Rob Ganley
Group editor

See other motorhome reviews written by Rob Ganley

Learn about the Auto-Trail Frontier Mohawk in the Practical Motorhome review

Design

As with all Auto-Trails the Mohawk looks solid but elegant, and the new graphics, decals and badges give the exterior a modern lift. It’s a pity that our test ’van didn’t come with the Platinum Pack, which for £599 gives you a rather fetching silver cab paintjob. The rear wall carries the easily accessible spare wheel, a lockable, colour coded roof access ladder and also boasts newly styled rear lights.

All Frontier models are now supplied with a roof mounted 85W solar panel as standard, in response to the growing demand for greener systems.

The middling overhang of 2.4 metres is crying out for corner steadies, especially in blustery winter weather. But we liked the gas locker which is 37cm from the ground, has no lip to negotiate and has an opening catch located within the ’van. We also liked the external gas barbecue point as well – it’s conveniently placed for access to the internal kitchen.

The electric hook-up point is cleverly located in an offside locker, which ensures it won’t be a hazard on site when using the habitation door.

On the road

The 130bhp engine is perfectly adequate to propel the ’van’s 7.5 metre length. But the optional upgrade to the 157bhp unit would provide that satisfying extra bit of ‘oomph’ on long hills or when overtaking.

Although road handling and manoeuvring were generally very good, we were surprised by the rather unpleasant rumbling noises on some road surfaces. However, once we rescued the free range grill pan there were no detectable on-board rattles.

The cab is well-equipped, with cruise control, twin airbags, adjustable swivel seats with armrests, electric windows and mirrors, and pleated blinds to all windows as standard. Visibility to the wing mirrors is improved thanks to the single cassette housing for the cab blinds, which results in a narrower pillar between the side windows.

Lounging & dining

The centrally placed nearside habitation door effectively subdivides the ’van and is enhanced by an illuminated step, a grab rail and a three-quarter length mirror. In the living/dining area two longitudinal, dense foam bench seats face each other and offer ample seating for four.

There’s a small, adjustable circular table with a detachable boom leg next to the passenger seat, which Sue found created more problems than solutions. But when it’s removed there isn’t really a designated spot to store it, and when its in place the leg obstructs access to the power socket at the end of the lounge settee.

We like the sturdy, sizeable (95 x 58cm) freestanding lounge table, which has a very tight fitting designated storage spot in the bedroom. It dominates the space between the bench seats but offers plenty of room for plates and the like.

Although both cab seats swivel Sue found that there isn’t really enough legroom for them to be used simultaneously. We had to lower the steering wheel to gain enough space for the driver’s seat to turn. Once swivelled, we couldn’t persuade either seat to lock into place, resulting in irritating swivelling, too.

We loved the excellent ceiling-mounted fold-down LCD TV/entertainment unit (part of the Media pack), which is best viewed from the facing sofas.

Two good sized windows combine with an opening rooflight to provide abundant natural light and at dusk there’s a plethora of mood lighting available from a combination of dimmable LED strips, directional spots and discreet uplighting.

A courtesy light is nicely incorporated into the hanging rail in the full-length wardrobe, switching on automatically when the left-hand door is opened. Overall, we found that the white LED lighting in the Mohawk was a little glaring and didn’t mix well with the warm lighting elsewhere in the ’van.

Kitchen

Almost everything is provided in the compact galley. Set in the granite-effect, heat resistant worktop is a good-sized stainless steel sink with a domestic-style mixer tap. It has a small draining area and two nicely sculpted covers, which can be used to extend the 35cm worktop area to 100cm in length.

The glass-lidded dual fuel hob is full-featured, with three electronically ignited gas burners and one 230V electric plate, plus a gas grill and separate oven.

Although there’s a sliding window and a 12V roof fan/ventilator close to the cooker, she found that they were not practical to use during torrential rain so the lack of alternative extraction could be a problem at times.

Above the sink a slightly projecting cupboard with a silver tambour door houses a fitted 700W microwave oven. Beneath the sink, the 97-litre three-way Thetford fridge with small freezer compartment has a positive catch. We liked the fact that it opens into the entrance area, making it easy to fill and clean, too.

Sleeping

One of the main reasons for buying this vehicle will be the fixed, transverse rear bed. Two six inch deep mattresses are placed over a slatted base to provide a generous (2.13 x 1.38m) sleeping space. One problem we found with the mattresses is that they are so snug fitting that it can be difficult to tuck in a base sheet without breaking every fingernail or scratching the walls.

There’s a good-sized window in the bed area for sunrises and a large opening rooflight as well. A privacy curtain is available for when guests are using the other bed. Individually switched reading lights, a combination of lockers and easily accessible shelves plus a dedicated flat screen TV mount (TV not provided) at the foot of the bed are the final flourishes.

A second very comfortable double bed measuring 2.10 x 1.24m appears in seconds at the front of the ’van by sliding the bench seat bases together, adjusting the leg securing screws and re-arranging the four cushions.

Washroom

The Mohawk has two separate washing areas. Offside there’s a shower cubicle with seamless walls, an adjustable shower head, a strong hanging rail, single drain hole and a frosted glass, bi-fold door.

On the nearside a circular Thetford swivel toilet is joined by the oddly shaped, narrow washbasin, which we found impossible to use without soaking everything around it. There’s a well-lit mirror, floor and wall cupboards with plentiful racks for toiletries and a full complement of quality furnishings – loo roll and toothbrush mug holders, towel rail and clothes hooks – although we did think it a shame that there’s no shaver socket. In addition to the small clear glass window there’s also a huge opening rooflight ensuring more than adequate ventilation.

The door to the toilet cubicle cleverly closes onto the forward area of the ’van creating an en suite washroom for the rear bed area. When the door swings open it has to negotiate a ceiling light so there’s an 8.5cm gap at the top when in en suite set-up. So it doesn’t afford complete privacy if using the toilet. When used simply as a toilet room, bending over the basin results in an attack from the prominent door handle and the toilet has to be swivelled to allow any knee room.

Storage

Many buyers will also be attracted by the Mohawk’s garage. It can be accessed from either side of the ’van via generously-sized doors (74.5 x 85cm) and there’s a manually switched LED strip light on either side as well. The garage has chequerplate effect flooring, plenty of tie downs and hanging storage pockets. The available storage weight for the garage is 150kg, allowing for loads of sports kit, leisure furniture or shopping.

On the offside, a 110cm-long locker, which also houses the hook up point, is perfect for storing cables and muddy levellers, which can be washed down with the practical external shower connector placed close by. There’s a small compartment housing the 110Ah leisure battery with space for another if required.

Inside, the ’van’s roomy overhead cupboards offer a nice mix of storage options and are fitted with anti-rattle strips.

There’s good storage space under the lounge seating, with top or side access, although the space beneath the nearside bench contains the gas bottle locker and some air ducting, limiting its use to smaller items. Our test ’van was the lo-line model, which has capacious cupboard space over the cab, and a nice wide ledge to place small items such as keys and glasses.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats2
MTPLM4005kg
Payload505kg
Length7.5m24′7″
Width2.31m7′7″
Height3.03m9′11″
Waste water100L
External Options
GRP sidewalls
Kitchen Equipment
3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Oven, Separate grill, Microwave
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet, Separate shower cubicle, Bi-fold shower door
Heating
Truma Electric/Gas Blown air heater, Truma Electric/Gas water heater

Verdict

The Mohawk is perfect for those looking for a high level of comfort with the ability to carry enough kit to tour for long periods at anytime of year, thanks to its high payload and generous storage provisions.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Versatile, suitable for couples and small families
  • Improved spec and interior design

Cons

  • Ventilation in the washroom is inconvenient
  • Noisy road manners on some surfaces
Share with friends

Follow us on

Recently added motorhomes for sale

Most recent motorhome reviews

Swift Escape 604

£47,580OTR

The Practical Motorhome 2018 Swift Escape 604 review – 1 - The Fiat Ducato-based Swift Escape 604 has a licence-friendly MTPLM of 3500kg – it is £47,580 OTR, £49,275 as tested (© Peter Spinney/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Auto-Trail Imala 732 review – 1 - The 2018 Auto-Trail Imala 732 is a four-to-six-berth, with two-to-four travel seats, depending on options (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Adria Coral Supreme 670 SLT review – 1 - The silver 2018 Adria Coral Supreme 670 SLT is certainly a head-turner – and has a handy 3500kg MTPLM (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Wellhouse Terrier Lux-XL review – 1 - The Wellhouse Terrier Lux-XL is priced from £42,000 OTR – this example is £44,175 OTR (© Nick Harding/Practical Motorhome)

Devon Vitesse

£52,536OTR

The Practical Motorhome Devon Vitesse review – 1 - You get an unusually high pop-top in this Mercedes-Benz-based camper van from Devon Conversions (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)

Auto Campers MRV

£47,500OTR

The Practical Motorhome Auto Campers MRV review – 1 - The Auto Campers MRV is priced from £47,500 – this example with its options comes to £53,836 (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)