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The BEST Compact Motorhome

Best Compact Motorhome - Hands down, the winner of this category is the Explorer Motorhome. Of course it's a totally subjective selection, but it's perfect for ME and how I want to live.

RV love is like the first sweet blushes of romantic love.

It’s all-consuming, its nonsensical, it’s overwhelming.

And it’s fickle.

But you can’t ignore it and you can’t deny it.

There is a sweet little baby that I have been trying to ignore since I started this site. But nobody puts baby in the corner. 

Warning: I am in serious gush mode at the moment. I just went to the website and they have released an upgrade to their model. And I’m in serious, lose-my-mind love. Call it lust if you want, I dont’ care. She. Is. Beautiful.

Without any further ado, I present…

Explorer 4×4 Motorhomes

In my opinion, these are hands down, the BEST compact motorhomes on the market at the moment.

Explorer Motorhomes are an Australian company based in Redcliffe, Queensland. They’ve only been going since 2010 but already seem to have established themselves as the go-to manufacturer of high quality, compact 4×4 motorhomes.

There are so many reasons to love the Explorer, but I won’t go into all the nitty gritty here. I’ll just tell you the pros (and cons) because it’s all these features that make me love her.


There is so much to love about this vehicle, but of course it ALL depends on your needs, wants, priorities and lifestyle. All the features that are pros for me are because they are important to me and how I think I want to travel.

So just to give you a bit of context, this is how I want to travel:

I want to travel full-time (well, at least a year) around Australia. It will be just my husband Ben and I. We want to be able to work online while on the road, not full-time but certainly sometimes. We don’t want to be restricted in where we go; for example, if we need to go into town for groceries we can park in a normal car space, but if we want to go along dirt roads we can do that too. I certainly don’t see any hard core off-road driving happening, but we want to find the quiet places where we can enjoy nature and the vast and insanely beautiful landscape of Australia. (Have I told you already that Ben is Australian? So we have lots of family and friends there and it’s ‘home’, probably just as much as New Zealand is.)

Anyway, here are the pros. In no particular order…


Let’s start with the obvious. 4×4 capability with high clearance. This opens up an array of sites that normal cars or big rigs can’t get to.

Best Compact Motorhomes - The Explorer 4x4 Motorhome is hands-down my favourite RV / motorhome... at the moment. It's got everything I think I want.

I’m thinking about sunsets on secluded beaches, skinny dipping in quiet billabongs and exploring remote trails of red dust.

My idea of heaven.

Fibreglass shell

On this site I’ve done a lot of posts on renovations and remodels (see links below), one of the recurring problems that pop up with older RVs is water damage. That’s where the fibreglass shell just can’t be beat. Because the shell is made as one piece, there aren’t the opportunities for water to seep in and cause damage. And it’s light, which is an awesome bonus too.

Check out these renovations & remodels:

Fifth Wheel Renovations

RV | Motorhome Renovations

Travel Trailer Renovations

Vintage Trailer Restoration


The layout of the Explorers is a total winner for me. Explorer Motorhomes have two models; they are basically the same, except for some differences in the bed and dinette layout. But both layouts utilise all the available space in a functional yet comfortable way.

Best Compact Motorhomes - The Explorer Motorhomes wins this category hands-down. It has EVERYTHING you need and more. I love this vehicle. I can't wait to make her mine one day.

Pull out bed – the pull out beds first showed up in the Vision model. It’s was the first time I’ve seen this novel approach to the overcab bed, and it’s one that I love. You save oodles of space by putting the beds out of the way above the cab, but you no longer have to sleep east/west where one person gets jammed up into the nose of the space and then has to clamber over the other person if you need a midnight tinkle.

The Best Compact Motorhome - Explorer Spirit has a unique pull-out bed style that allows you to utilise the space above the cab without have to clamber up or over your partner.

Sure, the beds aren’t fully made all the time, but the effort required to ‘make’ the bed looks infinitesimal. And to me, the bed still looks like it would be usable in the compacted up position. It looks like you could scoot up there and recline to watch a movie, read a book or play video games.

I thought the pull-out single beds were awesome, but I just about woke the neighbours with my squeals of delight when I saw the double bed version they’ve now incorporated. Could you get a more clever design?!? I think not.

Full shower – there was a time when a seperate shower was an absolute, no-negotiation, I’m-not-even-going-to discuss-it MUST have feature for me. Now… I’m not so sure. (Remember how I talk about love being fickle… yeah, that.) I don’t even know how important the shower is to me anymore. You use it once a day (if you’ve got good water supply) but we want to travel to more remote areas where water may not be in such plentiful supply. So if you’re taking navy showers every couple of days, do you really need a full shower to take up all that space? I don’t know. But with my lack of RVing experience to tell me otherwise, I’m happy with this feature.

Dinette for two – here’s the thing, if you’re off exploring this beautiful countryside… would you really be spending heaps of time inside? My feeling is that you need a space big enough and comfortable enough to eat, work a bit on the computer and play some board games… when it’s raining. You’re not going to be in there all day, everyday. Just those days when the weather turns crap or it’s just too darn hot out there.

Best Compact Motorhome - The Explorer Motorhomes have a big enough space for the kitchen and a dinette for two.

Bench space – how good is that kitchen!? Like, there’s actual bench space to prepare food, and put dishes, and heck, enough space to swing a cat even! I’m stoked with the kitchen space.


This all fits into the size of a (large-ish) parking space. No having to stress about whether there’ll be 5 car spaces in a line at the supermarket that you can park your 13 metre rig along. No worrying about whether you’re going to bottom out on the judder bars (speed humps). You’ve still got to be mindful of your height, but at 3.1m high, it’s not like you’re having to re-route because of rail over-bridges or anything like that.

Yet everything you need (and probably a fair bit you don’t need, but it’s sure freakin nice to have) fits into this small package.


It seems that the Explorer team have taken into account what many, many RVers have been saying, “we want solar!” With three 100 watt solar panels on the roof I’d expect that would take care of most of our electricity needs? It’s not gonna run the air conditioner but I’m presuming it’s enough to keep the fridge cold, the lights working and our laptops and phones charged up.

Best Compact Motorhome - the Explorer Motorhome, looks at those solar panels, and awning and air-conditioning... there's just so much to love!

And the rest…

Decor – it’s neutral and not from the 1980’s
Awning – must have. So happy.
Insect screens – hello, we’re talking about Australia here.

Reversing cameras, air-conditioning, outside fold-down table, space for a small generator…


I’ve got a few… but really, these aren’t big enough to stop me falling in love. As we know, love is blind.


Now, I know this is a compact model, and I’m totally grateful for that. But… I’m also totally stumped as to where I put things like my camping chairs and picnic table? Maybe the cupboard just inside the door is big enough for the chairs and the table sits on the floor when you’re travelling. Or maybe you use the shower to store stuff? And I’d want to take bikes & kayaks with us (we don’t have either of those in our lives at the moment though, so I could just be dreaming. :-O) so I think that we would need to have a bracket added to the back to hold the ‘toys’.


Never having used such a small fridge before the size of this one makes me a bit nervous. I’m the kinda girl that would rather have a larger fridge and a smaller (or no) wardrobe.

Don’t understand all the different fridges? Neither did I, ’till this:

Washing Machine

Okay, you can stop laughing at me any time now!

Yes, I just brought up the topic of a washing machine in a compact, 4WD motorhome. But listen a sec. I’ve seen washing machines in quite a few small-ish rigs and it makes me a little bit giddy with delight. Obviously not a game-changer for me, but a very nice-to-have. I can’t think of anything I’d want to give up in the Explorer in order to have a washing machine though. Maybe if I find that I can cope with a wet-bath then there would be the space for a washing machine. Otherwise I’m thinking a Scrubba is going to become my new best friend.

Like I said, you can stop laughing at me now. 😛

That’s It

And that’s it for the cons. Seriously, there is so much going for the Explorer Motorhomes that it’s hard to fault. I am convinced it is the best compact motorhome out there.

I will clearly admit though, this is all coming from the keyboard of a woman who dreams and obsesses about RVs, but has never actually travelled or explored in one.

I feel like a silly little school girl who’s crushing on an older boy, where you can only see how cool, and handsome, and clever and PERFECT he is for you. You dream of your future together and it all looks so rosy and perfect. Yeah, that’s where I’m at.

Have you found your true love? Or are you crushing on an RV at the moment? Go on, share with us in the comments.

Disclaimer – I am in no way affiliated with Explorer Motorhomes. This is just me being a total dork about their product, because I love it so much. They don’t even know I exist.

Oh, but you should totally check them out. Their website has heaps of photos, testimonials and reviews, and you should watch the video on their home page.


Sunday 18th of November 2018

can you get this with right hand drive, especially for africa, dying to get one of these cuties..


Sunday 18th of November 2018

Unfortunately not, Tony. At this stage they are only available in Australia.

Katrina Burke

Sunday 8th of April 2018

Hi Michelle Thank you for loving our Explorer Motorhome. Just to respond to your comments on the fridge & washing machine We can put in a larger fridge no problem , however you have to lose a bit of kitchen storage . Storage is always a compromise in an RV . This is when we learn to do without ‘stuff’ we seem to think so essential to our lives! A washing machine can be inserted but you wouldn’t use it as it will drain your water tank in one go and fill up you grey water in return . Not want you want when your aim is off road free camping. ? Come and see us at the Brisbane Caravan & Camping show in June if you can.


Sunday 8th of April 2018

Thanks Katrina! Since writing this post we've been on a road trip around Australia with just a 60L fridge and that was actually big enough. I'm now fully convinced that the 140L in the Spirit will be huge in comparison! :-) Hmmm, Brisbane in June... I feel another road trip coming... :-)

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