Chausson is currently based close to the River Rhône, in the heart of the picturesque French region of Ardèche. However, it commenced trading near Paris, back in 1903.
Originally, it was an auto-parts manufacturer specialising in radiators, and its first complete vehicles were school buses, which rolled off the line in huge numbers from 1942.
More recently, it has specialised in the conversion of innovative, design-led ‘vans, with an example being the X650, our winner of the best low-profile motorhome category at the Practical Motorhome Awards 2024.
The motorhome brand is now part of the vast Trigano Group, with the Titanium first seeing the light of day in late 2018, with production starting for the 2019 model year.
It has sporadically been available on the Fiat Ducato chassis-cab, but has also always been built on Ford’s finest, the Transit. Here, we focus on the Titanium with Ford underpinnings.
The current generation of (full-size) Ford Transits provides warp factor improvement over its predecessors in pretty much everything.
In addition to providing a great alternative to the ubiquitous Ducato and stablemates, Titanium Fords all arrive with an enviable standard specification that could prove decisive when choosing the best used motorhome, including the 170bhp engine, torque-converter automatic transmission and many driver-assist aids, such as collision warning, lane departure warning and cruise control/speed limiter. You also get automatic headlights and windscreen wipers.
Crucially, all current Ford Transit Titanium variants are available at 3500kg, which is just one of the many reasons why these flagship ‘French Fancies’ have sold so well in the UK.
Transit Titaniums hit the ground running with five different motorhome layouts at launch, three at 6.99m (22’ 11.25”) and two at 7.19m (23’ 7”). All feature a transverse drop-down double bed, which stores above the forward lounge. The longer 758 model offers four or five travel seats ahead of a central kitchen, washroom and walk-in shower. Both the comfort station and the galley are split either side of the central aisle. The bedroom, featuring an island double bed, is at the far rear.
At the same length is the 767GA, which arrives with twin permanent single beds, plus a rearranged central galley and comfort station.
The trio of shorter Titaniums includes the 758 (a motorhome with an island bed) and the 627GA (two permanent single beds). The suffix ‘GA’ indicates a full-width, garage-style, exterior access, storage compartment below the permanent bed(s).
Rather surprisingly, the consistent bestseller here in Blighty has been a motorhome under 7m, the 6.99m-long 640. This replaces the rear bedroom with a huge transverse washroom and changing area, ahead of a roomy garage and large wardrobe. We say ‘surprisingly’ because we are constantly being told that only ’vans with permanent beds sell well, which is self-evidently not true!
More recently, the 627 has been rested, replaced by the 660. This is basically similar to the 640, but with the lounge seating behind the cab solely on the nearside. This was quite controversial at launch, but familiarity has led to appreciation. The 758 and 767 have been renumbered as the 788 and 777 respectively. The bestselling 640 layout remains unchanged.
Standard 16” diamond-cut black alloy wheels, well-chosen graphics and a colour-coded front spoiler all complement the coloured polyester sides to create a really eye-catching exterior. It’s not just a looker, though – Chausson uses iRP build technology (insulation, Resistance, Protection).
Despite the current enthusiasm for timberless coachwork, Chausson has ploughed its own furrow here, by developing a wood/composite structural skeleton on which bonded sandwich panels are placed, the latter with a generously thick filling of XPS foam. Chausson must have confidence in the system’s integrity, too, because it offers a free-of-charge seven-year warranty against water ingress.
- Chausson Titanium on Ford Transit chassis-cab
- Built 2019-present in Tournon-sur-Rhône, France
- Low-profile overcab coachbuilt
- Overall length: 600 Series 6.99m (22’ 11.25”), 700 Series 7.19m (23’ 7”)
What we like about the Chausson Titanium
- Blue Oval at the pointy end. Powerful engine, automatic transmission
- All available at 3500kg MTPLM
- Appealingly different interior layouts
- Contemporary interior vibe
What we don’t like about the Chausson Titanium
- Habitation door on UK offside
What to look out for in a Chausson Titanium
Considering the huge number of these commercial vehicles covering high mileages on the road in the UK, even those issues that are reported are usually (statistically) comparatively rare.
The exception was fuel-injector failure on models built during 2019. Ford issued a full recall, so check that this has been completed on all models first registered up to two years later.
Tell-tales are uneven idling, lack of power, spluttering when the engine is on load, plus – on occasions – an illuminated engine management warning light. The only other issue reported in any quantity has been the occasional failure of the cab air-con.
Despite the newness of these models, it is worth checking for evidence of water ingress and also for the existence of previous yearly inspection reports. The latter are essential to maintain the seven-year body integrity warranty. In addition, the quoted payloads did not include a wind-out awning, which is a popular after-fit accessory. Despite Titanium models offering up to five travel seats and multiple sleeping berths, most in the UK appear to be owned and used by couples, so if the interior isn’t immaculate, walk away.
640 models sold in greater numbers, so there are more available pre-owned. We love the extra space created by the quirky lounge layout in the 660.
Alternatives to the Chausson Titanium
The Auto-Trail F Line (formerly Tribute) launched in 2020 and is a range that provides motorhomers with an upmarket interior vibe on a Ford base vehicle. Another option to consider is the Swift Voyager, such as the 584, another Ford Transit-based range which offers an excellent spec and great interior.
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