You will no doubt have heard about them, and you may even have seen one at an NEC show. But have you ever been up close to one of those mega-motorhomes that cost about the same as the average UK house? Last month, I had the chance to do just that, by taking a good look at the Iveco Daily-based Carthago chic s plus I 61 XL LE, at Choose Leisure in Kent.

The official OTR price of this luxury motorhome, according to Carthago’s website, is £186,910, well below the average UK house price of around £250,000. But Carthago offers such an extensive list of options, you could easily go even higher than my test model’s price, which came to £268,495.

This came fitted with the super package (£9430, covering a range of cab improvements, an upgraded garage and a SOG toilet unit), Iveco’s driver assistance package (£7510) and comfort package (£12,960, featuring air suspension, alloy wheels and a wider-gauge axle), and the air-con package (£4340, including air-con and the electric awning). 

Cab area
The cab is as sleek as you’d expect, with optional heated captain’s seats

Individual extras included an engine upgrade with auto gearbox (£10,170), leather upholstery (£3760), a silver exterior (£3790) and two panoramic skylights instead of a drop-down bed (£2030). All of these additions make it quite tricky to judge what the standard vehicle actually provides. 

The cab is as sleek and minimalist as you would expect from one of the best motorhome brands and at this price, with captain’s seats (heated for an extra £710).

The lounge features two long parallel settees (with the nearside one L-shaped to include two forward-facing travel seats) either side of a pedestal table that (for £710 extra) cleverly opens out. Good lounge lighting can be an important factor when buying a motorhome, and here, it really is flooded with light: if you don’t need the drop-down bed, the optional skylight is worth considering.

Our test model included a £530 option to make an occasional – very occasional – bed out of the table and the settees, but if you’re looking for four berths, our best 4 berth motorhome guide is worth a look.

Lounge area with cab seats swivelled to face table and seating
Plenty of storage and sumptuous seating in the brightly lit lounge

LEDs under the lockers and ambient light keep things bright at night, but there are no reading lights by the cab seats. The 40-inch TV (part of a £4340 package) rises behind the offside settee.

The kitchen has a stylish concave base unit with a split-cover sink and extendable tap. You get a three-burner gas-only hob, and a well-lit workspace (finished in Corian for £1410). There’s a combined oven and grill (£940 extra) and a slimline fridge across the way. The coffee machine (another £1930 extra) has its own space in the corner.

Kitchen area
Eye-catching kitchen design provides ample and storage

The central washroom is the most impressive part of this motorhome. You have to step up to it, but once in there, you shouldn’t feel the need to use site facilities. It can be sealed off to create a dressing area, with full-length mirrors on the rear sliding doors. These are next to a large square basin in front of a double mirror. In the shower room, you get a choice of a conventional or a rain shower. There is even a separate room for the SOG toilet. Unfortunately, this is on the side of the awning.

The two single beds at the rear can be made almost into a double if you pull the central section towards you. 

The rear single beds
Single beds at the rear can make up a small double with the central section pulled out

There are plenty of LEDs, as well as USBs near the headboard, and the tops of the beds can be raised to make them into daybeds. If you go for the optional second TV (£1370), it has its own neat compartment at the foot of the beds.

Quite apart from the reinforced rear garage (complete with shower), the double floor in this motorhome can be accessed from several points inside for storage. There are six overhead lockers in the lounge and six in the bedroom. 

Storage in double floor
Double floor provides easily accessible storage space

Half-height hanging wardrobes at the foot of both beds supplement the full-height one in the washroom and the set of drawers under the basin.

The kitchen unit has four drawers and a slide-out cupboard. Up top is a double cupboard with a wineglass cabinet – it comes as standard. 

Alternatives to consider

The Le Voyageur Eterna 7.0 GJF offers a great base for luxurious touring but with an MTPLM of 3500kg, providing a comfortable, ergonomic ‘van for families. Another option from Carthago is the Carthago c-tourer I 145 RB LE Superior – a stylish and luxurious option with plenty of storage and a very comfortable lounge.

Technical spec of the Carthago chic s plus I 61 XL LE

  • Price: £186,910 (£268,495 as tested)
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Belts: 4 
  • Base vehicle: Iveco Daily with ladder type frame
  • Engine: 3.0-litre, 207bhp turbodiesel
  • Length/width/height: 8.60/2.27/3.29m (28’2”/7’4”/10’8”)
  • MTPLM: 6700kg 
  • MiRO: 4615kg 
  • Payload: 2085kg
  • Water (fresh/waste): 235/200 litres
  • Leisure battery: 2 x 80Ah
  • Gas: 2 x 11kg

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