In Practical Motorhome's regular used 'van buyer's guide we focus on a great secondhand motorhome to buy. This time we're offering advice on buying a Chausson Flash, ideal for you if you're one of the legions of people who love motorhomes built on the popular Ford Transit vans. We tell you which is the best Flash of the bunch, what to pay for this range of French motorhomes and which problems to look out for when you spot used Chausson Flash motorhomes for sale on a forecourt near you.
Chausson is part of the Trigano Group of companies. The brand is based in France, but not all its Flash models are made there; some of the earlier overcab models and all the later ones were made in Peñiscola, Spain.
Every Chausson Flash motorhome offers good value for money, contemporary finishes and a range of practical layouts providing luxury for two – or relaxed motorcaravanning for large families. The low-profile range kicked off with two fixed, rear-corner bed models. Both of them, the Flash 02 in a compact 5.67m body and the 6.69m Flash 08, offered four travel seats, and the lounge in the Flash 08 could be converted into a double bed.
Early family-friendly models of these coachbuilt motorhomes with overcabs had transverse rear bunks, the lower of which could be folded up to create a large bike garage.
The Chausson Flash 09 remarkably offers seven berths, twin Pullman dinettes, five travel seats and a spacious washroom, all in 7.7m. New layouts offered during its long and successful production run included the significant Flash 14 with fixed rear twin single beds.
Essential facts and figures
The Chausson Flash range was built on the 5.1 generation of Ford Transit platform-cab and chassis-cab vans. They were built from 2005 to 2013. The Flash range includes Luton overcab coachbuilt motorhomes and low-profile versions. The overall length ranges from 5.67m to 7.07m (18’7” to 23’2”).
Top tips to help you buy better
Starting with the base vehicle on which the Chausson Flash range was built, what are the pros and cons of Transit vans? One of the joys of owning one of Henry Ford’s finest vans is that the Transit is the ‘best-buy’ van for long-term ownership. Ford Transit spare parts are still easily obtained for 25-year-old models. However, they aren’t perfect. Corrosion remains an issue on swaged and welded joints on the floorpan, and the dual-mass flywheel is prone to early retirement; listen for clattering noises when turning off the engine. Ford Transit-based motorhomes are popular with Practical Motorhome forum regulars.
The conversion work was excellent – Chausson Flash motorhomes are considered well put-together at any price, but especially at normal secondhand motorhome prices.
Multi-berth models are likely to be more worn than two-berth motorhomes, so check the operation of cupboard and locker doors. Look for evidence of stains removed from the upholstery. Get close-up and look at the surface of the seat squab fabric. Telltale signs are shiny surfaces and pile pushed the wrong way.
Our expert verdict on the Chausson Flash
We like the Chausson Flash range of motorhomes because the 'vans are practical, but not utilitarian. Family-friendly layouts are available, and when you think of the cost of alternative family holidays, buying a Chausson Flash could quickly save you money. Affordable prices and that distinctive blue oval on the bonnet all enhance the attractiveness of Chausson Flash motorhomes.
So is there anything we don't like about Chausson Flash Motorhomes of this era? Funnily enough there's not much – we could just quibble about the fact that the entrance door is on the UK offside (in common with many other continental 'vans). This means that if you stop in a lay-by in Britain you'll have to watch out for traffic speeding past you before you open the door. The other hiccup is that some Chausson Flash motorhomes originally arrived without wheel-trims (but that is easily remedied).
Our pick of the best used Chausson Flash motorhome to buy is the Best Of (Flash) 22: a run-out series with special fabrics, finishes and many options at no extra cost.
How much will you pay? You should find used Chausson Flash motorhomes for sale from dealers from £22,000, though most start at £25,995. Left-hand-drive ex-hire examples are usually available on Spanish eBay at the end of the season, from a starting price of €17,000.
Still not sure if this is the secondhand 'van for you? Before you part with your cash, here are some other Ford Transit-based motorhomes you should look at for comparison purposes. Check out the Auto Roller 200/500/600/700 from Roller Team. Also consider any of the Tribute coachbuilt motorhomes, right up to the 2013 models.
We have several other buyer's guides to popular used motorhomes for you to read, too. How about an Auto-Sleeper VW Trooper campervan made from 1980-1991? If you fancy a little more luxury, browse through our guide to buying a Swift Kon-Tiki from 2007 onwards, and the used 'van buyer's guide to the Mobilvetta Euroyacht motorhome.
How to find a good motorhome dealership
Read our Practical Motorhome Owner Satisfaction Awards results to get a good idea of the most helpful secondhand motorhome dealers in the UK. All the dealers that have won awards have been voted for by readers of Practical Motorhome magazine, who have told us about their own experiences of the sales process and after-sales service offered by the motorhome seller they used.