Benjamin Davies

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The Practical Motorhome review of the Chausson Flash 04 – get the definitive verdict

Design

The Flash has an entry-level look, with indecisive graphics on the sides, but is nonetheless an improvement over Chausson’s 2008 models. We also noticed small, telling details such as messier sealant application, particularly between the habitation body and the cab.

But it does have some clever design touches. For instance, there's an underslung waste-water tank behind the rear axle, together with a waste-water dump valve at the rear of the ’van, which allows the water to be dumped directly out of an opening in the bottom of the tank, rather than through a pipe. This not only ensures that no waste-water remains in the tank to turn foul, it also makes it easier to align the ’van when using 
a waste-water disposal point.

On the road

The Flash uses Ford’s excellent, but slightly gruff-sounding, 113bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine with 228 lb/ft of torque. In the cab, it has twin airbags as standard. Also standard is cruise control, a radio/CD player and electric mirrors.

Lounging & dining

It is in the roomy lounge area where compact coachbuilts really trump ’van conversion models of a similar layout.

The Chausson allows for up to five loungers. Its designers have included an extendable table, which uses a slide-out, spring-loaded mechanism, more commonly found on costlier models. You simply reach under the table, pull out the extension and raise it into place. It increases the table’s length from 108.5cm to 147cm.

There's plenty of space to move about, although the lounge table does block the path of those in the cab seats when it is extended. However, this is a near-impossible problem to eradicate in a motorhome this small.

There's a decent set of light fixtures for night-time use, but only one small rooflight over the lounge, which restricts natural light during the day.

Kitchen

The Flash doesn't provide any dedicated work surface at all. The only usable workspace is provided by glass covers over the sink and hob, or the lounge table. The oven (not fitted in the Continental-spec version that we tested) is also located at head height, which will raise all the usual concerns about safety.

Sleeping

The fixed double bed is big and comfortable, and features an innovative design, cleverly rising and falling. Using its ‘Easybed’ system you crank a mechanism in the garage to adjust the height of the bed: a higher bed means increased storage space and a lower bed means more headroom.
Even though the bed can be raised quite high, access to it is still good as it uses a set of stairs rather than a ladder. There are reading lights over the fixed bed, too.
The lounge bed is not intended for frequent use, being narrow and relatively short. It uses the side-facing lounge seats so is easy to make up.

Washroom

The Flash excels with its washroom. It has a separate shower cubicle that uses a sliding door, which will keep the rest of the washroom almost entirely dry, and makes the towel rail and hooks in the washroom genuinely useful.

The main washroom door also slides, which is the best solution in a compact ’van because it does not intrude into the cabin when opened.

The only problem in our test ’van’s washroom was that the shower head mount was screwed in so high up that the shower head ends up pointing back towards the wall, and it cannot tilt upwards far enough for you to properly aim the water at yourself.

Storage

The variable bed height means that the garage can be made truly cavernous, or shrunk to ensure that things don’t move around too much when you’re on the go.

Sadly, there are intrusions into the garage from the habitation area, such as the boiler, but these do not spoil the overall appeal of the Chausson’s garage. It has two doors and the farside door is huge, at 115 x 84cm, which ought to make loading larger items a simple task.

However, the Chausson's larger washroom eats into locker space in the lounge.

Technical specs

Sleeps3
Travel seats4
MTPLM3500kg
Payload722kg
Length5.99m19′8″
Width2.3m7′7″
Height2.71m8′11″
Waste water102L
External Options
GRP sidewalls
Kitchen Equipment
3-burner gas hob, Combined Oven/Grill
Washroom
Thetford C-250 toilet
Heating
Eberspacher space heater

Verdict

Excels in most areas, but there's still room for improvement

Conclusion

Pros

  • Clever rising rear bed; good washroom and lounge

Cons

  • Messy sealant application; small kitchen
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