Cab seats in the rear make travelling in this motorhome much more comfortable for everyone.
It’s true that storage space isn’t immediately to hand everywhere, but there is still plenty of it.
If anything’s compromised, it’s the kitchen.
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Storage is good – especially that garage
The large, rear, U-shaped lounge is a great space
Add an oven and the kitchen will feel tight
Here was a family motorhome with cab-style seats in the rear: no more moans of “Mum, these slab seats are uncomfortable,” coming from the kids on long journeys.
It also had a door on both sides, so UK motorcaravanners wouldn’t need to step out into traffic.
A year on, word from some dealerships suggested that the 611 did have one downside.
Putting in that extra door entailed removing storage – and apparently that put off some UK buyers.
But Chausson is pressing on. For the 2018 season, it has implemented the same idea in its new 711 model, currently only available in Welcome Travel Line spec, with a rear U-shaped lounge.
So will the addition of another UK-friendly feature mean that this time the model really will catch on?
The second door is a boon when you are touring in the UK, although it is worth noting that the extra infrastructure bumps the price up by more than £2500, compared with a different but similarly sized and specced Chausson.
Both doors also have grab handles.
Cab seats in the rear make travelling in this motorhome much more comfortable for everyone
Even with those cab seats, the front lounge isn’t just for sitting in.
There is a small, round table top that sits on a pedestal pole, which is stored behind the nearside seat – although locking it to the floor was a little fiddly.
With it assembled, you can swivel both cab seats around to create a space where four of you could have a quick snack en route.
The sockets for the TV are above the shelf behind the nearside seat, so you’d watch any TV from here as well.
Six LEDs in this area help contribute to the lighting.
But it’s the rear lounge, with its much bigger table, that is the really comfortable spot in this ’van.
You get clear views out of three sides, thanks to the large windows.
There is a huge windowsill behind the rear sofa, with USB sockets, making this an ideal place to rest a tablet.
Six more LEDs brighten up an area that is comfy and easily capable of seating six.
The side kitchen would be cramped if you included an oven in one of its lower cupboards, which is probably partly why there wasn’t one in our test ’van – although they’re much less popular on the Continent than in the UK.
There is a three-burner hob with good space to the right of it, and a round sink.
In addition, there are two adequately sized overhead lockers, and a vegetable rack below a cutlery tray, with cupboards either side.
Over the way, under the TV shelf, is an automatic energy-selection fridge.
There’s a step up into the central washroom, and the door that sections off the shower inside it is fiddly.
But overall, the room is a good size, with a big washbasin featuring a tap that doubles up as the showerhead, a heating vent, a huge mirror and a towel rail just where you need it, under the basin.
Its nearside position does mean emptying the toilet cassette on the awning side.
The four berths in here are formed by double beds that drop down over each lounge.
You do have to tilt the rear travel seats forward a little to get the front bed down, but both beds are roomy and comfortable.
Both the double beds in the new-for-2018 Chausson 711 measure 1.4m x 1.9m (4’6” x 6’2”).
So what about storage capacity? It’s true that there isn’t much in the forward part of the motorhome.
But at the back, you get two large cupboards in the corners and two overhead lockers.
Lift up the cushions on the nearside sofa and you’ll find access to a huge, externally accessed area.
Then there’s the garage at the back. It’s easily large enough to carry a whole family of bicycles, with access via three doors.