The best low-profile motorhomes are popular because they provide more space than a van conversion and are cheaper than an A-class ‘van.

They’re the most favoured type of coachbuilt both here in the UK and the rest of Europe, and for very good reason – they offer a tempting combination of modern, sleek good looks and improved motorhome fuel efficiency over their overcab cousins. 

If you’re wondering how to find the one for you, the Practical Motorhome Awards 2024 are here to help. This year, we’ve picked out the Chausson X650 as the best low-profile motorhome on the market. We not only like its innovative rear dressing room that can be changed into a garage, but also what it manages to fit into its more compact proportions. In this guide, you’ll be able to see exactly what we made of it, as well as the other models that we consider to be the standout options on the market in 2024.

You’ll also be able to find the ‘vans that were shortlisted last year, featuring ‘vans from some of the best motorhome manufacturers, including Weinsberg, Swift and Bürstner. 

What is a low-profile motorhome?

Low-profile motorhomes still retain the base vehicle cab, but have the benefit of extra room provided by a GRP shell. The low-profile name comes from not having any overcab to cause wind resistance. How the designers treat the interior space depends on the manufacturer – some leave the space within the low-profile area relatively open, so there’s a greater amount of headroom for the driver and passenger. Others choose to fill the space with lockers and shelves, giving you more storage.

The best low-profile motorhome is:

Chausson X650

Chausson X650

  • Price: £76,990
  • Berths: 4
  • MTPLM: 3500kg
  • MiRO: TBC
  • Payload: TBC
  • Length: 6.36m
  • Width: 2.1m

Reason to buy:

  • Innovative rear dressing room / garage, spacious lounge

Reason to avoid:

  • It’s as compact as you’d expect

We really like how the new addition to the crossover ‘X’ range from Chausson manages to cross the comfort found in a coachbuilt with the flexibility seen in the best campervans, thanks to its width of only 2.10m.

One of our favourite features in the Fiat-based low-profile motorhome is the smart rear dressing room. We love the flexibility this innovative addition provides – it’s ideal for those who love getting active on tour, as it can be transformed into a garage with room for two bikes when you’re driving to your chosen motorhome site.

Rear garage in X650
The rear garage in use

Despite the motorhome’s more compact width, you still get a washroom with a swinging partition, while a drop-down bed can be found above the parallel seating in the spacious lounge area.

With its eye-catching exterior, 16-inch alloy wheels and handy features such as electric de-icing for the rearview mirrors, the X650 is a stylish – and deserving – winner.

Also on the shortlist for the best low-profile motorhome are:

Pilote Atlas A656D
The Pilote Atlas A656D

Pilote Atlas A656D

  • Price: £84,500
  • Berths: 4
  • MTPLM: 3500kg
  • MiRO: 3015kg
  • Payload: 485kg
  • Shipping length: 6.60m
  • Width: 2.20m

Reason to buy:

  • Ideal for the more adventurous, smart appearance, well-lit lounge

Reason to avoid:

  • Turning travel seats to settees isn’t the easiest to do, cassette hatch likely to be within awning

Coming on the new Trail Transit base vehicle from Ford, the A656D has a striking appearance, with those red and black decals really catching the eye.

We like the sporty interior. The curtains, upholstery and cabin seats are all black, while the floor is near enough – however, the look is brightened by the white locker doors and the woodgrain tabletop and kitchen work surface.

The lounge itself is a well-lit area – capable of seating seven, light streams in through the sunroof and windows. The drop-down bed is also easy to lower and we were impressed by its 1.42m width, a good size for a motorhome under 7 metres, even if it does mean the door is obstructed.

Lounge in Pilote Atlas A656D
The lounge in Pilote Atlas A656D

We were also impressed by the size of the washroom. The step up is slanted, allowing the space to be efficiently utilised, although the toilet’s position will likely mean the cassette hatch is within your awning – check out our best motorhome awning guide if you’re on the lookout for one.

Then, at the rear, you’ll find decent storage, including a well-lit hanging area to the left and a garage, which despite a gas bottle locker, provides room for a bike.

Full review: Pilote Atlas A656D

Dethleffs Globebus Go T15 
The Dethleffs Globebus Go T15

Dethleffs Globebus Go T15

  • Price: TBC
  • Berths: 3
  • MTPLM: 3500kg
  • MIRO: 2692kg
  • Payload: 508kg
  • Length: 5.99m
  • Width: 2.20m

Reason to buy:

  • Brilliant build quality

Reason to avoid:

  • A-class version may cost more but provides better insulation

The Ford Transit based Globebus Go T15 comes with a 130bhp engine fitted as standard and runs on a diesel heater, not only freeing up space but saving weight too.

Despite being a small motorhome, we’re impressed by how the ‘van manages to make the most of its space. A fixed transverse double bed can be located at the rear, an area which also offers plenty of storage, thanks to the overhead lockers and open shelving.

We liked the cleverness of the bathroom too. In here, the available space is optimised by the swivel wall nestling against the outer wall. When it’s time for a shower, you can release and swing it out to achieve a shower cubicle by combining it with the sliding door.

It’s got a great spec too, including heated and electrically adjustable wing mirrors, rear garage doors on both the left and right, and ambient lighting both above and below the overhead lockers.

Hymer ML-T 580
The Hymer ML-T 580

Hymer ML-T 580

  • Price: £96,040
  • Berths: 2-3
  • MiRO: TBC
  • Payload: TBC
  • Length: 6.98m
  • Width: 2.22m

Reason to buy:

  • Mercedes base vehicle means a fantastic drive as standard, high specification level

Reason to avoid:

  • Kitchen might be a little short on worksurface for some motorhomers

Based on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, the Hymer ML-T 580 provides plenty of clever touches to create a stylish touring base.

The lounge is ideal for an evening spent relaxing in the comfort of your ‘van, with the integrated TV allowing you to watch your favourite shows. During the day, you can sit back on the comfortable headrests, with the panoramic skylight ensuring it’s a well-lit area. In the evening, a pendant lamp and integrated ambient lighting in the lockers and base plinths will also ensure you don’t want for light.

We think cooks will be inspired to rustle up a culinary treat in the stylish kitchen – here, the backsplash is made with real tiles and matt black fittings, while the spice rack helps to create that home-from-home vibe.

At the back, you’ll find two fixed single beds, which, with the addition of a cushion, can be transformed into a huge double. We like how you’ll really be able to stretch out in this space, thanks to the design of the cabinets.

These are the low-profile motorhomes we shortlisted last year:

The winner of the best low-profile motorhome at the Practical Motorhome Awards 2023 was the Swift Voyager 584 – we liked the excellent garage and thought the lounge is ideal for relaxing in. Here, you can find what we made of it, as well as the ‘vans that we shortlisted.

Swift Voyager 584

The Swift Voyager 584
  • Price: £67,495
  • MTPLM: 3500kg
  • Payload: 424kg
  • MIRO: 3076kg
  • Length: 7.85m
  • Width: 2.37m

Reasons to buy:

  • Great familiar Swift design, comfy lounge, huge garage

Reasons to avoid:

  • Not internal access to garage

Swift has been a Fiat-based manufacturer (except at the very top end) for so long now that you might wonder how well it might evolve to produce a motorhome on a different base vehicle partly because of Fiat’s ongoing supply issues. However, we found the first in a planned new range based on the existing Escape range to be an impressive start, especially as it is the first time the Hull manufacturer has built anything on a Ford Transit.

The lounge of the Swift Voyager 584

You get the same Swift design that many of us have got very used to, although even then there is a noticeable shift away from the browns and beiges of the last few seasons to a cooler and more up to date silver, grey and blue look. There is a huge garage under the single beds at the rear, where you could store much more than just bicycles. And there is even room for nice touches too, such as the little drawers that come out together by the side of the steps up to the bed in addition to the cubbyholes in the steps themselves.

We like the way the decals on the side panels thin out and turn into birds as well, even if the birds are clearly seagulls, not swifts. It just goes to show how versatile designers can put their hand to any base vehicle.

Full review: Swift Voyager 584

Bürstner Lyseo Gallery TD 689 G

The Bürstner Lyseo Gallery TD 689 G
  • Price: TBC
  • Payload: TBC
  • Length: 6.90m
  • Width: 2.30m

Reason to buy

  • This motorhome almost feels like a two-storey home

Reason to avoid

  • This is new technology, so a bit of a voyage into the unknown

OK, so this vehicle, with a highly unusual inflatable pop-up roof, was actually officially launched last year. But we are including it in this year;s line-up because this season is the first time we’ve got to see what it looks like in real life – and, even more importantly, this season is also when it could finally be making an appearance on UK forecourts.

The interior of the Bürstner Lyseo Gallery TD 689 G

The “bedroom space” you get inside that pop-up roof really is rather marvellou – much more substantial than average with two large roll-down windows, a rooflight and even a bit of shelving. It is accessed via a proper staircase too, and really give you the impression that this is a motorhome with two storeys.

Even down below there is still room for innovation, with kitchen workspace that slides out to reveal more shelving, and a sink cover that swivels to provide a workspace extension.

Chausson S514 Sport Line

The Chausson S514 Sport Line
  • Price: £56,990
  • MTPLM: 3500kg
  • MIRO: 2600kg
  • Payload: 900kg
  • Length: 5.99m
  • Width: 2.10m

Reason to buy:

  • Great exterior, clever storage options

Reason to avoid:

  • Limited kitchen

If you think motorhomes can only ever be big white boxes on wheels then this season’s version of Chausson’s compact van with the “butterfly bed” at the back is here to show how you might be wrong. For this season it’s a completely different colour – grey – and not just the side walls but all over the vehicle. That grey is a special grey too that you won’t find on any other motorhome. It has been developed by Chausson in-house from a colour supplied by Ford – the maker of the S514’s base vehicle – that is otherwise only used on the Ford Puma.

It certainly gives the motorhomes a striking look. With the associated black edging to the windows and locker doors, black with a slash of green decals down the side, and black alloy wheels too, it looks very sporty – almost like a support vehicle you might see, say, on the Tour de France than on something that is going to turn up on the pitch next to yours.

But perhaps that’s not surprising. That “butterfly bed” is a transverse double that folds in half, providing enough room for you to store a bicycle upright in the garage below.

Full review: Chausson S514 Sport Line

Joa Camp 75Q

The Joa Camp 75Q
  • Price: £59,500
  • MTPLM: 3500kg
  • Payload: 675kg
  • MIRO: 2825kg
  • Length: 7.4m
  • Width: 2.30m

Reason to buy:

  • Great value, bright interior

Reason to avoid:

  • It’s on a higher chassis, so you have more steps up into it

When Pilote first announced it was bringing out a new range that was going to be bug not just because it was based on a cheaper base vehicle – the Citroen Relay – but also because it would be relying more on modular construction, we did have a sense of foreboding.

After all, modular construction is by no means new to the industry, and its faults often become most apparent when Continental left-hand drive vehicles, of the kind Pilote would no doubt initially be designing, are swapped over onto right hand drive. We are talking shower trays that have bite taken out of them for a wheel arch when there is no wheel arch there, or roof vents that are ventilating a completely sealed cupboard – both these quirks have been known.

In the event, we didn’t need to worry at all. In this island bed model there are precious few of the snags mentioned. In fact there are precious few indications of it being a budget van at all. Instead you get a bright interior livened up by the odd splash of turquoise. And you even get some very clever storage solutions thrown in too, in the ‘van that was our winner of the best 2 berth motorhome category at the Practical Motorhome Awards 2023.

Full review: Joa Camp 75Q

Weinsberg X-Cursion Van 500 LT

The Weinsberg X-Cursion Van 500 LT 
  • Price: £71,660
  • MTPLM: 2800kg
  • Payload: 140kg
  • Length: 5.88m
  • Width: 2.16m

Reason to buy:

  • A huge amount of features for a relatively short van, external access to wardrobe.

Reason to avoid:

  • The internal steps might annoy some, payload could be an issue

While it is by far the most popular base vehicle for campervans, you don’t often see coachbuilt motorhomes built on a VW Transporter. If they went for VW at all (and they are starting to do so more, now, thanks to ongoing supply issues at Fiat) it would be the larger Crafter they might choose. So full credit to Weinsberg for bringing out this model which manages to pack so much into a vehicle that is just 5.88m long.

You have a comfy lounge with parallel settees, an optional bed that comes down over the cab, a washroom with a swinging partition, and a rear wardrobe with external access. It does have some snags – there is more than one step as you traverse this ban from front to back – but it shows just what is possible even in a smaller shell.

Written with contributions from Peter Baber and Sarah Wakely.

Are you looking for some more brilliant motorhome inspiration? Then head to our best motorhome guide, where we pick out the top models on the market.

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