Anyone who thinks innovation is hard to come by in the world of motorhomes could do themselves a favour by investigating the offerings of Chausson. If you’re expecting them to break the bank you might want to re-consider, also.
The Flash 610 is a perfect example. Already judged Motorhome of the Year 2015 by the publishers of the UK’s two leading specialist motorcaravan publications – MMM and Which Motorhome – it sounds like it’s going down a storm in the sales charts, too.
Maybe that’s not surprising, considering what’s on offer here. Large lounge, equally spacious washroom, gi-normous wardrobe, garage with three-way access, full-size double bed… yet overall length is a whole centimetre under seven metres (21ft 11in, if you prefer).
And OK, the canny among you might have spotted no mention of the kitchen. Arguably, this is the sole Achilles heel of a motorhome that otherwise excels. It’s all a bit token for the travelling chef, despite a 175-litre fridge/freezer, three-ring hob, separate sink and some generous soft-closing drawer storage.
Rather, the grill is set far too high, there’s virtually no worktop when the cooker and sink lids are open and there’s not really sufficient space to consider adding a microwave.
All around, though, things are significantly better. That lounge could comfortably sit around seven people. It also a large enough pedestal leg table to cope, too.
Overhead, there’s an electrically operated drop-down bed. The table also has electrical height operation, so once the settee backrest is out of the way and the table suitably lowered, it’s easy to get the bed down to a level where you really can just hop in – and it doesn’t obstruct the habitation doorway.
It’s a generous enough 1.93m x 1.38m, tapering to1.28m wide. If you want to sleep four, the upper bed can be set so there’s space to create a 2.17m x 1.45m double from the lounge seating.
Another star performer here is the washroom. Located beyond the kitchen, its space-saving tambour door allows you to close it off and there’s then plenty of dressing room space between the toilet (on the offside) and the shower cubicle on the nearside.
And that wardrobe? It really is huge – offering not just hanging space but also shelving to three sides via its twin, mirrored doors – all easily to hand beyond the washroom, too.
If you think storage elsewhere has suffered, just don’t forget that garage at the back. Unusually, it offers access via both sides as well as a large hatch across the back of the vehicle. Plus, there are single 230V and 12V sockets here – ideal for charging your e-bike.
It’s worth knowing the choice Chausson gives, too. Its models are available in Flash or more upmarket Welcome trim levels – the latter versions start at around £4,000 more, then also go on to offer even more enticements from the options list. Plus, you can also specify either a Ford Transit or a Fiat Ducato base.
The MMM/Which Motorhome judges deserve credit here – awarding the Ford-based Flash version of the 610 with their ultimate accolade. Ford’s latest Transit really is impressive, too. Once you get beyond that singularly ugly front grille, it really is all very sophisticated, with a cab that – it has to be said – comes far closer to car-like in terms of its quality and equipment than the otherwise all-conquering Ducato can muster.
If you want automatic transmission, though, you’ll have to jump across to Fiat.
Flash or Welcome? Ford or Fiat? The choice is yours… this 610 really is a cracker. And you don’t need to be a safecracker to own one.
Verdict: A superb marriage of innovation and value
Plus: Large lounge, wide washroom, brilliant bed, great garage
Minus: No automatic transmission option, cramped kitchen, high grill
In-a-nutshell: One of the cleverest coachbuilts any money can buy
There’s more information on the Flash 610 on the Chausson website and to find out more about our low-cost premiums visit the motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Adria Matrix Axess 590 SG, Bürstner Ixeo Time it590 Sovereign
Chausson Flash 610 factfile
|Model||Chausson Flash 610|
|Base vehicle||Ford Transit, 2.2-litre, 123bhp Euro V|
|Dimensions||6.69m L x 2.35m W x 2.92m H|
|Key options||VIP Pack – cab air conditioning, colour-coded front bumper, front fog lights, upgraded dashboard trim, leather steering wheel and gear lever, halogen headlamps with fixed light angle (£1,590), 153bhp engine (£800) , Travel Pack – cab air conditioning, colour-coded front bumper (£1,350), Travel Plus Pack – as above plus ESP and Hill Descent (£1,790), Winter Pack (£368), Remis cab blinds (£418), shower duckboard (£59)|
Note: All details correct at time of publication but may be subject to change.
*Motorhome insurance cost based on Chausson Flash 610 retailing at £41,390 with standard fit equipment and Thatcham Cat 1 alarm. UK travel only. Kept on driveway at home 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 5000 miles annually. £300 excess applies. Premiums include insurance premium tax at 6% and are correct at 08/07/2015
**On-the-road, including VAT at 20%