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It’s taken me a while to put this review together, but I think it was worth it.
On our recent trip to Italy (no, we didn’t take the RV), we decided to check out some European motorhomes. We checked in with the good folks at Centro Caravan Costantini, and they were more than happy to show us around several of their models. Stef and I spent more than two hours with them, crawling in, on, and around motorhomes from the following four European RV manufacturers.
It didn’t really make sense to do an in-depth review of any one model, because none of these (unfortunately) are available in North America. So instead, what we did is to review some of the features that seemed common in the European motorhomes. There are about 15 things we cover in the video, but by far, the biggest floorplan innovation is the inclusion of a GARAGE. Imagine having the functionality of a (small) toy-hauler, in the space of a B+ or small C motorhome and you’ll start to understand why I’m excited about this. I really hope some North American RV manufacturers are thinking about this concept.
There are a lot of other features in we highlight in the video, but the garage was by far my favorite.
And Again – We love these guys:
Centro Caravan Costantini. If you are ever thinking of going to Europe, and you want to rent an RV, they have a large rental fleet, so consider using them. They’re unbelievably nice, and they’ll pick you up at the Rome airport (which will save you having to drive through Rome!).
One important fact you didn’t cover constructions. Euro RV’s don’t have the heavy fiberglass sidewalls. They use lightweight aluminum skins for the sides and FRP for the roofs, something we could easily do here. Not many dual wheel RV’s over there.
Don’t remember if we mentioned this in the video, but they’re all usually shorter than here in the US too. They’ve got length limits there that we don’t have.
I love these small smart European RV’s thanks for going through them. What are the chances that we will be able to get something similar here in North America?
I would make every effort to get one if I could find something like this here. I have even considered buying one there and bringing it back home.
Question, what about the electric plug in they are different from here at home and would it be a simple converter plug or be more involved than that?
Thanks again for the video.
Whole RVs we probably won’t see over here. But features and design cues, bit by bit, are starting to work their way into US models. I’d expect evolution more than revolution. Hymer, for example, is now building RVs in North America.
As far as modding one of those to use over here: it would be a big undertaking. You would either have to replace all the wiring (120v here vs 240 there) or invest in a step-up transformer of some sort and only stay where you could bet two phase power… It would be interesting. I’m not an electrical engineer, but I’d find one to tell me how to do it if I really wanted to.
Hi – I love your site! This is an old post, but as a potential Class B or C purchaser, I’m really disappointed with US motorhome design compared to British and European which use higher quality materials and are more modern and more innovative in aesthetics and space usage. I agree that the garage design with a riser-equipped dedicated queen bed above is very useful. I also like how many 6 meter designs have ample settees forward for 4 and even 6 people! Overall, the quality and design of brands like Elddis, Westfalia, Hymer, and Chausson are far superior to any domestic brand.
We really liked the Euro motorhomes as well. With Hymer’s purchase of Roadtrek and entry into the North American market, we’re hoping more of those innovative floorplans start finding their way over here.
You can see our interview with Hymer here.
I’m late to join your blogs and site, so I apologize if a lot of what I say is obvious or intuitive to folks who are already part of this.
You are ABSOLUTLEY correct, we (North Americans) have a lot to learn about how others (Europeans) deal with some of our common situations/problems that we encounter in the States. Lots of things that RV Class B manufacturers could learn here: Shower grates, storage, beds for kids, etc.
As a “general” statement, Europeans KNOW how to deliver a lot more performance from a smaller space. When you consider a Class B Motorhome, the compact, and easily negotible variety that I (and you) are most interested in, this is MOST important.
You, over the years (?months), have achieved a lot of credibility in advocating for the features that many of with similar objectives have been looking for. When you visit the RV Manufacturer’s sites (AdvancedRV, Airstream Interstate, RoadTrek), and do reviews, please TELL them what you viewers want and like. Only then will then respond and add features that will make us (me) but their product.
Thanks for a great review!
Tom – you’re never too late. We only started the blog about a year and a half ago!
Trust me, we bring this stuff up every time we talk with a manufacturer. One of the manufacturers even went so far to tell us that, basically, Europe IS the R&D department for the North American RV market.
What I really want to do is to make it to Germany for next year’s big RV show there. Total candy-store, I’m sure.
Check out this RV. It has a garage!
Thanks Patrick! We’re seen the Thor Sprinter models before. Unfortunately, when we did, we didn’t have a measuring tape with us. Do you happen to know the dimensions of the rear pass-through compartment? In many of the twin-bed floorplans, that back compartment looks huge in pictures, but when you try to put a bike in it, it just doesn’t fit.
James & Steff,
Thanks SO much for this clip! I have seen many European RV’s in clips and lots of English units (or German units) done by English RV mags, but this is the first one by American folks whose sensibilities I think I have some understanding of! The moving bed in the back with a variable space garage underneath is truly an awesome idea. The bottle racks, the below-floor cooler, the wooden grate in the shower (which is found in a lot of sailboats),all great features to highlight. Why is I that American RV mags like Trailer Life can’t do anything like this? Too beholden to their advertisers maybe? Anyway, well done!
Glad you liked it, Tom!
I had about two solid hours of footage to go through (that’s why it took me so long to put up). There was a lot more I could have shown.
What a cool video! I wish I had wood flooring in my shower! Those are some snazzy RV’s!