The Motorhome of the Year awards that this magazine runs always attract a huge amount of attention. After all, testing motorhomes is really our raison d’être (although we do like a good travel piece, too, of course), so there’s a lot of interest as to which of the models that makes our annual shortlist will take the overall trophy.

Not everyone can afford a new ‘van, though – and you might decide that you’d prefer to buy used anyway. Motorhomes don’t depreciate in value as quickly as cars – but they do still depreciate. So it can make sense to buy them when they are just that bit older.

Time should prove a fine test of how good these models are – how well they have survived those years in the market, and whether they remain so popular that they are still produced.

To help you judge, we’re looking at the past 10 years of our coveted award, and why these models proved to be overall winners.

We find out if the same ‘vans are being manufactured now, and what you can expect to pay for a model of the year in which it won the award now that it’s on the used market.

2020 Winner: ELDISS AUTOQUEST/COMPASS AVANTGARDE CV60

  • USED PRICE NOW £40,234
  • NEW PRICE THEN £42,099
  • BERTHS 2
  • BELTS 2
  • BASE VEHICLE Fiat Ducato
  • ENGINE 2.3-litre, 120bhp turbodiesel
  • L/W/H 5.99/2.50/2.67m
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • PAYLOAD 654kg

Erwin Hymer UK, or Elddis as it was until recently, had only been in van conversions for two seasons when it camp up with this highly innovative model, also available in Compass Avantgarde format.

Sleek exterior has clever design touches, such as hook-up and water connections covered by a flap that slides down

Most van conversions with fixed beds at the back have either a transverse bed or two fixed singles. Unusually, the CV60 has a French bed, and even more unusually, this can be pushed back to form a day bed.

French bed is a good size, at 1.87m

This provides a perfect position for either watching the world go by out of the window, or for viewing the TV – the opposite side of the ‘van from the bed includes a large sideboard unit and all the sockets for a TV. Nor is that the only lounge here: up at the front, once you swivel the cab seats, there is a pedestal table where the two of you can enjoy a meal right next to the kitchen. There’s also another sideboard unit here, too.

Swivel cab seats to sit at pedestal table

Admittedly, you miss out on the large enclosed storage area you can get with a transverse bed, but the French bed does provide an easy gangway out of the back, where you could load a bicycle.

All told, the judges found this a very impressive effort, and were happy to give the CV60 the award for best high-top van conversion and the overall winner award.

2019 Winner: BAILEY ADVANCE 66-2

  • USED PRICE NOW From £40,950
  • NEW PRICE THEN £45,500
  • BERTHS 2
  • BELTS 3
  • BASE VEHICLE Peugeot Boxer (Al-Ko AMC chassis)
  • ENGINE 2.0-litre 130bhp turbodiesel
  • L/W/H 6.59/2/45/2.76m
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • PAYLOAD 800kg

Bailey’s lower-priced Advance range was revamped for the 2019 season, and included for the first time Al-Ko’s AMC chassis. This sits lower on the road, for greater stability, and obviously made it slightly easier to get inside.

Smart graphics, and Bailey’s Alu-Tech construction system

The line-up was also enhanced with the addition of this, the smallest model in the range. It is and always will be a strict two-berth, but that means the front lounge, with its parallel settees, feels enormous. You could have a real get-together with friends here.

The kitchen is well-equipped, and again, because this is only a two-berth, there is extra space across the way, created by the sideboard that also provides a useful resting place for a TV.

Our judges were very impressed with the end washroom, which includes a sizeable wardrobe, a shower cubicle that isn’t much smaller than the one you might have at home, and more than enough space to get dressed in,

The layout of the lounge means you will always have to make up the bed at night and put it back in the morning, but if you don’t mind that, this is an ideal ‘van for two to take on an extensive tour.

Loads of room to relax with both cab seats swivelled, and the huge rooflight floods the whole area with natural light

A new 2020 model costs £48,129; the same layout is also available in the more upmarket Alliance SE range, fro £52,629.

2018 Winner: SWIFT ESCAPE 604

  • USED PRICE NOW From £43,275
  • NEW PRICE THEN £47,580
  • BERTHS 4
  • BELTS 4
  • BASE VEHICLE Fiat Ducato
  • ENGINE 2.3-litre, 130bhp turbodiesel
  • L/W/H 5.97/2.31/2.91
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • PAYLOAD 646kg

The Escape range, a staple of Swift’s line-up, was extensively upgraded for the 2017 season, with a new interior furnished with honeycomb fabric patterns and curved panels that has since featured in many of the firm’s caravan line-ups.

Blue-and-white decals on a modern, fresh exterior

With the main story for 2018 being that all ranges now came under the Swift name, there was less attention paid to the Escape as a whole – except for this one new model.

And our judges thought it really was something special. A four-berth with a drop-down bed and four travel seats, it is ideal for a couple who sometimes take others with them. Yet it is only 5.97m long – shorter than many van conversions.

It never feels cramped inside, and features spec you might not be expecting in such a relatively small space, including a separate shower cubicle in the washroom and a 138-litre slimline fridge.

Kitchen worktop can be extended with the lift-up extension flap at the end of the unit

It easily won the Compact Motorhome category – and that was even before Swift pressed ahead with its space-friendly Escape Compact range. A new 2020 model costs £50,910 OTR.

2016 Winner: SWIFT BOLERO 744PR

  • USED PRICE FROM From £59,495
  • NEW PRICE THEN £65,310
  • BERTHS 4
  • BELTS 5
  • BASE VEHICLE Fiat Ducato
  • ENGINE 2.3-litre, 150bhp turbodiesel
  • L/W/H 8.07/2.38.2.79m
  • MTPLM 4250kg
  • PAYLOAD 875kg

Flexibility won our judges over to the 2016 Bolero, which, with an MTPLM of 4250kg, is suitable only for those with a C1 licence.

LEDs are used for the running and rear road lights, while alloys add to the snappy looks

It’s great to have a fixed bed, but often just as good to think you are buying a ‘van that can accommodate extra passengers at the drop of a hat. And that is certainly what this new-for-2016 model could do.

Its rear lounge, with parallel or U-shaped seating, converts into a huge (6ft 7in by 6ft 1in) double bed, and if there are just the two of you, it can be left up, with the more spacious front dinette used for eating. That can also convert quickly into another double.

Buyers could specify parallel or wraparound seat benches

Impressive spec includes a huge (190-litre) fridge, two TV points, USB sockets and Alde heating. It has a good payload, too.

The vehicle is powered by the 150bhp version of Fiat’s 2.3-litre Ducato engine as standard. So it should have plenty of oomph.

Swift discontinued the Bolero range a couple of seasons after this motorhome was launched. But this was one of the firm’s best-selling ranges for well over a decade, so it should hold its price very well.

2015 Winner: MURVI PIMENTO

  • USED PRICE NOW N/A
  • NEW PRICE THEN £47,533
  • BERTHS 2
  • BELTS 2
  • BASE VEHICLE Ford Transit
  • ENGINE 2.2-litre, 125bhp turbodiesel
  • L/W/H 5.53/2.06/2.58m
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • PAYLOAD 600kg

The Transit-based Pimento was introduced as a shorter version of Murvi’s best-selling Morello; that combination really rather captivated our judges.

Ford Transit base vehicle with 125bhp engine provides a very civilised ride

They also liked its innovation, in particular how versatile it is for a ‘van less than 6m long. You get two table sizes, two bed sizes, plenty of storage, and a clever layout with L-shpaed kitchen and end washroom, all of whose service points are accessible through the doors at the back.

Judges liked the attention to detail, too, such as blue mood lighting and the tailored cover the for optional TV. They also loved the way the bench rotates so you can change from lounge to dinette, and the fact that two extra seat belts can be fitted as an option; although the Pimento will always be a two-berth.

Settee squab and backrests rotate to join cab seats and form a double dinette

Murvi is a relatively small firm, so getting your hands on a ‘van from this exact model year could be tricky. But a good place to start might be Murvi itself – it has used models in its website. Still in production? Oh yes – with an OTR price of £56,387 when new.

2014 Winner: AUTO-TRAIL V-LINE 600

  • USED PRICE NOW From £33,995
  • NEW PRICE THEN £47,999
  • BERTHS 2
  • BELTS 3
  • BASE VEHICLE Fiat Ducato
  • ENGINE 2.3-litre 128bhp turbodiesel
  • L/W/H 5.99/2.51/2.81
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • PAYLOAD 410kg

The V-Line was the first van conversion range Auto-Trail had launched for more than a decade and, as well as our overall gong, the V-Line 600 won the individual Best for Innovation category.

Chief among these clever ideas were the extension of the roof above that of the standard high-top, and the corresponding inclusion of a double floor.

This meant the 600 has a level floor all the way from the cab to the back (and better insulation) and still has better headroom than many similar conversions.

One other big plus point was the storage. The judges liked the way there seemed to be a slot for everything, and spaces were organised so you could access them through the barn doors. This would turn out to be an unusual feature, because the next two V-Lines to be launched – the rear-lounge 610 and the 620 with a rear fixed bed – ditched barn doors for a single rear panel with a boot-like opening in its bottom half.

The enhanced roof that made this 2014 model so special went the way of all flesh. Still in production? No. The 610 survived, but there is no end-kitchen model in the V-Line range.

2013 Winner: DETHLEFFS GLOBEBUS I4

  • USED PRICE NOW From £37,995
  • NEW PRICE THEN From £57,790
  • BERTHS 4
  • BELTS 4
  • BASE VEHICLE Fiat Ducato
  • ENGINE 2.3 130bhp turbo
  • L/W/H 6.75/2.15/2.62m
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • PAYLOAD 590kg

The only A-class to win the overall prize in the past 10 years, the Globebus was Dethleffs’ newest range at the time.

Our judges liked it because, although it is an A-class, it isn’t huge. Thanks to Fiat’s low camper chassis, overall height is 2.62m, so we found it more nimble than we had expected.

Overall width is 2.15m, yet inside, the 6.75m-long I4 is all you could ask for. The cab seats swivel for a spacious front lounge with the two travel seats and a side settee. The fixed single beds are huge and can be used as daybeds. They are also surrounded by heating ducting, which means this motorhome should be ideal for winter touring.

The kitchen is a little compromised for space, but the Vario washroom is very luxurious.

Still in production? Strictly speaking, no. This season’s Globebus A-class line-up includes the I6, a fixed single-beds model. But it is 20cm taller, 20cm longer and 5cm wider than the I4 from 2013. The new I6 costs £66,990 OTR.

2012 Winner: CHAUSSON FLASH 10

  • USED PRICE NOW £22,000
  • NEW PRICE THEN From £36,420
  • BERTHS 4
  • BELTS 4
  • BASE VEHICLE Ford Transit
  • ENGINE 2.2-litre turbodiesel
  • L/W/H 5..99/2.30/2.89m
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • PAYLOAD 703kg

Electronic drop-down beds were still relatively novel in 2012. It was this that so impressed our judges about the Flash 10 – four proper berths in a ‘van less than 6m long, and room for a comfortable lounge when the bed is back up in the roof. Not to mention a washroom with a separate shower cubicle.

Better still, the bed can be lowered to seat level if there are only two of you travelling, so you can dispense with the ladder.

Alternatively, if you are taking extra passengers, it can be dropped to a height easily reached by he ladder and yet still leaving enough room for a second double, made up from the settees and table underneath.

Flash models in 2012 came with the Silver Pack. This was only optional, but as it included a CD player with radio and cab air-con, as well as the silver paint on the outside, you will be hard-pressed to find a used model without this.

Still in production? No, although you can find plenty of drop-down-bed motorhomes available in Chausson’s 2020 range.

2011 Winner:SWIFT ESCAPE 696

  • USED PRICE NOW From £31,995
  • NEW PRICE THEN £37,495
  • BERTHS 6
  • BELTS 6
  • BASE VEHICLE Fiat Ducato
  • ENGINE 2.3-litre, 100 bhp turbodiesel
  • L/W/H 6.92/2.33/2.94m
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • PAYLOAD 544kg

Swift revamped its Escape for the 2011 season. This was only three years after it had launched the range; but in the meantime, Elddis and Auto-Trail had responded to Swift re-entering the budget market by, respectively, upgrading the Autoquest and launching the Tribute.

Revamp included smart new graphics

The Escape revamp, and the launch of the 696 as the only new model, was in turn a response to that. The 696 impressed: it has two sets of bunks at the back, which can be partitioned off, but unusually, both lower bunks can be folded to create more space for storage, including bikes, with a garage-style door for easy access.

The dinette includes foour travel seats – so you really can travel with six people as well as accommodate them – and a side settee. There’s plenty of room for six to eat, too, because the table has an extension that swivels out.

Dinette also has table extension

The dinette seats can be widened, and there is an infill cushion that can connect the side settee to the rear-facing seat bench, creating a large L-shaped seating area.

Yet all of this comes in a ‘van that is still less than 7m long. Overall, our judges thought the only thing that might let the Escape down was the relatively small size of the washroom.

Still in production? No. There are two six-berths in the Edge, Swift’s newer, even more budget range, but they use drop-down beds over the lounge rather than bunk beds.

2010 Winner: TRIBUTE T-620

  • USED PRICE NOW From £21,995
  • NEW PRICE THEN £33,495
  • BERTHS 5
  • BELTS 4
  • BASE VEHICLE Ford Transit
  • ENGINE 2.2-litre, 115bhp turbodiesel
  • L/W/H 6.24/2.23/2.89m
  • MTPLM 3500kg
  • PAYLOAD 730kg

The coachbuilt Tributes that Auto-Trail launched in 2010 included what was then a world first: a new chassis with a wider rear track that Ford developed especially for motorhomes.

Our judges really liked an exterior profile and interior furnishings that very much belied this overcab’s budget intentions. Although there is no roll-out step, there is an exterior door to the nearside underseat lockers.

You also got cruise control as standard and a wood finish in the washroom. The latter comes with a separate shower cubicle, although headroom could be an issue.

The largest bed is in the overcab. Be aware, however, that back then, blown-air heating wasn’t as common as it is now. On this model, it was part of an options pack, so not every used model will have it. Also, this is a five-berth, but there are only four belted seats.

Still in production? No. After briefly turning out Tribute coachbuilts on Fiat Ducatos, Auto-Trail returned to having them built on Ford Transits for the 2019 season. But all four of the models in the current range are low-profiles, and none of them sleeps more than four.

If you liked this… READ THIS:

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