Gentleman JackSee other motorhome reviews written by Gentleman Jack
Wow! The 2016 IH N-Class 630 RL looks more like a yacht than a van conversion – read our expert's review to see if it lives up to expectations
Panel-van converter Ian Hartley has continually evolved the design of his IH motorhomes over the past two decades. He has an innate ability to combine traditional and modern elements to create an interior vibe that is up-to-date while being timeless in a classic way that is reminiscent of high-end yacht cabins.
In the past, IH has altered a variety of base vehicles but, for 2016, the line-up is built solely on the Fiat Ducato, with models on both the LWB and XL versions. These are available with the standard-issue rear doors or with an optional one-piece moulded rear panel that creates a full-width, exterior-access boot.
The IH Motorhomes N-Class 630 RL costs from £62,995 on the road; and we were given a chance to test a higher specification one costing £74,303.
Once the side door has been removed, the new module isn’t just added but fully integrated, so that it looks as though it has always been there. A double-glazed, opening window has been added to the module, just rearwards of the new door.
On the road
The soon-to-be-retired 3.0-litre, 180bhp Euro 5+ engine specified for the test vehicle is an absolute bell-ringer – smooth, fast and with shedloads of torque. We shall see whether its much smaller capacity Euro 6 replacement will be as joyful to pilot; it may not.
IH always specifies 16in wheels for its conversions – for N-Class, smart alloys are standard – either as solid silver-grey or black-and- silver. It will be when parking that the XL’s extra 14in or so behind the rear wheels will need to be considered, especially if you have limited space on the drive at home.
Lounging & dining
As often happens, it is the details that make a difference – and here for the better. A proper magazine rack (not one of those awful spider’s web things), well-placed lighting and a stable table of sensible proportions all scored highly.
Every bit as important are the insulated gap between the backrests and the wall, the absence of draughty rear doors and the inclusion of a powerful combi boiler. Taken together, they should provide the basis for comfortable, year-round motorcaravanning in temperate climates.
Clever positioning of reading lights offer occupants of the double bed a choice of sleeping transversely or longitudinally. Because there is a cracking additional seating area in the cab, the bed(s) could be left made up if desired.
Storage abounds with two large cubbyholes and, above the foldaway basin, a medicine cabinet with a mirror door and shelves. I’ve a personal dislike of storing a tabletop in the same room as the toilet, but freely admit that I’m probably being illogical.
Behind the waist-level door are the consumer unit, fuse board and the rest of the electrical gear. I know it’s getting repetitive, but it is yet another well thought-out piece of design. So many converters hide this stuff away at the back of wardrobes or in seat boxes, turning a tripped MCB into a major military operation.
|Layout||Van conversion, rear lounge|
|Fresh/waste water||67L / 60L|
|Leisure battery||140 Ah|
|Gas tank size||25kg|
|Number of gas tank compartments||1|
Dometic Fridge, Oven, Separate grill
Thetford C-250 toilet, Shower curtain
Motorcaravanners appear to have judged the IH N-Class to be one of the best British-built campers, given its sales success.
We reckon the 630 RL will become the most popular. High-quality build and intelligent design are both amply in evidence.
- Enormous double bed
- Comfy rear lounge
- Warm décor, not at all clinical
- Rear boot locker
- High specification
- High quality comes at a price
- Only two berths and two travel seats