Extendable motorhomes: what are they and what advantages do they offer?

A few weeks ago we told you about the Knaus Tourer CUV, a motorhome with a camper spirit that measures 5.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
19 March 2023 Sunday 01:13
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Extendable motorhomes: what are they and what advantages do they offer?

A few weeks ago we told you about the Knaus Tourer CUV, a motorhome with a camper spirit that measures 5.80 meters long and has a pop-up roof. This solution grants greater habitability, with the possibility of offering a shower of considerable height and freedom of movement inside, but it is the previous step to the so-called extendable motorhomes. They are modular models that grow on the outside when the vehicle is inhabited to offer an unbeatable space but without leaving behind good dynamism while driving.

This set of extension surfaces and modules is also used in caravans, such as the Whale Trailer Cabin. This prototype optimizes space on another level, with an aerodynamic silhouette in its touring configuration that converts, as if it were a transformer, into a mini-apartment with a kitchen, full bathroom, and double bedroom.

Extendable bodies in the motorhome world became known with the so-called competition Motorhomes. Both in Formula 1 and in the Moto GP Grand Prix we see this type of houses on wheels, derivatives or built on trucks and not on commercial van chassis. Upon reaching the circuit, these motorhomes camp and extend their side modules to grant more square meters than some apartments in the center of the cities.

Gaining space during long stays is the objective of any manufacturer of motorhomes, both general and luxury. The Protec Q18 is a great example of an extendable variant derived from this idea, since the areas that slide are on the sides. The focus of this variant, which is built on Iveco Daily chassis, is clearly premium, but it has a curious detail: it is not a Liner.

Indeed, the most significant thing about this model is its size, since it measures 7.9 meters long by 2.3 meters in circulation mode and 3.5 when camping. It is common to see this set of modules in larger bodies and, therefore, inaccessible economically. Of course, the level of finishes, equipment and quality of furniture, advances us a configuration for a lucky few.

Something similar has been developed by Airstream on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, extendable on the sides and that shoots up its price above 210,000 euros. This is the Atlas RV 2020, a camper equipped with the latest technology from the star's firm and a cabin that has nothing to envy to the lofts of European cities.

It measures 7.30 meters long and is designed for a couple, despite being able to expand its space to four people. Be that as it may, when camping you can slide the side modules to expand the width of the common area, featuring the kitchen and a leather sofa worthy of interior design magazines that becomes a bed. The bathroom is also designer, with a separate shower in which wood, aluminum and white plastic areas are combined.

Adria also launched a bold expandable motorhome concept with the Compact Plus SLS. It is a model produced on a Fiat chassis, with a 150 CV engine and up to 6.79 meters long (6 meters without the extensible area). This external size gives us superior rolling comfort, with the usual driving position in a van, but fewer aspects to control, such as length or total weight.

Its sliding area is the back, which gives a total space to the twin beds of 200 x 85 and 197 x 80/68 centimeters. It also has a roof awning for camping and upper structure protection (sliding roof). It doesn't seem to have fit in too well with the public in Spain, so you can find the odd model on sale or on outlet promotion.