This award-winning German coachbuilt on a Mercedes base looks classy inside and out, and has a spacious, comfortable island bed. Nick Harding takes a look.

Overview

It takes something very special to win one of our Motorhome of the Year classes. Frankia's M-Line T7400 GD scooped our Luxury Motorhome over 3500kg award this time around, but I think I've now found something just as good - sister model the QD. 

Instead of twin single beds at the back, the QD has a luxurious island double. 

Either model is two-berth, with belted travel for up to four; otherwise, there's no floorplan differences. 

Both are that comparative rarity, a 'low-profile' coachbuilt on a Mercedes Sprinter base - although low-profile in shape, they sit at two inches over 10ft tall. 

You can blame that on the high-level Sprinter chassis and the fact that drive is via the twin rear wheels. Inside, however, there's over 2m of standing room throughout the main living area. 

I viewed the new Frankia at SMC Motorhomes in Newark, Nottinghamshire, the brand's sole UK agent. 

Design

It's the latest Mercedes base, but despite updates, the cab feels a bit sombre.

A more indicative feature of this Frankia is the very reassuring 'thunk' as you close the habitation door, or any of the eight external hatches. Other exterior features of note include the slide-out gas cylinder tray (easier for change-overs) and - a real favourite - the retractable mains lead.

A couple of downsides, though: the wheels only come with trims as standard (alloys are £3000, among a host of options). And there's no spare - just a repair kit.

Double floor construction and Alde heating puts this 'van in the frame for all-year touring, however.

Throughout the 'van, the finishing touches abound - from the Frankia-branded paddle lights in the lounge, to the four oversize wine glasses in their own drinks locker.

Lounging & dining

Throughout the interior, quality is to the fore. The lounge is a bit compromised, despite the extra daylight via the fixed overcab sunroof and wind-up rooflight.

The swivelling cab seats have plenty of height adjustment, otherwise it's quite a step down into the cab from the living quarters, although there is a section of floor extension between the seats. The dining table is fixed height, and the locking handle for the fore and aft adjustment is just a bit too close to the seat cushion.

Kitchen

Attention to detail prevails in the kitchen. The Dometic hob has three burners, while the sink is inset into the worktop; its covers match the work surface and splash panel. Those covers double up to give extra worktop.

There's a waste bin in the worktop far corner. It's all very clever and makes this small kitchen seem very workable.

The Thetford Duplex oven/grill looks like a bit of an afterthought, but the drawer storage, spice rack and so on are all very welcome.

Across the corridor, the Dometic 160-litre fridge/freezer has automatic energy selection. The large locker above looks destined to accommodate a microwave, although that's your choice.

Sleeping

The bed itself sits high, with steps each side for easier access. Reading lights on stalks have USB outlets, and cubbyholes either side of the bed are another great idea. The main storage is in 'his and hers' wardrobes, plus lockers across the back.

Washroom

Aft of the kitchen, there's a shower cubicle nearside, in all-plastic with a cleverly integrated pull-down drying rail, as well as a riser bar, and two plugholes in the smooth floor.

Adjacent, despite its curved door, you'll struggle for space in the toilet room. The secret is to create a full-width washroom using this door to shut off the kitchen and lounge, and the double sliding doors for privacy from the bedroom.

Technical specs

LayoutRear island bed
Sleeps2
Travel seats4
MTPLM5000kg
Payload1170kg
Length7.67m25′2″
Width2.3m7′7″
Height3.09m10′2″
Fresh/waste water150L / 120L
Leisure battery80 Ah
Secondary leisure battery80 Ah
External Options
Awning light, Electric step
Kitchen Equipment
Dometic Fridge, 3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Washroom
Separate shower cubicle
Heating
Alde wet central heating

Verdict

Yes, it's all German! And this is quality personified. Although it's difficult to ignore the pricing, this is indeed a rather special example of a motorhome. It'd also make a brilliant 'van for a long tour - it's well winterised and has a whopping 1170kg payload to boot.