Coachbuilts: These start life as a cab and chassis to which a converter adds a caravan body. These are either low-profiles or overcab models - the former offering a lower, more streamlined roofline over the cab area, the latter having sufficient interior space for a double bed on top of the cab.
A-class: Here, a chassis cowl (just the engine and chassis) is the starting point, with a full caravan shell added to make optimum use of the interior space. For example, a full-size, drop-down double bed above the cab area is a common A-class feature.
RV (Recreational Vehicles): Bigger and pricier than most UK motorhomes, RVs usually offer domestic quality facilities in more spacious surroundings. Many are imported from America, though there are some European models available.
Others: Most motorhomes fit into these three categories, although there are niche vehicles such as car-derived motorhomes and demountables - the latter where the caravan unit is fixed to the back of a pick-up for travel. Also, self-built motorhomes are not uncommon. If the vehicle is not from a well-known converter, it should come with an engineer's report proving all gas and electrical installations are to the required safety standards.
Who makes motorhomes?
Just as there's a massive choice of motorhomes, there is an equally bewildering array of motorhome converters. These range from large manufacturing concerns based throughout Europe and beyond with networks of appointed retailers, to small converters, some of whom will build to individual requirements and sell direct to the public.
Among the bigger brands, key names to look out for include Auto-Sleepers, Auto-Trail, Bailey, Elddis, Romahome and the Swift Group (Swift, Bessacarr and Autocruise brands), as well as a whole host of manufacturers from mainland Europe including Adria, Burstner, Chausson, Dethleffs, Hobby, Pilote, Hymer. But note that some imported motorhomes may have the habitation door (the entrance to the living quarters) on the UK offside.
Smaller, UK-based more bespoke outfits include the likes of Bilbo's, Murvi, IH, Nu Venture, Reimo and more.
One key thing to remember is depreciation rates. Motorhomes generally have high residual values, but standard models from mainstream makers are especially likely to hold their value.