Launched at the October 2010 NEC Caravan and Motorhome show the Bentley Ochre is a compact two-berth with length of a little over the magic six metres but body width kept to virtually van conversion dimensions.
Inside there’s a classic rear lounge layout but with a level of attention to detail that you’ll struggle to find elsewhere.
But before you notice the details your eyes will be drawn to the wedge of cheese styling of the long-established but still striking Renault Trafic cab, now in its Phase 3 derivation.
Inside, you don’t notice the slimline approach, as the Bentley packs in everything you’d expect of a small motorhome – and more.
Only the cab to living area access is compromised and that’s more as a result of the fixed cab roof (with large locker and separate table storage above).
While the Ochre is small, no attempt has been made to make this a ‘budget’ vehicle – it costs nearly £45k with the spec you’ll want.
Crucially, the way every cupboard closes and the feel of the fittings matches up to the price tag too. In fact, this first example feels better built than any of its established British competitors.
And everywhere you look there are features that reek of thoughtful design. The rear lounge is long enough (at near-as-dammit 5ft) for you to put your feet up, as well as affording an unusually wide transverse double bed.
The sturdy pull-out bed bases make the flimsy slats used in other similar motorhomes seem like something out of the dark ages, while access to the under-seat space is of the belt, braces… and another belt for good measure variety.
Storage also includes a shelved locker for your jumpers alongside the wardrobe, and a pull-out rack for tins adjacent to the (slightly small) fridge. The galley includes the ‘full monty’ cooker that we Brits love, plus a Dometic extractor hood above.
And because worktop is in short supply once you’ve lifted the glass hob and sink lids, there’s a flip-up extension by the habitation door… where you’ll also find a convenient mains socket, waste bin and high-level glasses locker.
The washroom is a well-appointed, even if storage space is a bit marginal. All-season campers will welcome the inboard fresh water tank too, although its 80 litre capacity is not as generous as some.
With Truma’s Combi 4 gas/electric heating you’ll be cosy when the weather is of the Jack Frost ilk and with the blown-air running full pelt and the (all-LED) lighting (of which there’s no shortage), ablaze you can – fortunately – keep a close eye on your 12V power reserves via the control panel.
At the press of a button this will tell you (in hours and minutes) how much power you’ve got left at current usage levels.
Other details include a sliding rear window so you can still open it with bikes mounted on the optional rear rack, a discreet drop-down flatscreen TV cupboard that can be locked shut, a flyscreen for the habitation door, and a nice low step into the vehicle. Rear speakers are fitted in the lounge but the overhead big vent is just big, not huge, as is today’s fashion.
This is a classic rear lounge design in a narrow body with a car-like cab – build quality and attention-to-detail count.
Price from: £41,950
Travel seats (inc driver): 2
Dimensions: 6.2m L, 2.075m W, 2.735m H
Interior height: 1.95m
Maximum weight: 3270kg
Beds: Single rear beds 1.89m x 0.43m, rear double bed 2.13m x 1.51m
For further information visit www.bentleymotorhomes.co.uk
Insurance cost: £238.50 *
Motorhome insurance cost based on 2011 Bentley Ochre valued at £41,950. Fitted with Thatcham Category 1 alarm and manufacturers immobiliser, kept at home behind 24 hour locked barrier at TD9 8ED. Motorhome owners – professionals over 50 years old with no claims, convictions or health conditions in last 3 years. 4 years no claims bonus mirrored from car policy and 2 years motorhome driving experience. Members of motorhome club doing less than 7000 miles annually. £250 excess applies. European cover included, European Breakdown £42 extra. Premiums include insurance premium tax at 5% and are correct as of 24.01.11.
CG comment: Bentley is a recent newcomer to the motorhome market but based on this review the company seems to have a great understanding of motorhome owners’ needs. If you read up on the Bentley story it’s clear its founder Gordon Bentley has a wealth of motorhome manufacturing experience from his time as Managing Design Director at Autocruise. Obviously this quality comes at a price but is it a case of you get what you pay for?