Here’s a campervan to turn a few heads – on the road or the campsite. Not just because it’s a Hymer. Not just because of its overall appearance. Not just because it’s based on a Mercedes Sprinter. Not just because it’s a high-top van conversion. With a rising roof.
It’s all a result of Hymer’s long association with Mercedes, and it certainly is a looker, partly thanks to its striking blue colour, emphasised by the sheer height of this vehicle – some 2.78m.
In this video, we take a look inside the 2023 Hymer Free S 600 Blue Evolution campervan:
Worth a rhapsody
As standard, this Hymer comes with the Free S Blue Evolution package, which gives you Mercedes’ 168bhp engine with 9G-Tronic automatic transmission, 16in alloy wheels with all-weather tyres, semi-automatic cab air conditioning, awning, ISOFIX, cab blinds, extra sockets and a whole lot more. Plus, of course, that stunning Capri Blue paintwork.
You’ll have noticed the sliding door on the Hymer Free S 600 Blue Evolution campervan stays on the UK offside. Double doors at the back open to reveal furniture units both sides (including a large gas locker) – so there’s open storage and locker space – and a permanent bed (that can be hinged up for transporting bulkier items).
There’s also a sliding panel at floor level to allow you to block off the underbed storage from the rest of the living quarters; it also incorporates a clever folding step for getting up into bed.
Hymer has overcome the relative narrowness of the Mercedes base with a panel on both sides that allow bed length (you sleep transversely) to be a more than acceptable 1.95m. It does mean you lose out on side windows at the back, although they feature on the options list.
The downstairs floorplan of the Hymer Free S 600 Blue Evolution campervan is otherwise fairly conventional, with that bed at the back followed by the washroom and kitchen taking up most of the mid-‘van area.
This leaves lounge space at the front where both cab seats swivel (note no traditional handbrake or gear lever to get in the way here) to face the forward-facing double travel seat across a side-attaching table that comes with a handy swing-out extension.
The kitchen is just inside the sliding door and it’s a pretty standard affair in a slim (i.e. not especially deep) unit. It’s a campervan-style two gas rings and sink combination, beneath which are full-width, soft-close drawers – the top one also home to a cutlery tray. The third drawer here is the lowest one, but it’s also the deepest, including a waste recycling bin.
There’s also the tiniest of worktop extensions. A rail has a couple of adjusting hooks on it. A large locker overhead completes the kitchen storage.
To the right of the kitchen, the fridge is a Thetford compressor model, with a 90-litre capacity. Above it, the large locker has a removable shelf as well as a fixed hanging rail.
The latter means your clean clothes are within easy reach when you step out of the washroom after a shower.
The tap for the fixed basin pulls out for use as a hand-held shower. There are a couple of towel holders as well as a pull-down hanging rail, while the mirror is also a push-to-open door for the toiletries locker.
There’s also a bench toilet. Hymer has even provided a little window in here – which will nevertheless prove its presence when it comes to ventilation as well as drying the whole room that bit quicker post-showering.
There’s another bedroom in the Hymer Free S 600 Blue Evolution campervan, of course. It’s accessed via a ladder that folds in half for stowage, and it’s quite a journey up into the elevated roof area, but it’s a good sized double bed with a proper mattress on Froli-type springing.
Hymer uses the title Free to suggest something that’s lower in price. But that’s admittedly by its rather upmarket standards.
The base vehicle, along with no shortage of upgrades, accounts for a significant portion of the overall price, of course. The prestige of that three-pointed star Mercedes motif on the bonnet shouldn’t be underestimated either. The MBUX multi-media system with its dashboard-dominating 10.25in touchscreen is the biggest single feature in a very well appointed cab.
It drives that bit better, too, thanks to Comfort Chassis fittings – vibration absorbers, stabilisers and upgraded shock absorbers – while extra insulation to the bodywork from Hymer helps reduce noise when you’re out on the road as well as parked up.
Extra fittings like the aluminium surrounds for the side and rear windows, are designed to optimise the overall insulation levels by protecting from thermal bridging.
The starting price of the Hymer Free S 600 Blue Evolution campervan should be taken with a pinch of the proverbial. As with any Hymer, you need to watch your bank balance as well as your payload allowances – both can decrease at an alarming rate, but options mean you do get the vehicle and specification that you want (again, weights allowing). The options listed opposite are just some examples of what you can get.
To find out more about insuring a Hymer Free or your current campervan visit our campervan insurance discounts page.
Verdict: Hymer’s and Mercedes’ quality double act
Plus: Top-drawer build quality throughout, clever washroom, excellent beds
Minus: Slim basic kitchen, options bump up the price
In-a-nutshell: Blue is the colour
Alternatives: Knaus BoxDrive 600 XL, Volkswagen Grand California 600
Hymer Free S 600 Blue Evolution factfile
|Hymer Free S 600 Blue Evolution
|Mercedes Sprinter 317 CDI
|5.93m L x 2.06m W x 2.78m H
|From £79,920 on the road
|Safety & security
|Halogen H7 headlights with range adjustment, engine stop-start, electronic immobiliser, remote central locking, ESP with brake assists (BAS), ABS and EBV, ASR, Crosswind Assist, cruise control with speed limiter, Isofix on rear seat, Active Distance Assist
|Driver Assistance Package (£1,710), removable towball (£1,450), extra rear side window (£360), outdoor table and two folding chairs (£250), safe (£300), fifth bed (£340), cork flooring for shower tray (£100), 6kW diesel-powered Truma Combi (£1,710), Hymer Smart Battery System (from £1,020)