Versatile layout for those who travel with occasional guests. Ford base vehicle is superb.
Great base vehicle; L-shaped kitchen; decent shower
Limited kitchen storage; high cab seats
Formerly known as the C-Classic range, Hymer’s budget coachbuilt series, now called C-CL, has no new layouts but has swapped base vehicles from Fiat to Ford.
Just like the Ducato, the Sprinter and the Iveco Daily, the Transit was recently relaunched with a new body style and engines. The gearstick is now mounted on the dashboard, creating greater versatility for swivel cab seats. This is academic on this double-dinette 512, whose traditional floorplan makes no use of the cab’s seats, but it does provide a great deal of versatility for family groups, at well under 6m long.
The Ford comes with an impressive standard kit list and its 2.2-litre motor will cruise comfortably at 70mph, even fully laden. There are three travel seats in the dinette. However, we did feel that the cab seats were a little high in relation to the windscreen, especially for those over 6ft tall.
The dinette is large enough to provide lounge space for a couple. It is not as spacious as modern L-shaped lounges with swivel seats, but it’s much more practical if you are trying to get a couple of small children through mealtimes with minimum fuss.
The large L-shaped kitchen, too, goes against the modern trend of compact spaces and will be welcomed by those who cook most of their meals in the ‘van. Across the rear, there’s access to the small garage space for folding chairs, windbreaks, or a couple of kids’ bikes. By the entry door, another door opens onto the combi boiler, which only leaves room for one floor cupboard, below the large cutlery tray. There are, however, four overhead lockers and a large shelf along the back – but the only place to fit an oven would be in the cupboard space.
The washroom, tucked away in the corner, has a good-sized separate shower, with plenty of legroom by the loo and headroom by the sink. The shower has a solid tray base with a drainage channel and there’s a handy set of sliding-door-covered shelves along the back wall.
The overcab, with 70cm of headroom, has about as much space as you’ll find, with a high-density foam mattress and two inset halogen lights on the offside wall. The minor inconvenience of making up the dinette bed is offset by the ease with which the cab blinds can be drawn into place.
It’s an old-fashioned layout, but the 512 offers versatile camping for couples who like to take their kids or grandkids with them – the dinette isn’t much of a lounge but it works well at family meal times. The Ford base should drive superbly and fit into a standard parking space, too.