Peter BaberSee other News articles filed in ‘Motorhome’ written by Peter Baber
For the past couple of years, French manufacturer Chausson seems to have offered something really innovative at each new-season launch.
Such as? Well, how about an end-washroom model with a truly enormous wardrobe at the back, habitation doors on both sides, or drop-down single beds running lengthways along the ’van?
Such designs haven’t always proved game-changing – the island-kitchen Suite Maxi came and went, for example.
But they have often proved to be the talk of the season, particularly as Chausson is part of the Trigano Group that in the past year has produced over 8000 motorhomes.
This year, it seems, has been no different.
There are only three entirely new models for 2018, and only one of them – the 716 – is completely new.
The other two – the 711 and the 640 – are developments of existing layouts.
However, there are four further new models which are only different because they include the ‘Smart Lounge’ concept of having two facing settees instead of a conventional L-shaped dinette.
This was a layout which Chausson introduced on just one model last year. These settees both contain fully belted fold-up travel seats underneath them.
Flash Special Edition, which has been available in Europe for a couple of years, could be viewed as an intermediate stage between Flash and Welcome, but it has some features that are unique to it.
The Ford Transit-based 716 takes up a theme that has become increasingly popular among touring caravan designers in recent years, as it includes a children’s den.
Walk back beyond the central washroom with a shower cubicle on the nearside and a washbasin and loo on the offside, and you come to a second lounge with two facing single seats and a fold-up table between them.
At the touch of a button, a set of two bunk beds can be electronically lowered down above this lounge – something Chausson claims is unique in the market.
As the bunks can be adjusted to stop anywhere you can either have two bunks or, if you are only travelling with one child, a single bed with a ‘Princess and the Pea’-like double mattress. You still get a large mirrored wardrobe behind this, and a garage capable of holding an upright bike.
The 711, based on a Fiat Ducato, takes up the idea of having two car seats in the back, instead of bench-style seating and two habitation doors, that was first introduced in last year’s 611 model.
Only instead of coming with the 611’s L-shaped rear lounge, it now comes with a proper UK-friendly U-shaped lounge with three large windows and a garage underneath a large windowsill that extends rearwards.
That should certainly attract interest in the UK, because although many British dealers have appreciated the car seats and the flexibility the two doors bring, some say the 611 design didn’t allow enough storage space.
The 640, meanwhile, is an adaptation of last year’s end-washroom-and-garage 610 model, this time with a full king-size (1.6m wide) drop-down bed. It includes a ‘Smart Lounge’.
The other models featuring this layout are the island-bed 748EB and 738XLB, and the fixed-single-bed 757 and 747GA.
Flash Special Edition is available from the factory on three Ford Transit-based models below 7m in length (the 610, 627GA and 628EB), and on three longer Fiat Ducato-based models (the 718XLB, 727GA and 757).
This spec level includes a fitted reversing camera, a flyscreen in the habitation door, and a VIP pack that adds a passenger airbag, cruise-control, fog lamps, cab air-conditioning and wraparound blinds.
The drop-down bed bases in these models feature the wavy LED lighting that is currently fitted as standard in the Welcome models, while the Ford Transit models come with a souped up 170bhp engine.
Special Editions also feature wood-effect Salinas interior furnishing, rather than the more solid colour Malaga featured in both Flash and Welcome models.
In other news
Island beds in all Chausson motorhomes are now 160cm wide, while fixed single beds are 90cm wide, except in the 757, where they remain 80cm wide.
Kitchen worktops have been redesigned with a slanted end, to provide more working space.
All UK models for 2018 will come with an oven fitted as standard.
2018-season Chausson motorhomes at a glance
- Chausson 514 – 3 berths, 4 seats, transverse-bed, drop-down single bed, Ford Transit only
- Chausson 628EB – 3 berths, 4 seats, island-bed, Fiat Ducato or Ford Transit, Flash, Flash Special Edition (Ford only) or Welcome, 6.96/6.99m long
- Chausson 718XLB – 3-4 berths, 4 seats, island-bed, Fiat Ducato or Ford Transit, Flash, Flash Special Edition (Fiat only) or Welcome, 7.46/7.49m long
- NEW! Chausson 738XLB – 3-4 berths, 4 seats, island-bed, Smart Lounge, Fiat Ducato or Ford Transit, Flash or Welcome
- NEW! Chausson 748EB – 3-4 berths, 4 seats, island-bed, Smart Lounge, Fiat Ducato or Ford Transit, Flash or Welcome
- Chausson 637 – 3 berths, 4 seats, fixed-single-beds, Fiat Ducato or Ford Transit, Flash or Welcome, 6.46/6.49m long
- Chausson 627GA – 3-4 berths, 4 seats, fixed-single-beds, Fiat Ducato or Ford Transit, Flash, Flash Special Edition (Ford only) or Welcome
- Chausson 727GA – 3-4 berths, 4 seats, fixed-single-beds, Fiat Ducato or Ford Transit, Flash, Flash Special Edition (Fiat only) or Welcome, 7.36/7.39m long
- NEW! Chausson 747GA – 3-4 berths, 4 seats, fixed-single-beds, Smart Lounge, Fiat Ducato or Ford Transit
- NEW! Chausson 757 – 3-4 berths, 4 seats, fixed-single-beds, end-washroom, Smart Lounge, Fiat Ducato or Ford Transit, Flash, Flash Special Edition (Fiat only) or Welcome
- Chausson 530 – 3-4-berths, 4 seats, end-washroom, Fiat Ducato or Ford Transit, Flash or Welcome, 5.96/5.99m long
- Chausson 610 – 3-4 berths, 4 seats, end-washroom, Fiat Ducato or Ford Transit, Flash, Flash Special Edition (Ford only) or Welcome, 6.66/6.69 long
- Chausson 630 – 3-4 berths, 4 seats end-washroom, drop-down single beds, Fiat Ducato or Ford Transit, Flash or Welcome, 6.96/6.99m long
- NEW! Chausson 640 – 4 berths, 4 seats, end-washroom, drop-down double bed, Smart Lounge, Fiat Ducato or Ford Transit
- NEW! Chausson 711 – 4 berths, 4 seats, rear-lounge, 2 drop-down double beds, Fiat Ducato only
- NEW! Chausson 716 – 6 berths, 5 seats, rear-lounge with drop-down bunks, drop-down double bed, Ford Transit only
- Chausson C646 – 4/6 berths, 4 seats, rear bunks, Ford Transit only, Flash or Welcome
- Chausson C656 – 4/6 berths, 5 seats, rear buns, Fiat Ducato only, Flash or Welcome