Ground-breaking rather than gimmicky, decently built and well-equipped – this ’van puts more expensive ’vans to shame. It’s one of the best ’vans of the past few years – no wonder it was a bestseller at this year’s Düsseldorf show.
Ground-breaking island kitchen, electric drop-down bed, circular lounge design; spacious washroom
Lack of an oven in the kitchen; unusual interior design won’t be to everyone’s tastes
Meet the Welcome Suite, Chausson’s unprecedented low-profile, with an island kitchen, an electric drop-down bed and a circular lounge.
This Ducato-based ’van is only 5.99m-long, yet its interior rivals that of 7m plus motorhomes. Chausson’s brainiac division have located the kitchen right smack in the middle of the ’van, allowing movement on either side of it and freeing up lounge space.
This island kitchen design is compromised only in that it can’t currently house an oven, however, workspace is amply provided thanks to a clever flip-up counter extension.
The he layout works very well indeed. The rear washroom is superb, being unbelievably roomy for a ’van of this size, with a spacious separate shower stall, although the huge duckboard will be hard to remove for cleaning.
The lounge and drop-down bed are hugely innovative, too. The former centres around a fixed square table (75 x 94cm), the top of which slides on its X and Y axes. The automotive-style bench seat, swivelled cab seats and two facing single seats allow up to six people to lounge and dine comfortably. The table can also be lowered electrically to form part of a crucifix-shaped lounge bed, good for two kids sleeping longitudinally or one adult transverse across the ’van.
The drop-down bed lowers at the push of a button to one of two positions – you can either have it half way up and utilise the included ladder, to allow for use of the lounge bed, or you can fold down the bench seat and drop the bed all the way down until it sits no higher than a regular fixed bed, negating the need for a ladder.
Many more words could be written on the delightful novelties of this ’van, but the bottom line is that the overall package is no mere novelty, and will serve you – particularly if you tour away as a couple – better than any other ’van of this size.