lit, with natural light flooding in through the side and rear windows, while in the evening, ambient lighting is provided behind the lockers and there are also four spotlights.

We were pleased with the size of the single beds that can be made up in the lounge too – they’re 6ft and 6ft 5in. We also liked how easy we found the double to make up – the huge bed can be made by turning over the cushions which are attached to the slats with Velcro, while the kneehole is soft.

We did find one downside with this though – they will make the double under the mains socket and USB ports beneath the central part of the settee fairly inaccessible.

The kitchen has a good workspace, we were pleased to see, even without using the extension. There’s a Thetford Triplex oven and microwave fitted, while we thought the curved shelf would be an ideal space for a radio or kettle.

When our reviewer, Peter Baber, stepped into the washroom, he compared it to an “airline washroom”, thanks to the all-plastic cupboard and long, narrow basin. We also found there’s no separate shower; instead, the shower head doubles up as a basin tap, while the roof vent and a large, well-lit mirror can also be found in here. We thought the cupboard in here was perfectly adequate though.

Compact motorhomes are nothing new, but few come as UK-friendly with this, or for such a relatively modest price.

Review: Swift Select Compact C500

We also shortlisted the following for the best low-profile motorhome

Adria Matrix 600 SL Axess

Adria Matrix 600 SL Axess parked on a forecourt
  • Price: £65,795

We’ve always loved this layout with its long single beds above a huge garage at the back. For 2022 in Axess spec it now comes with a double floor too, while the drop-down bed over the front lounge fits much more snugly into the ceiling.

Bailey Adamo 69-4

Bailey Adamo 69-4 bedroom area, with double bed
  • Price: £62,999

Bailey’s take on an increasingly popular Continental layout featuring a parallel settee front lounge with a drop-down bed and a large end washroom is an impressive achievement. It should certainly persuade UK motorcaravanners looking to buy such a layout that they can still buy British.

Dethleffs Globebus T1

Dethleffs Globebus T1 on a white background
  • Price: £56,490

Dethleffs’ compact range has been updated this year with a new interior with light wood and white surfaces and a concrete-look floor. The kitchens have been redesigned to create more workspace too. The transverse bed T1 still comes in at 5.99m.

Hymer T Class S 585

Hymer T Class S 585 parked up
  • Price: £62,030

This new Mercedes-based model, with 2.04m interior headroom thanks to its low chassis, includes the option of replacing the steel double leaf spring on the rear axle with a GRP spring to save 16kg in weight.

Burstner Lyseo Gallery

Burstner Lyseo Gallery parked up

Price: TBC

A coachbuilt motorhome that drives as a low-profile but comes with an inflatable overcab that can be raised in 90 seconds to create more living space or an extra double bed? Bürstner has proved it is possible in 2022.

McLouis Fusion 330

McLouis Fusion 330 on a white background
  • Price: £55,995
  • Berth: 4
  • MTPLM: 3500kg
  • MiRO: 3058kg
  • Shipping length: 6.49m

Reasons to buy:

  • Comfortable lounges
  • Good spec in washroom
  • Good lighting

Reasons to avoid:

  • Only a two-burner hob
  • Settee bases are bulky

The McLouis Fusion range matches Italian style with Auto-Sleepers quality. The 330 is the first model in the range to include a UK-friendly rear lounge. But it still manages to have a small garage too.

The kitchen contains a side-on two-burner gas hob, which, while space-saving, is perhaps not always practical when you’re cooking in a small space. However, you do get a large sink and a stylish splash back which is also backlit. You’ll also find a 142 litre fridge and Thetford Duplex combined oven and grill.

At the back of the ‘van, you’ll find a drop-down double bed – it has decent headroom, while the addition of adjustable reading lights is a nice touch. We found the single bed that can be found at the back, very comfortable while the second is a drop-down, located over the front dinette.

In the rear lounge, we liked the size of the four overhead lockers and the cabinet under the TV shelf. We did find the seat bases of the U-shaped settee an effort to move though – doing so will allow you to access a small cubbyhole on the nearside, while the rear section offers access to the garage.

The washroom is also well-specified, while we have to say, the lighting is strong throughout the van too.

Read our full review: McLouis Fusion 330

Are you looking for some more brilliant motorhome inspiration? Then head to our best motorhome guide, where we pick out the top models on the market.

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