Like other mainland Europe manufacturers, breadth of choice has never been a problem for Dethleffs – at one point it was offering more than 70 different floorplans. Arguably, however, that simply adds to the confusion – for the customer, let alone the poor dealer trying to decide what to stock.
However, the 4-travel sub-range, introduced just after the 2016 season got underway, is a logical enough addition to the portfolio. There are three models here, with this – the T 6966-4 the smallest and most interesting – although there are strong rumours of more to come for 2017.
This might look pretty much like any other “low-profile” coachbuilt from Europe, but extensive use of graphics help disguise an overall height just short of 3m.
Step inside (in common with most other imports, the habitation door is not switched for the UK; but, it is wider than most and will get a window on future models) and you can start to see the reason for the overall height. Neatly recessed into the ceiling over the lounge is a double bed that, when needed, glides down electrically. It measures a larger than most 2m x 1.40m.
All this leaves room for a decent enough lounge – although note the settee backrest is minimal, to allow that bed to come down to seat height for the easiest of accesses.
Alternatively, if you want to sleep four there’s a bed to be made from the settees and seating. In turn, it means you’ll need to have the main bed at a higher setting.
The floorplan also leaves a decent amount of space for the kitchen as well as a washroom across the back. The kitchen is another area where the specification has been enhanced for UK customers. There’s a 151-litre fridge/freezer, while the main kitchen unit – with three gas rings in a line and a separate sink – also houses a Smev oven/grill. That’s set under a large cutlery drawer.
Indeed, kitchen storage is very good, extending to a drinks locker as well as open shelving, lockers and a handy ledge.
Slide back the washroom door and there’s a fixed basin in front of you, a proper shower cubicle to your right and a swivel-bowl toilet on the left. Surprisingly, there’s no window here (for optimum ventilation) but other features include some neat drawer storage beyond the sink, where you also get a sliding mirror.
There are plenty of other great features on this Dethleffs. The exterior, for example, has access at both sides to a small garage storage area across the back. Plus, there’s a handy service hatch, hosting access to the mains hook-up socket, fresh water tank, dump valve for the heating system and more.
Other key figures to note are the 120/90 litres fresh/waste tanks, respectively, the 90ah leisure battery and a gas locker capable of taking up to two 11kg cylinders. The 4-travel then goes on to list plenty of interesting upgrades, ranging from a 90-litre fuel tank to Truma Combi 6 heating and hot water system (including en-route heating facility).
Rounding all this off, the cab includes air conditioning as standard, plus a central cup-holder console. You’ll have to budget for your own choice of stereo, but it’s pre-wired with Dethleffs’ Sound package.
Producing all of the above in a vehicle that shades under 7m in overall length is quite a marvel – and just as impressive as the fit and finish of workmanship throughout.
Note because of this model’s value, in excess of £58,000, Caravan Guard would require it to be fitted with an approved motorhome tracking device to offer insurance cover.
Verdict: An all-round quality package with a clever main double bed arrangement
Plus: Excellent build, large drop-down double bed, UK-friendly specification upgrades
Minus: Tricky oven access
In-a-nutshell: Bring on the best beds!
For more information on the Dethleffs 4-travel range visit www.dethleffs.co.uk. Find out more about insuring this or your current motorhome on our < href="http://www.caravanguard.co.uk/motorhome-insurance/">motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Bailey Approach Autograph 765, Bürstner Ixeo it 680 G, Chausson Welcome 620
Dethleffs 4-travel T 6966-4 factfile
|Model||Dethleffs 4-travel T 6966-4|
|Base vehicle||Fiat Ducato, 2.3-litre, 130bhp, Euro V+|
|Dimensions||6.99m L x 2.33m W x 2.98m H|
|RRP||From £58,375 on the road|
|Safety & security||Electronic immobiliser, remote central locking to cab doors, ESP, ABS and EBD, EBA (emergency brake assist), twin airbags, Hill Holder, Hill Descent Control, smoke alarm|
|Key options||Automatic transmission (£1,490) and 150bhp engine upgrade (£1,095), alloy wheels (735), overcab sunroof (£840)|