The best motorhomes and caravans of 2014

With so many impressive caravans and motorhomes of all shapes and sizes tested throughout the year, Motorhomes, Caravans & Destinations' team of testers had the daunting task of choosing their top picks.

In the latest issue (#124) we wrap up the best tests of the year, with personal faves from Jill, Bill, Lawrence and Peta. These were their picks for the best motorhomes and caravans on 2014. Don’t miss the latest issue for a much more comprehensive look at all the best motorhomes and caravans we’ve reviewed in 2014.

Best _motorhomes _1

Sterling Eccles SE Quartz 2014 Series

Bill Savidan: The Sterling Eccles SE Quartz with its curved front panel incorporating the panorama skylight is not just aesthetically pleasing; it is fuel-efficient as well, thanks to the work of Dr. Rob Lewis, Formula 1 motor racing fluid dynamics expert.

The Quartz is one of the few UK vans I've reviewed that has sufficient exterior access to interior storage lockers capable of housing picnic chairs, tables, a BBQ and golf clubs.

Marketed as a four-berth caravan, the Quartz will appeal to couples with guests staying occasionally.

Best _motorhomes _2

Dethleffs Magic SE Limited Edition

Lawrence Schäffler: The appeal of Dethleffs' Magic Edition is mainly about its exceptional value for money. A blend of its Low-Profile and A-class siblings, it comes with features available only in the A-Class motorhomes – such as the second bed that retracts into the ceiling. Effectively, you're getting A-Class features in a Low-Profile model without a cost premium.

Furthermore, it's powered by Ducato's biggest engine –180hp, three-litre, turbo-charged. Coupled to the Comfortmatic (automatic) six-speed transmission – it makes for enormously pleasurable and effortless touring.

Best _motorhomes _3

Jurgens Narooma J2607 family caravan

Lawrence Schäffler: The Narooma delivers more than you might expect. It's billed a family van – which in industry-speak is usually code for 'utilitarian' – but this tourer is, in fact, a very elegant piece of manufacturing.

It is a family-oriented design, equipped with plenty of practical features such an outside shower, a low (drawbar-mounted) tap for washing muddy feet and boots, a fixed bike rack at the rear and a pull-out BBQ.

But it's the finesse – the décor, the style and the quality of the finish – that raises your eyebrows. Quite far removed from an industrial-grade, family van – and buying one won't destroy your savings.

Best _motorhomes _4

Benimar Mileo 202

Bill Savidan: The user-friendly six-metre-long Benimar Mileo 202 is a remarkable motorhome. It can be driven on a car licence and only requires a money-saving Warrant of Fitness.

The space saving bed that lowers from the ceiling provides for a roomy kitchen, a practical bathroom, and generous storage in a very compact package. Smaller motorhomes like the Mileo 201/202 will become more and more popular as vehicle-running costs rise, tourist parking and campground space diminishes, and home storage for large vehicles dwindles. The Mileo is in the right place at the right time to capitalise on these trends.

Best _motorhomes _5

RoadCraft Base Jumper 2

Peta Stavelli: The RoadCraft Base Jumper 2 is the smallest and cheapest vehicle I drove this year; yet after spending four days travelling in the South Island in a used test vehicle from Smart RV, the co-pilot and I both agreed that this was our favourite motorhome. It is – quite possibly – the best small motorhome in New Zealand, and I wanted to pay tribute to the original designer and founder of RoadCraft, John Managh.

However, giving a used vehicle a top award lacked context until I heard that TrailLite had produced a new version of the popular vehicle. I haven't yet driven it, but I have no doubt the new version from this experienced team will continue the legacy.

Best _motorhomes _6

Elddis Avante 462

Jill Malcolm: This great single-axle caravan from England is beautifully styled inside and out. It's interior is light, spacious-feeling and sophisticated with some interesting innovations. I liked the sophisticated décor and the elegantly styled cabinetry with its Aspley walnut finish.

Importantly, the twin bed/settees are inner sprung and therefore very comfortable. The ultra-modern, easy-flow galley has adequate bench space and the bathroom is attractively and thoughtfully designed.

Peta Stavelli: It was a gloomy day when I tested the Avante, yet the interior was warm and cosy, with an unexpected lightness which went way beyond the light-filled interior to the light and strong bonded frame.

At around 1200kgs in running order, this single-axle caravan can be towed by the average family car. What's more, it has inbuilt stability control and easy hitch operation. The galley is well equipped and the bathroom capacious.

For me, this is the perfect entry level caravan for couples new to caravanning.

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