It’s not the first time this season we’ve praised Chausson’s out-of-the-box thinking, that’s clearly born out of a genuine understanding of what matters to motorcaravanners.
As a ’van to travel and relax in, the Chausson Welcome 611 Travel Line has a lot going for it. And it’s stylish with a crisp, modern design.
It could work well for couples who occasionally tour with guests. However the all-in-one washroom, small kitchen and lack of storage might be too many compromises if you’re buying with family holidays in mind.
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Having habitation doors on both sides is handy wherever you tour
All the travel seats are super-comfy
It’s sold with a seven-year warranty
The washroom makes the most of the available space
The kitchen is too cramped for touring families
Storage is insufficient
It’s hard to not be impressed by the clever thinking displayed by Trigano brand Chausson in its 2017-season portfolio.
A total of 18 Chausson motorhomes are being offered in the UK this year, all have MTPLMs of no more than 3500kg and all but two are low-profiles, like the model we’re reviewing here.
New for 2017, this is the Chausson Welcome 611 Travel Line and before you even step aboard, its USP is clear: it has habitation doors on both sides! But more on that later.
Unlike many of its stablemates which are available on the Fiat Ducato or the Ford Transit, the 611 is sold only on the Ducato. It’s a convenient 6.96m long, 2.35m wide and has a height of 2.89m.
Another curiosity of the Chausson 611 is its trim level. It is sold only with the special-edition Travel Line, which means buyers enjoy the higher-spec Welcome trim, plus the VIP Pack and central locking on all doors.
However, it’s good to know that, like all other 2017 Chausson motorhomes, the 611 is also sold with the reassurance of a seven-year warranty.
Its USP is clear: it has habitation doors on both sides!
Swivel the cab seats and, in a jiffy, you’ve got a sociable space at the front of this ’van, thanks to the individual travel seats just behind.
This could be perfect for a quick bite to eat on a long journey, especially as there’s a fixing point just behind the step into the cab for a small, circular pedestal table. There are also two USB ports in this area.
But the rear of the 611 is where to go if you really want to kick back and relax. Here there’s a generous, nearly-U-shaped lounge, with a large, circular pedestal table in the centre.
Nearly? The L-shaped sofa seating runs across the back and along the (UK) nearside edge of the lounge, and will seat four.
Opposite, along the (UK) offside edge is a cushioned bench which won’t be as comfy as the sofa as the backrest isn’t padded, but it could accommodate a further two people.
Us Brits love end lounges and it’s not hard to see why in a ’van like this. With windows on three sides, dressed with attractive Roman blinds, it is flooded with light. There’s ample room to spread out and there are reading lights on adjustable arms.
There’s a TV mount on an arm at the end of kitchen, so you can watch your favourite shows from the rear lounge/bed.
In both the front and rear lounges, headroom isn’t noticeably compromised by the presence of the drop-down beds above. And a nice touch are the LEDs set into the bed bases, helping to light the areas below.
And if your ’van really is where the party’s at, with the kitchen in the middle, you could have both lounging areas in use and still have access to the nibbles – or relegate the kids to the front while mum and dad enjoy lounging on the sofas.
The motorhome photographed was a French-market model. Chausson tells us that UK ’vans will have a Thetford combined oven/grill as standard.
Other equipment in the central kitchen on the (UK) offside includes a three-burner gas hob, and a circular, stainless-steel sink with a square, chromed tap that can be swivelled out the way.
Both these have glass lids which is good, as food-preparation space is in short supply. Splashguards stand either end of the worktop.
Opposite is a 134-litre fridge/freezer with workspace and a shelf/cubby above.
There’s a big window behind the sink which will keep the area well-lit during the day. A quartet of square LEDs to the left of the window, a strip of LEDs under the lockers and over-locker ambient lighting provide smart, night-time illumination.
Despite the kitchen’s small footprint, it packs an adequate amount of storage in and all drawers are self-closing. There are two overhead lockers, one of which is shelved, and chromed racking on the wall to the right of the window.
Beneath the worktop is a shelved cupboard on the left, next to which is a cutlery drawer above a deeper drawer, with a further wardrobe to the right. The top of the latter might provide some much-needed additional worktop space, but it could be set too high for some.
This all sounds pretty good for a Continental kitchen, but remember you’ll lose some cupboard space once that oven/grill is installed.
The washroom in this Chausson motorhome is a compact, all-in-one affair but with a snazzy, contemporary look. And while it may be small, it is smart, each zone neatly delineated.
A bi-fold sliding circular door divides the separate shower from the rest of the space. Plus the shower has two drain holes, handy if you’re pitched on uneven ground.
There’s a toilet and sink, the sink’s tap also serving as the showerhead. A single cupboard is provided, and there’s a hook, a towel rail and a wooden duckboard.
What really helps this washroom work is that as well as the plentiful artificial lighting, there’s an opaque opening window behind the loo, meaning you get the benefit of natural light.
Both the double beds in this ’van are of the electric, drop-down variety, with ladder access. And there’s little to choose between them, the front one measuring 1.40m x 1.91m, the rear 1.39m x 1.91m.
You can pull a curtain round the front double for privacy. And although one occupant in each bed will need to clamber over the other, at least those sleeping at both ends of the ’van can access the bathroom at night.
We’ve already discussed storage in the kitchen and the washroom, so what else can the Chausson Welcome 611 Travel Line offer users to fill its 474kg payload?
On the outside there’s a rear garage which, although full width, isn’t vast. However, it does have two access points, the larger being on the (UK) offside.
In the rear lounge, there’s a drawer in the base of the (UK) offside bench seat, a shelved cupboard with a neat, curved door in the (UK) offside rear corner, a small shelf/cubby in the (UK) nearside rear corner, and overhead lockers on the rear panel.
The edge of the kitchen might seem a weird location for the aforementioned wardrobe, but it’s hard to see where else you’d put it. It rather sums up the storage in this motorhome – inventive, but in short supply.
|Shipping Length||6.96 m|