But then I spent a week with the family touring the south coast in a Mercedes Marco Polo, which I started off viewing as an impressively transformed V-Class and now look at like a heart-broken teenager saying goodbye to a holiday romance.
Across a wind and rain-swept week, the Marco Polo got under my skin for a multitude of reasons, not all obvious, and not all ones that I'd encountered in my motoring life before. I always thought dream garages were the sole preserve of supercars and high-end SUVs. No more. That Lamborghini can wait for the second lottery win.
If the motor car brought the world freedom of movement - a point that needs sharp reflection in a world that is both increasingly environmentally aware and consequently anti-car - so it is that the camper van is one interpretation of its no-compromise end point.
Sure, we didn't exactly park up in lay-bys and make our home wherever we fancied (confession time: on some nights it was so cold that we even rented a static caravan), but what we did find is that we had what we wanted when we needed it. We had space to pack everything, we had food and hot drinks on hand and even the space for a quick mid-afternoon rest if it was needed.
What to do after a bracing autumnal/winter walk? In a car you kick everything off, get moving to get some heat in the engine and then, eventually, defrost. In the van, we put the heat on, swivelled the front seats around, cracked on with some hot drinks and played a game of cards. Life was slower, yes, but it was also happier. Provided no one falls out, the proximity is a boon.
Regularly told by your kids that they are thirsty, or hungry? Again, here was the car that had the answers on board. Or that they're bored? Seemingly they're far less so in a camper van, helped in no small part by the SUV-like high seating positions and endless views. And with a boot the size of little else, even with all our sleeping bags and duvets, they could bring their favourite teddies and toys. Happy kids, happy parents.
At nights, four up was a squeeze, not helped by the fact that we're a pretty tall family. But could the kids care less? Of course not. In my varied experience, even of top-end luxury and all the tricks they can throw at it, there is no car interior more exciting than a camper van's.