Peter BaberSee other motorhome reviews written by Peter Baber
Launched under CMC's new brand, this is a stylish combination of traditional campervan design and cleverly innovative extras. Peter Baber climbs aboard.
For 30 years, Concept Multi-Car (CMC) has built a reputation in the UK for camper conversions, mainly VW, that make much use of technology from German firm Reimo - in particular its raising roof.
This is why designs from the Kent-based company have been marketed under the CMC Reimo brand.
Now CMC has launched its own brand, HemBil (Swedish for 'HomeCar').
There are three models in the range - one, the Dune, is still to be produced. The Escape, an existing CMC Reimo conversion, transfers to the HemBil name.
For our test, however, we chose the all-new HemBil Drift, which has a standard VW-style layout with a rear bench and a side kitchen.
It has two sliding doors as standard, allowing the kitchen to swing out so you can cook in the open.
Our test model was based on the T6 petrol engine, although future Drifts will have the 2.0-litre diesel.
Sitting in Comfort
It also included CMC's Comfort Pack. This costs £8500, although CMC claims the extras would amount to more than £10,000 if bought individually. Among other things, you get a VW Comfort Dash with a central console, drinks and bottle holders, and a top-loading glove box.
Both cab seats swivel, although you have to lower the handbrake to get the driver's seat fully round.
It also sits on top of the Webasto diesel heater, part of the Comfort Package. A vent from this pumps heat into the lounge. The décor here is a smart mixture of duck-egg blue furniture and charcoal-grey curtains and upholstery.
With the Comfort Pack, a solid pedestal table can be assembled from a leg that has its own storage rack in the large drawer; it pulls out from under the bench.
This fits onto the front of the bench on the nearside. The tabletop is stowed in its own space in the nearside sliding door, and is slightly more of a challenge to take out. But once assembled, there is easily room for four; and, as the rear bench slides forward and the pedestal leg itself swings, you can have the table as near or far away from you as you want.
Control panels are sited under a small shelf above the kitchen. You'll find a mains socket and a 12V socket here, and one more of each on the nearside of the bench seat by the sliding door. There are two more shelves below the controls on the offside, and a USB socket at the end of each of these.
And the kitchen?
Well, the movable unit includes a cold-water sink with a tap, two-burner hob, and below that, three drawers down the middle and a cupboard with a shelf on the left, plus a pull-out extension flap.
This unit can be swung out if you release a catch on the floor. When fully extended, it is still the same height as the floor of the motorhome, at least a foot off the ground, and cooking in this position might be awkward for some.
The Camping 907 bottle that fuels the hob swings out with this unit, and fresh water is pumped out via a hose from the 12-litre tank in the rear offside corner of the 'van. There's no on-board waste-water container.
You needn't worry about getting wet while you cook - the Comfort Pack gives you an awning rail on both sides.
The 29-litre fridge, housed further back, has a narrow opening at the top.
The Reimo Variotech seat folds down to make up a comfortable double bed.
The optional roof bed is perfectly capable of holding two adults. There is also an adjustable light with a USB socket up here.
A small rail-less wardrobe is fitted in the rear offside corner above the water tank, as well as the large drawer under the bench seat.
|Layout||Camper without washroom|
|Leisure battery||80 Ah|
2-burner gas hob
We really like the HemBil look. It's a long way from what CMC Reimo has done in the past.
The 'van is comfortable, and the swing-out kitchen shows great innovation, even if its height might not appeal to everyone. The options list takes some getting around - but it probably does for most campervans.
- Swing-out kitchen
- Variotech seat that folds flat easily to make a double bed
- Lowering the handbrake to get the driver's seat to swivel fully round