Unlimited luxury from a liner
This is a truly immense motorhome. Exclusive, too. And, if you’re thinking it’s something of a rarefied bargain – with its starting price that just nudges of £100,000 – don’t forget there are literally tens thousands of pounds of extras you’ll want to add to suit your particular touring needs – engine and transmission upgrades, leather upholstery, various options packs as well as a lengthy list of individual items.
This example, for instance, ended up with a price tag nudging uncomfortably close to £150,000. And that’s far from unusual.*
There’s an initial payload of some 700kg for the 5,000kg chassis, although this could be uprated to give a further half-tonne of load capacity, given the above scenario.
That’s the way with these super-premium motorhomes. Or rather, because of their nature and sheer size, they’re better known as liners. Or, indeed “compact liner”, as Niesmann+Bischoff likes to refers to its Arto series.
The German manufacturer, part of the Erwin Hymer Group, is represented in the UK by Travelworld, now – thanks to a move to state-of-the-art premises, themselves easily qualifying as super-premium, in Staffordshire and re-branding as the UK’s only Erwin Hymer Centre.
It’s here you can go and browse a whole line-up of N+B liners, like this island bed Arto 88F. It’s based on Fiat’s Ducato with Al-Ko chassis and, as you can see, a rear tag axle that bodes well for better on-road manners.
Double floor construction means superior insulation as well as excellent low-level storage. Not forgetting, also, the extra living space and superior views out you can enjoy from the cab area.
It’s getting on for 9m in length, but note something about the exterior. Very few apertures are cut into the bodywork. That’s standard N+B policy, the manufacturer arguing excessive door, hatches, windows etc only contribute to a weakening of the overall structure. That goes for any motorhome, of course.
Step up into the interior via the only door, then, and it’s like entering another world. There’s a flat floor throughout, with roomy front lounge – L-shaped seating and double settee, with N+B’s signature padded backrests, plus easy-to-swivel Isri cab chairs.
It’s an easy walk from the front seating area to the kitchen, then on to the ensuite facilities forward of the bedroom. At the very back, the island bed sits over a huge garage.
The Corian worktop sets the tone for the kitchen. There’s an inset sink plus three-ring hob, three large drawers and a shelved locker, all with a travel locking.
There’s also a floor-to-ceiling slim locker, again with chrome trays to the far left. Overhead, both lockers have adjustable shelves.
You also get a Thetford oven/grill and Siemens microwave oven, plus a Dometic fridge with removable freezer.
Beyond the kitchen, washroom facilities are split between a nearside shower cubicle and offside toilet room, with doors for complete privacy. The shower cubicle is a generous size, with plastic walls, removable wooden duckboard below and its own rooflight.
The toilet room has a Thetford swivel-bowl loo, plus fixed basin, mirror-doored cupboard storage and some padded pockets.
Bedtime sees you faced with the choice of front pull-down overcab or rear island doubles, both one-piece mattresses with Froli-type plastic spring support. Fixed steps either side aid access to the latter, but the overhead lockers will prevent most folk being able to sit upright.
And then there are the almost limitless details that help this motorhome truly stand out. Everything from the operation of the lockers door (inside and out) to the way the garage is kitted out.
If you’re in a position to choose from the 13-model Arto line-up, consider yourself a very lucky motorhomer.
*Just a thought, though. At the time of writing, this demonstrator was open to offers.
Verdict: Quality motorhome for serious grand touring
Plus: Superior build quality, endless opportunities to truly individualise
Minus: Price rises with options
In-a-nutshell: The lap of liner luxury
There’s more information on the Arto range on the Niesmann+Bischoff website. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Concorde Credo 841M, Frankia I 7400QD
Niesmann+Bischoff Arto 88F factfile
|Model||Niesmann+Bischoff Arto 88F|
|Base vehicle||Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre, 130bhp, Euro VI|
|Dimensions||8.76m L x 2.32m W x 2.95m H|
|RRP||From £102,050 on the road|
|Safety & security||Electronic immobiliser, remote central locking, ESP including Traction Plus, Hill Assist and Hill Descent, twin airbags, European Whole Vehicle Type Approval|
|Key options||GB Packs (from €4,091), Comfort-Matic automatic transmission (€1,900), 177bhp engine (€3,689), Comfort Pack 1 (€1,672), Comfort Pack 2 (€832), Liner Pack (€1,840), Media Packs (from €1,841). NB Prices in Euros|