Peter Baber
Reviews Editor

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Fans of end-lounge living must check out the Frankia F-Line A 740 Plus which proves it's not just British ’vans that have mastered this much-loved layout

Overview

Rear-lounge ’vans are often seen as quintessentially British – but that doesn’t mean that other nationalities can’t get in on the act.

And perhaps none does so more convincingly than German brand Frankia.

This season’s new A 740 Plus model is one of three in its Fiat-based F-Line coachbuilt range that features a rear lounge and a new front section with an overcab bed.

Design

In terms of length, the 740 is the middle of the trio – but more models with the same layout are planned for 2018.

This ’van has a 4500kg MTPLM, so you are going to need the right licence to drive it.

At 3.19 metres high it looks formidable, but that height is partly down to the double floor.

It provides you with more than just insulation: you get an underfloor storage chamber, and Frankia’s trademark service point – a locker housing the electric hook-up and water connection.

On the road

The cab is comfortably air-conditioned, with good visibility and an easy-to-navigate dashboard.

The Comfort-Matic gearbox doesn’t feel too unwieldy.

Lounging & dining

That double floor means there is a bit of a climb into this motorhome, but there is a proper grab handle on the door.

The top step opens up to reveal a useful shoe locker, and there are coat hooks. The control panel above the door is tucked away behind a locker.

The rear garage necessitates a high step up into the lounge. But once you get there you’ll find it’s comfy, with wraparound seating providing room for eight.

Our test model had a sober grey colour scheme but there are eight colours and shades to choose from.

A huge rooflight brightens the area by day, and at night eight dimmable LED lights around the ceiling and four spotlights do the job.

There’s a TV socket at the back of the dresser between the nearside settee and fridge but, oddly, the nearest mains socket is under the settee (with two USBs, too).

Four heating vents from the Truma E heating system (added by SMC, Frankia’s only UK dealer) keep you cosy.

The foldaway table that came with our test model can accommodate four or five, but it’s stored in the garage – not particularly convenient.

SMC can also supply a single-leg pedestal table as well as the standard Frankia twin-leg version.

Hidden under the sofas in the rear lounge are two Aguti travel seats. Larger children may feel a little boxed in, though, and you might not like having smaller kids far from the cab.

Kitchen

In the central kitchen you must make do with a two-burner hob, but it looks stylish, and SMC can provide a three-burner.

The worktop is extended by removing the sink cover and placing it in the dedicated hole in the flap that slides out under the sink.

A single striplight lights the area, but you do get a mains socket and a USB point.

Below are three large drawers: one holds a cutlery tray, another has a small bin, all are usefully divided. Above are two deep lockers.

Opposite is a Dometic combination oven/grill, above a 150-litre Dometic fridge and freezer.

There’s a shelf for spices, and in the dresser are a drawer and shelved cupboard. An Omnivent deals with smells.

Sleeping

To access the lengthways twin beds over the cab, you need to open the nearside cupboard: inside the door is a set of steps that folds down and seals off the cab.

A pull-out platform turns the singles into a double, and the whole area can be sealed off by a partition.

Each bed has its own window, small shelf and spotlight, plus there’s a USB and 12V socket.

The comfortable front double is made up by putting poles between the two sofas and sliding over the solid-based backrests.

Washroom

The central washroom can be partitioned off from both ends, giving you dressing space across the aisle.

A solid door allows access to the roomy shower cubicle, while the basin across the aisle has a large lit mirror hiding three shelves.

Below it is a cupboard and, behind the ceramic toilet, a shelf. Frankia supplies a second toilet cassette, stored in the garage.

There are two mains sockets in this washroom.

Storage

Two full-length wardrobes – one in the bedroom and one by the lounge – deal with clothes storage.

There are eight overhead lockers in the lounge, but little space under the sofas, which is taken up by the travel seats.

The garage is big enough for a bike, with a door at the back as well as one on each side, and it is lit and heated.

Equipment

Other options that SMC adds for UK ’vans include a 22in flatscreen TV and a Blaupunkt radio with built-in sat-nav system.

Technical specs

Sleeps4
Travel seats4
MTPLM4500kg
Payload930kg
Length7.52m24′8″
Width2.3m7′7″
Height3.19m10′6″
Engine (power)177
Fresh/waste water150L / 130L
Leisure battery80 Ah

Verdict

This is a well-built ’van perfect for year-round touring, but you might expect a higher-spec kitchen for the price.

However, we love the Frankia A 740’s bedroom layout, and can’t wait to see 2018’s version.

Conclusion

Pros

  • The garage is large, lit, heated and has multiple access points
  • Despite being a German ’van, it has a combined oven/grill
  • Occupants of the overcab bed are well catered for
  • It has a clever washroom

Cons

  • You'll need C1 entitlement on your driving licence to get behind the wheel
  • The freestanding table is stored in the garage
  • The travel seats are a long way from the cab
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