Andrew McPheeSee other motorhome reviews written by Andrew McPhee
Practical Motorhome reviews the compact Bessacarr E425
We like Bessacarrs. They are always workmanlike and look neat, tidy, and eye-catching. At a show or on a dealer forecourt, it’s the exterior looks that first draw you to a motorhome.
The new Bessacarr is no exception to this. At 20ft 9in long, the E425 is a compact ‘van which can be easily parked in most places. Swift Group’s design team has made a great job of the overcab shape atop the new Ducato which many manufacturers have either struggled to make attractive or have just continued with an existing shape, regardless of appearance. Although it sleeps four, there are only two belted seats, so it’s essentially a luxury two-berth.
The nearside entrance door has a window in it. Inside this door is something that is often missing from the majority of ‘vans: a good-sized waste bin. There is also a flyscreen and an automatically recessing step.
The offside, underseat locker houses the leisure battery. We think it would be quite difficult to lift out unless you went inside and lifted it out via the settee. Also, Bessacarr must do something about the loose wiring – much of which isn’t in a loom and could easily be fouled when the locker is used. We hope this will be tidied up in production models.
On the road
Sitting in the cab, the driving position seems very comfortable and the cab has a nice dashboard trim to match the motorhome’s interior.
Lounging & dining
The windows have fitted blinds and fly screens, both of which pull down from the top. There are good curtains on the windows, too, with tie-backs.
The upholstery is sprung and has good quality covers but the light colour may show the dirt very quickly.
The seating at the back is L-shaped with easily accessible, capacious lockers beneath. The one shortcoming is the loose wiring we mentioned.
The folding table is freestanding so it can also be used outside, but because of the E425’s L-shaped layout, only three people could eat at this table: one at the end and two at the side. If there is a fourth diner, he or she had better enjoy eating off their lap. So, you get a nice, airy ‘van with four berths, one dedicated passenger seat and a table that seats three. Draw your own conclusions…
Storage space is good, with a place for the chopping board, a pull-out vegetable rack, a large cupboard beneath the sink and a removable drainer to allow more workspace.
All round, it is a great kitchen with, unusually, enough space for two people to work at once.
The L-shaped sofa easily makes up into a double bed. You use the back cushions, which we felt would make for a lumpy night’s sleep but you could turn them over to give, at least, a flat top surface.
The shower area is a clever design: by pulling out a hinged wall panel and connecting it to a swing panel in the door you form a separate, integral shower unit and this partitions the toilet area to keep it dry. Sadly, though, this clever piece of design didn’t quite meet in the middle – nor did it on another, similar ‘van we were shown. “It will be OK on the production model, sir.” Yes, but we’d like to see it working now.
Hot water is supplied by either mains electricity or gas. This also applies to the space heating. With the amount of mains electricity available in modern ‘vans, a close eye must be kept on the consumption of amps, limited to 16A on most campsites, but commonly only 5A in France.
The control panel is above the entrance door and is neat and simple, once you fathom the hieroglyphics.
The E425 has a good idea we’ve never seen in a ‘van before: a magazine rack is positioned beneath a large vertical window.
The roof lockers have well-fitted doors and all the woodwork throughout is very well finished.
3-burner gas with electric hot plate, Oven, Separate grill, Microwave
Thetford C-250 toilet
As we left the ‘van, we spoke to two potential buyers who were viewing it. Their opinion? Airy, light, well finished, well equipped and great value for money. At £32,745 (on the road), even considering the shortcomings we mentioned, we wholeheartedly agree with that view.
- Light, open interior; specification; price
- Only two belted seats; difficult for four to dine; position of microwave; odd build issue