We caught up with the exciting new Hymer Venture S at Travelworld in Stafford, a ‘van that wowed everyone as a concept only four years ago and is now a production model.

We immediately saw why it is such a crowd puller.

It looks rugged on the outside, with studded wheels, a front light bar and off-road detailing. The inflatable raising-roof and rear sun deck are enticing. Not to mention 320Ah of lithium batteries, making the Hymer Venture S a true off-road vehicle.

But what about inside? Well, there is a standard Mercedes cab, which you step down slightly into from the interior. You can control grey-waste disposal from this cab, so no need to faff around with pipes under the body.

Mercedes cab
Standard Mercedes cab, with slight step down from interior

The best motorhome will offer innovative touches, and that’s something the Venture S certainly provides when you swivel the offside seat. Open a few cupboard doors, take out a support leg that resides in one of those cupboards, and you have a little home office, with sockets close to hand.

The lighting is clever – a spotlight for focus, and up above, space to insert a portable light that fits here or in the rear lounge and gives you more USBs.

There are some teething troubles: the desktop sits partly on an opened cupboard door, which someone coming in might be tempted to use as support. But Hymer has worked out that even motorcaravanners occasionally need to work (to pay for the vehicle in the first place, perhaps?), even if you’re pitched up at a campervan campsite, and this space allows you to do that.

The main lounge at the rear has a 180-degree view, with loads of light. The smart bamboo walls are enhanced by the ambient lighting, and there are more spotlights, which can be placed at different points in the bamboo.

Interior shot of Hymer Venture S
Smart bamboo walls with gaps to hold the movable spotlights

The two settees are perhaps a touch upright, and the table, which slides out and up from under one of them, would only have space for four. But you could easily bring extra seats with you and seat more guests out on the sun deck.

Opening out the latter is easy, and from here, a little ladder takes you to the ground. With the door open, you really do get the outside coming in. But you needn’t worry about critters – a large flyscreen lowers to keep them out.

It’s a bit of a surprise to discover there is no microwave in the kitchen of the Hymer Venture S – even as an option – and you only get a two-burner gas hob. The stylish worktop is designed to resist smudges. The sink is a good size, with a wooden cover, and the half-height fridge is adequate for the food of two.

The washroom is a revelation – when it’s in travelling mode, you get a deep basin with two towel hooks, a large mirror and a toilet with a step that swings out. But once you arrive on site, the washroom wall can be drawn out and that mirror partition swung forward, to reveal a shower cubicle that offers amazing headroom.

From there, the upstairs bedroom is a few steps away. There’s no banister, but having a staircase is a real luxury.

Upstairs bed
Upstairs bed has an inflatable mattress and good lighting

The mattress inflates as you raise the roof, the inflatable walls deaden noise, there is a zip-down window at the back, and up here you even get a 12V and USB-C socket. There is a hook for that portable light, too.

Another advantage of the staircase is the storage possibilities. The stairs have three compartments inside, while underneath, there is a tall cupboard with shelves, plus four square cupboards. All have solid catches. This is especially useful if you’re looking for storage space for any of your campervan gadgets or accessories.

There is also a slim wardrobe by the rear lounge, just about large enough for the clothes of two. The underseat area is mostly taken up by the table. The office area has plenty of shelving, and there’s a shelf over the cab.

The kitchen has a large overhead locker, and smaller shelves with retainers. Washroom storage is more limited, with just one locker up top.

Practical Motorhome Says…

It’s amazing that a vehicle like this has come from concept to production stage so quickly. We’ve been really impressed by this ‘van – in fact, we shortlisted it for two categories at the Practical Motorhome Awards 2023, as well as awarding it the title of best motorhome for innovation.

We hope some of its most innovative features, including the inflatable roof, the home office and the sun deck, make their way to more conventional motorhomes soon. For now, as long as you have the money (and you don’t mind living without a microwave), enjoy it.

Or you could try:

  • Benimar Tessoro 483: if you’re touring as a couple and want a comfortable ‘van with plenty of storage, this could be the option for you.
  • Pilote V633M: this well-appointed four berth is an ideal ‘van to consider if you’re after a base for attending events and shows.

Technical spec:

  • Price: £196,100
  • Sleeps: 4
  • Belts: 2
  • Base vehicle: Mercedes Sprinter
  • Engine: 190bhp with AWD and nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Length/width/height: 6.45/2.16/3.07m (21’2”/7’0”/10’1”)
  • MTPLM: 4100kg
  • MiRO: 3725kg
  • Payload: 375kg
  • Water (fresh/waste): TBC
  • Leisure battery: 320Ah
  • Gas: 1 x 5kg

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