Low-profile two-berth luxury doesn’t come much better than this. But you’ll have to pay for it. This is a variation on the twin single beds theme that puts a full-width washroom at the very back. But, if you think its understated looks belie something ordinary, just have a closer inspection at the Hymer T-SL668.
The double electric step at the habitation door offers an instant clue as to the upmarket aspirations of this motorhome. Despite being on a lower-riding AL-KO chassis extension from a Fiat cab that is better equipped than many, it has a full double floor – with superior lower level storage and insulation among the benefits – as well as using Hymer’s near-legendary PUAL construction process. It’s this alone that translates into one of the most rattle – and vibration – free (not to add, quieter) drives of any motorhome.
But, there’s also a solid feel to the fixtures and fittings throughout that bodes well for longevity.
That’s not to say there aren’t some compromises. As is so often the norm with imports, the kitchen and lounges are more attune to continental users – they both prefer and have more opportunities to cook and sit outside. The former will most likely be ordered with the full Thetford cooker option (as shown here), but there’s still space for a wonderful system of kitchen drawers.
Don’t be fooled by the narrow looking fridge/freezer, either. It boasts a total 142-litre capacity.
There’s the facility to add extra cushions for an L-shaped settee in the lounge, which also creates more storage space, also accessible from outside. Otherwise, there’s not much you can do about the seating area – even the pedestal table, despite lots of adjustment – seems best suited to two folk rather than the four this Hymer can take for travel.
But, it is a lounge configuration that’s becoming more accepted here in the UK. And there’s always the super-comfortable luxury of those permanent beds, for any time you fancy a lie-down. Both are an acceptable 80cm wide, with lengths of 1.84m (nearside) and 1.98m (offside), which will probably determine who sleeps where.
You can sit up fully in either, though, while their bases are wonderfully clutter-free for storage.
Beyond, the washroom is absolute class. Aside from plenty of space, there’s a generous wardrobe to hand, complete with removable shelving, the separate shower cubicle is fully plastic-lined and has its own opening rooflight, there’s a fixed sink and a swivel-bowl toilet. Among the neater little touches are towel hooks, a clever toilet paper dispenser, a rail for hanging wet gear from and more.
Elsewhere, there are plenty of hallmark Hymer features – the wind-up sunroof over the lounge, practical TV bracket, glide-down shelf for your coffee maker, granite-style kitchen worktop complete with loose cover for the sink (but there’s a travel storage location for it) and a drainer area, concealed locker door catches and, again, more.
As well as its presence throughout all of Europe, Hymer boasts a strong network of UK dealers these days. As with any Hymer product, it isn’t going to be cheap. In fact, you’ll probably end up paying a whole lot more than the sub-£60,000 start price – the options list is particularly comprehensive, and indeed attractive.
Take the short listing below as merely the start of what could be available. But, worth noting is there’s also the lower-priced same 688 model in the T-CL range, just in case you fancy driving a harder bargain.
Verdict: A motorhome of considerable pedigree… and price
Plus: Flat floor throughout, top-drawer build qualities
Minus: High pricing, short on kitchen worktop
In a nutshell: Simply the best
Cost to insure: £342.50
- Hymer T-SL 668
- Based on Fiat Ducato/Al-Ko, 2.3-litre, 130bhp, Euro V+
- Dimensions 7.49m L, 2.35m W, 2.90m H
- Maximum weight 3500kg
- Payload 440kg
- Key options: 150bhp engine upgrade (£1,000), 3850kg chassis upgrade (£210), Comfort-Matic transmission (£1,670), 120-litre fuel tank (£150), Style Pack, external (LED day-running lights, black grille etc) (£460), Cremissimo part-leather upholstery (£830), carpets (£330), Comfort L-shaped rear seating (£410), front bed fittings (£330), pre-wiring for satellite TV and solar panel (£190), Comfort-Line Package (colour-coded front spoiler, automatic air conditioning, cruise control, habitation door flyscreen, folding cab curtains, solid kitchen worktop, cab sunroof) (£2,500), shower duckboard (£120), Cosy Pack (bedspreads and cushions) (£160), exterior gas point (£160), additional mains sockets (£330), Truma Combi 6E upgrade (£450), Thetford cooker (£630)
- Security and safety Fiat ABS, ESP, ASR, Traction Plus and hill holder, driver’s and passenger’s airbags
- MPG estimate 28-32
Recommended retail price from £59,600**
There’s more information on the T-SL 688 on the Hymer website.To find out more about our low-cost premiums visit the motorhome insurance discounts page.
Alternatives: Adria Coral Supreme S670 SLT, Dethleffs Esprit T7010, Knaus Sky TI 700 MEB, Swift Bolero 712SB, Rapido 7065FF
*Motorhome insurance cost based on Hymer T-SL 668 retailing at £59,600 fitted with manufacturer fitted immobiliser and Caravan Guard approved tracking system. UK travel only. Kept in secure storage with a 24hr locked barrier at TD9 8ED. Motorhome owners – professionals over 50 years old with no claims or convictions 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 up to 5000 miles annually. £300 excess applies. Premiums include insurance premium tax at 6% and are correct at 11/05/2015
**On-the-road including VAT at 20%