Concorde is renowned for its opulent A-classes, which set the standard for top-end European luxury. Not many people realise that Concorde also produces two campers, called the Compact and Vario (in fact, the putting-together is done by German outfit Pössl, which also produces Globecar and TEC van conversions, and claims to be Europe’s largest manufacturer of campers).

The Compact is well renowned in Germany, where it has won numerous awards for its unique design. This uniqueness lies in the fact that it’s built with little regard for height restrictions (it’s over 3m (9’8”) tall) and much concern for parking spaces (only 5.41m (17’7”) long). The end result is an unusual hybrid of high-top and coachbuilt, with a prominent GRP roof on a short-wheelbase Ducato body.

The scene within is no less unusual – the Compact has a dinette and a side kitchen, with a rear washroom. Step in and the first thing you’ll notice is the overwhelming feeling of height and space, which is a plus point of having such a stratospheric roof. There’s ample lounging and dining space for two, and the kitchen is spacious as well, although both areas could do with a bit more artificial lighting.

In addition to a sizeable single bed (194cm x 78cm) which is made up out of the dinette, the Compact utilises a clever roof bed (212cm x 166cm) which is huge and comfortable and can easily be pushed out of the way when not in use. It splits and rises on hydraulic struts, clearing ample headroom. When it’s lowered it does block quite a lot of light from reaching the lounge area, though, and it remains quite high off the floor, at 168cm – access is achieved via a two-piece ladder stowed just inside the rear doors, which means you can only reach it from outside.

Another side-effect of this ’van’s unusual height is a profusion of rather steep steps; you’ll need to scale a 15cm summit to get from the habitation to the cab, but 
that’s a tiddler compared to the duo of steps leading to the washroom, one 20cm high and the other 28cm high.

The washroom itself is spacious and very useable, with a wardrobe built into the nearside wall. Storage is excellent under the seats and in overhead lockers and cubbies, although some of these are set so high up that they can be difficult to reach.